Oat Porridge Bread from Tartine Book 3
Like most of my bread friends, I purchased Chad Robertson's new bread book, Tartine Book No. 3, back when it came out over the holidays, however, I only got around to baking from it fairly recently. In Book no. 3, Robertson builds upon his basic country bread formula he established in his first book,Tartine Bread, with a focus on whole grain baking. I had been skimming the book for awhile and noticed a few things:
- As with Tartine Bread, the photography is absolutely breathtaking. The book just forces you to want to bake bread by being so beautiful. In that way, it is very inspiring.
- Robertson's take on whole grain baking is very different than most bakers. It seems as though Robertson is more interested in whole grain baking from a flavor standpoint rather than a nutritional one. Most of the breads actually contain a majority of white flour and Robertson uses and demonstrates a variety of methods for injecting other grains into the bread. He puts a focus on using grains that would not usually be used in bread baking(because of poor baking properties) and uses them as flavor enhancers.
I decided to put some of the methods described in the book to the test with a formula called "Oat Porridge Bread". This is one of the breads in the "Porridge Bread" chapter that involves cooking grains into a porridge(similar to making oatmeal) and then using it as an inclusion in the final dough. Robertson details using several interesting grains with this method but I decided to go with the most basic, rolled oats, because that's what I had on hand.
I actually attempted this bread twice with noticeable improvements on the second attempt. My process reflects the adjustments I had to make to get the results you see here. I must say that this is one of my favorite breads I've ever made mainly because of the texture of the crumb. It is extremely moist, custard-like and soft in a way that I haven't experienced in any standard sourdough I've made in the past(and I've made a lot). I'm thinking that this has to do with the porridge aspect. The flavor is also quite nice but I wouldn't say it is particularly "oaty". I think the key to this bread is making sure you have enough strength in the dough(by doing a lot of strong folds) and getting the proofing right. The first time I made this bread it was very gummy and chewy, most likely because of under proofing. Enjoy!
For the formula, process and more photos visit my blog at aBreaducation.