The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Potato-Caramelized Onion-Cheese-Barley Porridge Bread

isand66's picture

Potato-Caramelized Onion-Cheese-Barley Porridge Bread

   This past weekend my wife and I visited one of our favorite supermarkets, Fairway Market which has a great selection of cheeses, fresh sour pickles, grains, meats etc.  I picked up some pearled barley and this great tasting cheddar like cheese called Double Gloucester which they were doing a free samplingI had some left-over mashed potatoes and caramelized onions, so naturally these needed to be incorporated into a bread.  Who doesn't like potatoes, cheese and onions?

I wanted to incorporate some stiff egg whites to try and make the overall bread a little lighter with the onions and cheese but it didn't really seem to make that much of a difference.

Since I've been experimenting a lot with the porridge method per Tartine 3 I figured why not use the barley as a porridge.  It didn't quite get as creamy as the oats or the multi-grain mix I used last time but it still added a nice texture to the final bread.

The final dough did not expand quite as much as I would have liked in the oven but the results were tasty none the less.  The onions really come through with the cheese and this made some great grilled bread with my steak dinner last night.

Please note: The formula below includes the water content from the potatoes and egg whites. The actual water added to the main dough when mixing should be 85 grams.



Potato-Caramelized Onions-Cheese-Barley Porridge  (%)

Potato-Caramelized Onions-Cheese-Barley Porridge  (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Levain Directions Build 1 (Using AP Starter at 66% Hydration for Seed)

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my Proofer set at 81 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Oat Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the water is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the water and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 For Egg Whites:
Separate eggs and beat until peaks are formed.


 Main Dough Procedure

Mix flours and water for 1 minute.  Let sit for 20 - 60 minutes.

Fold in egg whites then add levain, cooled porridge, potatoes and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Add onions and mix for 1 minute until incorporated and then add the cheese and mix for 1 additional minute.

In lightly oiled bowl or work surface S&F several times. Let rest for 10-15 minutes and S&F again. Repeat 1 x.  After a total of 2 hours refrigerate dough for 12 - 24 hours. (Note: this is a pretty wet dough so you may need to do a couple of additional stretch and folds).

Remove dough from refrigerator 1.5 to 2 hours before using.

Shape as desired. Proof for 1.5 - 2 hours (depending on room temperature) and will only rise about 1/3 it’s size at most.

Preheat oven to 550º F, including steam pan.

Score bread, and place in oven. After 5 minutes reduce temperature to 450ºF.  Bake for 35-50 minutes, until nicely browned (205ºF).

Cool on rack at least for 2 hours before eating.









dabrownman's picture

English cheese in bread has to be one of the greatest bread combinations.  Lots of different flour with a barley porridge it has to be even better and taste great.  We haven't been getting our usual oven spring of late either  using sprouted multigrain flour.  As long as it tastes great is is a huge success.

Lucy loves the garden flowers too.  Hope all is well the baking crew.

Well done and happy baking Ian  

isand66's picture

Thanks DA.  The cheese was on sale and I used only 1/2 of what I bought so not too expensive.  This one tastes great and worth making again for sure.  I used leftover potatoes that had salt and butter and cheese added so that may have messed up the oven spring a little.  Either way the apprentices approved and the house smelled amazing all day after baking.

Went to dog beach yesterday and Lexie spent 20 minutes chasing plovers through the dunes, into the water and back again.  The poor birds gave her a good running :)

Happy baking to you and lovely Lucy.

Kiseger's picture

This look stupendously good! A real labour of love, wow!  And such lovely flowers too!  Yum, bake on!

isand66's picture

Thank you so much.  Glad you enjoyed the bread and flowers.  I posted a bunch more flower photos on my last post you may enjoy.



Mebake's picture

I like the rustic look of your breads, Ian. Nice choice of add ins too. Sound like a delicious bread to have with a steak.

all the best,


isand66's picture

Thanks Khalid.

Appreciate your kind words.

Look forward to seeing your next post.


Catomi's picture

I'm impressed you tackled adding egg whites. I've only seen those added to batter-like consistency doughs. I have seen recipes call for mixing in a little of the egg whites (1/4 or so) to initially lighten the dough, and then folding in the rest with a spatula. If the dough is too thick to turn with a spatula then it's probably thick enough that you'll deflate the egg whites trying to mix them in (in my very limited experience). 

It looks like really good bread!

isand66's picture

Thanks.  I have folded in egg whites in a deli rye which worked very well but I think due to the cheese and onions it didn't work.  Anyway this one came out well and tastes great



CAphyl's picture

Ian:  You keep giving me all these porridge breads to try.  I have one of our other porridge recipes on deck already!  Love the English cheese.  My husband is English, so we spend quite a bit of time there, so love Double Gloucester, Stilton, and so many others.  Thanks for sharing and lovely pics.  Best,  Phyllis

isand66's picture

Thank you so much Phyllis.  Please let me know how your attempt comes out and if I can help in any way.  I really like this cheese and will buy it again for sure.


limmitedbaking's picture

Hi Ian, really nice loaf and flowers too! Sounds like a perfect combination that I must try soon. The cheese pockets ust look too tempting!