The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Porridge & Grits Bread

isand66's picture

Porridge & Grits Bread

This is the most sour porridge bread I've made to date.  I think the 2 day rest in the fridge for the Einkorn and European Style flour starter may have contributed to it.

I used some pearled barley and Organic Six Grain Flakes from KAF for the porridge and added some cooked grits with cheddar cheese.  I didn't measure the cheese added to the grits but it wasn't a large amount.  Feel free to indulge.  I always make a lot more grits than needed and eat them with dinner or breakfast later on.

Note: Grits are 80% water and the water added for the final mix takes the 120 grams of water left over after cooking for the grits into consideration.  I was actually going to add more water to the final dough but it didn't need it.

The final bread was excellent with a nice moist and open crumb which is expected from porridge breads.  As I said before this one did come out a lot more sour than usual but it makes excellent grilled bread and toast and I almost wish I had kept both loaves instead of giving one away :).


Porridge & Grits (%)

Porridge & Grits (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Levain Directions

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 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk 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.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, polenta and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes and speed #2 for another 2 minutes or by hand for about 6 minutes.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.




dabrownman's picture

this bread tastes like.  ha to be delicious with that long cold retard of the dough.  We usually have shrimp on our grits southern style around here and shrimpy tasting bread would be a hard one to sell I'm thinking:-)  The crust and crumb of this one are just perfect and there is some pretty fancy do scoring going on too.  There is  lot to like about this bread Ian.

'Well done!  Lucy says hi to her buddies and hopes they aren't freezing to death.  She wanted to mail them a box of AZ 80 F air but I nixed that.

Happy baking Ian 

isand66's picture

Thanks DA...I actually made a crawfish stuffed bread many years ago...more like a stromboli with craw-fish and cheese was quite good actually.

Anyway, glad you like this one.  It was one of the more sour breads I've made in a while so I know you would be a big fan of this one.

It's snowing right now....just returned from the dog park in the snow and getting ready for the blizzard.

Could use that AZ air right about now.

a_warming_trend's picture

Great instructions and lovely crust and crumb. 

I'm from Mississippi and didn't leave until I was 20. When someone mentions grits, I pay attention. You have me wondering what a cheese grits bread would be like...


isand66's picture

Glad you like it.  Let me know if you try it and how it comes out.  The only thing that can make this better would be some bacon.



bmeilinger's picture

I would have a very hard time following that last line...  Looks like your steaming procedure works pretty well based on that crust color!  Ever considered dry-toasted the cornmeal for the porridge and omitting the cheese for a full grain flavor?  

I tried a polenta bread once and I think I just cooked the porridge too dry, so it aggregated a lot in the dough: next time will be much wetter porridge.



isand66's picture

The last line is just a guideline...:)

I have never dried toasted the grits before, but that's an interesting idea worth trying.  The wetter the porridge the better the crumb will be.

Thanks for your comment.


hanseata's picture

Very appetizing!


isand66's picture

Thank you Karin.  Always nice to hear from you.  I think we need to come up with a new challenge bread to keep everyone on their toes.....any ideas?



Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hey Ian.  Great loaves.  Never tried porridge bread.  You got a great crumb and crust on them.  Thanks for sharing the formula.  When I get a little more time for baking I may gives these a try.


isand66's picture

Thanks John.  Great to hear from you.  Glad you liked the bake.  I hope you get a chance to try it as I'm sure you won't be disappointed.