The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oats: raw vs porridge and hydration questions

Esopus Spitzenburg's picture
Esopus Spitzenburg

Oats: raw vs porridge and hydration questions

Hi all,

I'm a bit late to the Approachable Loaf party, but have enjoyed reading and learning from the community bake. I'm planning on making a variation on the Bread Lab's recipe, with oats added.

When I've made oat breads previously, I've added raw rolled oats or "old fashioned" oats, and upped the hydration an unscientific amount. But when researching oat breads, I've seen a lot of recipes for oat porridge bread, that is, bread that incorporates cooked and well hydrated oats into the dough.

1) Is there an advantage to adding cooked oatmeal as opposed to raw oats? I've liked the textures the rolled oats add to bread, but haven't tried making a loaf with porridge. I'm open to it if it will improve results, but am hesitant because it will add another step to the process.

2) For those who use raw oats, do you have a formula/percentage for how much additional hydration you add?


idaveindy's picture

This guy did a lot of experimenting which may answer your question:


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

have discovered porridge bread by accident when adding left over cooked cereal to the next daily batch of bread dough.  The bread became moist and a nice change often with more volume and finer crumb.  The cooled porridge had about the same consistency as the dough so no big changes in hydration and salt were made.

Later on we find out adding cooked and cooled starch gel is a method with many names, tangzhong, water roux, porridge, etc.  Worth a try if you haven't experienced it.  I find the differences more readily noticed when added to a straight dough, one with just flour, water, salt, yeast.  The method also adds a touch of sweetness without adding sugar directly. As with all good things, too much can result in a heavy gummy crumb. 

I'm also a old fashioned rolled oat fan.  With raw oats, I simply soak 30 min. and strain.  When they stop dripping, add.  I also line buttered bread pans with rolled oats for a nutty toasted oat crust.  

Esopus Spitzenburg's picture
Esopus Spitzenburg

These were both very helpful comments! I'm going to try the porridge then, and will hopefully post results after I bake, in the next week or two.