The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

60% Whole Wheat [toasted] Porridge Levain

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

60% Whole Wheat [toasted] Porridge Levain

Buongiorno everyone.  It's been a while.

Perhaps it's our old world village roots, but my wife and I are happy to have more or less the same bread day in and day out.  As long as it's very good bread.  Sure enough, we've been enjoying bakes of this delicious bread just about every week for the past year.  It is appropriately versatile for our vegetarian table, supplying lunchtime sandwiches and the evening table's basket.  The formula and process have proven robust enough to survive our recent relocation across 2500 miles, two time zones, +2000' in elevation and a decidedly less capable oven than that in which the bake was initially developed.  Perhaps that warrants a TFL post.

An attractive feature of the formula, besides its 60% fresh milled flour, is the ca. 30% supplement of (usually oat, but at times barley or spelt) porridge, sprouted or otherwise fully hydrated grain.  A recently adopted and salutary upgrade has been to lightly toast the rolled grain before cooking it up as porridge.  This practice echoes yesteryear's Miche Maillard, infusing not only the crust but, somewhat less so, the crumb, with a toasty maillardesse.  Importantly, a >100% hydrated supplement such as porridge continuously hydrates a fermenting, predominantly wholegrain, dough, enhancing final crumb structure.  I don't recall mention of this benefit in T3.




We have settled on the above ratio of white to red wheat.  More white is too bland and more red can be too intense.  Variation in the cooked or sprouted supplement provides plenty of opportunity for subtle week-to-week diversity.

Happy New Year, Happy New Administration and Happy Baking.



[Notes added in "proof" :-) :

1. Error in Process above:  On First morning, "Weight out rolled oats equal to 15% weight of formula's total flour" (not 30%).  Sorry about that.

2. We quarter these miches when cooled, double ziploc bag each quarter and freeze two.  They keep and thaw well until the next bake.]


dabrownman's picture

not one hard bit in the crumb either!  Love that crumb, the color of the crust and the diamond scoring.  Just lovely and has to be tasty as all get out.  Glad you are still using your namesake toadies too!  Was thinking of you the other day when making Toadies and it was nice to see your post today.

So where have you moved off to?

Happy baking Tom

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

The Gilbert Sorcerer is quick, I'll say that.  Thanks for your comment, and for thinking of us on this dubiously auspicious day in our nation's long and varied history.

We are now in 95033.  Quite a change.



Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

Just down the road from me in 95008, then. 

Wow, that is a stunning looking crumb! 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

"Down" the road indeed - that roller coaster masquerading as a thoroughfare: Highway 17.  Gotta love it, as long as you can survive it.

Happy baking!


Ru007's picture

What a great looking loaf!! 

Beautiful crumb and crust.

Well done

PalwithnoovenP's picture

The crust and especially the crumb are wonderful. I can imagine the flavor; toasty and nutty, I will surely love it!

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Thanks Ru and Pal. 

Yes, we like our crusts toasty and our crumbs moist and cakey!

Happy Baking,


Isand66's picture

Beautiful bake!

I love making porridge bread as well.  You do a few things differently than myself and I'm curious what the impact is.  I add the porridge in immediately after the flour has autolysed while you fold it in much later.  I like your idea of pan toasting the oats and grains and will try that the next time for sure.

I also prefer to do a bulk ferment in the refrigerator overnight or longer versus putting the shaped dough in the fridge.

This is what I love about bread baking..there are so many different ways you can accomplish the same thing and in the process there can be slight differences that really impact the final result.

Thanks for sharing your formula a method.


Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Very kind of you.  Especially coming from one of TFL's most creative, "radically different and inventive bread every week" denizens.

Go light on the oat toasting.  I overdid it the first time.  Easy to do.  Lightly does it.

My "during the second fold" addition of porridge (or sprouted grain) came from T3.  At least my reading of T3.  At some point in the past year, I recall re-reading the master recipe there and feeling that I wasn't actually adding them when Robertson suggested.  Regardless, works fine at second fold.  Perhaps that gives the dough time to develop gluten unimpeded by the bulky porridge/grain addition first.

Yes, it's certainly a forgiving, and therefore almost unfailingly rewarding pastime, this bread baking!