Maurizio’s Oat Porridge Levain, alfanso-style
As baguettes (long batards),of course. Covered by wheat bran.
Edit 5/18/2019 - And a second run with my adjusted formula to make sure that I understood the process, and because it's a darn tasty bread! Changes applied:
- Used the double boiler method to cook the oats.
- Added the additional final basinage ("Held Back" on formula sheet) during incorporation of the oatmeal, which definitely made the dough a bit wetter and more difficult and extensible.
- Due to extensibility, wend from divide directly to shaping - the dough almost shaped itself.
- Baked to a richer tone darker than the previous bake.
590g x 2 gros baguettes/long batards
End of edit.
I was out of state these past weeks when suddenly Dan sneakily posted his Community Bake behind my back. I’m not big on “challenges” and typically don’t join in as much as I do join in. But there has long been chatter and postings of porridge breads by quite a few of the crew here on Isle TFL, both respected old timers like Ian as well as some of the fine young fillies and colts. Having never incorporated porridge, I though that this would be a fine time to give it a go.
I generally try to use what’s already in the cupboard, which in this case was my supermarket branded quick oats. But for this venture I went with the recommended BRM (not thick).
As with Paul’s comments about the consistency of the 1g:2g ratio, “About 5 minutes in, the porridge starts to firm up, losing any resemblance to “creamy” or “loose”. “, and as with a good number of others in this exercise, the words creamy texture were a unknown inside of my sauce pan.
The ratio turns out to be a 1:1 volume, but the typical volume measurement for oatmeal is 1:2. So I did that. And in my first run, I used that 1:2 volume – which naturally made the entire affair tip toward the goopy side of what dough should be. Here are the two side by side. Left is called for in the formula, right is by the oatmeal package instruction. And even these did not turn creamy.
What this reminded me of is the wonderful “magic grits” scene from the movie My Cousin Vinny, and I‘ll quote the relevant sentence here: “Perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your (Maurizio’s) stove”.
Way overhydrated, I was still able to eke out a semblance of a bake, and the bread was delicious
On this second run, I made a few changes:
- Changed the pre-fermented flour from 7% to 15%. It just isn’t in my DNA to let a dough sit on the counter for a full three hours post bulk rise. I already put in my time with this dough, so into retard it went after 45 minutes more.
- One final Letter Fold just before the retard in the hopes of giving the dough just a bit more strength.
- Lowered the base dough hydration down from my calculated 76.8% to 74%. With a dough this hydrated, I felt that my shaping would benefit from dropping the base hydration down ~ 3%.
- Used the recommended 1g:2g Maurizio ratio for the porridge. Then ran the oatmeal through a potato ricer, which helped break down all the clumps. Still a continent away from creamy, but incorporating them into the dough using the French Fold method was successful.
- 45 minute post-bulk rise on the counter due to the increase in pre-fermented flour, instead of 3 hours.
- Rolled the shaped dough in wheat bran rather than dry rolled oats, as I don't really like to look of those flakes on my bread all that much.
Left: just after releasing steam. Right: about to pull from the oven
They didn’t grigne as much as my typical baguettes, but I am not surprised at all given the unique characteristics of the dough.
2 x 450g baguettes / long batards
Here is my (BBGA) version of the formula, also normalized for 1000g
|Oat Porridge Levain|
|Maurizio Leo||Total Flour|
|Total Dough Weight (g)||1000||Porridge||Prefermented||15.00%|
|Total Formula||Levain||Final Dough|
|Total Flour||100.00%||406.3||0.00%||100%||60.9||Final Flour||345.4|
|Bread Four||68.50%||278.3||0%||50%||30.5||Bread Four||247.9|
|Whole Wheat||31.50%||128.0||0%||50%||30.5||Whole Wheat||97.5|
|Water: Final Dough||74.00%||300.7||0.00%||0.0||100%||60.9||Water||239.7|
|Inital Mix||Inital Mix||222.9|
|Held Back||Held Back||8.4|
|Tepid heat for soaker, 16 min., covered. Run through potato ricer while hot. Cool completely||2 stage liquid levain build|
|Reserve extra warm water.||Stage 1|
|Mix, Flours, inital warm water, levain. Autolyse for 1 hr.||AP Flour||15.2|
|Incorporate Salt & Post-Autolyse (bassinage) water. Pinch & fold||WW||15.2|
|300 FFs, 150, 5 min rest, 150.||Water||30.5|
|Bulk Rise 30 min.||Starter||14.6|
|Fold in porridge, a little at a time,(add held back water as/if needed)||Stage 2|
|Letter Fold immediately.||AP Flour||15.2|
|Bulk Rise ~2 1/2 hrs. (five) LF every 30 min.||WW||15.2|
|Bench Rest 60 min.||Water||30.5|
|Retard, Divide, pre-shape and shape.||Total||136.5|
|Moisten dough if needed, roll in wheat bran or dry rolled oats. Seam side up on couche.|
|Retard a total of ~15 hrs.|
|Preheat oven to 500dF.|
|Bake w/ Steam @470dF.|
|Bake thoroughly due to water retention in bread.|
|Let bread set for ~1-3 hrs. before slicing.|