Porridge is generally used to describe oatmeal, but there are many other porridges. A mixture of wheat or rye flour and water fits the definition, for example. Such a porridge has been used for a very long time as a flavor enhancer for breads in lieu of the more modern pre-ferments. Joe Ortiz in his excellent book “The Village Baker” describes and has a recipe for such a loaf, a very ancient pane francese. One makes a flour/water porridge and leaves it to sit and sour overnight and adds it to the final dough. But in the more general context, we usually think of porridge bread as an oatmeal loaf and it is this that I pass on to you. This is a recipe from James Beard’s “Beard on Bread” that he particularly favored. It is simple, straightforward and will be a warming loaf on a cold winter’s day. Both these books date back to the times before weights and baker’s percentages were the rule for home baking books, but I nonetheless recommend them both to you highly. They are classic treasure troves of fine recipes, history and fun narratives. I took a few minutes to convert the original volume formula to weights, but I used a conversion utility which can be off considerably depending on your source of materials, so I recommend doing your own conversion by actually weighing out the volumes if this is the way you want to go. Same thing with my rough attempt at baker’s percentage.

Oatmeal Porridge Bread Recipe