Recipe Template: Sourdough Porridge Sandwich Bread, three ways

Cornmeal-molasses/Oatmeal-Maple/"Cream of Wheat"

PDF version of this document


Notes:

  • This post contains three closely-related formulas for sourdough porridge pan breads. 

  • As before, this sourdough includes a pre-cooked porridge, which makes it ultra moist and pillowy-soft within; it also makes it stay fresh far longer than many homemade breads.

  • The formula is very similar to that of my oatmeal-maple porridge bread; the difference here is the addition of butter for softness and a tighter crumb, a lower hydration (because of the butter), and a loaf pan-appropriate shaping and baking method. 

  • This recipe does require that your loaf pan fit comfortably inside of your Dutch oven; be sure to test this out beforehand. (Alternatively, it can be baked on a stone with steam.) 

  • Because the initial proof of the dough takes from 10 to 14 hours to complete, it is best to start the recipe either in the evening, or very early in the morning.

  • Any bread flour will work here, but my go-to “bread” flour is King Arthur all-purpose flour, with 11.9% protein.

  • You can use mature levain/sourdough starter that has been refreshed and refrigerated within the previous 10 days; since the recipe uses such a small amount, the exact hydration of the levain is not important here.

  • To avoid overproofing, it is important to shape the loaf within an hour or so after the dough is ripe (i.e., when the it is “domed, lightly bubbly, and about tripled in volume”), especially when ambient temps are high. (In the winter, you’ll have way more wiggle room.)

  • If possible, use a clear-sided container for mixing and proofing the dough, it will make knowing when it is ready to be shaped obvious (you will see a fine web of bubbles on the interior of the dough), like this:

  • If possible, proof the dough somewhere where ambient temperatures are around 75˚F.

  • If that’s not possible and temperatures are very cold (below 68˚F), increase the amount of levain to as much as 10%, or 30 grams (2 tablespoons).

  • If ambient temperatures are higher than 80˚F (as in the summer), reduce the amount of levain to as little as 1%, or 3 grams (3/4 teaspoon). And be especially careful to not let the dough go too long after it’s fully proofed in step 4.

  • The loaf is baked cold, directly from the fridge.

  • It includes the use of a parchment “sling” to help get the loaf in and out of the hot Dutch oven. Like this:

  • If you have a Challenger bread pan, you can forego the sling, because the loaf pan will be easy to extract.

  • Once the bread has steamed sufficiently, it is removed from the Dutch oven and returned to the bare oven rack to finish baking.


Cornmeal-Molasses Porridge Sourdough Sandwich Bread (Anadama)

Makes one 750g pan loaf

Total formula

100% bread flour

14.5% cornmeal

78% water

8% molasses

8.5% unsalted butter

2.2% salt

5% levain

Porridge

50 grams cornmeal, plus 1 tablespoon to coat top of loaf

100 grams boiling water

30 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces

Final Dough

30 grams (1-½ tablespoons) molasses

165 grams room-temperature water

15 grams (1 tablespoon) levain

340 grams bread flour

7 grams (1 ¼ teaspoons) sea salt

Method

  1. FOR THE PORRIDGE: Place cornmeal and boiling water in medium bowl and stir until uniform. Set butter on top of cornmeal mixture, cover bowl with plate, and let sit for 20 minutes.

  2. FOR THE DOUGH: Place about 15 grams (1 tablespoon) water in small bowl and set aside. Add molasses, remaining room temperature water and levain to cornmeal mixture, and stir with wooden spoon or dough whisk until combined. Add flour and stir with wooden spoon or dough whisk until uniform and no dry flour remains. Add salt and reserved water to top of dough. Cover bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.

  3. Using hands, knead, mash and squeeze dough in bowl until water and salt are fully incorporated and dough is uniform in texture.

  4. Cover container well and let ferment at cool room temperature (68 to 75 degrees) until dough is domed, lightly bubbly and about tripled in volume, 12 to 14 hours.

  5. Dust top of dough lightly with flour, loosen from bottom of bowl, and invert onto floured countertop. Using flour on hands and top of dough as necessary to prevent sticking, gently press dough into 8-inch circle, then fold edges toward middle to form round. Cover with inverted bowl and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan and set aside.

  6. Flour top of dough and surrounding countertop. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from counter and invert. Using flour on hands and top of dough as necessary to prevent sticking, press and stretch dough into 7 by 4-inch oval, with short side parallel to counter edge. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Pinch seam closed and roll log over itself so seam is on underside. Gently roll log back and forth under cupped hands until it is about 5 inches long. Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, pressing dough gently toward corners (dough will not fill pan completely).

  7. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap or enclose in plastic bag and let sit for 30 minutes. Transfer pan to refrigerator and let sit for 8 to 24 hours (loaf will not rise appreciably during this time).

  8. One hour before baking bread, adjust oven rack to middle position, set covered heavy-bottomed Dutch oven on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Fold an 18- by 13-inch piece of parchment in half lengthwise and set aside.

  9. When oven is ready, remove loaf from refrigerator. Using spray bottle or brush, lightly moisten top of loaf with water. Coat top of loaf with remaining cornmeal. Using lame, sharp serrated knife, or single-edge razor blade, make one ¼-inch-deep slash lengthwise down center of loaf. Center loaf crosswise on prepared parchment sling and transfer to preheated Dutch oven. Cover pot and place in oven. Bake bread for 20 minutes.

  10. Remove pot from oven and remove lid. Using parchment sling as handles, carefully remove loaf from pot. Set parchment and Dutch oven aside, return loaf pan to oven, and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and registers 200 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

  11. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaf from pan, return to wire rack, and let cool completely before slicing and serving, about 2 hours.


Variation: “Cream-of-Wheat” Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Porridge

60 grams whole wheat flour (***corrected amount)

100 grams boiling water

30 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces



Dough

30 grams (1-½ tablespoons) honey

165 grams room-temperature water

15 grams (1 tablespoon) levain

340 grams bread flour

7 grams (1 ¼ teaspoons) sea salt


Notes: 

  • In step 1: Sift whole wheat flour through fine-meshed strainer, reserving bran for dusting top of loaf. Make porridge/tangzhong with sifted flour and boiling water.

  • Dust top of loaf in step 8 with sifted bran.


Variation: Oatmeal-Maple Porridge Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Porridge

50 grams rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons to coat top of loaf

100 grams boiling water

30 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces



Dough

30 grams (1-½ tablespoons) maple syrup

165 grams room-temperature water

15 grams (1 tablespoon) levain

340 grams bread flour

7 grams (1 ¼ teaspoons) sea salt

Notes:

  • Replace cornmeal with rolled oats in steps 1 and 8.