There is something about autumn that just calls for soups and stews, and for starting the day with a nice bowl of oatmeal porridge. I like mine with brown sugar, or maybe just a grated apple. I often make a little extra porridge, so I can add some (unsweetened) to my next bread dough. It keeps the bread moist and gives a nice structure.
Oatmeal porridge sourdough loaf
100 grammes mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
300 grammes leftover oatmeal porridge
200 grammes water
600 grammes flour (plain white 00)
10 grammes salt
Stir the sourdough starter with the water and the cooled leftover porridge. Add the flour and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. After this initial rest, add the salt and seeds, if using. Mix well. Add more flour or water if you think the dough needs it.
Cover the bowl and let rise for about a few hours at room temperature. Fold the dough a few times (just in the bowl, using a spoon or spatula). You will feel the dough becoming more elastic and responsive, and it will increase nicely in volume. A few hours before baking, fold dough into a banneton or bread tin, and let rest a couple hours until it’s rising nicely. (You can also leave it overnight in the fridge, unless your fridge is too full and the only option is baking same day…. A overnight fermentation gives better flavour.)
When ready to bake: heat your oven to 250C, with a cast iron pot. When it is properly hot, take the pot out carefully. Invert the dough onto a piece of baking paper, slash the dough, and put the bread in the pot. Bake at 250C for 25-30 minutes with the lid on, then 15-20 minutes more with the lid off, until the bread looks done and the base of the bread sounds hollow if you tap it. About 45 minutes in all, depending on your oven. Cool before slicing.
Notes: Oatmeal porridge always reminds me of Norway, so here are a couple pictures from this August, on the farm of a friend. Her son was busy building this small cabin in the yard, which is possible with lots of space and spare materials.