Chad Robertson's Tips for Baking his Oat Porridge Bread

December 19, 2013

This week's guest editor is Chad Robertson, the man behind San Francisco's über-popular Tartine Bakery. He'll be walking us through how to make one of the Porridge Breads from his latest book, Tartine 3, and sharing bits of baking knowledge along the way.

Today: Now that you've made your leaven, mixed your dough, and shaped your loaves, it's time to bake. Here are Chad's tips on how to do it.

Chad Robertson's Oat Porridge Bread

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For me, the quintessential loaf of bread has a deep, auburn crust that shatters when torn. But it's all about textures. The contrast of this crackly sheath against a tender, pearlescent crumb is what I’m after. Adding steam to the oven is an essential step to ensure a burnished crust, open scores, and full volume. The moist heat during the first 20 minutes of baking allows for the expansion of the loaves without forming a crust. Home bakers don’t have massive, wood-fired ovens at their disposal and regular ovens are designed to ventilate moisture, not augment it. I’ve found that the Dutch oven technique is a nice estimate, since it becomes a sealed, moist chamber and also has strong radiant heat.

Oat Porridge Bread

Makes 2 loaves

500 grams high-extraction wheat flour
500 grams medium-strong wheat flour
70 grams wheat germ
750 grams water
150 grams leaven
25 grams fine sea salt
500 grams cooked oat porridge, cooled
200 grams almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
50 grams almond oil (optional)
Coarsely chopped oat flakes (rolled oats) for coating (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Chad Robertson


jule January 12, 2014
Big fan of Tartine have been using your other 2 books for a few years, received the #3 book this Christmas. Will be making one of the porridge breads this week. I always make a pilgrimage to Tartine when in SF. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful insightful knowledge.
AntoniaJames December 19, 2013
Mr. Robertson, I have a gigantic Dutch oven -- an ancient Magnalite / Wagner Ware large enough for bathing a small baby. Can this recipe be used to make a single large boule instead of 2 loaves? I'm quite certain my Dutch oven could accommodate it. Thank you. ;o)