Porridge bread is a delicious, tasty bread with a light, open crumb and this recipe is perfect for using up leftover porridge or oatmeal. It is so good that you will be making extra porridge so you can make a loaf!
We love oatmeal or porridge for breakfast. It is a staple for most of the winter, and in the summer we switch to cold oats in the form of Bircher muesli.
If you soak the oats overnight your porridge will be far creamier and smoother. Come morning, however, if you change your mind about what you want for breakfast, you are going to have leftover porridge.
This porridge bread recipe is the no food waste solution. It is absolutely delicious and the slow-release carbs in the oats make it filling and satisfying. It slices well and is fantastic toasted. In short, it’s an ideal everyday loaf from breakfast to dinner.
This loaf is far easier to make if you have a stand mixer. Porridge is sticky stuff, so when some is added to dough, the result is a mixture that’s stickier than regular dough. You can mix it by hand, but it’s much easier in a mixer.
Why Make This Porridge Bread Recipe?
- Adding porridge to the dough makes the resulting bread rich and tasty, with an excellent open crumb.
- If you miscalculate quantities when making breakfast, making this porridge bread recipe cuts down on food waste.
- This recipe is adaptable. You can add more or less porridge depending what you have.
- Most recipes for porridge bread are sourdough based. This one, however, uses yeast, making it a faster bake, and easier to get perfect results every time.
- Unlike the traditional porridge bread from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, we don’t add molasses. This means our loaf is far lighter than the rather dense Canadian version, and we think you’ll love it.
Can Porridge Bread Be Frozen?
Yes, absolutely. I normally slice bread before freezing, so that I can take it out slice by slice to toast.
How to Make Leftover Porridge Loaf
Step one – Measure out the ingredients. The water should be lukewarm, so if it’s cold straight from the tap, add a splash of boiling water. It doesn’t have to feel warm, just “not cold”.
Step two – If you don’t have leftovers, make the porridge. Simmer the oats and water for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Allow to it to cool.
Step three – Put the flours, water and yeast (see tips below), salt, porridge and oil in the mixer bowl. Mix with the dough hook on a low to medium setting for about 8–10 minutes. Unlike other breads this won’t turn into a smooth dough as you knead. But you can test with the windowpane test below.
Fuss Free Tip
Check to see if the dough has been kneaded enough with the windowpane test. Take a piece of dough in both hands and pull apart. If it stretches thin enough to be translucent, the gluten has developed and no further kneading is required.
Step four – Cover the bowl (I use a thin shower cap!) and place in a warm location for about an hour to rise. Allow the dough to double in size.
Step five – Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted with flour. Butter a 2 lb/950 g loaf tin. Fold over twice, then roll up into a sausage. Place in the loaf tin, with the seam at the bottom.
Step six – Allow to rise again for about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 210°C (fan)/230°C/Gas Mark 8, so that it is already at the correct temperature at the end of the proofing time.
Step seven – Bake your porridge bread for about 30–35 minutes. The loaf is ready when it sounds hollow when removed from the tin and tapped on the bottom. It often takes longer to bake than you think it will, so my general rule of thumb is that if you are unsure, give it another 5 minutes.
Porridge Bread Hints, Tips & Variations
- The secret to good porridge is always to cook it properly. Don’t just heat it up; simmering it for a few minutes makes for a much creamier and tastier result. Good porridge makes good bread.
- Yeast choice – You can use quick yeast or activated yeast in this porridge bread recipe. Activated yeast needs to be dissolved in water, while quick yeast can be mixed with the flour. The instructions are for quick yeast – if using activated yeast, see the note below.
- If you are using activated yeast, it is important to make sure it has properly dissolved before you add the flour. Some sources tell you to add a spoonful of sugar and wait until it is frothy, but we have never found it makes a difference. BUT if you have had the yeast for some time, it might be an idea to add a little sugar and to wait to check that the yeast is still good.
- Timings vary dramatically by age of the yeast, temperature, brand of flour, humidity and even altitude. Go by the volume of the dough, not the time.
- To make this loaf lighter, use more white flour and less of the brown flour. We do not recommend using more brown flour as the porridge makes it heavier than a regular loaf.
- You can vary the amount of porridge in this recipe, but try to stick to about 20-30% of the weight of the flour.
Leftover Porridge Bread (oatmeal bread)
- 25 g porridge oats
- 120 ml water (or water/milk mixture)
- 1 pinch salt
- 260 ml water (lukewarm)
- 1 tsp dried yeast (quick or activated)
- 200 g strong white bread flour
- 100 g strong brown bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp hemp oil (or olive oil)
- 1 tbsp rolled oats
- Make the porridge by mixing water (or milk and water mixture) and oats, and cook in a saucepan by simmering for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Allow to cool.
- If using activated yeast, dissolve the yeast in the water in the bowl of a stand mixer first. Then add the porridge, white and brown bread flour, salt, and oil. If using quick yeast, add it to the bowl with the flour etc. Mix using a dough hook on a medium to low setting for 8 minutes. Unlike other breads the dough won't turn into a smooth ball as you knead. You need to do the window pane test to see if it is ready.
- Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise. Butter a 1 lb/450 g loaf tin.
- When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out of the bowl onto a floured work surface. Fold over into thirds, then roll into a loaf shape. Transfer to the loaf tin (seam down) and cover or place in a large plastic bag. Place in the warm location used in the step above.
- After about 30 minutes, heat the oven to 210°C (fan) /230°C / Gas Mark 8.
- The loaf will be ready to bake after about 15 more minutes proofing time. It's ready when it just springs back when pressed.
- Bake for about 30–35 minutes. The bread is baked when it sounds hollow when turned out the the tin and tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool before slicing.
- If you are using activated yeast, it is important to make sure it has properly dissolved before you add the flour. Some sources tell you to add a spoon of sugar and wait until it is frothy, but we have never found it makes a difference. BUT if you have had the yeast for some time it might be an idea to add a little sugar and to wait to check if the yeast is still good.
- Timings vary dramatically by age of the yeast, temperature, brand of flour, humidity and altitude. Go by the volume of the dough, not the time.
- To make this loaf lighter use more white flour and less of the brown flour. We'd not recommend using more brown flour as the porridge makes it heavier than a regular loaf.
- You can vary the amount of porridge in this, but try and stick to about 20-30% of the weight of the flour.
- This recipe is 4 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion