Week 47: Porridge Bread

When we were in Nova Scotia this year, we tried a new type of bread: Porridge bread. I’ve never seen this in Ontario, and I wanted to try to make it, so here it is.

I got this recipe from “The Taste of Nova Scotia Cookbook” by Charles Lief and Heather MacKenzie. Here is a similar recipe.

The recipe was somewhat confusing. Firstly, it made 3 loaves of bread! Who needs that much bread? Now I don’t know too many Nova Scotians, but maybe they just eat a lot of bread, who knows? Anyway, I didn’t have 3 loaf pans, so I made a half recipe and wound up with one and a half loaves of bread.

Secondly, it called for salt, but it never said where to add it. I know you need to be careful with salt in bread, because if you add it too early in the recipe, you could kill the yeast. So I never added the salt. If I were to make this recipe again, I would add the salt around the same time as the flour.

Thirdly, it said to split the dough into 6 pieces, then bake 2 pieces in each loaf pan. Why wouldn’t I just split it into 3 pieces, then bake those in a loaf pan? Either way, I did what the recipe said and when I tried to take the full loaf out of the pan, it fell apart into two pieces (as you can see in the picture). Splitting the dough into half-loaves makes no sense.

Finally, it said to bake the bread for 30-40 minutes or until the bread was golden brown, but because the dough had brown sugar, molasses, and oatmeal in it, it was already golden brown, so it was difficult to tell when it was done. Because of this, I underbaked it, so there was a bit of raw dough in the middle.

Ok, so after all this confusion, how did the bread turn out? Besides being underbaked, I found it to be thick instead of having the fluffy texture that bread normally has. I also found it to be far too sweet. This recipe called for molasses AND brown sugar, whereas the one linked only included molasses. The bread we had in Nova Scotia was very tasty, so I think this was just a bad recipe. I’ll have to look for a better one.

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