Oat Porridge Soft Bread (Old Dough Method)

by - September 07, 2020

Oat Porridge Soft Bread

Oat Porridge Soft Bread

Oat Porridge Soft Bread

After posting the Oat Porridge Soft Sourdough Buns recipe two weeks ago, I received a lot of enquiries for an Oat Porridge Soft Bread recipe using instant yeast.  This time I shaped it into loaves instead.  If you prefer buns, just shaped into buns and bake in an 8 inch square pan. 

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details.

This Oat Porridge Soft Bread is very soft, fluffy and flavourful.  By second day, it is still soft. However, it is not as chewy and moist as bread made using Yudane method.  

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof the dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Oat Porridge Soft Bread (Old Dough Method)

Yields:  2 loaves in 450g Loaf Pan


Old Dough:
175g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
110g full cream milk (whole milk) or fresh milk
1/8 tsp instan yeast
1/8 tsp sugar

Oat Porridge:
35g rolled oat
110g water or milk

Main Dough:
175 bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
40g honey or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
30g butter, room temperature
80g fresh milk or full cream milk (please do not add all at one time, reserve 20g and add in one table at a time later )

Some rolled oats

450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

  1. Old Dough
    1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then add in bread flour and knead with your hand until smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room (25C - 26C) if you live in a hot climate.
    2. You may also let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (hot climate). After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator for 24 - 36 hours.  Take out the old dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature 30 minutes before using
  2. Oat Porridge:
    1. In a saucepan, cook the rolled oats in water for few minutes until become thick porridge.  Keep aside to cool.
  3. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) including all the old dough and oat porridge into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until reach window pane stage.  During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  4. Shaping:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions.   You may shape into 1 loaf or 3 loaves at your choice.
    2. Form each portion into a ball.  
    3. Flatten with rolling pin. 
    4. Roll the dough like a swiss roll into a log.
    5. Flatten the log with rolling pin as shown.
    6. Roll up the dough again like a swiss roll until a log is formed. 
    7. Place all the dough in the prepared loaf pan. 
    8. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes or till 90% of the size, slightly below the rim of the pan.  
  5. To bake:
    1. Then preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 10 minutes.
    2. While waiting for oven to preheat, brush with egg wash and sprinkle some rolled oats.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.

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    1. Hi Yeanley! Thanks for your thoughtful sharing. May I ask your support how to convert the this to Yudane method?

      1. Hi Michelle,

        Thank you for asking. Actually, this recipe do not need Yudane. It stay fresh quite well for few days too.

        Anyhow, The total flour for this is 350g.

        Yudane Dough:
        70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
        70g boiling water

        Main Dough:
        280g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
        1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
        please follow the rest of the ingredients on the above recipe. You need to take 70g of water from yudane as part of the liquid amount.

        Cheers :)

    2. Hi, I am wondering is it okay if my old dough is over fermented? As I am making it right now and it smells like alcohol. Thank you.

      1. Hi, sorry for late response. I think should be fine. Mine smells like alcohol too.

        Cheers :)

    3. Hi, do you let cool your bread immediately on the rack or in the pan for a while first?

      1. I usually remove the bread from the pan immediately after removing from oven.

        Cheers :)

    4. Hello! ¿When the old mass mixes with the main mass?

      1. Hi, please see Step 3. no. 1. I just added in. Sorry for confusion.
        Thanks :)

    5. Hi, want to say thank you for sharing the wonderful recipe. The flavour is really wonderful. Can I reduce the sugar? What is the minimum sugar amount? Again, thank you very much

      1. Hi, Thanks for trying and your kind feedback. You can use honey if you want to avoid sugar. However, you can reduce to 2 tbsp (20 - 24g).

        Cheers :)

    6. Hi there! May I know what's the gram conversion for the tsp of instant yeast, sugar and salt? Thanks for the recipe :D

      1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Sugar quantity already in gram.

        Please use this link for conversion of salt:https://www.inchcalculator.com/convert/teaspoon-salt-to-gram-salt/

        For yeast, please use this:

        Yeast and salt are very light. I usually use teaspoon.

        Cheers :)

    7. Hi there,
      Can't wait to try this recipe. Can I make ahead the old dough up to 5 days ahead and leave it in fridge? Thanks!

      1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. I am afraid 5 days will be too long. I usually used in 24 hours. The yeast maybe running out of food and starving.

        Cheers :)

        Cheers :)

    8. Hi do you think this would work in a bread machine? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes

      1. Hi, Thanks for reading this recipe. Yes, you can use bread machine. But, I am not sure about the end result will be the same as machine knead and manual shape and bake.

        Cheers :)

      2. Hi there, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. Bread came out soft and nice. Any suggestion of how to cut them thinly?

      3. Thank you, Jaclyn for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. I think you need a sharp bread knife to slice. This bread is a bit soft and maybe hard to cut into too thin slices.

        Cheers :)

    9. Can I replace the milk in old dough with water?

      1. Hi Jaclyn,

        Thanks for reading this recipe. Yes, of course you can.

        Cheers :)

    10. Hi. My bread came out kinda dense and not rise at all. The dough looked good during the process. Would it be overproofed?

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for trying and sorry to hear that your bread is dense. It could the flour. Try to use Japan High Gluten Flour. The protein percentage is about 12%. Different flour will give you different result.

        Cheers :)