Millet Porridge Loaf Recipe

Millet is an important food crop, notably in south and east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In Korea, it is often made into a porridge, and that’s how it is used in this recipe by Sungmo Kim. Don’t confuse the tiny, whole anise (Pimpinella anisum) seeds used here with the larger star anise commonly used in Chinese and Indian cooking.

Makes

1 large, or 2 small loaves

Ingredients

For the pre-ferment

  • 45g/1½oz/5 tbsp brown bread flour (or half white, half wholemeal/wholewheat)
  • 45g/1½oz/3 tbsp water
  • 5g/1 tsp wholemeal/wholewheat sourdough starter

For the millet porridge

  • 45g/1½oz/¼ cup millet
  • 85g/3oz/⅓ cup water

For the dough

  • 180g/6¼oz/¾ cup water
  • 85g/3oz/½ cup plus 1 tbsp brown bread flour (or half white, half wholemeal/wholewheat)
  • 135g/4¾oz/scant 1 cup wholemeal/wholewheat bread flour
  • 4g/¾ tsp fine/table salt
  • 5g/1 tsp chia seeds
  • 30g/1 oz/scant ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 2–3g/½–¾ tsp anise seeds
  • 15g/½oz/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Butter or oil, for greasing

Method

1. Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together, cover and leave at room temperature for about 16–18 hours (typically until the next day) until bubbly.

2. Put the millet and water into a pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the water has been absorbed by the millet. Leave the porridge to cool and refrigerate until needed.

3. Mix the pre-ferment with the water and both flours from the dough recipe. Cover and prove in the refrigerator for a further 24 hours.

4. Mix the salt into the dough until fully incorporated. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Give the dough a single fold (i.e. stretch it out and fold over itself, turn 90 degrees and repeat), cover and leave to rest for another 20 minutes.

5. Add the millet porridge and remaining dough ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

6. Give the dough another single fold, rest it for 20 minutes, give it a final single fold, then cover and leave the dough to rise at room temperature for 4–5 hours.

7. Grease a large loaf tin, shape the dough to fit and place seam-side down in the tin. Dust the top of the dough with flour, cover and leave to prove in the refrigerator for 12–16 hours (typically until the next day.)

8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator 1–2 hours before baking. Heat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 8–9 and bake the loaf for 35–40 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes that it isn’t browning too quickly: turn the oven down to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas 7 if it is.

Recipe taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, www.realbreadcampaign.org. Published by Nourish Books. Hardback, £20. Commissioned photography © Victoria Harley.

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