There is nothing nicer than a warm bowl of porridge on a cold winter morning.
There is, of course, the debate like with any traditional dish on how to cook porridge “the right way.” Having run a café (and its kitchen) that was known for breakfast and brunch, I have plenty of experience with the differing opinions of people. One of our regulars wanted it to be cooked with water only, with a pinch salt added and no sugar. Another customer insisted that we heat up the bowl before pouring the porridge in ensuring that it would not go cold; he was eating it very slowly while reading his daily paper.
This is my go-to recipe. (I am more of an intuitive cook, and as such not huge on exact measurements, which is a big no-no in the catering business for obvious reasons, but for home, it works just fine.)
Soak the oats in lukewarm water with a spoonful of natural yoghurt. The water should cover the oats fully, and maybe an extra inch. This is the time to add any other grains you may want to try. I would recommend amaranth, which is an ancient grain and gives the porridge and interesting texture.
Why the yoghurt, you ask? Well, we are leaving it soaking in room temperature overnight and aim to start the fermentation process. This can help with digestion and aids the gut flora.
In the morning, pour the mixture into a pan add a pinch of salt and start cooking slowly. Now start adding milk of your choice (I like using oat milk, but cow’s milk works just as well). You want the porridge to be soft and like a thick soup, the oat and amaranth grains slightly puffed up. Take it off the hob and add a teaspoon of butter. Serve in a bowl with your choice of topping.
My favourite topping variations:
Blackberry and bay leaf compote
Banana & peanut butter
Tahini, cacao nibs and chopped dates (date syrup optional)
Try out the recipe and let me know what you think!