Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wild Rice Bread

Here is my first time baking from Peter Reinhart's latest book, Artisan Breads Every Day. I can't really say very much about the book in general since I haven't read it. I just zoomed in on this recipe and decided to give it a go as I had some firm starter to use and no time to bake. The beauty of this recipe (the original recipe is called Pain au Levain in the book and doesn't contain wild rice) is that you make the dough and stick it in the fridge where you can keep it for up to four days until you are ready to use it. That fit right into my schedule for this week. I suppose other recipes in the book feature the same approach (which has already been the subject of a few books in the last couple of years) but I can't vouch for it. I followed the method but adapted the formula somewhat, replacing some of the all-purpose flour by white whole wheat in the final dough and adding cooked wild rice for texture as well as some olive oil to improve the shelf life and to counterbalance the drying effect the wild rice might have on the crumb. I also baked the bread inside a Dutch oven to avoid having to preheat the oven. Reinhart gives the option to add 7 g of commercial yeast to the dough but I chose not to go that way. The crumb is a bit tighter than what I was expecting considering the soft consistency of the dough but that might be due to the weight of the rice and/or the addition of white whole wheat. The taste of the levain comes through very nicely and is actually complemented by the flavor of the wild rice. Since wild rice is native to North America, I think this loaf would be quite at home on the Thanksgiving table. More authentic than frozen Parker dinner rolls anyhow... :-) Although, besides corn bread in one shape or another, I have no clue what kind of bread the pilgrims actually put on the table, do you?
Ingredients: For the starter 71 g firm mother starter (65% hydration) 142 g unbleached all-purpose flour 85 g white whole wheat flour 151 g water at room temperature For the final dough All of the starter (458 g) 312 g water @ 95ºF/35ºC 304 g unbleached all-purpose flour 150 g white wholewheat flour 130 g wild rice, cooked, drained and cooled down 19 g olive oil 17 g salt Method: To make the starter
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Using a large spoon, stir for about 2 minutes until well blended
  3. Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds
  4. Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave at room temperature 6 to 8 hours or until about one and a half time its original size (Reinhart says that if you plan to use the starter the same day, you should let it increase to twice its original size but that if you plan to use it later, now would be a good time to put it in the fridge) (in my case, the starter was mixed between 8 and 9 AM, kept at room temperature and used to make the final dough around 5 PM)
To make the final dough
  1. Cut the starter in a dozen pieces and put it in the bowl of the mixer
  2. Add the water, mix until incorporated
  3. Add the flour and the salt (Reinhart doesn't have us do an autolyse. I'll do it next time though just to see what kind of a difference it makes in the final product)
  4. Mix at low speed for 3 minutes and let the dough rest 5 minutes
  5. Resume mixing for 3 minutes, adding water as necessary
  6. Add the wild rice and the olive oil
  7. Continue mixing at low speed until incorporated
  8. Put the dough on the counter and knead it by hand for a few seconds
  9. Form a ball and let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes uncovered, then do a stretch and fold, reaching under the front end of the dough, stretching it out, then folding it back onto the top of the dough. Do this from the back end, then from each side, then flip the dough over and tuck it into a ball
  10. Cover the dough and let it rest 10 minutes
  11. Repeat this entire folding process two more times, completing all repetitions within 30 minutes
  12. Immediately form the dough into a ball, place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl large enough to contain it when doubled in size and cover the bowl tightly
  13. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate it (the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days)
On baking day
  1. Remove dough from the refrigerator at least 4 hours before baking, shaping it after 2 hours
  2. Let it rest shaped and covered on a flour-dusted parchment paper inside a cold Dutch oven (cast iron or other oven-resistant material)
  3. When the dough is ready, dust it with flour and score it, then cover the Dutch oven again and place it inside the cold oven
  4. Turn on the oven to 470ºF/243ºC and bake for 45 minutes
  5. After 45 minutes, take the Dutch oven out of the oven and the loaf out of the Dutch oven and place it back in the oven on a hot baking stone (my stone always stays in the oven, so it is hot whenever the oven is on)
  6. Lower the oven temperature to 450 and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the bread's internal temperature reaches 210ºF/99ºC
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
This Wild Rice Bread goes to Susan, from Wild Yeast, for Yeastpotting.


  1. Qué pan más fantástico!!! Me encanta tu blog

  2. Gracias, Carmen! Me encanta que visites Farine. A mi me interesa mucho lo que estais haciendo, probando, discubriendo in MTM!

  3. I never thought of adding wild rice to bread! The bread looks awesome.

  4. What about grinding the rice into flour????

  5. @Miriam, thanks! Try it, you'll see it has a lovely taste and a very interesting texture.
    @Jeremy, it would be fun to try but it might be a different kind of bread.

  6. The bread is just beautiful! I wish I could yank it off the screen and slather it with butter. We found this dough made delicious pizza dough as well as boules and rolls.

  7. Wow, I would like to have a slice of it right now!

  8. MC, when I saw the scoring pattern on this bread, I couldn't help but think of how we were taught to draw a turkey when we were in kindergarten. We would place our hand on a piece of paper and trace around it. Your 'turkey' bread would be great for Thanksgiving! :)

  9. @marcella, thanks for visiting. I wish I could send you a slice right now. What a good idea to make pizza and rolls with this dough! I have to try it. Have you given a shot at some of the other recipes in the book?
    @zorra, thanks for coming! How I wish I could share. It'd be so much fun! Can you imagine all these bread samples crisscrossing the Web?
    @Steve, you are so right! I had seen the hand pattern (which actually was my inspiration) but I took another look and this time, I saw the turkey!

  10. Another gorgeous bread. I bet it tastes wonderful with the wild rice!

  11. Great bread! Wild Rice is a very nice flavor in bread!

  12. Looks delicious! I've always liked wild rice, so this should be right up my alley...

  13. Beautiful Bread MC! Peter's new book has several very fun recipes, it is nice to be able to convert them to wild yeast and not have to use the commercial yeast. Teresa

  14. Like Steve, I saw a turkey in your scoring pattern. Stunning loaf, as always!

  15. I made this yesterday, but without the refrigeration of the final dough. I was afraid it was going to be a small, heavy loaf, but DANG! Incredible oven spring, I'm surprised it didn't knock the lid off the pot! My oven is kind of untrustworthy at higher temps, so I heated the pot first at 425 and then put the dough in. (Tried doing the cold pot thing once and wound up with a sort of flat-topped bread drum.) I won't be able to eat it right away, so it's in the freezer until I can get to it.

  16. Thank you all for stopping by! It is a great bread and well-worth trying. Slapshoe, don't you love oven-spring? A wonder of nature...



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