Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

BBB – Wild Rice and Onion Bread


Our Kitchen of the Month Karen blogging at BakeMyDay has us baking Wild Rice and Onion Bread from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day.  We haven’t baked a regular “loaf” bread it would seem in forever … I guess a loaf could come to seem boring
Yield: 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 12 rolls

My thoughts and experience with NO-Knead:  The concept is instantly appealing. My first experience with the no-knead was through the New York Times Bittman-Lehay article. Karen (as in BakeMyDay) and I had a passing acquaintance through our blogs and one of us wrote the other that we were in the midst of doing that bread … funny thing … we had both started the bread within just hours of each other. I ended up taking my bread out of the oven about 4 AM(0400) … pretty crazy you think … I think I’m still that crazy. It was the first time I’d ever had my bread sing to me … I was so excited that I tried to record the sound, I mean at 4 in the morning who else was going to be hearing it? Alas, it was not to be. When I listened back on it, all I could hear was the refrigerator hum.  The bread itself was rather a disappointment. The crust was initially fabulously crisp … almost to the point (very sharp point) of being knife like and the interior was sort of gummy, lacking in flavor. 

However the experience was fabulous because it was probably what started Karen and I becoming fast baking buddies.
This loaf:  I loved the flavor from caramelized onions and the flash of the wild rice in the crumb. It was lovely fresh with just butter, as toast with butter, as brochette with fresh tomato and for tuna salad sandwiches. I’ll use it with herbs and spinach for a turkey stuffing.
Excellent bread. Fabulous rolls.
You will note: Reinhart does not require you to dissolve/proof the yeast in water in order to mix the dough.  This dough will rest overnight in the fridge or unto four days before it needs to be baked – my rolls were in the refrigerator 5 days and came out perfect.  You should feel free to use dried or fresh onions according to the recipe. I chose to caramelize the onion before mixing it into the dough.  Many of the Babes used a portion of whole grains instead of all white bread flour. I just enjoy the whole wheat flavor and I know it’s the healthier.
Wild Rice and Onion Bread
2 loaves
6 cups (27 oz / 765 g) unbleached bread flour, used 250 grams KA Irish whole grain and bread flour combination
2 1/4 teaspoons (0.6 oz / 17 g) salt, or 3 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons (0.66 oz / 19 g) instant yeast, used a short 2 tablespoons; use all next time
1 cup (6 oz / 170 g) cooked wild rice or another cooked grain
1/4 cup (2 oz / 56.5 g) brown sugar
11/2 cups (12 oz / 340 g) lukewarm water (about 95°F or 35°C), used milk & yogurt here
1/2 cup (4 oz / 113 g) lukewarm buttermilk or any other milk (about 95°F or 35°C), used water for this amount
1/4 cup (1 oz / 28.5 g) minced or chopped dried onions, or 2 cups (8 oz / 227 g) diced fresh onion (about 1 large onion)
1 egg white, for egg wash (optional)
1 tablespoon water, for egg wash (optional)

1. Do Ahead:
Combine all of the ingredients, except the egg wash, in a mixing bowl. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for 1 minute.
The dough should be sticky, coarse, and shaggy.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

I simply mixed by hand.

2. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 4 minutes, adjusting with flour or water as needed to keep the dough ball together.
The dough should be soft, supple, and slightly sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will still be soft and slightly sticky but will hold together to form a soft, supple ball.
Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. (If you plan to bake the dough in batches over different days, you can portion the dough and place it into two or more oiled bowls at this stage.)
I mixed entirely by hand.

3. On Baking Day:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake.
Shape the dough into one or more sandwich loaves, using 28 ounces (794 g) of dough for 4 1/2 by 8-inch loaf pans and 36 ounces (1.02 kg) of dough for 5 by 9-inch pans; into freestanding loaves of any size, which you can shape as bâtards, baguettes, or boules; or into rolls, using 2 ounces (56.5 g) of dough per roll. When shaping, use only as much flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
For sandwich loaves, proof the dough in greased loaf pans. For freestanding loaves and rolls, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and proof the dough on the pan.

4. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until increased to about 1 1/2 times its original size. In loaf pans, the dough should dome at least 1 inch above the rim.
If you’d like to make the rolls more shiny, whisk the egg white and water together, brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash just before they’re ready to bake.

5. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C), or 300°F (149°C) for a convection oven. I used convection oven at 305°
Bake the loaves for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate the pan; rotate rolls after 8 minutes. The total baking time is 45 to 55 minutes for loaves, and only 20 to 25 minutes for rolls.
The bread is done when it has a rich golden color, the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, and the internal temperature is above 185°F (85°C) in the center. Mine registered 195° and was not over done.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes for rolls or 1 hour for loaves before slicing.



Karen Notes:
I like to add cheese (feta anyone?). And chives (or or…spinach? Tanna?). Not always. But it is a nice addition… I have successfully used yoghurt instead of buttermilk I also subbed potato water for the water (oh and added some mashed potato as well… tsk tsk) Hmm looks like I never can follow a recipe or leave good alone tsk tsk Have to admit that I never used the actual wild rice in the recipe but just the ordinary brown. Just make sure any rice you use is properly done (soft-ish) because otherwise any bits on top of your bread will be pointy and dry. Not appealing. Also… you can use any cooked grain. I’m thinking of using quinoa or whole wheat bulgur this time. Will update with pictures later …. and some more info. Just wanted to post the recipe for anyone to read and shoot.


My Notes:
I know this would be lovely with some rye … but Karen suggests this results in a sticky sloppy dough when allowed to rise in the fridge.
I would use 2 large sweet onions caramelized next baking.
Rosemary or sage could be a lovely addition making this an ideal Turkey stuffing bread.  Cheese would be stunning.

Spinach! yes!


And then I have visions of bacon … oh yes I do.

What is your vision? Bake along with us and be a bread baking buddy.  You know you want to. Bread Baking Buddy, be a Buddy and let us know all about it, by sending your details and results to Karen (as kitchen of the month this time). Send a mail with Buddy May 2014 in the subject line and please provide your name, blog url, post url and attach your favorite picture of the recipe. Send it to bakemyday (at) gmail (polkadot) com. Deadline is the 29th of this month. We want your breads!!
Round-up will be around the end of this month! (maybe a bit later as my twin boys celebrate their birthdays, by that time finished their final exams and will go on their first “vacation without parents but with friends”. Yikes. All in the course of those last days of this month.)

Author: MyKitchenInHalfCups

Love baking bread Love travel Bread Baking Babe (group)

11 thoughts on “BBB – Wild Rice and Onion Bread

  1. Oh! Mine looks just like yours so I guess it is right! I am so happy! It really is such a wonderfully fragrant, delicious bread! I really want to add the caramelized onions next time.

  2. I love that story: Bread brought you and Karen together! Wonderful what food can accomplish!
    But a good loaf of bread never becomes boring to me though 🙂
    Lovely loaf and rolls, I’ve got to make rolls too the next time, o yes ánd I have to remember to keep the potato water! (I always forget that)

    • A loaf is never boring to me either Lien but for some it seems it may be. I always mean to save the potato water … Why is that hard. Oh but the times I’ve made cheese, I did remember the whey.

  3. Pingback: blog from OUR kitchen » ISO Remedial Reading Course – Wild Rice and Onion Bread (BBB May 2014)

  4. Bacon… suddenly, I too have visions of bacon.

    Beautiful loaf, Tanna. I can’t get over the crumb. Five days in the fridge!! And there I was, afraid to put it in the fridge because I thought it wouldn’t rise in the cold.

    (I never remember to save potato water either. Why is that???)

    • It is so common perhaps we’re genetically programed to forget the potato water 😉 ya’think?
      Bacon and caramelized onion … oh it’s time for breakfast, how ’bout we top that roll with a poached egg and nice slice of thick bacon. Next time I’m putting bacon in the dough!

  5. Oh, bacon! That’s a brilliant idea, and I bet it would work perfectly. Another thing to add to my next go-round with this dough! I love the look of the rolls, too…and since I was initially going to form mine into rolls, then went another direction…I think I’ll have Wild Rice, Onion, and Bacon Rolls in my own very soon!

  6. One of our local bakeries makes bacon bread…. Back before the hubs became a diabetic he bought it often….. far too often. My mother always used potato water for her bread… I always forgot. Wonder if wine would work…. Nice story.

  7. Pingback: Bread Baking Babes make Wild Rice Onion Bread

  8. Oh yes Tanna, that first loaf and Thomas Keller’s Onion soup! Never forget! You made wonderful loaves, really nice. (I’m on the forget the potato water team as well!) Isn’t it amazing how this dough is so well behaved?
    oh and bacon… poached egg…. oh my

  9. Your bread does look lovely. You bake at 4am? I love bread, but I love my sleep way more. 🙂

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