Note to Self:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

100% Whole Wheat-Honey-Brown Rice Bread


This bread is another example of whole wheat bread that is not only really delicious, but super nutritious as well. That's them pictured above after just being placed in the oven...beautiful, aren't they? It is easier to make than the recipe may seem at first glance, and the resulting bread is as soft and airy as any supermarket bread (yet it still only has a handful of wholesome ingredients, all of which are pronounceable). This is actually not unlike my Ezekiel bread recipe but is a bit easier (less ingredients to boil), and while it is called a brown rice bread nearly any grain can be substituted (I used a mixture of brown, black, and wild rices). For an Ezekiel bread recipe, click here; for other bread recipes, click here; for recipes using all whole wheat, click here.


Whole Wheat Brown Rice Bread
Makes 3 loaves
1 cup (6.6oz/187g) brown rice
3 quarts (96floz/2.83L) water
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cooked rice
2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) cooking liquid
2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast
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4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (.75oz/21g) vital wheat gluten
2 cups (16fl oz/.47L) cooking liquid
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1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) honey
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) olive oil
3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) instant yeast
3 teaspoons (.5oz/14.1g) kosher salt

Combine the grain and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil; lower the heat to simmer and cook the rice for about 45 minutes or until very soft. As the grain cooks add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe. After the grains are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. Then drain it, squeezing it with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.

Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained 7-grains with 2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) of the cooking liquid, 2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vital wheat gluten, and 2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast. Stir just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheat flour and 1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cooking liquid; stir just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it's job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.

After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains. Preheat an oven to 450f (232.2C).

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.


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