Wild Rice Bread with Honey and Olive Oil...and a couple flatbreads, too.


For those of you who've been to this blog before you know that I enjoy baking bread as much as I enjoy riding bikes. And that over the past few years I've really gotten into baking breads with whole grains and beans.Well a couple weeks ago the people at Goose Valley Farms sent me a few samples of their organic rice and rice blends to play with (thanks Nicole!) and I finally got to it. I used their Brown Rice Fusion for this recipe (which is a blend of brown and wild rices). This recipe is really a variation on a theme from other recipes I've done, and ultimately is based on the Ezekiel Bread recipe I bake frequently. The rice itself was delicious on it's own and adds a nice texture and nutty flavor to the bread. What I did a little differently this time was bake a couple loaves of flatbread with an extra piece of dough (that wasn't quite large enough to make a traditional loaf); this gave me something to nibble on while the loaves rose. Below are pictures of the bread making process (click any photo for a larger view). A recipe follows the photos.

Wild Rice Bread
Makes 5 (1 lb.) loaves
  1 cup brown and wild rice blend
  3 quarts water

     cooked rice
  2 cups cooking liquid
  2 cups whole wheat flour
  1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
  1 tablespoon instant yeast
4-5 cups bread flour
  1 tablespoon kosher salt

Combine the rice 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. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice to cool in the cooking liquid. Strain the rice, squeezing out excess moisture and reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Make a pre-ferment by combining the cooked rice and 2 cups of cooking liquid with 2 cups whole wheat flour and a tablespoon yeast. Allow the pre-ferment to ferment for 1-12 hours. Transfer the pre-ferment to an upright mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Stir in the honey, olive oil, additional tablespoon of yeast, 4 cups of the bread flour, and kosher salt. Mix on low speed until it begins to form a dough. If it seems too sticky add the remaining cup of flour. Mix on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to dough to a lightly oiled bowl or bucket and allow to rise for about 90 minutes, or until doubled in size. Transfer the dough top a work surface and cut it into 5 pieces, approximately 18 ounces each. Gently shape the dough into loaves, place them into lightly oiled pans and allow to rise for about 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F. Bake the loaves for about 1/2 hour, or until golden brown. Turn the loaves halfway through their baking. They are done when they sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before slicing.