Is there any more inviting scent then the aroma of fresh baked bread? I think not.
When I cook wild rice I always save 1 cup to make this bread.
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 cup white flour (all purpose or bread flour)
- 1 pkg of regular dry yeast (not the quick rise yeast) or 2 1/4 tsps
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries chopped (I used orange cranberries)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
I like to start this bread in the morning if I wish to have it ready for dinner. It takes about 6 hours in total time.
Step 1: prepare wild rice. I usually cook 1 cup of wild rice which will make 4 cups once cooked. I use 1 cup of cooked rice in this bread and save the remaining 3 cups to use the next day in a salad.
( I have posted a recipe for Wild Rice Salad on this blog )
To cook wild rice put 1 cup rice into a large saucepan with 4 cups water. Let water come to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer (low) and put a lid on pot. Let cook covered for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered pot on the cooling element for a further 25-30 minutes. Drain and cool.
Step 1: In a large bowl add warm water, white flour, yeast and honey, whisk for a minute to make sure it is combined. This is a runny sponge or a starter. You cover this with a tea towel and let rest in a warm spot for 2 hours.
Step 2: add remaining ingredients to the starter and knead with your hands on the countertop when the dough has absorbed enough flour to form a mass. Knead dough for 5 minutes on countertop adding more flour as necessary. Put the dough into a clean bowl with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. the bowl should be large enough that the dough can double in size. Cover with plastic wrap or just a tea towel and place in a warm spot to rest until doubled in size (2 hours)
Step 3: once the dough has doubled put onto floured counter top.
Step 4: divide into two if you want to bake in loaf pans or keep in one ball if you plan on baking it as a large boule (round loaf) Gently deflate and making a round ball. I put ball on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and let double in size for the final rise. 1-2 hours
If making 2 loaves, gently flatten each half and then just roll up and into a log. I then place log in buttered loaf pan to have its final rise.
Step 5: let double again in size 1-2 hours. One hour before ready to bake heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once final rise is complete bake 30-50 minutes until nicely browned.
Step 6: let bread cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and eating. (that is the hardest part!) Open the windows and make your neighbors nuts!!
Step 7: serve with gobs of butter!