ISO Remedial Reading Course – Wild Rice and Onion Bread (BBB May 2014)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Wild Rice and Onion Bread, based on a recipe in Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting, Bake Your Own Bread and Twelve Loaves; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) May 2014 – Wild Rice and Onion Bread

Here I am at last, only a day late. One of these days I might learn to read ahead….

Wild Rice and Onion Bread I confess that I had to put on a brave face when I saw that this month’s recipe was based on one by Peter Reinhart. I don’t know why I have taken such a dislike to the man’s writing. Maybe it was all his crusading talk in the first book of his that I read when I was first getting serious about baking bread.

I KNOW that many people swear by his recipes …errrmm, sorry… formulae. But there’s just something about his insistence that … no, stop me now. I’ve already ranted about Reinhart at length before: I’ll never be a BBB at this rate! (when I didn’t make the Poilane’s Miche that the truly intrepid BBBabes did).

But really, allow me just one more snide remark after reading the following…

I wanted to call one of my recent books The Bread Revolution, but that sounded too militant (“After all, what are they revolting against!” one editor asked me). We tried Bread Renaissance, but I thought that sounded too elitist […] we came up with Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers […] It allowed me to pursue what I think of as my personal teaching mission: synthesizing information and reformulating it into usable knowledge for current times. The “master formula” concept helped home bakers, and even some professional ones, take a step away from recipe dependence toward thinking like a baker. this means thinking formulaically and structurally and then baking by an elusive quality called feel, not just blindly following a recipe without knowing the reasons behind certain steps.

-Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread (2011), p. 2

Oh yes, “Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers” doesn’t sound elitist at all! *cough*

Still, the man does have a huge following and there has to be a reason, doesn’t there? Maybe this Wild Rice and Onion Bread will convert me. Maybe I too can become a serious bread baker. :lalala:

Oh, get over it, Elizabeth!!

The others have said this bread is fabulous….

BBB Wild Rice and Onion Bread diary:

4 April 2014 15:57 It does sound good…. Maybe I’ll change my mind about Reinhart. Really early on, I took an unfounded dislike to him – as I recall, I objected to his insistence that “recipes” be called “formulas” and his prodigal use of cooking spray and plastic wrap.

13 May 2014 18:55 WHAT a show-off Lien is! She has (along with some of the others) already made the bread! And what a gorgeous loaf she made too!

Did I hear somebody say “caramelized onions”? Mmmmmm…. maybe I won’t go out and get dried onions after all. (For once, I actually read that part of the recipe AND retained it.)

I am hanging my head in shame because I fear I’ll be posting late. My excuse is lame – I didn’t plan ahead very well and have taken eons to do my taxes. Thank goodness, they’re done at last. What a nightmare! I swear they make the form harder and harder to comprehend.

15 May 2014 13:00 Sigh… I have only just now read (ie: comprehended) the ingredients list and see that not only is this not a same-day bread but I’m supposed to use cooked wild rice. We do have wild rice….

I guess I’m going down to the kitchen now to cook the rice. While I’m there, I’ll caramelize some onions – I’m positive that we don’t have any dried onions (we might have dried garlic but I always find both of them to be bitter and sour tasting).

I’ll mix the dough later today, bake it late tomorrow and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to post about it only one day late.

I confess that even though all the BBBabes have been raving about the bread, I’m scared we might not like this. I’m halving the recipe….

13:15: I’m just about to go and cook wild rice and caramelize some onions. I may have to wait to mix the dough until after my rehearsal tonight and then I’ll bake the bread late tomorrow afternoon. It looks like I’ll be a day late posting. Sorry, Karen!!

Augh!! Can I remember how much liquid to use for wild rice? Of course not! According to our recipe for wild rice casserole, we use equal parts of stock and wild rice and then after the rice is cooked, drain off the excess liquid. But Canadian Living says to use a cup of water for .25 c wild rice and to drain excess after cooking. Local Foods says to use 1.5 c water for .25c wild rice and to drain it after through a sieve. Katie (Thyme for Cooking says to use .75 c stock, .75 c water for .25 c wild rice. She also says to drain any excess….

That’s it. I’m using equal parts!

Wish me luck.

13:48: I decided I should ask the resident expert. Here’s how the conversation went:

me: For a quarter cup wild rice, Canadian Living says to use a cup of liquid, Katie says to use a cup and a half and you say to use equal parts. What should I do??
he: When I do it, I check half way through to make sure there’s enough liquid.
me: So I should use more than equal parts?
he: Probably. And don’t worry about it. You can drink the excess. It’s good. [time passes] Have you already measured? How much liquid did you use?
me: A cup.
he: [lifting lid to look] Oh that’s way too much. When the rice is done, bring it back to the boil and reduce it. It’s almost impossible to overcook wild rice. [lifting lid to look again] Yah, That’s way too much liquid. If there’s still liquid left over after trying to reduce it, just drink it….

Augh!! You see? This is why I never do any cooking except breadmaking!

15:41: Shriek!!! There’s nothing worse than hearing T’s disapproving/resigned voice coming up from the kitchen saying, “You forgot about your rice.” Luckily for me, he followed quickly with “But it’s okay”.

Wild Rice Thank goodness that wild rice is so forgiving!

Duh…. I just looked at my scrawled notes at the bottom of the BBB recipe. I see that I put half a cup of wild rice into the liquid!! Now I have twice too much rice!

Really. I should never be allowed into the kitchen with anything but flour, water, yeast and salt to mix.

14:45: Hmmm, I see that I need buttermilk. Normally, I’d substitute with yoghurt. But we don’t have yoghurt. We DO have lemon juice though….

1 scant cup milk (whole, 2%, or heavy cream)
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar
[…] Combine the milk and lemon juice. […] Let stand 5-10 minutes. […] Use this substitute (including curdled bits) as you would buttermilk in your recipe. How to Make a Quick & Easy Buttermilk Substitute

16 May 2014, 00:01 Well. Did I remember to pay attention to how much lemon juice to use to make a buttermilk substitute? (I used Mum’s favourite measurement: “some”.) And did I also remember to let the mixture stand? Pffffft!!! Of course not. It’s a miracle that I remembered to use any lemon juice at all!

There I was about an hour ago, putting off for tomorrow what could have been best done today. Or yesterday. Or perhaps the day before.

But miracles do occur and in spite of all that I have done today to prevent myself from making this bread, it is now mixed and sitting – wait for it, and don’t fall over in a faint at the shock – in its UNwashed plate covered bowl on the counter. (No, I didn’t oil the bowl. I didn’t mist the top of the dough with oil either. That’s just silly.)

I know. It is supposed to be in the fridge. But something tells me that I don’t have a hope of baking it tomorrow if I put the dough in the fridge. So I made an executive decision to leave it out. It’s not even that cold in our kitchen right now (spring has sprung at last!); I think the temperature actually went up to 20C in the house today for the first time since last October or so. Now, of course, the kitchen temperature is closer to its normal 15C. So the dough should be fine. Especially when you consider that I reduced the amount of yeast and sugar (of course I did)

I almost omitted the onions too but when I mentioned my possible transgression to T, he nixed it. He also nixed my idea of using dried chives. He wailed, “I thought you said there were caramelized onions!”

So there I was in the semi-dark kitchen at around 23:00 chopping an onion and caramelizing it in a little olive oil. Is there anything that smells better than frying onions? I don’t think so!

Well, maybe there is. When I was kneading this dough with wild rice (cooked in water and a little of our chicken stock) and caramelized onions, I was swooning.

I’ve changed my mind. I think this bread is going to be brilliant. Too bad I’ve made only half the recipe! :stomp:

02:50 WHAT on earth am I still doing up at this hour?! I’m going to be wild and crazy now and simply go to bed without looking at the dough to see if it has already risen to the top of the bowl because of my radical refusal to refrigerate it.

02:54 Ha! I caved in and went and looked. The dough had risen to about half way up the bowl. I pushed it down and moved it to sit by the back door where it’s a bit cooler but not as cold as the fridge (or as crowded – I really don’t think I could find room for that big bowl)

Night night!!

09:13 Wild Rice and Onion Bread Good thing I moved the bowl… the dough looked ready to shape a few moments ago. So I pushed it down again and I’ll shape it in a couple of hours to bake late this afternoon.

[P]roof the dough in greased loaf pans.
-BBB Wild Rice and Onion Bread recipe

Loaf pans? I don’t think so!! That means having to wash the pans because it has been so long since we’ve used them.

I’m going to bake this as one giant free-form loaf. We might have the right size pan but that just means having to wash something more. Wash something more, not once but twice: once before using and then again after. (I know; the girl could do it in the morning. Oh wait. That’s me, isn’t it? Yup. Just say no to using a pan.)

Reading again…

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.
-BBB Wild Rice and Onion Bread recipe

Yay! That’s what I like to see: “freestanding [loaf] of any size”. Ha! No wonder I missed the permission to make free form loaves. I glazed when I saw all those ounces and grams and pan size instructions after “one or more sandwich loaves”…. (It’s one thing to be verbose. It’s another to actually read verbosity. Isn’t it? :lalala:)

12:53: Wild Rice and Onion Bread I just shaped the bread into one loaf. I decided to use the bread form, sprinkling it with some brown rice flour I found in the freezer. Of course, once the bread was shaped and sitting in the form, I realized that this means there will be no milk washing before baking. C’est la vie.

(Should I be worrying that the dough smells just a bit funky?)

15:23 I just checked to see if the bread is ready to bake – not quite risen enough. But the happy news is that there is now zero funkiness emanating from it.

We’re planning on barbecuing tonight – yay!! it’s so great that it’s finally warm enough! Maybe we’ll even garnish with some fresh chives that have just recently sprung up. It’s tempting to pluck a little ginger mint too but it’s so tiny that it’s probably better to leave well enough alone.

15:23 The bread looks beautiful! Oven on…. Wild Rice and Onion Bread The recipe calls for a milk wash to shine the crust but I really didn’t want to lose all those decorative lines from the brotform. So. I tried (and failed) to paint a design with the milk. Of course it simply puddled. Of course it did! :stomp:

17:01 The bread is cooling on its rack now. If I didn’t know that it will taste way better once it has finished cooling, I would break into it right now. The aroma is intoxicating!!

Dinner tonight: Wild Rice and Onion Bread, barbecued pork shoulder, dandelion greens, Sangiovese. Life doesn’t get much better, does it?

Wild Rice and Onion bread Here is the BBB May 2014 Wild Rice and Onion Bread recipe. And here is what I did to it:

BBB Wild Rice and Onion Bread
based on a recipe in “Artisan Breads Every Day” by Peter Reinhart

  • 45 g (.5 cup) dry wild rice 0
  • 237 g (~1 scant cup) water
  • 13 g (~1 Tbsp) rich chicken stock
  • 2 g (.5 tsp) Kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • splash olive oil
  • 250 ml/g (1 cup) water at 100F ¹
  • 7 g (1 Tbsp) instant skim milk powder
  • 5 g (.5 tsp) lemon juice ²
  • 7 gm (2.25 tsp) active dry yeast ³
  • 12 g (1 Tbsp) demerara sugar 4
  • 384 g flour 5
       »300 g (2.5 cup) unbleached all-purpose
       »75 g (.5 cup) whole wheat
       »9g (1 Tbsp) vital wheat gluten
  • 8 g Kosher salt (~1.25 tsp fine salt)
  • milk for brushing on top of the loaves, optional
  1. pre-mixing: The day before you are baking the bread, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Chop the onion. Add a splash of olive oil to the hot pan and throw in the onions. Cook at medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the onions are golden. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  2. Bring stock and water to a boil with 2 g salt. Add wild rice and bring it back to a boil. Cover, reduce to a very low simmer and allow to cook for about an hour and a half. Completely forget that it is on the stove and become very alarmed when someone else notices that it is STILL on the stove after at least 2 hours. Be relieved that the rice is miraculously still edible even if a little soft. Drain in a sieve to remove the tiny bit of stock still unabsorbed (taste the stock and decide it’s not really worth keeping) and put the rice in fridge to rest and maybe firm up a little until it’s time to mix the dough.
  3. mixing the dough: The evening before you will be baking the bread, whisk yeast and milk powder into the warm water until the yeast and milk powder have dissolved. Set aside.
  4. Stir the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Dump in caramelized onions (roughly 42 g/.25 cup) and lemon juice. Add the cooked wild rice (roughly 170 g/1 cup) and using a wooden spoon, stir to encorporate all the flour to make a rough dough. Leave to sit for about 5 minutes.
  6. Kneading Plunge in with your hands to turn and fold the dough in the bowl, kneading until it’s smooth (5 to 10 minutes). Be amazed at how wonderful the wild rice and onions smell. When the dough is smooth, decide to be radical and skip the washing and drying the mixing bowl step. Simply cover the bowl with a plate and set it aside on the counter to rise overnight. (If your kitchen is warm, put the dough in the fridge.)
  7. Shaping The following morning, turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured board. Shape into a round and place seam-side down in a brotform well floured with brown rice flour (or any other flour). Cover with a mixing bowl and allow to rise on the counter (or in the oven with only the light turned on) until almost double.
  8. baking: Make sure there is a rack on the middle shelf of the oven. Put a stone there, if you have one, and preheat to 375F.
  9. Brush the risen loaf liberally with milk. Realize that if you brush the loaf with milk, the lovely markings from the brotform will be washed away. Decide to brush some milk in the center of the loaf just for a little extra interest. Wonder if it will make any difference at all. Bake for 30-45 minutes, turning the loaf around once half way through baking, to account for uneven oven heat. If it seems like it is getting too dark, turn the oven down to 350. The loaf is done when the internal temperature is around 200F and/or it sounds hollow when knocked on the bottom.
  10. Put the baked loaf on a footed rack to allow it to cool completely. It’s still baking inside! (Please do not ignore this step.) 6


0.) Wild Rice: The BBB recipe actually calls for half the amount of the wild rice that I used. But I was challenged when measuring it. I decided to use it all anyway. It turned out that I was also challenged about the amount of onion to use. The BBB recipe calls for either 2 Tbsp dried onion or 1 cup chopped fresh onion and makes no mention at all of caramelized onions. I can’t remember now which of the BBBabes used caramelized onions. I was too busy being impressed that they baked before the deadline. (Showoffs.) Not to mention that all I could think about was caramelized onions. Both dried and plain old chopped fresh sound so dull in comparison.

1.) Water: Yup. Here I go again: do not use water from the hot water tap. Eventually I feel certain that the other BBBabes will jump over to my side of the fence on this… (How old are your pipes? How old is the solder? When is the last time you flushed the sediment from the hot water tank? How many toxins want to leach out? Do you really want those in your bread?) Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave. The BBB recipe says that the water should be “100 – 115 degrees F, approximately” If you are allergic to using a thermometer to check that the temperature is 100F (just a few degrees higher than body temperature), put a few drops of water onto your wrist; if it feels warm then it’s fine. Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

2.) Milk and Lemon Juice: The BBB recipe calls for a quarter cup buttermilk and three quarters of a cup of warm water. We didn’t have any yoghurt or buttermilk so I decided to use milk and lemon juice. I find it much easier to use powdered milk than to heat actual milk.

3.) Yeast Yet another recipe that calls for too much yeast: 9.5g (1 Tbsp). And instant yeast at that. We never have instant yeast in the house so I decided to use 7 g active dry and rehydrate it before adding it to the flour. Next time, I may add less yeast.

4.) Demerara Sugar The BBB recipe calls for “2 Tbsp brown sugar”. I just don’t think so much sugar is necessary in bread. I almost left it out entirely but then caved in and used half the amount.

5.) Flour The BBB recipe calls for bread flour. It has been ages since we’ve been able to get unbleached bread flour. A reasonable substitute for 1 cup bread flour can be made by using 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon wheat gluten. Or Susan’s (Wild Yeast) formula works too: 3% high-gluten flour + 97% unbleached all purpose. But this time round, I decided to go with Natashya’s method:

I have [a] book that says 5% for vital wheat gluten, about 2.5 tsp per cup. To tell you the truth, I eyeball it.
– Natashya, BBB email, 8 September 2010

6.) But I LIKE warm bread just out of the oven!! N.B. Of course you will want to serve warm bread. Reheat it after it has cooled completely. (It is still baking when it first comes out of the oven!) To reheat any UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 450F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

The recipe calls for wild rice, but it can also be made with brown rice or a combination of wild and brown rice, or any other cooked grain. […] Note that it only takes about 1/4 cup of uncooked wild rice to make 1 cup (6 oz, by weight) of cooked wild rice.
– Peter Reinhart, Wild Rice and Onion Bread, Artisan Breads Every Day

Wild Rice and Onion bread

As expected, last night’s dinner was spectacular.

I was a little surprised at how much the bread didn’t taste like wild rice and caramelized onion, especially because both were so predominant in the nose. But the bread was delicious: soft lovely crumb and a thin but pleasingly chewy crust.

T adored it and kept saying how he loved how soft it was. Personally, I prefer a leaner bread with a thicker crust, but that’s just me. Still, I’m sure I’ll make this again. I’m really curious about what it’s like with barley or oat groats. And definitely, I’ll use twice the amount of grain again.

I think next time, I’ll use at least twice the amount of onion and make it into rolls. J’adore soft rolls!!

Thank you Karen for getting me to take a pill and try a Reinhart recipe again. (I don’t know why but it makes me feel ridiculously good to insist on calling his formula a recipe….)

Bread Baking Babes ISO Remedial Reading Course - Wild Rice and Onion Bread (BBB May 2014)

Karen (Bake My Day) is the host of May 2014’s Bread Baking Babes’ challenge. She wrote:

I decided to open Peter Reinhart’s “Artisan Breads Every Day”. The bread I chose to bake looks a lot like the Struan (the popular one from Brother Juniper’s Bakery) in a multiple-day or overnight version. […] So why try Peter Reinhart? Because at the time I thought I *needed* another bread book. And I thought maybe Uncle Peter had come up with a better method…

We know you’ll want to make wild rice and onion bread too! And remember, if you can’t find wild rice, you can use any cooked grain you like: regular rice, barley, wheat berries, quinoa, etc. etc. To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make Wild Rice and Onion Bread in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 May 2014. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ May bread:

Yeastspotting - every Friday ( image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

Bake Your Own Bread (BYOB)
BYOB is a monthly event that was hosted by Heather (girlichef) and has now been taken over by Carola (Sweet and That’s It)

[BYOB] encourages you to start (or continue) getting comfortable baking bread in your own kitchen. Anything from simple quick breads to conquering that fear of yeast to making and nurturing your own sourdough starter. All levels of bakers are welcome to participate.

And Carola wrote:

Homemade bread is healthy! As healthy as you decide: choose the best ingredients (if you can afford it, organic and GMO free) and you’ll be surrounded by the most delicious scent and fascinated by the most delicious taste.

Let the adventure continue!

For more information about BYOB, please read the following:

  • BYOB: Bake Your Own Bread (Scroll down to “Monthly Link up Summary” at the bottom of the post)

Twelve Loaves
Twelve Loaves: For the love of bread

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora (Cake Duchess). She wrote:

Whether you bake along with us every month or just once, we want to inspire you to love baking your own bread one loaf at a time. […] Twelve breads. It’s just a different bread a month. A bread baking revolution!

Each month, a different theme is put forward. The theme for May 2014 is “onions”. Participants are encouraged to share their bread made with onions (red, white, yellow), scallions (green onions, spring onions); leeks, shallots, garlic, pearl onion, cipollini, chives (yeast or quick bread) by the end of May. For more information and details on how to participate, please read the following:


edit 18 May: After reading about the others’ experiences with this bread, it finally dawned on me that this was supposed to be a “no-knead” bread. Duh. Apparently I glazed when I got to the part about not kneading. (I did say that I need a remedial reading course, didn’t I?) :lalala: I kneaded this bread in the bowl until it was smooth.

I admit that I did wonder vaguely why people were talking about Lahey and why Karen gave us the assignment to read Jennifer McGavin’s article Three Kinds of No-Knead Breads – Three Results….

I have never been a fan of no-knead bread. Admittedly, I’ve only made it (Lahey’s) a couple of times but those few times, it seemed to go stale really quickly. But. My sister, a school teacher, absolutely swears by overnight no-knead bread. She rarely made bread until last summer and is now making it all the time. She mixes the dough after dinner (and puts it in the fridge??). Then just before going to school the next morning, she shapes it and puts it on the counter to rise. Her husband (who works at home) bakes it in a casserole dish in the afternoon just before she comes home from school. (I think I have the schedule right.) She says their bread is fabulous – and that she will NEVER buy bread again – the photographs she has sent of her bread certainly look fabulous.

I seem to recall that she’s using a Lahey recipe she found online….

{Artisan Breads Every Day] has known and new recipes all revised and/or using the no-knead method made famous by Hertzberg and Francois and of course Jim Lahey. […] I was quite smitten with the initial idea of Jim Lahey but each and every bread I made using his method I found lacking in flavour and gummy on the inside. I kept the Dutch pot/Romertopf idea because that is simply brilliant and delivers beautiful singing crust every time. I had almost the same problem with the Hertberg/Francois breads, I own a copy of 5 min a day.. it has been read a lot, but never got satisfying results from it. […] I thought maybe Uncle Peter had come up with a better method… To date I think I like his method best. […]

[U]se a large spoon and stir for 1 minute. The dough should be sticky, coarse, and shaggy. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. […]

[C]ontinue 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.)
On Baking Day
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake. Shape the dough […]

-Karen, Bake My Day, Wild Rice and Onion Bread

Speaking of not knowing how to read, this is interesting: Nora Young, ‘Scanning and Skimming’ Spark, CBC. It’s a look at the difference between paper reading and online reading, what Maryanne Wolf calls “continuous partial attention”.




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13 responses to “ISO Remedial Reading Course – Wild Rice and Onion Bread (BBB May 2014)

  1. T

    Just finished a toasted slice with my morning cup of tea. Really delicious. The wild rice taste comes through in spades. And I love wild rice.

    You’re right! It IS delicious toasted! -Elizabeth

  2. Heather // girlichef

    Well, after all of that, you have a seriously gorgeous loaf, Elizabeth. I’m sad to say that I pitched all of my brotforms (okay, I only had 2, but…) after I found them crawling with weevils. Apparently I need to learn how to store them. Maybe they could have been saved, but I wasn’t in the mood to try. And now I think about how much money I threw into the trash.Sigh.

    Anyhoo, your loaf is just stunning, and that sounds like one amazing dinner.

    Thank you, it was indeed an amazing dinner! And I cannot get over how lucky we were to have found that brotform at a yard sale! Too bad about your brotforms, Heather! I probably would have done the same thing – weevils are so creepy – but in retrospect, couldn’t you have put the brotforms in the freezer to kill the creatures? -Elizabeth

  3. Jamie

    Wow yours is beautiful! I love the crust (mine did not come out golden and crusty like yours, like I dreamed of). Just beautiful! And as always I love your thought processes. I actually enjoyed reading about your feelings towards the man and the book because there are certain cookbook authors that I just do not like yet they are adored by so many people! Like the Emperor’s New Clothes? But I did love this bread. But oh I want your bread form!

    You’ll have to come to the yard sales with me, Jamie, to see if we can find more brotforms together. (It really does make the bread look nice, doesn’t it?)
    As for the crust colour, I wonder if it made a difference that I left the bread in the turned-off oven for about 20 minutes just after it had finished baking. The bread felt a little heavy and the internal temperature was just barely at 200F after about 40 minutes baking. -Elizabeth

  4. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    I never know exactly where to start with a comment here.
    I’m convinced twice the onion here would be excellent.
    On another grain: I really like the look of the wild rice in the crumb even considering I don’t think it did much for adding flavor. Perhaps I should try another grain, certainly many options come to mind … but I really like the color the wild rice adds.
    The rolls are great and next time I’m definitely putting in chopped bacon! My poached egg was wonderful on the roll this morning but I really want bacon there.
    I find it incredible how many things I “miss-read” along with you and we still got wonderful bread.

    I love the colour that the wild rice lends too, Tanna. And while I couldn’t particularly taste it, T said that its flavour came through beautifully. But yes… next time, I’ll use at least twice as much onion! And maybe bacon. Although, bacon on the side is good too. -Elizabeth

  5. Elle

    Well there are folks out there who are (grim visage) very serious about bread baking. I think Peter R might be one of them. Still, it is a lovely bread. Yours is spectacular all golden brown and crusty and ringed with flour marks from that form. Twice the grain is perfect! More onion, bacon (yes!), even some cheese…Parmesan?…would go well. Don’t you love it when you find a bread you want to make again? Even if it then becomes a….recipe!

    Haha! I love your “grim visage” description of the serious bread bakers, Elle! I really don’t know how they manage to stay serious though, when you consider how ridiculously floppy bread dough is and how wondrously it rises. -Elizabeth

  6. Katie

    I know I should not cut into fresh, hot bread. Really, I do… But I do it anyway. I have no willpower when it comes to warm bread. It looks lovely, sounds delicious, and who needs precise formulas anyway?!?

    The precise formulas are for people like me who LOVE to measure, Katie. Luckily, my love for measuring is just that and I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention when I discover that I’ve misread the required measurement. It’s so simple (usually) to fix any mistakes.
    As for waiting until the bread has completely cooled, I used to be like you. But now, knowing how slightly doughy and dull just-baked bread tastes, I do have the willpower. But I also LOVE warm bread and always heat it up before cutting into it. So I can have my cake and eat it too. :-) -Elizabeth

  7. barbara

    It looks great. Mmm, onion buns (ok, onion bread). I wonder if adding some char-roasted onions would bring out the onion flavour more than just adding more caramelized onions.

    Mmmm, onion buns! You’re right! I should have made onion buns! Next time…. With more onions. Definitely more onions! Do you mean adding the char-roasted onions when shaping, Barbara? -Elizabeth

  8. barbara

    I was thinking about the other half of “twice the amount of onion” that you were planning to add next time, so I guess I meant during mixing. But maybe during shaping would be good too, but in that case, maybe slivers of raw onion since they’d get nicely burnt during baking.

    Hmmmm…. Now I’m thinking that I should add some char-roasted onions to the dough that has caramelized onions AND a few slivers of raw onion during shaping. Excellent, idea, Barbara! -Elizabeth

  9. Baking Soda

    I so know what you mean when you gripe about good ole uncle Peter… or at least I think I know.. some c**ksure baker he is! But if you can get past the horn tooting he does know how to make good bread! I am so so glad you tried and liked it!

    It’s his insistence that people use prodigal amounts of cooking spray, plastic wrap and parchment paper that really gets to me. But, of course, I’m really glad that I tried his bread. (heh heh I’m also glad that I didn’t follow some of his directions by not oiling the bowl or dough and kneading his “no-knead” bread and it still worked out so well. :whoohoo: ) -Elizabeth

  10. Aparna

    You made me laugh with this post and thats a good way to start the day. I’m not a fan of Peter Reinhart’s only because I love baking bread but get scared by people and recipes that talk about formulae and stuff. :)
    But I must say his 100% whole wheat bread is the best I have made so far.
    Formulae or not, you have one beautiful loaf with this one.

    Strangely, for someone as longwinded as I am, I am put off by his verbosity. But I keep hearing that his 100% whole wheat bread is really good. And now you too say the same thing, Aparna. I guess I had better bite the bullet one more time and try one more Reinhart “master formula”. -Elizabeth

  11. Cathy (breadexperience)

    Elizabeth, your loaf looks beautiful! I’m so glad you decided to make this bread even if it was through clenched teeth.

    Thank you, Cathy! I’m really glad too. (I’m afraid my teeth are still ridiculously clenched though, in spite of the excellent bread… how narrow-minded of me.) -Elizabeth

  12. Joanne

    I love biting into a loaf of bread that’s chock full of grains. They add such a nice chew!

    Me too, Joanne! There’s something so satisfying about it, isn’t there? -Elizabeth


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