Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sourdough with Wild Rice and Chives

I am a real dork about Thanksgiving. Seriously, the menu planning begins as early as September, with many revisions and trial balloons until I feel that it's just right. I love Thanksgiving and I guess maybe the planning helps me to extend the pleasure of the holiday.

I had been trying to decide what bread to make, possibly a repeat of the butternut squash brioche that I made last year? It was very wonderful. As I was flipping through this month's Bon Appetit, I saw it. Wild Rice Batards. They had me at hello. Well, maybe. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bon Appetit that I won't bore you with, but figured I had better test-drive the recipe. Or just use the title as inspiration and do my own thing which is what usually happens..

So instead of the yeasted bread flavored with buttermilk, I used sourdough, which I have on hand. This bread is really delicious. Very savory, makes excellent toast. Would probably make a good stuffing, though this year I'll be serving it plain, with butter. I also fermented the dough overnight, which is now my habit, but is probably not as important in this bread as it is in others. Because this recipe is really a mashup, some of the ingredients are in grams, others are in cups. If you make this bread - and I hope you do - feel free to make your own adjustments as you see fit.

Sourdough with Wild Rice and Chives
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Norwich Sourdough and from Bon Appetit magazine
yield 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves


450 g white flour
60 g whole rye flour
300 g water
180 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter
15 g salt
1 cup fully cooked wild rice (this takes about 1/3 cup raw rice + 2/3 cup water)
1/2 cup minced chives (you could substitute lightly sauteed minced onion if you prefer)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flours, water, and starter on low speed until just combined, about one minute.
  2. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the salt, rice and chives and continue mixing on low or medium speed until the dough reaches a medium level of gluten development.
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled container.
  5. Ferment at room temperature for 2.5 hours, with folds at 50 and 100 minutes. Or ferment an hour at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide it if making multiple loaves or rolls, then pre-shape. Let rest 15 min.
  7. Shape as desired and let proof 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until nearly doubled.
  8. Preheat the oven with a baking stone if you have one to 450 and prepare to steam. I put a cast iron skillet in the oven while its heating, and then boil 2 cups of water when the temperature gets close.
  9. Place the loaves on the stone, then pour 1 cup of the boiling water into the skillet and close the oven door as fast as you can.
  10. Bake for 15 min with steam, then another 15 min without.
  11. Let cool completely before slicing. 

Submitted for YeastSpotting. Check out the latest collection of lovely treats on Wild Yeast. 


  1. Wow. Wild rice says Thanksgiving to me. What a wonderful addition to a holiday feast!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious. And I have a love/hate relationship with Bon Appetit, too!

  3. I have a hate/hate relationship with Bon Apetit and called Conde Nast to tell them not to send it to me instead of my dearly recently deceased Gourmet.

    Occasionally Bon Appetit gets things right. They gave you really good inspiration for a sourdough loaf, it looks wonderful!