Friday, 16 May 2014

Quinoa, Onion & Rosemary Rolls for BBBs

It’s that time again! Time to reveal the monthly bread for the Bread Baking Babes (BBBs). The host for this month’s bake is Karen of Bake My Day and she chose the Wild Rice and Onion Bread from Peter Reinhart’s book Artisan Bread Every Day.

Quinoa, Onion & Rosemary Rolls


Instead of following the recipe as presented, I took a different approach. I went to the back of the book, got the baker’s percentages, and worked from there.

I have several of Peter Reinhart’s books, including this one, and I really enjoy making breads from them. One of the things I like about this book is that he includes baker’s percentages for every recipe so you can easily customize all of the breads.

Of course, you can make every bread in the book without using baker’s percentages, but the percentages come in handy when you want to adjust the ingredients up or down or add in additional components. You can do this without a formula, but the percentages are really easy once you get the hang of it. I fought this concept, you know the whole math thing, but now that I’ve jumped in, the water is fine. 



Using the BreadStorm™ iPad app helped get me over the learning curve with baker’s math.  You just plug the percentages (or weight by grams or kilograms) into the tool and voila! It calculates the other percentages for you.  I just love apps, but at some point, you really do need to know how to do it by hand.

All you do is decide how much flour you want to use and that becomes the 100%.  All the other percentages are based off of the flour %.  I wanted to make rolls so I reduced the amount of flour to 500 grams. The original recipe uses 765 grams of flour which is enough to make two loaves of bread.  I didn’t want that many rolls. My adjustments made 12 rolls and that was plenty. I was able to enjoy some now and freeze some for later.

I didn’t have any wild rice so I used quinoa. I added in some rosemary because I thought the flavor would go well with the quinoa and dried onions. Well, really it’s because I just got a new rosemary plant, and I don’t want it to go to waste.

You can also use brown rice in this recipe, but the quinoa gives it a unique texture. I used kefir milk, but feel free to use any kind of milk in this bread. I’ve been maintaining some kefir grains so I need to continue to find creative ways to use the milk. The kefir worked really well in this recipe.


Quinoa, Onion & Rosemary Rolls



Quinoa, Onion & Rosemary Rolls

Adapted from: Artisan Bread Every Day by Peter Reinhart

Yield: 12-18 Rolls (depending on how big you shape them)

Original Formula (percentages):

  • 100% unbleached bread flour
  • 2% salt
  • 2.4% yeast
  • 7.4% brown sugar
  • 44.5% water
  • 15% Buttermilk or any other milk
  • 3.7% dried minces or chopped onions or
  • 30% diced fresh onions

Adapted Formula (percentages):

  • 100% unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2% salt
  • 2% yeast
  • 7.5% brown sugar
  • 44.5% water
  • 15% Kefir milk
  • 3.7% minced onions
  • 22% cooked Quinoa
  • Chopped fresh Rosemary

Formula by weight:

  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 10g salt
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 37g brown sugar
  • 225g water
  • 75g Kefir milk
  • 18g minced onions
  • 110g cooked Quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Melted butter for brushing *

* You can use an egg wash if you want the rolls to be shiny, but I wanted to soften them up so I brushed them with the melted butter right after removing them from the oven.


Do Ahead (the day before or a few days earlier):

Combine all of the ingredients, except the melted butter, in a large mixing bowl.  Stir for a minute using a wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk. The dough will be sticky and shaggy.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Continue mixing, adjusting the flour or water as necessary to form a dough ball. At this point, the dough should be soft and supple and slightly sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and knead for a couple of minutes. Add more flour if necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface. The dough will still be soft and slightly sticky, but it should hold together in a ball.

Place the dough in a clean bowl (lightly oiled if preferred), then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it immediately.  Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days.

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On Baking Day:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake the rolls. Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface to keep the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into 12 (or 18) equal pieces and shape each piece into a round ball. Place the rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the rolls rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until increased to about 1 1/2 times their original size.

I used a roll stamper to add a unique imprint in the dough. However, the imprint sprung back so it just barely shows up on the baked rolls. 

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. about 15 minutes before it’s time to bake. Slide the baking sheets into the oven on the middle and bottom racks and let the rolls bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans for even baking and let the rolls bake another 10 minutes until they have a rich golden color. The total bake time should be about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the rolls to a wire rack to cool.  Brush with the melted butter (if desired) and allow the rolls to cool for at least 20 minutes (if you can).

Quinoa, Onion & Rosemary Rolls


I’ve been enjoying these rolls all week. I froze half of them and the rest I’ve been eating (one per day) for a snack. They taste great warm with butter. However, I’ve decided that adding some cheese to the dough would enhance them even further.

Thanks to Karen of Bake My Day for choosing this delicious and easy bread for our bake this month.

I’m also sharing these rolls with YEASTSPOTTING and BYOB!


Check out what the other creative Babes made this month:

The Bread Baking Babes (current dozen) are:

Would you like to be a Bread Baking Buddy? Just make the Wild Rice and Onion Bread (of course you may adapt) - and then send Karen your link  (refer to the info in her announcement post).  Submissions are due by May 29th.  Once you've posted, you'll receive a Buddy badge for baking along.

I hope you will join us!


Happy Baking!


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Light Wheat & Rye Bread with Butter

I named this Light Wheat & Rye Bread with Butter because it tastes great with butter. It’s the type of loaf that serves as a backdrop to the main dish but could also be the center of attention itself.

It provides the perfect accompaniment to soup for a light lunch or dinner and also pairs nicely with fruit and cheese. I’ve enjoyed it both ways and just plain with butter.

Rustic Wheat & Rye Bread with Butter

I learned how to make this shape during a workshop at the Asheville Bread Festival. The baker, Dominique Homo, taught us how to shape different types of loaves from the same rustic-type dough.

I was pleasantly surprised when he showed us how to shape this loaf. I thought you had to score around the top of the loaf with a knife or lame in order to achieve the desired shape, but this loaf isn’t scored at all. The top part of the loaf is actually an extra piece of dough which you shape into a small round ball, flatten and attach to the larger part of the loaf. It is held in place by a little bit of oil and a fingertip indentation.

I didn’t take notes on how much dough to use for the extra piece so it’s a little rounder and plumper than the one Dominique demonstrated in the workshop. His loaf had a thinner and flatter top with the squared, sharp pointy edges, commonly referred to as “ears” in artisan bread baking.

Rustic Wheat & Rye Bread with Butter

Next time I try this shape, I’ll use less dough for the top and make it thinner.

I baked this loaf on a baking stone and although I liked the crumb, I think this particular shape might work better in a bread cloche in order to achieve a crustier crust and sharper edges.

Even though the shape is not exactly what I was shooting for, I think the loaves turned out kind of cute.


Rustic Wheat & Rye Bread and Butter Loaf


Light Wheat and Rye Bread with Butter

Makes: 2 Small Loaves (428 grams each)

This loaf is simple and doesn’t take very long to prepare from start-to-finish. I made it Sunday afternoon and served it for dinner that evening. The home-milled flours give it a delicious and rustic appeal.

It is similar to the bread we made for the April BOM, in that it includes wheat and rye, but it differs in several ways: 1) it’s made with yeast instead of sourdough, 2) the crumb structure is tighter on this loaf which makes it easier to spread butter on it, and 3) this bread can be made in an afternoon whereas the Rustic White, Rye & Spelt Loaf takes a couple of days due to the longer fermentation time.

The formula that Dominique gave us was in percentages. This was good practice. I used 500 grams of total flour and adjusted his percentages based on the flours I planned to use. I also reduced the amount of salt and yeast.

Original formula:

  • 80% white flour
  • 10% whole wheat flour
  • 5% dark rye
  • 5% light rye
  • 75% water, parts by weight
  • 2% salt, parts by weight
  • 6 parts instant yeast (this amount seemed way too much so I might’ve written it down wrong)

Adapted formula:

  • 70% all-purpose white flour
  • 20% home-milled white whole wheat flour
  • 10% home-milled coarse rye flour
  • 75% warm water
  • a little less than 2% salt
  • 2% yeast

Formula by weight and volume:

  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • 100g white whole wheat flour
  • 50g coarse whole grain rye flour
  • 375g (1 1/2 cups) warm water
  • 8g (~2 tsp.) salt
  • 10g (1 T) instant yeast



Whisk the flours and yeast together in a large bowl. Gradually add the water and stir with a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the top of the dough. Work the dough between your fingers until the salt is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bowl down with a bowl scraper. Get it really clean. This way, you don’t need to add oil or wash the bowl before the bulk fermentation.

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Bulk Fermentation:

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it ferment 2-3 hours at warm room temperature.

Uncover and fold the dough after the first hour; recover and let it ferment an additional hour; then uncover the dough and fold it once again. Let the dough rest for the final hour.

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Divide and Shape the Loaves:

The dough weight was 855 grams. I divided the dough into four pieces: 368g, 367g, 60g and 60g. I shaped the larger pieces into round boules and the smaller pieces into balls. I dipped my finger in a little bit of oil and spread it on top. Then flattened the smaller balls and placed them on top of the larger boules and made a fingertip indention to hold the “hats” in place.

I placed the shaped loaves on parchment paper to proof, but you can let them rest on a floured board or transfer the loaves to a baking sheet if your prefer.

Let the loaves proof for an hour or until doubled in bulk.

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Prepare the oven for hearth baking:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes with a baking stone on the bottom rack and a steam pan or cast iron skillet on the top rack. 

Slide the loaves (on the parchment paper or directly) onto the preheated baking stone. Carefully place several ice cubes in the preheated steam pan or cast iron skillet.

Spritz the loaves with water and immediately close the door. Spritz the loaves two more times during the first 3 minutes of baking. Close the door and turn the oven down to 450 degrees F. 

Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. If using parchment paper, remove the paper partway through the baking cycle to allow the bottom to firm up.

Remove the loaves to a wire rack to cool before slicing and serving.

Rustic Wheat & Rye Bread with Butter

I’m sharing these rolls with  BYOB!

My taste tester and I really enjoyed this bread, especially with butter.  It’s a simple pleasure.

Happy Baking!


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sprouted Sorghum Crackers for BBD#67

When I tasted some gluten-free Sprouted Sorghum Crackers at the Asheville Bread Festival, I wasn’t expecting to actually enjoy them.  I was pleasantly surprised. I took a bite and exclaimed “Oh! these are good!” 

The sample test worked. I bought some of the sprouted sorghum flour to make crackers myself. I also bought some other sprouted flours to test.

I’ve had the flour sitting on my counter for the past couple of weeks just waiting for the right opportunity to bake these crackers.

Gluten-Free Sprouted Sorghum Crackers


As it happens, the challenge for Bread Baking Day (BBD #67), hosted by Kathys Kuechenkampf was to make Brot für Allergiker or Bread for Allergic Persons.

The criteria for the challenge was to: 

Bake a bread with less histamine WITHOUT:
- wheat, durum wheat, buckwheat
- barm or leaven
- any kind of nuts and seeds

Or bake a bread without gluten WITHOUT:
- wheat, spelt, rye, kamut, emmer, einkorn and durum wheat
- oats and barley are okay, but it's better to use teff, millet, corn, rice, quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat

Or both combined.

I thought about making crackers with buckwheat, but I really wanted to try my hand at making the sorghum crackers.  So the buckwheat will have to wait.

Sorghum is gluten-free and since this particular flour was sprouted before it was ground into flour, it has lots of vitamins and nutrients that you won’t find in unsprouted flour.  Plus, sprouting makes it easier to digest.

To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co., the company that makes this sprouted flour, has returned to the traditional practice of sprouting grains in order to render them more nutritious and digestible. They nurture the grains in their facility, allow them to sprout, then dry them at a very low temperature, to maintain precious vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

Note: This is not a sponsored post.  I bought the flour myself. I just wanted to share my experience with you.

Gluten-Free Sprouted Sorghum Crackers

Keep in mind that although these crackers are gluten-free, they do include dairy and leavening in the form of non-aluminum baking powder. They also include organic butter.

The crackers call for buttermilk. I didn’t have any buttermilk and I’ve been on a kefir kick lately so I used kefir milk instead. That’s kefir in the jar in the background of the photo above.  I’ve been feeding and taking care of it like I do my sourdough pets.


Sprouted Sorghum Crackers

Adapted from: TYH’s Sprouted Crackers by To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co.


  • 2 1/2 cups sprouted Sorghum flour
  • 1 1/4 cups organic whole buttermilk or yogurt (I used Kefir)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T organic unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Place the flour and milk in a large bowl and mix with a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon until a stiff dough forms. Add the melted butter, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

Divide the dough in half and roll out each half to about 1/8 inch thickness on a piece parchment paper sprinkled with flour. My dough was a bit sticky so I found it helped to put water on the rolling pin before I rolled out the dough. This helped keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. I tried sprinkling flour over the top of the dough, but the water worked better for me.

Using a pizza wheel, cut the crackers into squares (on the parchment paper).

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Slide a baking sheet under the crackers on the parchment paper and place the baking sheet in the oven. Set the oven on the lowest possible setting (around 150-200 degrees). The lowest temperature setting on my oven is 170 degrees. If your oven only goes down to 200 degrees, prop the door open slightly and let the crackers dry overnight.

Leave the crackers in the oven until they are completely dried (several hours). Mine were done in about an hour and a half to two hours. They will be crispy and delicious. Trust me.


Thanks to Kathys Kuechenkampf for hosting Bread Baking Day (BBD #67): Brot für Allergiker or Bread for Allergic Persons and to Zorra of 1 x umrühren bitte aka kochtopf for creating Bread Baking Day.


Happy Baking!