The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wild Rice Sourdough - The Bread That Ended The Cold War

  • Pin It
hanseata's picture
hanseata

Wild Rice Sourdough - The Bread That Ended The Cold War

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you know the facebook group "Baking 101", you might also know Danny Klecko's blog "Last American Baker". Klecko's posts are whimsical and often very funny, and he seems to snort them out joyfully and without any effort (unlike one envious baker whose name I will not disclose).

Now and then he puts a recipe in one of them, as a "teaser", to lure you into his world, even when you think you already overdosed on facebook. This happened to me when I followed the link with the intriguing headline: "The Recipe That Ended The Cold War".

Klecko describes how 20 years ago presidents Reagan and Gorbachev held a peace summit in St. Paul, his city. And the bakery, where Klecko worked at the time, was formally requested to supply a bread that the two heads of states could break, as a symbol of peace.

The job went to Klecko, to create a loaf that would please a Russian while being quintessentially Minnesotan/American.

After sweating plenty of blood and tears, and many prayers to his "Polish Jesus", this was what he came up with:

 

Danny Klecko's Wild Rice Sourdough  (3 loaves)

2 1/2 tablespoon yeast

2 3/4 cups water

1 1/3 cup brick starter (this refers to a mysterious Polish contraption, made of rye, bread flour and potato flakes)

1 tablespoon molasses

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoon vinegar

2 1/4 wheat flour

6 cups bread flour

1/2 cup bran

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup cooked wild rice

 

So far so good. But now it comes:

Bake at 400-450º F for close to 30 minutes.

Quite a temperature range! Klecko's comment: he would like a crustier bread, baked at 450ºF, but many home bakers might prefer 400ºF.

I asked Klecko about the low amount of salt. He admitted to having "moved the salt content around a bit to pacify cry baby Americans that wouldn't eat the bread because they felt the salt content was too high."

 

Wild rice, expensive, but very tasty

So I set out to metrically "remaster" the recipe, figuring out the starter, and calculating the amount of uncooked wild rice that would yield 1 cup of cooked rice with as little leftover as possible.

Since the technique should include my preferred overnight fermentation, I found that I could safely reduce the amount of additional instant yeast.

Like Reagan and Gorbachev, we would have been willing to end the war, ANY war, hot or cold, after tasting this wonderful bread. Slightly nutty and very moist, and, with the wild rice speckling the crumb, beautiful to behold.

Here is my version of this historically important bread, down-scaled to 2 loaves:

 

WILD RICE SOURDOUGH   (2 loaves)  (adapted from Danny Klecko's "Last American Baker")

 

STARTER

43 g rye sourdough starter (100% hydration)

53 g rye flour

74 g bread flour

80 g water

 

RICE

144 g water (for cooking)

  37 g wild rice, rinsed and drained

 

DOUGH

440 g water (95 F )

    5 g instant yeast

all starter

all cooked wild rice (including any remaining water)

500 g bread flour

192 g whole wheat flour

  20 g wheat bran

  16 g salt

  26 g balsamic vinegar

  13 g molasses

  13 g honey (if you like it sweeter)

 

1.DAY :

In the morning, mix all starter ingredients at low speed (or with wooden spoon), until all flour is hydrated (1-2 minutes). Knead 2 minutes at medium-low speed (or by hand), let rest for 5 minutes, then resume kneading for another minute. Cover, and leave at room temperature.

 

After cooking the rice absorbs more water while it cools

In a small pan, bring wild rice with water to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Leave at room temperature, the rice will absorb most of the water.

In the evening, prepare final dough. Dissolve instant yeast in warm water. Add to all other ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix at low speed for 1 - 2 minutes (or with wooden spoon), until all flour is hydrated. Let rest for 5 minutes.

 

Sourdough, ready for action!

Resume kneading at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 2 minutes, adjusting with more water, if really needed (dough should still be sticky). Knead for another 4 minutes. Dough should still be somewhat sticky.

Transfer dough to lightly oiled work surface. With oiled hands, stretch and pat dough into a rough square and fold it like a business letter in thirds. Gather into a ball and place it, rough side down, into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and leave to 10 minutes.

 

After the last fold, the dough goes in the refrigerator

Repeat this stretching and folding 3 times, with 10 minute intervals. After the last fold, place dough in lightly oiled container (I divide it at this point in two equal portions,) cover, and refrigerate it overnight.

 

DAY 2:

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using, to warm up.

 

Overnight the dough has almost doubled

Preheat oven to 450ºF/232ºC, including steam pan and baking stone.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Shape dough into 2 boules or bâtards and place them, seam side up, in bannetons. Proof for 45 - 60 minutes, or until they have grown 1 1/2 times their original size (Finger poke test!).

 

The bread has grown 1 1/2 times its original size

Transfer breads to parchment lined baking sheet (or bake directly on baking stone.) Score them crosswise.

 

Crosswise slashes give the breads a nice pattern

Bake breads for 20 minutes, steaming with 1 cup boiling water. Remove steam pan, rotate loaves 180 degrees, and continue baking for another 15 - 20 minutes. They should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom, and register at least 200º F/93ºC (instant thermometer.) Leave them in switched-off oven with door slightly ajar for 10 more minutes.

Remove breads from oven, and let them to cool on wire rack.

 

 
 

So we might all thank Danny Klecko for the recipe that brought the Berlin Wall tumbling down. This bread tastes so good that it's easy to believe that it put Reagan and Gorbi in such a mellow mood that they couldn't help but end the Cold War!

Completely updated post 5/27/13

Comments

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Karin,
Thanks for developing your formula and posting about this delicious-sounding bread, with all of those good things in it.
The addition of balsamic, and molasses, must add some really good flavor.
I so look forward to your posts! I still want to make your Korntaler, and this one's going on 'the list' too!
:^) from breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Karin,

I have about a cup of cooked wild rice sitting frozen in my freezer that has been calling to me for awhile.  Now I know what I will do with it - once our temps cool down a bit!  (90° lately....)

One question in regards to the starter. Is it 1 1/3 cups before degassing or after degassing?  Or does the amount you have specified above all go into the final dough?  (I am assuming I can simply add the whole amount without measuring since you did all the math and 'figuring' while converting the recipe into it's form here.)

Thanks for the new loaf to try and thanks for the great story behind it's creation!  Today's history lesson complete :-)

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The story behind it and the combination of ingredients really intrigued me. It's always a bit iffy to convert volumes to weight. I weighed a cup of all my different flours and compared their weights to lists from "Cook's Illustrated" and some books - they all differ. I try to weigh later adjustments to the dough, too, so that I have fairly accurate amounts in the end. This might be somewhat anal, but is helpful for my price calculation. I need to know what my costs of goods are, and adjustments for several breads can add quite a bit.

Janet, this is a sign from heaven - why would you otherwise have a cup of cooked wild rice idling in your freezer? The thing with the starter is a bit stupid - I made it the day before, left it to rise on the countertop, and emptied it out to measure it, forgetting to weigh it. I think it was a little bit more than 1  1/3 cups, perhaps 1 tablespoon, but I don't think it matters too much.

Do try the bread, it's tastes really wonderful,

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Karin,

I, for one, appreciate all of your careful calculations in that each loaf of yours that I have baked has turned out perfectly!  I also appreciate the format - Peter Reinhart's - as it does wonders for the overall texture and taste of any loaf it is used on.

Thanks for the note on the starter - I figured as such.  I am anxious to give this a go....maybe sometime next week when our temps dip a bit.

 

Take Care,

Janet

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

looking bread, Karin.  Your an inspiration.  The addition of molasses and balsamic vinegar does sound delicious.  Thanks for sharing your formulas!

Sylvia

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm happy to hear that, Janet. When you know your somewhat exact recipe amounts, it usually works out rather well. If a dough turns out too dry or too wet, I know that I made a mistake and some ingredient is missing.

I do like Peter Reinhart's format, it's for dummies, and, when I am baking, I want a recipe with a very clear layout to find things quickly, either on a print-out or on the laptop screen. Therefore a spreadsheet would never do for me, even if it's good for calculating, it has very poor visibility.

My recipe program (MacGourmet) has a great feature, the "Chef's View". This shows the recipe in large print, easy to read from a distance, and the screen stays, it doesn't go dark after a few minutes.

Happy baking,

Karin

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Sylvia, I like the taste of balsamic vinegar. I used it already in one of the Jan Hedh breads I made (the one that had a error regarding the amount of bran). Without these recipes I would probably have never dreamed of seasoning bread with it.

Normally I don't care too much for molasses, I use it sparingly in dark rye breads, but this small amount gave the bread an attractive color and added just a hint of sweetness, very subtle.

Karin

 

bread basket's picture
bread basket

This is a wonderful bread. I sure will put it on recipe list! My little trunk business is still flying under the radar but my bread is flying out of my trunk as fast as I can bake it. My hubby is in the process of building a little bakery for me in our back yard (in a little building which once held a big funace and was up till now my garden shed and storage for lot of things). I hope I can get it certified then I will see where I am going. I hope you remember the first encouragment I got from you. Again, thank you so much for that.

Barbara

hanseata's picture
hanseata

yes, I remember! I'm so happy to hear that my comments encouraged you to follow your dream. And that your breads are such a success! What kinds of breads are you baking?

Ich drücke dir die Daumen für die Zukunft,

Karin

 

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Thanks Karin, my hottest seller is a Flax Seed Bread:

Preferment:

150gr of each AP, Rye and WW

450gr Water

1/8 tsp yeast

let sit over night or 12 to 16 hours

 

Soak 1/3c of Flaxseed in 1c of hot water over night

Dough

All the preferment plus Flax seed with all the water

750AP

3/4 tsp yeast

4tsp salt

180 gr water which is about 70% hydration. I feel my dough!

I bake it covered in cold oven 25 min @480 then uncovered 25 min @ 460 ( thats my oven)

makes 4 loafs.

It is very simple! I do a outolyze,  s&f 30 min apart, then let rise till doubled or let it rise over night in the fridge. Shape, final proof another hour and up in the oven.

I like best to use a very coarse ground Pumpernickle flour. I like this mix because I think it is the closest to the bread I remember eating at home in Switzerland. I am currently also experimenting with SD recipes. Regarding Salt rising bread I am still sitting on the fence but people have asked me about.

Freue mich immer an Deinen Beitraegen. du bist eine wunderbare Baeckerin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That is an interesting recipe from Switzerland. What about posting it also in the recipe section? I will defintely try it - it's different from my Leinsamenbrot that doesn't contain coarser rye meal. And I can imagine others would like to try it, too.

Do you do Swiss Buerli? I have one recipe I like (haven't made them for a while), and I am very interested in other Swiss breads or pastries.

Vielen Dank für dein Lob, Barbara! Fortunately my husband likes my baking, too, otherwise he probably would not put up with "The Other Man".

Liebe Grüsse,

Karin

 

 

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Karin, just got this recipe von der baeuerlich-hauswirtschftlichen Beraterin in der Schweiz. The St. Gallerbuerli is the "only right Buerli" :) and it seems to be an art to make them right. You might want to google "St. Gallerbuerli".I grew up in the area of St. Gallen so I know how they have to look,feel and tast. They need to be very crusty outside and soft and chewy inside. Will start mine today but of course don't have the Halbweissmehl. Will just start with AP.

St.Gallerbuerli  (8-12 Stuecke je nach Groesse)

sehr weicher Teig

Vorteig/Hebel

200 gr Wasser

15.gr Hefe

260gr Halbweissmehl

ueber Nacht oder mind. 3 std stehen lassen

 

400gr Wasser

450gr. Mehl

1EL Salz

1Pr Zucker

20gr Hefe

plus Hebel

den weichen Teig sehr intensiv bearbeiten, er soll sich von den Haenden oder dem Beckenrand des Mixers loesen.

Waehrend der Stockgare (90min.) 3-4mal aufziehen.

Formen: letztes Aufziehen auf dem Tisch ausfuehren, Teigstuecke abstechen und auf ein Blech paarweise absetzen.

Backen: bei 250 C ca. 20-30 min. mit Dampf.

Bin mir nicht so sicher was Aufziehen meint. Vielleicht weisst Du das. S&F? 

By the way: found a Holunderblueten brot recipe at <">www.petras-brotkasten.de> Unfortunately the  Holunderblueten are gone by now here in the south but maybe they are still out there where you live.

My hubby likes the fresh bread but is not very adventurous, so for him I stick with Italien bread, sourdough bread and once in a while einen Schweizer Zopf. What kind of bread is your hottest seller?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That sounds really interesting, Barbara! I will try it.

I googled: "Halbweissmehl" (= half white flour), Wikipedia says it's white flour with a small amount of bran. Maybe 10% whole wheat flour?

I am sure that "Aufziehen" means stretching and folding, the hydration of the dough is high with 84.5%, it's very soft, so the first S & F are in the bowl, the last one on the bench.

I love elderberry flowers, made once elderberry liqueur for Holunderblütensekt, I'm sure a bread with it will be nice.

Fortunately my (American) husband eats every bread I bake, he spent some years of his childhood in Germany and loves Feinbrot. My best sellers are my variation of Pain a l'Ancienne (with rye), multigrain pita pockets - those I bake every week for the store - but everything else sells usually fast, too. The rest of the breads are "baker's choice", and I bake every week something else, from my repertoire, and new ones.

Happy baking,

Karin

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Karin,

Thanks for recounting the story, and, especially for working on the formula.   I assume you dispensed with the potato flakes?

The wild rice pieces look so tempting and the colour in the crumb is lovely.

Best wishes

Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Yes, Andy, I did dispense with them! Klecko's brick starter had equal amounts of rye and bread flour - and then the potato flakes. So I just took my rye starter and adjusted the flour amounts according to the given ratio. It was really fun to work on the formula.

Klecko said when he saw the photo, it was strange to" see his baby in the arms of another" and it "kind of cracked him up" to have his formula converted to metrics...

I will add this bread to my repertoire for the store - it is so good.

Right now I'm working on a lavender bread (not a cake) from Tyrol - the dough smells wonderful. Let's see how that turns out when I bake it tomorrow.

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Karin,

I saw this an am waiting to hear your results.....having to be patient.....my garden is full of beautiful lavender this summer, and since I have achieved the status of being an older woman, lavender is my favorite herb.  (As a child I didn't like the aroma and always associated it with old ladies....)

Would love to add yet another of your loaves to my growing collection....I bought balsamic vinegar today so I can bake the above loaf on Saturday.....rice will come out of the freezer at long last :-)

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Janet, they are waiting to go into the oven - I'm very curious how these will taste - I will let you know.

I also infused confectioner's sugar with lavender flowers, as a glaze for Lavender Apple Cupcakes, which I'm going to bake later today. I made them before, they are quite nice, but I'm tweaking the recipe a bit.

Karin

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Karin,
I am looking forward to hearing about your Lavender Breads (and Cupcakes), too!
(I tried a Lavender, Honey and Walnut bread last year and enjoyed the flavor of this bread very much).
I tried infusing some honey with lavender - for the bread - but it was also very tasty with a little of this infused honey drizzled over fresh seasonal strawberries. Interesting infusion re: your confectioner's sugar!
:^) from breadsong

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Here is the link - the bread turned out really nice:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24157/hint-provence-lavender-bread

Karin

ananda's picture
ananda

Karin,

but I can't see the funny side of volumetric measurement.   You are far more patient than me!

BW

Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Andy, I guess we Europeans have to bear with these Americans who cling to all the moth eaten traditions that Europeans have aready got rid off - have you ever attended an American graduation commencement? 2000 students all called up by name, entering the stage one after the other in a snail paced procession to get their certificates? I couldn't help repeating in my mind the student revolt's motto of '69: "Unter den Talaren ist Muff von 1000 Jahren (= under the robes you smell the mold of 1000 years)". But at least we had Stephen King giving the commencement speech - that made up for it.

Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I just don't see how this can be updated properly until potato flakes and some kind of seeds are back in this recipe.  You're not 'The Queen of Seeds' for nothing  :-)  Heck, you've got me putting chia seeds in croissants next !!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Haha! But you are dead wrong - the wild rice counts as seeds!

I baked this bread again yesterday, and wondered about the fast and furious rising of the dough, even though I had reduced the instant yeast already. Finally it dawned on me that the relatively small amount of salt could be the culprit. I compared the recipe in the blog with one in "Baking With The St. Paul Bread Club" and noticed a discrepancy. In the blog it was 1 tablespoon salt, in the book 2 tablespoons.

I asked Klecko about it, and he had this funny answer about "cry baby Americans" that I included in my post. So I updated the post and the recipe.

This bread is really wonderful. You should try it!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and perfect for my closet - so I will have to accept them as seeds since they are :-)  But, this bread sounds delicious so I will give it a go - it will need a decent hemp seed kicker I'm guessing :-)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

You just made my day, Dabrownman!

isand66's picture
isand66

Beautiful bread for sure.   I was thinking of adding some cherry balsamic vinegar to a bread but was afraid to take the plunge.

Dothou taste it in the bread?

isand66's picture
isand66

Beautiful bread for sure.   I was thinking of adding some cherry balsamic vinegar to a bread but was afraid to take the plunge.

Dothou taste it in the bread?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Do try it, Isand66!
I can't say that I could discern the balsamic vinegar in the bread - it blends in, the overall aroma is really nice. I didn't use any honey, by the way (only molasses), but a bit surely wouldn't hurt.

Karin

isand66's picture
isand66

My next bread will have some Cherry Balsamic in it for sure!  Stay tuned.

Regards,

Ian 

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Happy baking,

Karin