The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wild Rice and Onion Bread with Rosemary

gilchrsd's picture
gilchrsd

Wild Rice and Onion Bread with Rosemary

Silly question from a "starter". Peter Reinhart's recipe for Wild Rice and Onion Bread offers the option of adding herbs, such as rosemary, to the dough.  Questions:

  1. Use fresh or dry rosemary? Does it require any pre-treatment prior to adding to the dough (soaking, etc.)
  2. How much rosemary per loaf
  3. Open to other suggestions such as don't do it or other herbs that might enhance. No not that herb! 

Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I use rosemary in several of my loaves and, like always, the answer is "it depends". If you use fresh-cut rosemary straight out of the garden it will be much more pungent and oily than dried rosemary that has been sitting in a jar or bag for who-knows how long. And it depends on how much you like rosemary too!

As for preparation, I chop mine pretty fine in the small food processor (or however you want to chop it). It's not really pleasant finding a large tough rosemary needle in your bread.

Other herbs - try Herbs de Provence. I use sage (see the Sage & Onion Levain on the front page) also

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

no soaking required.  Chop very fine since it is a very aromatic and pungent herb,  i use 1-2 tsp chopped per 400 g of flour in the mix.  It is especially good with some sun dried tomatoes in pizza dough.

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

Has anyone ever tried adding shredded cheddar cheese to this bread? I worry about "overloading" it and making too dense and heavy to rise well. I already add more fresh onions than it calls for.

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

Well I took a shot at making this bread and adding cheddar cheese. I used about 5 oz. of shredded cheese and sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top.  Because it was a cold day in North Carolina, I did the final rise in the oven with rolled dish towels soaked in boiling water. Yep! I over proofed it but it still tasted wonderful! I would definitely bake it again.

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Definitely overproofed, but it looks sooooo good! I keep meaning to try that recipe but haven't yet. Maybe I will now (and add cheese!). Thanks for sharing the experiment.

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

If you refer to Reinhart's Rosemary Stuffing Bread in his "Sacramental Magic In A Small Town Cafe" (published 1994), it's basically the same as the wild rice onion bread.  It was created for stuffing at Brother Juniper's.  It calls for 2 TBSP fresh (or 1 TBSP powdered dry) rosemary, 1/2 TBSP dried thyme, 1-1/2 TBSP powdered sage, and 4 TBSP minced fresh parsley.  I love the Wild Rice Onion Bread in BBA (didn't discover the cafe book until recently).  After 2 successful bakes, decided to make larger batches, bake it in a 14" pullman pan for consistent shape and less crust.  Then I cut and dried cubes, and vacuum sealed in various armounts for later use in specific stuffing recipes.  Who has time to bake great bread to dry when you want/need to make stuffing for family gatherings?  His recipe is so much better than anything from a box at the store.  Yes, I did use the dehydrated onion and it hydrates itself just fine without soaking during the dough-making process (saved much chopping).  Added some sealed bags of stuffing cubes in Christmas boxes for my busy nieces with young kids along with recipes, and got great feedback.  Plus, the house smelled like Thanksgiving and the bread also makes great sandwiches.