The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rhubarb season treat - Rhubarb Raisin sourdough

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Rhubarb season treat - Rhubarb Raisin sourdough

I have a profusion of rhubarb (and other things, but that's another story) from the garden right now, so I've been canning and preserving. Yesterday I made a batch of sweet pickle relish and another of rhubarb chutney. I've been thinking of how to use rhubarb in bread, so I decided to do a test loaf of sourdough ('cause, I had, like, nothing else to do, right?) with some of the chutney ingredients.

I started with my go-to formula when I'm testing ingredients rather than technique or formula - a simple 1-2-3 country sourdough.

  • 100 grams of 100% hydration wheat starter
  • 200 grams of water
  • 200 grams of bread flour
  • 50 grams each of stone-ground whole wheat and whole rye flour
  • 6 grams of salt

The chutney ingredients were

  • diced (fairly fine) rhubarb - 1 stalk that I had left
  • small handful of raisins
  • a bit of finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • about a tablespoon of organic cane sugar
  • a bit (didn't really measure, maybe a couple of teaspoons?) of spices - some lightly crushed cardamom and some toasted, crushed fennel and anise, leftover from a rye sourdough I made a couple of days ago

I mixed the starter into the water, along with the sugar (easier to dissolve) then added the flours and mixed to get everything wet, and left it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I dumped everything else in and squished and folded it until all was incorporated. No fancy technique for me! :) I stretched and folded (and a bit of scooping and rounding as well) about three times over the next hour or two, then put it in the fridge overnight. It's pretty warm here right now so I didn't want it to overproof.

This morning, in the middle of making large batches of dough for the weekend bake, I remembered to shape the dough and pop it into a banneton. About an hour and a half later I slid it onto a stone in a 475F oven and covered it with a steel pan for 20 minutes, then uncover, rotate the loaf and turn the oven down to 425F for another 20 minutes.

Nice spring; nice crust; smells really good!

Couple of busy hours later and time to cut it open.

Wow, was I happy with this one! The crumb is fabulous and moist, and the taste is really, really good. The bits of rhubarb didn't quite dissolve so there are little pink bits in the dough that have a tart zing to them, along with the sweet spicy ginger bits and the juicy raisins. I think the spices are just right too. This one will be a seasonal offering in the bread shop, I think!


IceDemeter's picture

Damn, does that ever look good!  The pieces of rhubarb are just the perfect size to not be overwhelming (and not be an issue with stringiness getting caught in the dental work), but still be a major part of the flavour.  I love the idea of the crystallized ginger with it - a new combination for me, but it sounds great.

I really love that the "no fancy techniques" and fitting it in to your busy business and harvesting schedule obviously turned out a crust and crumb that more than rivals anything from the more technical / precision approach. 

Nice bake, as always - and hope you manage to stay cool and have some fun while getting the harvest under control!



Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Thanks Laurie! I think baking bread is kinda like playing golf - I do much better when I don't think too much about technique. :)

Not too hot here on our island, and we're shortly heading up to the rainforest in Haida Gwaii where it will be cooler and wetter!

trailrunner's picture

oh my...well now you have done it ! I have so much rhubarb in frozen bags and canning jars. I will definitely be making this when I get back to my own in a rental in VA and the " stuff" is in AL. Can hardly wait to post my pic of the pink bits !!!  Thanks for posting. c

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Oh, I can't wait to hear how frozen rhubarb turns out! I want to try frozen and/or cooked rhubarb in bread too, to see if it's different from using fresh raw stuff. Let us know!

trailrunner's picture

I will saute the frozen though with the spices and sweetener. Don't think I want to eat it unsweetened !! Too puckery :) Will definitely post and use some of the ginger etc to spice it up. Will be early Aug. before I am back so stay tuned. 

and doesn't this look wonderful !!

use some discard in it and let it sit for one hour and would be wonderful. Like the banana bread I posted. Will give this one a go as well. c

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A Seasonal bread sounds like a good idea.  or even pre-season or outta-season! 

If you have a dehydrator, might want to fine slice or pull off strings and dry to rehydrate later.  

I got pineapple season here,  that might be interesting... pineapples and rhubarb.   Oh, my mozzarella has arrived!  gotta run.  I chop it up into little cubes and freeze for pizzas or whatever.  Melts better than grated in high heat.   


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Hmmmm, dried rhubarb. Never tried that. I do have a solar dehydrator; maybe I'll try some later in August. I was wondering if I could crystallize some, like the crystallized ginger. Have to look into that.

Edit - Oooh, look what I found! >

PalwithnoovenP's picture

I would have never thought of rhubarb in bread! Perhaps like the classic pairing, this bread will be best with a thick slathering of strawberry jam!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I had some this morning, toasted, with peanut butter and jam. Didn't have any strawberry jam, but I had spiced nectarine jam from last year and it was very good! The bread is still very moist.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Did you stealthfully pluck off those 3 plump raisins off the crust before you started slicing the loaf?  

(I somehow can imagine it.)

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

How do you know me so well? :) I actually tried plucking one off, but it was stuck pretty good so I left it there. However, I have been known to scarf down the raisins left stuck to the bottom of the loaf pan after baking (and turning out) my Oatmeal Raisin bread. :)

hanseata's picture

I was wondering what you would come up with. I feel very inspired, and still have some rhubarb in the fridge.




Danni3ll3's picture

just looking at your pictures! I dehydrated some strawberries, maybe I should dehydrat some rhubarb and then try making a loaf or two. I am definitely bookmarking this one!