The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cheaty 123 Sourdough: Double Rice Comte SD

Elsie_iu's picture

Cheaty 123 Sourdough: Double Rice Comte SD

With some simple calculations, you’ll realize that the 123 formula creates dough with a hydration of roughly 71.4%. This is totally fine if you’re working with white dough but not so much for someone like me, who prefers baking with higher percentages of whole grain. That’s why I made a porridge with batter-like consistency to bring the hydration up to 92% :)



Purple & Red Rice Porridge Comte Sourdough


For porridge:

39g      20.5%    Freshly milled germinated red rice flour

39g      20.5%    Freshly milled whole purple rice flour

117g    61.6%    Whey


For dough:

190g       100% (3 parts out of 6)           Freshly milled whole spelt flour

127g          66.8% (2 parts out of 6)       Cold water

64g          33.7% (1 part out of 6)            Starter (half whole rye, half whole wheat)

9g           4.74% (3% of total flour)         Vital wheat gluten

5g          2.63% (1.67% of total flour)     Salt



60g        31.6% (20% of total flour)        Comte, cubed



300g 100%    Whole grain

276g  92%    Total hydration


Make the porridge. Combine the rice flour and whey in a small pot. Heat it over medium heat while stirring until thickened. Optionally, sift out the bran of spelt flour and mix it into the porridge to soften.

Roughly combine the porridge and all dough ingredients for the salt and leaven, autolyse for 20 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients then ferment for 15 minutes. Fold in the add-ins and ferment for 3 hours longer.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.



I always get killer crust: thin, crispy and super easy to cut into, when cheese is incorporated into dough. As the dough was baking, the cheese melted and its fats fried the crust. The oven spring was not impressive but not too bad either.

This bread has an interesting texture. It’s soft and moist yet slightly chewy, resembling the texture of mochi. The altra crackly crust contrasts the springy crumb nicely.



Not only is the purple crumb captivating, its highly aromatic flavour is also worth mentioning. Purple rice, red rice and spelt together contributes sweetness in this bread. There is very little sourness and no bitterness at all so even sourdough and whole grain haters would approve it.



Homemade whole wheat garlic chives dumplings

Pressure cooked red wine beef ragu

Pan grilled veggies with soft boiled eggs

Garlic & thyme potatoes



DesigningWoman's picture

but to be totally honest, I'm drooling over the dumplings and the veggie/egg dish! Yum!


Elsie_iu's picture

Dumplings are tiny pockets of flavor! Whenever I have bite-sized food, whether it's sushi, dumpling or mini bun, I end up eating much more than I do when served regular food portion...

My grandma used to make me hard-boiled eggs as after-school snacks when I was in kindergarten. One must keep a glass of water on the side when eating them for washing the dry green yolk down the throat. Hardly did I know it was possible to get eggs with addictive texture by boiling!

Glad you like the food, Carole!

DesigningWoman's picture

Would make dumplings, but the wrappers were translucent and white, maybe rice flour? And the stuffing was darker:  chopped black mushrooms, water chestnut and other goodies. But my favorite was her lo bok go!

Do you steam your eggs, rather than boil? I'm a convert, it's a real game-changer.

Elsie_iu's picture

but just plain white wheat flour. Dough made with rice flour can't really be used for dumpling wrappers since rice has no gluten. I love the crunch water chestnut offers in minced pork patty too.

Lo bok go is usually consumed only in Chinese New Year for our family. We always pay a new year call in the elder's (my grandpa's friends) house on the first day of Chinese New Year. They would serve us a few dozens of ball-shaped lo bok go that we kind of shudder at the sight of it :) 

I usually boil them if I want soft-boiled eggs for better timing control. However, I prefer "pressure steaming" for hard-boiled ones since they're much easier to peel that way. I'm curious: what difference did you discover when you switched to steaming?

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and the flavour combination must be amazing with the cheese and the wholegrain....I want to experiment more with porridge breads and the phrase 'batter like' is a bit frightening alongside 92% hydration...and with the cheese on top this might get 'sticky'....:D Kat

Elsie_iu's picture

not the dough. The dough was in fact not slack at all :) 92% hydration is the sweet spot for this combination of grains since whole spelt can take around 84% while whole red & purple rice, wheat and rye can handle 100%. I can assure you this dough was quite delightful to work with since it's smooth (all bran is softened by the hot porridge) and extensible (thanks to spelt). If you're still hesitant...just make a drier porridge, I'm sure no one's gonna complain!

Thanks for the compliment, Kat!

DanAyo's picture

Elsie, that was an ambitious bake! How does the rice affect the flavor? I have not heard or red or purple rice before your post. It is fairly expensive in the states.

I was interested in the white pockets in the bottoms of the large alveoli. I assume it is cheese. Do you think the cheese may have caused the large holes? I am wondering if the cheese melted, leaving a void that turned into the large bubbles. I ask, because I’m interested to learn.

The above may be the reason for my caves. Looks like the ingredients causing the voids.

It is my understanding that rice contains no gluten. Is that the reason for the Vital Wheat Gluten?

Thanks for sharing...



Elsie_iu's picture

The huge and rectangular pockets are attributed to the melting of cheese. That's why I love putting it in bread: you don't only get amazing flavor and texture, but also crispy crust and "illusive" holes. So if you want guarantee for holey bread, simply toss in a handful of cubed cheese :) Just make sure it's the meltable kind (no feta or high-melting-point baking cheese) and it'd never fail you.

You're right: rice doesn't contain gluten so vital wheat gluten was there to compensate for that. In addition, spelt, especially whole spelt needs some help to produce dough with higher elasticity. I like to add 3% of vital wheat gluten to most of my bread formulae since they are high in gluten-deficient whole grains & sprouted grains, and involve up to 30% gluten-free grains in general.

Describing the flavor of any type of grain is rice and purple rice are no exception... They both have the "rice aroma" you get from basmati rice but there's much more to this than that. Both are very sweet yet purple rice has more complexity in terms of flavor. Its taste and aroma are very distinctive and in my opinion, highly addictive. I forgot to mention the red rice I used is germinated so it's probably sweeter than regular red rice.

Purple rice (or glutinous black rice) on the left, germinated red rice on the right.

DesigningWoman's picture

I'd not heard of purple rice either, but can easily get glutinous black rice and red rice. Hmmm.


dabrownman's picture

This one has to taste like no other 123 bread on record:-)  Love the food especially the veggies and dumplings since I'm swearing off the carbs but still those potatoes look grand and anything made in the instant pot has to be tasty too!  Comte used to be the the highest AOC production cheeses in France which would be odd if done here since it is a raw milk cheese.  It is one of the great cheeses of the world, one of my favorites and a great melting cheese.... perfect for pizza as well as 123 breads.  Home made Dijon mustard would be good on that fine bread!  Love the bread Elsie and 

Happy baking

Elsie_iu's picture

It is the favourite cheese of my friend that he recommended it to me. It's so fruity and has such a buttery texture. I can't believe I've missed out on it in my 18 years of life! And you are right: it melts incredibly well so any food with melted Comte is a feast for the eyes.

Obviously I'm biased but really: a man cannot live without his carbs! I think even Lucy would be depressed if she hasn't had bread for the entire day... What a suffering to visit a bread blog on a no-carb diet! Hopefully your effort would be paid off :) 

Glad you like the bread. Can't wait to have homemade mustard to serve with bread!

dabrownman's picture

sure but it is better than having your feet cut off:-)

Elsie_iu's picture

I do know a diabetic who had to cut one of his legs off... Alright, I'd ask Lucy to hide all the bread from you :)