Wild Rice Pilaf Bread

You know it’s fall in the Midwest when your kids are back in school, the thermometer says 45 degrees, and the morning is back to the old scramble.  My wife and I planned to tag-team as usual but it turns out that our kids are old enough now—so independent that they really don’t need much help in the morning.

So it was a relief, though a bit bittersweet, to find myself with some time to relax with a cup of coffee this morning,  and think about this post.  I did my fall baking class at Chef’s Gallery (in historic Stillwater Minn.) at the end of August and baked up Wild Rice Pilaf Bread from The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day—and it was a hit.  I was putting the loaf together this morning, and realized we’d used up our mushrooms, but had plenty of pecans.  It works!  The sauteed vegetables infuse the loaf with flavor and moisture—and the nuts add crunch and richness (not to mention great nutrition).  Read on for the recipe and tips—you can do this variation by using the roll-in technique, which allows you to start with pretty much any of our doughs that you’ve already refrigerated and add in the wild rice, onion, and mushrooms (or nuts) just before you shape the loaf.

Ingredients (if you’re doing an entire 4-pound batch of dough which makes four 1-pound loaves):

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup olive oil (melted butter or other oil will work; can decrease to as little as 1/4-cup for a less-rich loaf)

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (or 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or other nut)

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (measured by scoop-and-sweep)

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (measured by scoop-and-sweep)

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or two packets (can decrease)

1 tablespoon kosher or other coarse salt (can modify to taste)

1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

2 large eggs

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1 cup cooked wild rice, drained, or with cooking liquid fully absorbed

1.  Saute the onions in olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat until lightly browned; add the mushrooms and thyme, continuing until the mushrooms give off their liquid.  If swapping pecans, saute for about one minute.

2.  Follow mixing directions for our recipes where vital wheat gluten is needed to lighten our whole high whole grain doughs for storage—see our Master Recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day for instructions and photos (click here).  You’ll find instructions for shaping, resting, and baking the loaves at that same link.

3.  Store remaining dough for up to five days, tearing off a piece for baking daily loaves anytime you like.

But that’s not really what I did today—things were too busy and I wanted this loaf fast!  I had some European Peasant dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day—that’s my go-to dough; there’s always some in the fridge (or even the freezer; just defrost overnight in the fridge for use the next AM).  It’s super-simple and doesn’t need vital wheat gluten, basically it’s our Master Recipe from ABin5, swapping out 1 cup of the unbleached all-purpose for 1/2 cup each of rye and whole wheat.  I rolled it out flat, sprinkled with leftover wild rice, sauteed onions, and the nuts (or sauteed mushrooms if I’d had them).  See my post on the roll-up method for details and photos (click here), but don’t flatten the loaf for flatbread at the end like I did in that cranberry cornbread recipe–make this one as a loaf.


Just keep it as an elongated jell-roll shaped loaf, rest the loaf for 90 minutes, slash with a serrated knife, and bake (with steam) for about 30 minutes, or until nicely browned and firm.  More instructions on those steps at the posts above.  You can prevent some of the air pocketing in the layers if you roll more tightly, which gives a different effect.

Happy autumn!  See you on Twitter, or on Facebook!

21 thoughts to “Wild Rice Pilaf Bread”

  1. bought the AB in 5 and am loving it. i was always afraid to make bread. but it is so simple and the breads are lovely. and makes my house smell good too! 🙂

  2. Re: recent recipe on Facebook – I am re-posting the question as you asked. I said, “It does look yummy – would it work with Kamut? ( I can’t eat wheat) And what would you substitute for the vital wheat gluten?”

    1. Joan: Our 2nd book has a full chapter on wheat-free breads, on Amazon at https://bit.ly/3wYSSN. We have some gluten-free here on the site, try this one, at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1396.

      You can’t just swap in gluten-free flours like kamut into existing wheat recipes– it just won’t work, many adjustments are needed (have to say that we haven’t tried kamut ourselves). No vital wheat gluten in these of course, but we do use xanthan gum to give structure. Jeff

  3. This sounds fabulous. I was just going to make the wild rice bread for the baking group, want to try this! Thanks.

    Also, have you tried baking crusty breads with your stone, in a convection oven?

    My convection can be turned off in my home oven, so I can just use the bake setting. But I might be able to use a much larger oven for the farmers market. However, it’s a professional convection only oven.

    A friend says you can’t do crusty breads/steam in a convection oven. What do you guys think?
    Thanks, Judy

  4. hi Zoe, thanks. So I can’t bake a free form loaf in a convection oven with steam? I guess the answer to that would be to use a round loaf pan.

    A friend is telling me that she really can’t do crusty crust in her commercial convection oven, that it blows the steam away. I thought maybe she’s doing it incorrectly. Thanks for your info, it’s probably the oven then. Maybe the answer is trying it different ways. She just sprays water. I’ll try the broiler pan and stone.

  5. Have you ever tried the delayed fermentation method with your breads? Mix the dough, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight then let it sit out for about two hours before baking. Google best pizza 101cookbooks.com to see the recipe reprinted with pemission from Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. It works pretty well for pizza though I have only tried it once. She also has a whole wheat version where she just swaps out the flour for whole wheat.

    1. Tammy: We’ve posted before on our site about using our method with lower temp-water, less yeast, and yes, it works with overnight fermentation. Our method is, in some sense, a delayed fermentation method in the 1st place. Jeff

  6. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I started using your recipes recently and everyone at home is loving it! Thanks for such a simple and fun way to eat fresh bread 🙂
    We’re from Venezuela, but live abroad, and we’re missing some of our breads, so I was browsing both books to see if any recipe would be similar, but never found any with milk as ingredient (Lot’s of our breads are semi-sweet, milk-based. Google Venezuelan Ham Bread or with more research Andean Bread). Is it because of the storing or just because you didn’t try any? Which one do you recommend if I want to substitute part of the water for milk?

    1. Hi Carlos,

      The Soft American-Style White Bread on page 204 in ABin5 would be a great loaf to make with milk. You can also increase the sugar to 3 tablespoons if you want it a touch sweeter.

      Thanks and enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  7. Hi Jeff and Zoe! I have been making bread from AB in 5 for about a year now. And I love the bread. It’s so simple and quick! I have gotten about 4-5 other friends to buy the book because I told them making your own bread can be easy! I also love the recipes that aren’t necessarily for bread, like the granola recipe and the citrus marmalade.
    I do have a quick question. I was wondering if it is possible to only half-bake a loaf, and then reheat it/finish baking it on another day? I’ve noticed how much of a difference the rising before baking makes, but I don’t always have that much time in the morning. So I was wondering if there is any way I could let it rise 40 minutes and bake it for 15 minutes or so in the evening, and then finish baking it the next morning? Would it be just as fresh? And how should I store it in the meantime?
    Thanks so much!!
    -Ann Helen.

  8. This summer, while camping in Northern Michigan, I was fortunate in meeting an AB in 5 enthusiast, who loaned me her AB cookbook for a few hours. Wow!
    I immediately ordered your first two books and haven’t purchased a loaf of bread since.
    I can’t thank you and my fellow camper (Susan) enough for these wonderful breads that eliminate the dreaded, time consuming kneading.

  9. You have revolutionized the way I think of bread! My husband is Italian, and in his way of thinking, its all about the bread! Since trying your recipes in AB in 5 almost 2 years ago, I haven’t purchased commercial bread. I tried the Pannetone recipe for Christmas and it was a big hit.
    So now I’m wondering if you have a recipe for Irish Soda Bread. I haven’t found a good recipe yet.
    Thanks for your wonderful techniques that are very easy to follow, bringing truly fresh bread to so many!

    1. Hi Faith,

      Thank you, we are so thrilled that you are baking so much bread! We have never ventured into non-yeasted breads like Irish Soda Bread. If we come across one that looks great we may just try it out and let you know.

      Cheers, Zoë

  10. There’s never a shortage of ideas, some good some a little out of the lines.
    So on the issue of making bread have you considered using chicken broth instead of water on the Master recipe. Then adding complementary ingredients such as wild rice and craisins.
    Would the broth enhance the flavor and thinking ahead one might need to adjust the salt from original recipe .

    1. Hi Neil,

      I have to admit it never occurred to me, but I am super curious. If you try it, I wouldn’t store the dough for more than 4 days. As with any experiment, I would start with a small batch.

      Please let me know if you do try this. Zoë

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