The great American baker Peter Reinhart’s first book about bread was Brother Juniper’s Bread Book. Its recipe for Wild Rice and Onion Bread, which we’ve baked using yeast for almost 20 years, was the inspiration for this sourdough bread. As Peter Reinhart suggested, it makes terrific turkey stuffing.
Makes one oblong loaf.
8 ounces (about 1 cup) cold unfed sourdough starter
3 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 to 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cooked Lundberg Wild Blend rice
3/4 cup water or whey
Mixing and Kneading
Add the sourdough starter, flours, diced onion, brown sugar, salt, and cooked rice to a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed. Add flour as needed. Knead for 4-5 minutes.
Place dough on a floured counter and cover with plastic wrap. After the dough has rested 20-30 minutes begin four rounds of stretching and folding about 30 minutes apart. Cover between folds. Allow the dough to continue its bulk fermentation another 2 to 7 hours, depending on temperature and starter strength. Look for puffy edges and approximate doubling.
Sourdough may not double as yeast bread does, but it should increase in size significantly. Sourdough sometimes rises quite slowly, so allow more time if needed. The bread is very forgiving if your life includes other activities. You can move it to the fridge, then take it out once you are ready to proceed.
Preshape the dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Shape dough into a oval. Generously coat an oblong proofing basket with flour; put dough seam side down in basket and dust with more flour. Cover and proof in the refrigerator 10-16 hours, or at room temperature 2-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 500°F 30 minutes before baking. Place an oblong clay baker into the oven to preheat.
Carefully flip the dough into the hot clay baker. Score the bread. Cover the clay baker and put into the oven. Bake at:
- 500°F for 15 minutes covered
- 450°F for 10 minutes covered
- 450°F for 10-15 minutes uncovered
Using an instant-read thermometer, the internal temperature should be around 205-210°F.
Remove the bread from the clay baker. Let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.