I, for one, can’t fathom a world without bread. The foundation of many meals, this most basic staple is something that can elevate a ho-hum meal into something really special. I love everything about it- The taste, the smell, the texture, the way it must be kneaded and the way it rises by it’s own accord. It may surprise you since I’m so fond of creating desserts, but if I could only specialize in one baked good for the rest of time, I would choose to make bread. Naturally, when I heard about the 3rd World Bread Day, I was chomping at the bit to start a fresh loaf rising. Easy as it is to create, it always seems to be much more difficult to simply decide what kind to make! Pressed for time as it was, I settled on the first recipe that appealed, which happened to be Dakota Seed Bread. Why “Dakota,” I have no idea, but the hearty mixture of wholesome grains, wheat germ, and seeds sounded like the perfect bread to build a satisfying meal around.
But you know me- I can’t leave well enough alone, and my bread ended up with almost nothing in common with the original recipe. Substituting forbidden rice instead of wild, pepitas instead of sunflower seeds, and white whole wheat flour for almost all of the flour, not to mention omitting the dry milk altogether, it was an entirely different animal than the writers of Bon Appétit had intended. I’ve gotta tell you though… It was incredible.
Sure, it’s hard to go wrong with fresh, homemade bread in general, but this stuff was irresistible. Toothsome from all the add-ins, soft and tender crumb, with a strong but not brittle crust wrapped around it all, it definitely ranks near the top of my favorite breads. While I had planned on saving it to toast for breakfasts to come… I must sheepishly admit that I ate nearly the whole thing still hot from the oven, right then and there.
The black rice is more of a focal point in my loaf, coloring the interior an unexpected purplish hue, so I decided to name my version accordingly.
Forbidden Seed Bread
Adapted from Bon Appétit’s Dakota Seed Bread
1/4 Cup Uncooked Black Rice
1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 Tablespoons Light Agave Nectar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Pepitas, Toasted
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ, Toasted
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Bread Flour
In a medium pot, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and add in the black rice. Cover, reduce heat all the way down to the lowest setting, and cook for 25 – 30 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Mix together the warm water and agave, and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit until the yeast has reawakened and become frothy, and then add in the cooked rice, white whole wheat flour, pepitas, wheat germ, and salt in large bowl. Stir well to combine, and once there are no more dry patches, slowly add in the bread flour at little bit at a time. It will still be very sticky, but don’t worry about it- it’s a rather wet dough which makes it a moist loaf. Give it 15 minutes to rest before using a dough hook attachment to knead it in your mixer for 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and drop the dough into it. Toss it to coat, cover with plastic, and stash it in the fridge overnight for better flavor, or leave it out in a warm place for 1 hour if you want your bread the same day.
When you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan.
Grab your dough, and turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Knead it briefly by hand, adding in more flour if necessary, and then press it out into a rough rectangle, keeping it the width of the loaf pan. Roll the rectangle up and drop it into the pan, seam-side down. Cover loosely with plastic for about 30 – 45 minutes, until it has risen to about the top of the pan. It’s a fairly short loaf in the end, so it won’t reach any great heights.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until evenly browned all over and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Give it 10 minutes before de-panning, and let cool on a wire rack. Try your hardest not to wolf it all down immediately!