Yup, it’s true…rice-and-beans, but made into bread. I, as you likely know, eat a lot of bread. So I often try different combinations to make a healthier bread. Some say that rice-and-beans are a perfect food. Well, I’m not so sure about that, but they are really good. Anyhow, this recipe is not unlike my Ezekiel Bread recipe in that the beans and rice are first boiled and they–along with the cooking liquid–are used to make the bread. And of course this recipe is made using 100% whole wheat flour. Anyhow, this is really delicious and not entirely difficult. I hope you give it–or some of my other bread recipes–a try, you won’t be sorry.
Whole Wheat Brown Rice and White Bean Bread
Makes 3 loaves
12 cups water
½ cup white beans
½ cup brown rice
cooked beans and rice
¾ cup cooking water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 cups cooking liquid
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
Boil the beans for about 1 hour or until nearly soft, then add the rice and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the rice and beans are fully cooked and soft. And as the rice and beans cook add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe (keeping a lid on the pot will slow it’s evaporation). After the rice and beans are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. Once cooled, drain them, squeezing them with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained rice and beans with ¾ cup of the cooking liquid, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 1 tablespoon instant yeast. Stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups cooking liquid; stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.
After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and remaining tablespoon of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes (if the dough is too soft, add an additional cup or two of flour as it kneads). Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 425F. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.
Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.