The Oven has baked its last loaf. This blog is no longer being updated.

My cooking videos appear at

I write on food at

Take a leaf from fougasse

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In his book Artisan Baking Every Day, Peter Reinhart writes that his Wild Rice and Onion Bread was the most popular one at his Brother Juniper's Bakery after their struan.
The struan is a multigrain loaf with a wonderful mixture of ingredients, including cooked rice, cornmeal and oats. I first tried the struan recipe from the book when my sister and family were visiting from America over Christmas and they thought it was delicious. That first time, I had made it with brown rice, but since then have used black rice and changed some of the other grains as Peter Reinhart suggests. The bread makes excellent toast and just seems good for any savoury filling or soup.
Sandwiches are so much better with struan
So obviously, I had to move on to the second-most popular wild rice and onion bread. I didn't have wild rice so I used black rice, which I know are not the same thing – nor even in the same classification of plant – but they look somewhat alike.
To make it more interesting – which I realised later wasn't necessary – I made the loaf in the shape of a fougasse. Of course, my attempt was a little clumsy and my leaf shape was lopsided.
This bread surprised me. The onion goes into the dough raw, and it didn't make much of an impact. I considered adding some onion powder to boost the flavour, but I'm glad I didn't. When the loaves came out of the oven, the smell was simply glorious! I put some of the bread in a paper bag to eat at work and the aroma lingered long after I had finished. The co-workers I offered the bread to thought it was good. Those who don't like onion, however, may have been cursing me... 
Submitted to YeastSpotting.
The black rice stains the crumb with a purplish hue
Black Rice and Onion Fougasse
Makes 2 loaves
Based on Peter Reinhart's baker's percentage for Wild Rice and Onion Bread

200g bread flour
5g instant yeast
5g salt
44g cooked black rice (substitute with wild rice)
15g brown sugar
89g yoghurt whey (top up with water; or use all water instead)
30g soured milk 
60g fresh onion, diced
Pinch of za'atar (or another spice/spice mix)
A few grinds of black pepper

Combine all the ingredients. Stir to incorporate them. Develop the gluten using whatever method is comfortable. Place in a lidded plastic container and refrigerate overnight.
Transfer the dough to a floured work and divide into two. Shape each half into an oval. Using a bench scraper, cut slits into the dough like the veins of a leaf. Place loaves on lightly greased trays. (Shape into batons, if desired.) Cover and allow to proof for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C. If the slits have closed, gently pull the loaves to open them up. Place the trays in the oven and bake until the top is brown and the bread is cooked, 20-25 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through the cooking time. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.


  1. I am impressed...I have yet to try my hands at making fougasse. Black rice is pulut hitam?

    1. Hi Jeannie, hope to see your fougasse in the future. Black rice is actually a variety of rice like white, brown or red rice, but it is not pulut. If I'm not mistaken, it is grown in the hills of Sabah.


Your views are welcome and appreciated. Have a nice day!