Brown Rice Bread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield: About


    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

The Brown Rice is Particularly Tasty in this Bread, adding not just a nutty flavor but extra moisture retention as well, giving this bread excellent keeping quality. It’s important to cook the rice carefully so it is neither too soft nor underdone. Begin by toasting the rice in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rice has darkened somewhat and has a nutty aroma (this can be accomplished in a production bakery by putting the rice into a hotel pan and placing it in a free deck in the oven; stir it from time to time until it is fragrant and darker). Transfer the rice to boiling water and boil for 15 minutes, covered. Turn off the heat and leave in the water for another 5 to 10 minutes. When it is slightly al dente, drain it well, and leave it in a covered container overnight. If refrigerated, be sure to take the temperature of the rice into account when doing desired dough temperature for the final mix.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 30%


Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb 50 %
Whole-Wheat Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb 50 %
Water 14 lb 7 kg 1 lb, 6.4 oz 70 %
Salt .46 lb .23 kg .7 oz 2.3 %
Yeast .25 lb, fresh .125 kg, fresh .13 oz, instant dry 1.25 %
Brown Rice, Cooked* 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz 25 %
Total Yield 39.71 lb 19.855 kg 3 lb, 15.2 oz 198.55 %

Pâte Fermentée

Whole-Wheat Flour 6 lb 3 kg 9.6 oz (2⅛ cups) 100 %
Water 3.9 lb 1.95 kg 6.2 oz (¾ cup) 65 %
Salt .12 lb .06 kg .2 oz (1 tsp) 2 %
Yeast .01 lb, fresh .006 kg, fresh ( tsp, instant dry) .2%
Total 10.03 lb 5.016 kg 1 lb

Final Dough

Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (3⅝ cups)
Whole-Wheat Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz ( cups)
Water 10.1 lb 5.05 kg 1 lb, .2 oz (2 cups)
Salt .34 lb .17 kg .5 oz ( tsp)
Yeast .24 lb, fresh .119 kg, fresh .13 oz, instant dry ( tsp)
Brown Rice, Cooked* 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz ( cups)
Pâte Fermentée 10.03 lb 5.016 kg 1 lb (all of above)
Total 39.71 lb 5.016 kg 3 lb, 15.2 oz

* The absorption of water will vary depending upon the rice used, but a fairly accurate calculation of how much rice to start with (slightly padded) is as follows: Divide the required weight of cooked rice by 2 for the starting weight of raw rice; or, in the Home column, divide the required volume of cooked rice by 3 for the starting volume of raw rice.


  1. Pâte Fermentée: Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour and salt, and mix until just smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at about 70°F. Alternatively, remove a portion from a previous mix for use as pâte fermentée. In this case, refer to “Preparing the Pre-Ferment,”, for correct handling of the pre-ferment.
  2. Mixing: Place all the ingredients except the pâte fermentée and the brown rice in the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients. As the dough is coming together, add the pâte fermentée in chunks. If necessary, correct the hydration by adding water or flour in small amounts. Finish mixing on second speed for 3 minutes. The dough should have good body and supple strength at this point. Mix 30 to 60 seconds longer if the dough seems to lack adequate strength. Add the cooked brown rice and mix on first speed just until it is evenly incorporated. Desired dough temperature: 75°F.
  3. Bulk Fermentation: 2 hours.
  4. Folding: Fold the dough after 1 hour of bulk fermentation.
  5. Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces (or larger, as desired). Preshape into rounds. When sufficiently relaxed, shape into round or oval loaves. Place them either into floured bannetons or between folds of floured baker’s linen, and cover with plastic. The bread can also be baked in loaf pans or shaped into rolls.
  6. Final Fermentation: 1 to 1¼ hours at 75°F.
  7. Baking: Place the risen loaves on the loading conveyor or peel. Slash as desired. Presteam the oven, load the bread, and steam again. Bake in a 450°F oven, opening the vents once the bread shows color, in order to finish the bake in a drying oven. Round loaves scaled at 1.5 pounds will bake in approximately 38 minutes. If the rice is particularly moist, another couple of minutes of baking may be necessary.