Red Quinoa Bread

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

Stephen and I are in love with red quinoa. We've been eating it with every meal -- and when we had the opportunity to get some more this weekend (we can't find it where we live, so we had to trek to Greenstar in Ithaca, NY) . . . we stocked up on it. Big time. In fact, we have so much, we hardly know what to do with it all.

But then I got the idea to make (protein-packed) bread with it. After all, we've been buying far less bread during our grocery trips -- we thought it might be nice to have some around for a change. You may wonder -- why RED quinoa versus white? There's really no different in the nutrition. It's just flavor. Red quinoa has an earthier flavor, I guess is the best way to describe it. So, if you're not a fan, just use your favorite of the two grains in the bread (there's also black quinoa, but I've never seen it in stores).

I also wanted to create a recipe that could use some of the premium agave nectar the kind folks at Xagave sent me to take for a spin. Though I didn't use it in a raw recipe, the agave is both raw and organic (produced at a temperature less than 118F). Now, I know we've had some discussions on the blog about whether or not agave is a good way to go. If you're interested in checking out more -- the "truth" about agave, check out this page for more information.

They even put a handy chart on their bottles with exchange information for cooking, baking, etc. -- as well as how many calories you're saving in the switch. I think that's kind of cool.


What you'll need . . .
  • 1 cup raw quinoa (we used red quinoa, but any kind will do)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup water, wrist temperature
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (again, we used Xagave)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil (or canola)
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method . . .
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 cups of water with the red quinoa. Cook over medium to high heat -- stirring as necessary -- for between 10 and 15 minutes. It's "done" when all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk together your 3/4 cup warm water with the yeast (I did this in the bowl of an electric mixer). Let sit until frothy -- about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the agave, oil, flax meal, and mustard to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Using a dough hook, stir in 1 cup of the unbleached white bread flour. Add the salt, too.
  5. Now add the quinoa and walnuts. Continue stirring until well combined.
  6. Now add the whole wheat bread flour and the other cup of the white bread flour. Continue mixing with your dough hook for about 5 minutes. You may wish to just knead yourself on a lightly floured work surface.
  7. Dough is "ready" when it is smooth and elastic. So work in more flour if it's sticky. Add water if it's dry.
  8. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel for 2 hours -- until doubled in bulk.
  9. Then oil a large loaf pan. Shape the dough into an oval, smoothing the top, and place inside the pan. Cover with your plastic wrap and let rise again for 1 hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a pie pan with an inch or so of water in it at the bottom of your oven when you're ready to place your loaf inside.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes -- routinely checking to see if the top is browning too much -- and then cover with tin foil and bake for another 15 (or so) minutes until the loaf is done.
  12. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes . . . and then remove to let cool completely on a wire rack.

Bread should stay fresh for up to 4 days if sealed in an air-tight container (we put ours in a freezer bag and popped it into the fridge. Top with anything you like. The mustard makes the bread better for more savory toppings -- and we absolutely heart this red pepper jelly (thanks for telling us about it, Nancy!).

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