Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quinoa & Lemongrass Bread - Crazy Ingredients Challenge

For this month's Crazy Ingredients Challenge, we are working with quinoa and lemongrass. I have worked with quinoa before but lemongrass was new to me. In Jamaica, it's called fever grass and is used to make a tea to, you guessed it, cure a fever. I have never tasted it before though. I really wanted to make dessert and was pretty much set on making a ginger quinoa quick bread with a lemongrass glaze. That was until I went on a sugar binge and realised that I needed a sugar time out. I tried to think of savoury dishes. A chili? I LOVE a quinoa chili that I made over a year ago but would the lemongrass work there? I didn't feel like messing with a good chili so I decided to stay in the bread family but just ditch the sugar.

The lemongrass is really faint here. I'm really not sure just how much I would have needed to have to have a strong lemongrass presence or if I really wanted a strong lemongrass presence. But to ensure that I really had some lemongrass flavour when I bit into my bread, I added some lemongrass butter. The butter is simply 1 chopped stalk of lemongrass per quarter cup of warm, melted butter. The lemongrass steeps for 30 minutes then is strained and the butter chilled.

Quinoa & Lemongrass Bread
Recipe by: Kelster    
Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 small ones
95 grams whole wheat flour
105 grams water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

50 grams quinoa
50 grams old fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
150 grams boiling water
 Lemograss Tea
4 stalks lemongrass, green leaves removed and the white pieces finely chopped
120 grams boiling water

all of the levain
120 grams lemongrass tea
300 grams all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
5 grams salt
all the soaker

Mix together the levain ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and leave overnight.
Place quinoa, oats and salt in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Cover and leave overnight.
Pour hot water over the lemongrass pieces and leave overnight also.

The next day, strain the lemongrass tea and add to levain. Whisk together in a stand mixer for a minute until aerated. Add the flour and yeast, mix together until just incorporated and let rest for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and soaker and knead until soaker incorporated and then knead for an additional 5 minutes. The dough is soft and tacky and clears the sides of the bowl. If it's very sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest until doubled. This could take up to 1-2 hours depending on the room temperature.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. If making one large dough, shape into a loose ball and let rest for 15 minutes or divide dough into two, preshape and let rest.

Shape the dough into the final shape, cover and let rest until doubled. This could take up to an hour.

At least 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450F. Place a heavy covered baking vessel such as a dutch oven, crock or cloche in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, score the dough and then carefully transfer the dough to the hot vessel. You can simply place the dough in the vessel on the parchment paper or carefully turn the dough out into vessel.
Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes or until the loaf is well-browned and registers 200 F. Cool completely before slicing.

  • If you do not have a vessel with a cover, foil can be used to cover the vessel. Or you can incorporate steam into the oven for those first 20 minutes.
  • If you're not interested in a lemongrass flavoured loaf, simply use plain water.

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  1. How creative to make a bread from the ingredients. It looks delicious!!

    1. It was good. I still hope to try the sweet version soon.

  2. This bread is seriously impressive. What a wonderful and unique way to combine these two ingredients!

  3. Wow.... I never thought of bread! Great job... Pinned.

  4. I saw a recipe recently for quinoa bread or muffins and thought it was a creative use. I like that you used the lemongrass as tea in the bread and in butter.

    1. Yeah, I've been drying to try quinoa in a quick bread. Maybe in a few weeks, I'll get around to it.
      Thanks, Dawn.

  5. Oh wow! this bread sounds fabulous with the oats and quinoa. And I like the idea of the lemongrass butter for a variety of things.

  6. When I was thinking of what to make, bread or muffins were on my list... I love lemongrass tea and drink it often ~ not for fever though. I will have to ask my hubby if that is a reason they drink it in Africa.

    1. I remember reading that it's used as medicine in other cultures too. I remember Brazil being listed as one such place.