Left over brown rice becomes amazing dinner rolls

I’m sitting here munching on the subject of my photo, thinking about how happy I am that I took on the challenge of nurturing a sourdough starter and subsequently learning enough about baking with it that I can pretty much be as creative as I want to be with my bread.

I avidly read about bread and one thing I notice is that many bakers like to drop some cooked or soaked whole grains into their bread. Lately, we’ve had plenty of brown rice in the house. Oatmeal has never agreed with my boyfriend and recently, he discovered that he can have hot cereal in the morning if he cooks up a pot of short grain brown rice. He adds raisins, walnuts and rice dream to it and he loves it. He makes a big pot at a time and I’ve been quite the opportunist, grabbing some for snacks or a side dish… and now for my sourdough.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing with this recipe. The person who posted it, said it was full-proof, but following his instructions, I ended up with a brick! (A very tasty brick, however so I knew I just needed to try it again). This week, I added extra water and starter. The dough was way too dry last time and it is so much harder to hydrate a dry dough than dry up a wet dough.  I decided to err on the side of moisture. Since the dough was really wet, I just added more flour a little at a time until I liked the consistency of the dough. I also added a lot of brown rice and some sesame seeds for extra flavor. The result was terrific! I ended up making rolls instead of a loaf this time and the rolls baked up with a crisp crust, a dense soft crumb and a wonderful chewy texture thanks to the rice. The only problem I had was that I forgot to slash the rolls and they exploded. I took a picture of their photogenic side.  😉

These yummy rolls will be on YeastSpotting this week. Please click the link to see other wonderful yeasty concoctions!

Whole Wheat and Brown Rice Rolls

1 cup water

1 cup active 100% hydration sourdough starter

2 ½ tbsp olive oil

1 ½ tbsp honey

1 ¼ tsp salt

2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour + a little over 1/3 more as needed

1 ½ cups cooked short grain brown rice

2 tbsp raw sesame seeds

Cornmeal for dusting your peel

In a large bowl, mix together water, starter, olive oil, honey and salt. Add 2 2/3 cups flour, rice and sesame seeds. Mix until well combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin to knead. The dough will be wet. Start adding the additional 1/3 cup flour a little at a time, kneading well after each addition. You may have to add a little more than a third of a cup until you have a dough that is still moist but not sticky. Knead for 15 minutes until you can stretch the dough without breaking it (windowpane test). Form the dough into a tight ball and transfer it to a large greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in bulk, 1 ½ – 2 ½ hours.

Flatten the dough gently and fold it. Form it into a ball again and place it back in the bowl. Allow it to rise again, covered, for up to 2 ½ hours until it is doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 13 equal pieces and form into little balls. Arrange on a cornmeal covered peel. Cover with a dish towel and allow the dough to rise until puffy, up to another 2 hours.

When you are getting ready to bake, place a baking stone in the oven and preheat your oven to 375 degrees, F. Slash the rolls and then transfer them to the hot oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees, F. and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool completely before serving unless you can’t help yourself. If you can’t help yourself, make sure you are armed with butter.



  1. Jeanne said,

    February 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I am so impressed with your sourdough mastery! Those rolls look beautiful and they sound delicious. Bravo for figuring out how to make the recipe work!

  2. Andreas said,

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Those look really good. I can almost imagine the crunch of the crust.
    How clever to bake with rice leftovers. 🙂

  3. G. said,

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    what a fantastic use of leftover brown rice!! your rolls are sheer perfection.

  4. przytulanka said,

    February 24, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I can`t help myself baking them asap! Thanks!

  5. Natashya said,

    February 25, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Yum, delicious rolls!

  6. Jacqui said,

    February 26, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I’ve been looking for ways to use up some leftover rice, this is perfect! Your rolls look so perfect too!

  7. February 26, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I have to say their photogenic side is very photogenic — they look good enough to eat!

  8. drfugawe said,

    February 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Congrats Mimi – I’m both proud and happy for you and your sourdough successes! I think bakers under-utilize cooked rice in their breads – I have been playing with Vietnamese baguettes over the past year, and suddenly realized that it wasn’t rice flour that was used in their making but cooked rice. What a difference!

  9. Natasha said,

    February 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is a fantastic idea that I am definitely going to try. Brown rice bread! Who would’ve thought?1

  10. Joanne said,

    February 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    What an interesting way to make rolls! I am quite intrigued. They look delicious.

  11. February 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    These sound delicious with the brown rice. I hope to get comfortable enough with bread baking to experiment more!

  12. March 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    […] Anyway, the threat of global destruction isn’t half as personal as what many of us are going through economically right now and wasting food is really wasting money, isn‘t it? I am guilty like all of us of buying food and letting some of it go to waste each week and it makes me sad to toss out perfectly good food especially as we see are grocery bills go up and up. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on finding ways to identify what is hiding in the fridge and I’ve been finding creative ways to make use of it. For instance last week when we weren’t particularly hungry for an actual dinner but we wanted something to munch while watching the Olympics, I made a veggie tray of carrots, celery and radishes (all things I buy for soups and salads and toss out a few of each week as they rot). A quickie guacamole made out of an overripe avocado, lemon juice and salt made a terrific dip. This was healthy and strangely satisfying. That same week I also turned leftover brown rice into sourdough rolls. […]

  13. Aparna said,

    March 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

    They look beautiful. I first discovered rice bread on a another blogger’s site. Tried them and they were so good. Great way to use up left over rice too.

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