Peru: Pan de Quinoa y Miel (Honey Quinoa Bread)


I feel kind of bad about giving Peruvian cuisine the shaft by just making bread. Peru has so much to offer in the way of food: Ceviche, avocados stuffed with shrimp, potatoes positively smothered in various cheeses and creams, and so on. But I had to settle on something to make this week, Greg was going to make his Gazpacho, and we needed an accompaniment to it.

Finding this recipe was total happenstance. I didn't even know you could use quinoa to make bread, but I was delighted. Quinoa is an ancient, magical, super-powered grain that originates from the Andes. I've already sung its praises in a previous post, so won't go there again. But let's suffice to say that it is AWESOME and healthy, and now it has just one more use, which is totally thrilling.

This bread did two things that I'm unused to while making bread:
1) It remained almost completely unkneadably sticky. You'll see in the recipe that you put 3 cups of flour in the dough, stir until it's stiff, then start kneading and adding 1/2-1 cup additional flour until it's smooth and elastic. Yeaaaah, right. I added at least 1 1/2 cups extra flour, and it stuck to my hands. I think it was probably the 95% humidity and heat in my kitchen, but I just had to give up and let it rise at some point.

2) It rose like CRAZY. I mean, like...and insanely fast and huge amount of rising. On the second rising in the loaf pan, it actually spilled out and onto the counter within an hour. Woah. So, I trimmed off the excess with kitchen shears and made two rolls. (When life gives you a ridiculous amount of dough, make rolls!)

Despite all this, the bread was uber-moist and nummy--AND the crust is absolutely insanely crunchy and delicious. The whole shebang is improved 150% by the addition of butter spread on top. It was the perfect medium for soaking up a spicy gazpacho.

I actually *really* loved this as rolls, though it was also good as sliced bread. If you're going to make this into rolls, I would only cook them for the 30 minutes, instead of 45.

Pan de Quinoa y Miel (from
-1 cup raw quinoa
-2 cups water
-1/4 cup oatmeal
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup milk
-2 teaspoons yeast
-3/4 cup warm water
-1/3 cup honey
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-3 tablespoons powdered milk
-2 tablespoons sourdough starter (optional)
-2 1/2 -3 cups bread flour
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-2 tablespoons raw quinoa for sprinkling on top of loaf
-Salt (**NOTE: You'll see that the recipe mentions mixing salt in, but there was none listed in the original ingredient list. I was conservative and only put in 1/4 teaspoon. I would recommend maybe doubling that.**)

1. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Cool to room temperature.

2. Cook the oatmeal in the water and milk until liquid is absorbed. Let cool.

3. Place 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (or bowl of a standing mixer) and sprinkle yeast over the water. Let rest 5 minutes.

4. Stir honey, oil, powdered milk, and sourdough starter (if using) into the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon (or with dough hook on low speed).

5. Add 1 cup of the bread flour and the salt and stir well.

6. Add the cooked quinoa and oatmeal and stir.

7. Add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup more of the bread flour and stir. When the dough starts to get stiff, turn out onto floured surface and begin to knead. (If using a standing mixer, continue to knead with dough hook). Keep adding flour and kneading until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes with a mixer, or 10 to 15 minutes by hand. Dough should feel slightly sticky but should not be wet and slack. You should be able to form it into a ball and it should hold its shape.

8. Lightly oil a large bowl with vegetable oil and place bread in the bowl, turning to coat lightly with the oil. Cover loosely with saran wrap.

9. Let bread dough rise in a warm spot until double in size, about 2 hours.

10. Oil a large loaf pan (11 inches by 6 inches). Punch down dough and shape into a ball. Pat/flatten into an oval shape about the length of the bread pan. Fold long sides in and tuck them underneath as you place the bread into the pan, so that the top surface of the bread is smooth and without seams.

11. Brush top of load very lightly with water and sprinkle with quinoa seeds.

12. Let rise in warm place until bread has almost doubled in size. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

13. When oven is hot, place bread in center of oven. Throw a handful of ice cubes into bottom of oven to create steam. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover bread loosely with foil if the top is getting too brown and bake 15 minutes more. Bread should sound hollow when tapped. (**NOTE: Obviously, you probably shouldn't throw ice cubes directly into your oven. I put mine in a pan.**)

14. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Quinoa Bread: Good for soaking up spicy gazpacho-y goodness!


Angie's Recipes said...

I am a huge fan for bread, esp. the artisan bread. Yours looks and sounds awesome with all the earthy ingredients !


zerrin said...

I love to make bread at home and this one is a unique recipe with quinoa and honey. Never tried Peruvian recipes before, this bread will be great start for me.

Yasmeen said...

What a fantastic bread,I use quinoa often,making bread with it never occurred to me until now,thanks :D

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I don't think I've ever had quinoa but I LOVE me some bread so this may be the perfect foray into quinoa land :)

Danelle said...

Looks yummy, especially the pieces all slathered in butter!

Mary said...

I would really love a slice of this. It sounds amazing. I hope the day treats you well. Blessings...Mary

chriesi said...

I must bake this! Looks so good!

R. said...

Some of the best food I've had in the world was in Peru. At a monastery in Arequipa, at a restaurant on a pier in Lima, and in the backcountry camping in the Andes. Amazing culture, food and people! This bread looks like a great way to use quinoa. Yum!

~Rose @ The Bite Me Kitchen

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