September 17, 2012

Sprouted Einkorn Bread

Becky has lately been excited about paleo and Atkins type diets, both of which involve low or no grain eating. I have not been able to motivate myself to get on board though, so I have continued baking essentially all the bread we eat. However I only bake bread about once or twice a month now since the household doesn't eat much of it; its main use is for me to eat sprout sandwiches for breakfast at work.

Becky read about ancient wheat, and how it has lower gluten content than modern wheat. Concerned about my health, she bought a sack of einkorn from a Massachusetts grower for me to try out. Somehow she bought whole grains though, instead of flour, so I am working on how to use it.

The best thing I've come up with is to sprout the einkorn, put it through the food grinder, then use it as a component in a bread that also contains modern wheat flour.

I've been doing variations on the whole wheat sandwich bread from this post, often throwing in some rye and buckwheat for flavor, plus a dose of any flour we are trying to get rid of.

My first attempt at using the einkorn was to sprout about a half a liter jar of it (which blows up to about a liter), then just dump it in with the other ingredients for the bread. This worked ok, but the whole einkorn grains were still a bit too hard in the finished bread, particularly the ones on the outside of the loaves.

So this time I sprouted up about a liter total (could have used another day of sprouting, but it was time to bake), then put it through the kitchen aid food grinder with the fine cutting plate on.

This was then incorporated into the regular bread recipe (I upped the salt a little to account for the einkorn). It seemed to take a little longer to knead in the kitchen aid with the dough hook, but in the end was quite well behaved dough and made nice bread. Here it is in the kitchen aid bowl after the first rise.

This was probably about 20% einkorn. Given the good results maybe I'll up the einkorn content next time. Only downside is that it is extremely expensive compared to any other flour you are likely to find, even blowing my micro milled Hudson Valley stone ground white wheat out of the water on price. But with the new diet at home we are not going through all that much bread so it seems an acceptable cost for a hobby.

I made one loaf in a pullman pan with no lid, plus some rolls and by request from Violet some english muffins.

A close up of the crumb; you can see some chunks of einkorn in there.

Enjoying fresh bread with butter and homebrew cider.

Millie had been asking to do bread shapes again, so I held back some dough for the kids to make stuff with. Millie made some flat loaves decorated with cinnamon through stencils. Violet made a cinnamon roll like loaf and cut it into three rolls.

Update - 11/5/2012
I'm baking bread about every 3-4 weeks now, two large pullman loaves or equivalent per bake. Last time I did try upping the einkorn to 40%. It did work ok, though the bread is not quite as tasty and is somewhat lacking in cohesion. I just polished off my morning sandwich of two buttered pieces with home grown sprouts.

Last weekend I baked again since the 40% einkorn batch was nearly depleted, and decided to go back to 20%. In my opinion, this is a good level to balance the various qualities of the bread, and it will also make my expensive stash of einkorn last longer.

Update - 2/13/2013
Slightly modified 20% einkorn recipe which I'm now baking about every 3 weeks (same large two loaves per bake):

  • ~400ml dry einkorn, sprouted for a few days, then ground to mush
  • 1300g soft white winter wheat flour
  • 50g whole grain rye flour
  • 50g vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3c olive oil
  • 1/3c honey
  • 2 TBS kosher salt
  • 1 TBS instant yeast
  • 1000-1050ml warm water
I'm kneading in the kitchen aid with the bread hook on the second speed up from low for around 10 minutes, letting the dough rise in the KA bowl for a few hours until is it at the top. I've now added a single stretch and fold cycle, wherein I dump the dough out on the oiled counter, stretch a little and fold in thirds one direction, stretch a little and fold in thirds the other direction, then plop back in the bowl to rise again. I think this makes the bread more light and springy. 

Bake for about 35 minutes at 190C (375F) until center is at 85C (185F) by instant read thermometer. I let it cool completely, slice each loaf in half and freeze for later use.


Ken Mitton said...

Once I started using buckwheat, I ended up putting it in many things.

It would be interesting to hear how einkorn flour ends up comparing to your ground-sprout approach.

Holly Gates said...

I especially like the kind of purple and speckly color buckwheat adds, even at low % addition...

After I use up this whole grain einkorn I'm going to ask Becky to get me the flour form next time.