I constantly experiment with baking at home. We haven’t bought bread from a store in at least a year, except for occasional ‘fun’ sourdough. Since we discovered ancient varieties of wheat like einkorn and spelt, sprouting and home milling, we have been searching for a perfect loaf; trying different combinations of flour to water, different proportions of sugar, fat, etc. I’m pretty sure reached the end of the internet looking for einkorn bread recipes.
What I did learn is that there is not a perfect, one-size fits all, recipe. The outcome of a bread depends on your environment, and even your intuition, you have to watch the dough and often change the way you handle it based on your observation. Good bread comes with experience… With all that said, there is no reason not to make an awesome loaf the first time around! 🙂
Why einkorn wheat is a lot healthier than modern wheat:
- Einkorn has significantly more vital nutrients like Zinc, Copper, Iron, Magnesium and Selenium than modern wheat (1)(2).
- Einkorn is a lot lower in gluten proteins that cause negative reaction not just in people with celiac disease but even in those with sensitivity, or plain regular folks! (3).
- It’s better for your good old arteries, keeping down inflammation (4).
HIGH HYDRATION EINKORN SOURDOUGH BREAD
150 g leaven (see how to make below)
750 g all-purpose einkorn flour (I use Jovial, it is 80% whole grain, they only remove 20% of the bran)
575 g filtered water, divided
15 g fine sea salt
75 g all-purpose einkorn flour
75 g filtered water
1-2 tablespoons recently fed active sourdough starter
Mix the ingredients together, cover with an air tight lid or plastic, and keep at room temperature for 4-6 hours, or until leaven becomes very bubbly.
Sift the flour into a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, combine leaven (150 g) with 550 g of water. Whisk to combine. You’ll get white milk-like liquid.
Place the flour into the leaven/water, and mix gently with a spoon to just combine, so no dry bits remain. Don’t over mix.
Cover, and leave at warm room temperature for 3 hours. (this is autolyse stage, to hydrate the dough).
Add 15 g of salt, and 25 g of water. Fold the dough on top of itself several times to incorporate.
Next step is bulk rise. During this stage the dough should be developed by folding and stretching.
30 minutes after salt/water addition, dip one hand in water, grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out and fold over itself. Rotate the container one-quarter turn and repeat three or four times. You should do folding and turning every 30 minutes for the first 2.5 hours of the bulk rise.
After 3 hours and 6 foldings you should see 20-30% increase in volume. If not, continue bulk rising for 30 minutes to one hour.
At this point, depending where you are with time, you can move on to basket (banneton) fermentation. Or, if you are running into night time, put the dough into the refrigerator until morning. In the morning, bring the dough to room temperature (about an hour), and proceed with basket.
Here is where I don’t follow the Tartine instructions. Tartine recommends shaping and bench rest, which are difficult to handle with the grains that I use in this recipe. All Tartine recipes use modern wheat flours in some form. That makes it fairly easy to develop surface tension in dough. Since I only use ancient grains, and like to keep hydration high (I think it produces much better crumb) – the dough gets too sloppy during the bench rest because there is not enough gluten to keep things together. I just dump the dough into a basket lined with a flour sack towel and sprinkled with flour and rolled oats.
Let the dough rise in the basket for 3-5 hours at warm room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Whatever your time allows for.
Place a Dutch oven with a lid in the oven, turn oven on 475ºF and preheat for 20 minutes. I use the middle rack.
Carefully remove Dutch oven from your oven, and transfer the dough into it. It’s okay if it’s sloppy, or comes out in pieces. The sloppy doughs make for prettier loaves, like the one I have on the photo here. You can score it, if you like – make one or two small cuts with scissors.
Close the lid, and bake for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the lid, and bake 20 minutes. Or a bit longer if you prefer darker crust. I like mine like you see on the picture here, so I stop at 20 minutes.