Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Einkorn No Knead Bread

So your first question may be "What in the world is Einkorn?  Right?"  I thought the same thing when I began the process of researching flours and learning about all the varieties that existed. Einkorn is one of the many flours considered an "ancient grain" along with others like barley, kamut, teff, spelt, buckwheat and more.       Many of these are also gluten free and rich in mineral content.  Some are quite high in protein and rich in fiber.  Einkorn is one of the oldest and purest forms of wheat.

Einkorn is very high in protein, vitamin B6, potassium and other minerals and even though it is wheat, it is very low in gluten.  Some people who are gluten intolerant are able to eat einkorn flour.  You can read more about it here.

No Knead Einkorn Bread

From the Jovial website

5 c. (600 gr) all purpose einkorn flour
1 3/4 c. (410 gr) warm water
1/4 tsp. (1 gr.) yeast (this is not a misprint - REALLY just 1/4 tsp!)
1 tsp. salt (I used bread salt from King Arthur)

Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.

Add the warm water and mix well. This is an interesting dough in that it is VERY soft and sticky and hard to mix.  The easiest way to mix it, per the website, is with your hands. But I will warn you that it's messy and you will have to be in the mood to get your hands STICKY!!  This is perfectly normal with this kind of flour - just a warning.  You do not need to add more flour at this stage - just hang in there and mix it as thoroughly as you can, however you can.  (yes I love a challenge so I hung in there as I had heard wonderful things about  this flour and figured it was worth it. And by the way, I was right!  Totally worth it!)

Take a spatula or wooden spoon or something sturdy and scrape down the sides of the bowl and flatten the top so you have a relatively flat top.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a dark place for 12-14 hours.  I used a ceramic bowl and put a plate over the top  of the plastic to block the dough from being exposed to the light.  Again, per the website instructions, the dough will darken when exposed to light (it won't hurt the dough at all, you will just get a darker product because of the carotenoids in the dough that will darken when exposed to light).

When the dough is ready (I let mine rise for the full 14 hours), place a ceramic or cast iron pot in the oven and heat for 30 minutes to 500 degrees and then lower to 450.

In the meantime, take the bowl of dough and turn it out onto a well floured surface.  I used a large pastry cloth as it keeps the mess contained and is easy to shake off when I am done.  Pat the dough flat with well floured hands or a dough scraper, and then fold each of the four sides toward the center, using additional flour to make a round shape.  The dough will be super soft and will not be like a "normal" ball of dough..

 Handle it minimally.  The shape does not have to be perfect as it will rise and fill out as it bakes in the oven. quickly shaped mine and placed it on a parchment square and put the whole thing in the hot ceramic pot as soon as it had heated for 30 minutes.  Once you have the dough in the hot ceramic dish, cover it and make for 40 minutes, keeping the lid on the entire time.  If you prefer a darker crust, remove the lid and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered.

Lift the loaf out of the dish (leaving it on the parchment paper makes that much easier) and cool on a wire rack. Let cool at least an hour before slicing.

I really LOVE the look of this loaf and the taste was delicious - not quite as "wheat" tasting as white whole wheat, but not as "bland" as white flour.  Hard to describe, but trust me, it is delicious.

This is not an inexpensive flour as 2 lbs is roughly $8 ($4/lb), but it is so healthy and delicious, it is worth using whenever you feel like spoiling yourself with a very nutritious grain.

And I weighed all of my ingredients to get the measurements as accurate as possible. I love my kitchen scale. It takes all of the guesswork out of baking!

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