The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Einkorn Bread Overnight Sponge

CountryWoodSmoke's picture
CountryWoodSmoke

Einkorn Bread Overnight Sponge

 

I love to try new and unusual flour when I bake and here is one of my loaves using Doves Einkorn Flour, I was really impressed with the quality of the flour, lovely to make bread.

http://countrywoodsmoke.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/the-best-bread-give-this-a-go/

cheers

Marcus 

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Nice looking bread. I like baking with unusual flours, too, and used Farro (Einkorn) in a Pain au Levain. Have you tried Grünkern, yet?

Karin

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I haven't seen it in the UK yet, but I miss it.

Jürgen

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Farro is Einhorn?  Who knew?  I guess they are in the spelt family of grains.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

It's the generic name of the wheat family. The name Farro is commonly confused with a few types of grain. 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

Long before Spelt which is a hybridised grain unlike Einkorn. Spelt comes from Emmer, (which is often wrongly named Farro), also another ancient wheat (for want of a better name) variety. I don't think Einkorn is a direct ancestor of the modern wheat. I may be wrong but think Emmer is the predecessor of all variants. 

Why they are all called wheat grains when wheat came much later is rather like calling Baroque music Classical. 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Einkorn is the direct ancestor of all modern wheat as we know them today (Spelt, Emmer, etc.) in its wild form, Triticum baeoticum, or its domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. All other wheats are naturally occurring or manmade hybrids of Einkorn and/or its descendants.

Wheat evolution: integrating archaeological and biological evidence
http://www.kew.org/science/ecbot/papers/nesbitt2001wheat.pdf

by MARK NESBITT Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK

Centrefor Economic Botany, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, UK 

Or for a quick reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einkorn_wheat

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

there are 3 kinds of 'farro' Small, Medium and large.  These are determined by the length of the grain.  Einkorn is small farro, emmer is medium farro and large farro s spelt.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I thought my einkorn sourdough very sticky but I was using a rye sourdough starter.   Just curious.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

is always super sticky. Its the only flour I bake with and I'm still trying to get used to its unique characteristics. In addition to very high levels of stickiness, I find that the raw dough is very runny. Moments after several stretch and folds its running all over my board, it just seem stop refuse to hold shape like a typical wheat dough would do so well. I've tried hydrations from 50% to 85%; I've tried letting it rise overnight; I've even tried a two or three day retard in the fridge and its still the same. Each time I try to lift it to put it into my French Oven its oozing between my fingers and I don't know if I'm going to make it to the oven. (I now just use two board scrapers to lift it but they introduce their own problem, in that the super sticky dough sticks to both the stainless steel and plastic scrapers so I wind up depositing a rather oddly shaped lump of dough off center into the screaming hot French Oven),

Regardless of the weirdness, we still enjoy the bread and its the only one we make at home.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Nov 30, 2014

Just restocked with Whole Einkorn flour yesterday and will try a few basic uses.  So far it is great for dusting fine veal bratwurst. Today is Bratwurst Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent.   Passed the "bratwurst test" without a hitch.

I picked up an old cast iron/aluminium  Wagner-ware waffle iron somewhere in Missouri, and imported it to Austria, since cleaned it up.  Works well with AP on my wood burning stove.  Might try Whole Einkorn in waffles next.  

You've made me curious enough to test just a small ball of dough.  I don't remember the dough ever going slack, sticky yes, but slack... not yet.  Thiol compounds?  Will report back soon.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

if its just me but I find it very slack and very sticky so its very hard for me to handle (i.e. lift it to get it int the French Oven), if you have a technique for making it more manageable, I'd love to hear about it, please. I'm headed to the kitchen in an hour or so to pull my dough from the fridge and start the S&F process.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

snatching up that Wagnerware! Have lots of fun with it!

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Einkorn experiment going? I'me very curious to see how well others are doing with it.

shastaflour's picture
shastaflour

I've found the same, even when mixing in 1/3 AP or whole wheat flour. But, since my present goal is to get away from the particular gluten found in modern wheat, success with 100% einkorn is what I am aiming for.

I've been using einkorn flour from Jovial foods, which is 80% whole grain. On the package, they recommend using 20% less liquid than a recipe using modern wheat would call for. Also, one of the recipes from Jovial gives directions to mix, not knead. I tried it and it did work -- rose the same as dough I had kneaded. Clearly, the different type of gluten responds...differently. :)

Thus far all my loaves have been in pans. Forget shaping -- just getting it in there is success. Today I'm doing an einkorn sourdough which will rise overnight -- not expecting it to be any different.

Wondering what type of bread our ancestors made with this grain. It must have been more of a flatbread?

Always interested to find out how others are coming along with einkorn!

 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

In a few days I will be celebrating my one year anniversary making nothing but 100% Einkorn with absolutely o other flours in in any way. I also have used Jovial Einkorn floor exclusively and have tried their recipes. I found Einkorn to be a real handful, make even more challenging by the fact that I'm not a baker. I got into it because my family wants to go 100% gluten free and the store offerings were crazy expensive or disappointing. Einkorn was a real handful at first, and I found that most recipes call for less water, but what I found is that with less handling (i.e. no kneading) and more water (I run 67% to 85% hydration) that I get nice loaves. I used to get pitiful rise out of it at low hydrations, but of course Einkorn is a a sticky gloppy mess at higher hydrations, so I have been baking exclusively with dutch ovens because the Einkorn is too runny (they way I do it) to place on a sheet or a stone unless you enjoy flatbread. I now own two dutch ovens because I found that although the larger one worked, when I switched to a smaller one I got better rise. It took a lot of metal figuring to select just the right size and width dutch oven that would hold the dough (keep it from spreading) but I made the plunge several months ago and now all my loaves have approximately one inch higher rise. I do think that our ancestors ate mostly flatbreads because they used Einkorn which seems determined to resist all efforts to make it rise, cooked it on flat stones (for eons before they invented iron pots) so they had no steam effect. That was fine for them because they are for survival and all they needed to do was to cook the grain so the nutrients could then become digestible by humans. I also found that I had to manipulate the baking temp, starting out very high (presumably to give the Einkorn some oomph to start rising) then lower it down at precisely the right time so it wouldn't burn. I did this because I was getting scorched loaves with raw interiors (no where near the optimum baking temperature in the center of the loaf) but now I have full baked loaves that neither look nor taste scorched. Its been a massive uphill challenge for me but now my family has a lovely gluten free bread that tastes good (I still have not been able to fin the words to properly describe the flavor of my Einkorn, suffice it to say that store bought or even restaurant bread now tastes bland to me, so its all been worth the effort). A very odd thing I noticed through this journey is that online videos I've seen of people making Einkorn bread show there toweringly tall incredibly airy loaves that got from dough kneaded into springy spheres that held their shape with no effort. I have no idea how they do that, I've never been able to replicate it and the lack of the characteristic yellow Einkorn tint (from the high beta carotene levels) makes me wonder if they are using conventional flour with just a dash of Einkorn thrown in or if there is any einkorn in them at all. My experiments continue, as this has turned into a permanent part of my family's lifestyle now.

shastaflour's picture
shastaflour

Thank you, Bob, for sharing so generously from your experience. There is a lot to absorb in your words! It sounds, then, as though I have been heading down the correct pathway. :) Haven't yet tried baking in a Dutch oven as ours is in storage following a move, but looking forward to that.

On the rise -- how much do you look for? The standard line is, "once the dough has doubled in size," but do you find that accurate with einkorn? I've had some loaves fall. Thought perhaps the hydration was too high, but you have proved me wrong on that. I'm wondering if they might have been overproofed instead. Any thoughts?

Edited to add info from Mini Oven's link (below)....Aha! (the light bulb goes on, and thank you M.O.)

  • All einkorn bread dough are no-knead, because excessive kneading does not help develop einkorn’s gluten. Knead with your hands just until the dough is completely hydrated and avoid using a standing mixer.
  • Einkorn’s gluten is weaker than normal flour, so when you let a loaf of bread made with dry active yeast rise, don’t let it proof to the old standard “let the dough rise until it has doubled in size”. If the dough rises too much, it will deflate in the oven. Make sure the dough springs back when you press on it with your finger. It is better to under-proof than over-proof with einkorn.
BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

I switched to dutch oven baking because Einkorn was such a fussy dough that I could not get consistent results. I think that it must be handled very gently, this is just my opinion, I don;t have decades of experience so I'm still learning a lot on each bake (they didn't have baking classes in engineering school, now I wish that they did!) I have gone all the way up to 85% hydration and never had it fall on me (once I switch to dutch oven, to be precise). During bulk fermentation the dough will easily double in size, in fact it often triples, no I'm not worried about overdoing it, my loaves always come out good. then i retard in the fridge for a few days (yes days, anywhere from three to five days) and then when I bake I get decent oven spring. Getting oven spring was always a challenge for me with Einkorn but I've polished my process so well by now that I always get decent spring and the loaves are now coming out relatively light and airy and not so dense like they always did. I don't knead at all. My interpretation of No-Knead, is literally no knead. Its a soupy sticky mess to knead so I just don't do it. I mix using the Muffin Method and the moment that it all comes together I leave it alone. Seriously, just walk away. I am now incorporating some stretch and folds after retardation but I have done many great loaves with no kneading and no stretch and folds at any time in the process. What I do success is that you get the dough into the dutch of very gently, Einkorn is so weak that you will pop a lot of the bubbles that the yeast worked so hard to create and then you'll lose some oven spring. If you have an authentic pyrex casserole dish with lid you could try that until you get to your dutch oven. All my original loaves were in a small Pyrex and had to upgrade to a Le Creuset because I got enough rise to flatten the top of the bread. I have many more tips, too many in fact. Just be extremely gentle with it and hydrate as much as you can. Good luck.

shastaflour's picture
shastaflour

Hi again, Bob --

I would love to have a look at your typical formula/recipe as a comparison. It seems you have hit the nail on the head!

Re: retarding in the fridge, are you typically doing sourdough? If not, I'm guessing you must be using a much-reduced amount of active or instant yeast? I've only tried a cool overnight retard with sourdough, and did not reap much of a rise...but I wasn't using a Dutch oven or similar either. Thanks for suggesting a Pyrex casserole with lid. I might find a thrifted one (as tall as possible) to make do until the dutch oven can be brought out of storage (of course that will involve first purchasing a house..... :)

Definitely with you on the weak structure of Einkorn, esp if it proofs too quickly.

Also relate to the engineer comment. We have one in the family who claims to be afraid of cooking. He nearly sent himself to the hospital with a lovely case of underdone chicken during the college years...but I do think if he could get over that scenario he would be quite the cook/baker.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Although my original intention was to make a classic sourdough, Einkorn proved to be such a handful that I'm still using yeast. I think that I will illuminate my entire process in a separate post, so i'll start looking for some photos. (Remind me in a week or so if I haven't posted anything.)

For now:

Basic No-Knead Einkorn Specifications

67% Hydration

1% instant dry yeast

1.5% salt

Follow the basic no-knead technique but after standing overnight on the counter place it in the fridge for three days.

Place on 500 degree F pre-heated dutch oven

In five minutes turn temp down to 450

Bake another 45 minute (for a total of 50 minutes baking time)

Let stand for at least an hour (it seems to me that Einkorn takes a lot longer to set).

That is the basic approach. I have lots of notes with many details but I don't know if they are specific to Einkorn or are what everyone else already knows and does for all bread.

I started with a 2 1/2 quart Pyrex and found it to be too small (I think that its mislabeled because my 2 1/2 quart Le Creuset seem significantly larger, so try to find a cheap 3 1/2 quart Pyrex for now to see if that works for you. It does work it just doesn't give as much rise or as crunchy a crust as cast iron does.

Notice that I do not take the lid off the dutch oven to crisp up the crust. Mrs Boule was having a tough time cutting through the crust so I now don't bother taking the lid off and she can cut through the crust without having to resort to the electric knife. This and maybe a hundred more tips are in my notes, which is why I don't know which are important to post and which are common knowledge. Another one is that I follow the rule of 240 which seems to result in a nicer crumb.

I also don't slash any more because I now get a nice craggy broken up crust naturally. I can't tell you which part of the technique resulted in that but everyone loves its naturally cracked crust and it saves me from embarrassment (I'm a terrible slasher).

Let me what other details I can help you with, I'm very happy to share with my Einkorn brethren.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

seeds or chopped nuts (nut flour?) might also be a choice.   Spread seeds out on a towel, place dough in line or lump and roll the spooned on dough by lifting the edges of the cloth, when coated, place on parchment or drop into a cold tin or pre-soaked clay baker. Then transfer to the oven.  

The parchment can even be loosely rolled around the dough or corners of the parchment crimped, twisted or stapled.   Dough is easily moved using a peel, cardboard or rimless cookie sheet into the oven.

CountryWoodSmoke's picture
CountryWoodSmoke

Thank you, will have to look out for Grünkern haven't seen it, what's it like?

I was really impressed with the dough, but only used about a quarter Einkorn to strong white bread flour.

It's rare that i'd just use a flour like that by itself.

Cheers

Marcus

hanseata's picture
hanseata

= green kernel is unripe, roasted spelt. It has a nice, nutty flavor and is well known in Germany. I brought some home from my trip to Hamburg, but here in the US you can buy it online from a German specialty foods store. I will bake something with Grünkern and post about it.

Happy Baking,

Karin

 

Farside's picture
Farside

Faro is an Italian name referring to either Einkorn, Emmer, or Spelt.

This means that all Einkorn can be referred to as Farro, but not all Farro can be referred to as Einkorn.

108 breads's picture
108 breads

I will have to look for whole grain einkorn. Your bread has a lovely color and its sounds delicious. My one experience with einkorn was with an all purpose flour and I am curious to try the whole grain.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

success with higher hydrations.  !00% Whole Einkorn flour.   I would not follow a recipe with low hydration because of the added bran and more absorbent bits.   I found that there seems to be a high ash content (high fibre too) that can take a lot of SD abuse.  After a long ferment, if the dough is wet enough, it can be stirred to stimulate yeast and distribute the sticky goo (?) and dumped into a form.  Would like to know what makes Einkorn dough so sticky.  Anyone know the specifics?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Just found that there are differences between Einkorn flour and Whole Einkorn flour....  Logical!   

Check out this site,  and note the third dotted "guide."    

https://jovialfoods.com/einkorn/baking-with-einkorn/

I know that I've been using Whole Einkorn flour and will make corrections to my Einkorn entries as best I can.

Mini