The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need Input---Tartine 3 Einkorn Bread's picture

Need Input---Tartine 3 Einkorn Bread


I am baking the einkorn bread formula out of Tartine Book 3. Below I provide some background, the formula, my experiences with the formula, then some questions for input and photos of latest bake.

First, I have made the country bread with excellent results. I say this as point of reference. I have an excellent starter, I know how it behaves, it is always well and frequently fed, I can shape a boule etc. I'm an amateur to be sure, but I'm searching for any input here.

Second, I have done 4 different bakes with this formula varying the hydration for the last.

400g Medium-strong flour (KA Bread)

300g Einkorn (Blue Bird Farm organic)

300g High Extraction Flour (50-50 KA Bread and whole wheat)

70g wheat germ

850g H2O (more on varying later)

150g leavan (equal flour to water mix)

25g salt

In the first two bakes the dough was in an ocean of water; I could barely handle the stuff. I did a 40 min autolyse for the first, 24h autolyse for the second. I did the standard turns every ½ hour for ~4 hours. I bench rested for ½ hour, folded and proofed over night in ref rig. Predictably, at least on the dough behavior, the dough did not hold any shape on the bench, looked like a mud pie. The bake, again predictably, provided very little spring. The crumb was dense, but edible. I did not get the nice holes in the crumb I was seeking.

Third bake, I reduced the H2O to 750g. Autolyse was 3 hours (starter included), then added salt and fermented (with turns) for ~4hours. The dough was much more manageable and seemed to have a reasonable shape on the bench, but not where I am used to when baking the country loaves (all bread flour). The bake gave me better oven spring, but I'm sill wishing for better lift and a more 'open' crumb. Also the cooked bread seemed moist/doughy; it left sticky stuff on the knife. The bread has great flavor. (see picts).

Okay, if you have made it this far, THANK YOU.

Is this tighter crumb structure normal, i.e., should I be happy?

Should I reduce the wheat flour and increase bread flour to provide more structure?

All suggestions and comments are appreciated.


lepainSamidien's picture

First of all, kudos to you for sticking (no pun intended vis-à-vis the einkorn) to this rather ambitious loaf !

A couple of recommendations: you might do fewer and stronger stretch and folds; with muddy doughs like these, I like to do some VERY strong stretch and folds at the beginning of the bulk fermentation (every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours) followed by at least 1 hour of rest before pre-shaping and bench resting. In the end, I usually have done 4-5 sets of very firm (no nonsense ! no mollycoddling !) S and F.

Then, I proof the doughs in well-dusted, linen-lined baskets for 15-17 hours in the chill chest. Bake straight out of the fridge with steam.

I wouldn't necessarily lower the whole wheat flour in there, as it's only going to help with any over-hydration, and will allow you to keep the hydration nice and high.

Sorry for the ramble; to summarize: fewer and firmer S's and F's; longer proof in the chill chest, maybe.

Bon courage ! And keep us posted !

lepainSamidien's picture

I think the loaf whose picture you posted looks pretty darn good, if I may say so myself. If you don't want it, I'll eat it!

cerevisiae's picture

I'd be pretty happy with that crumb structure. I mean, I'd be thrilled to have a little more open one, but I've had many nice loaves that look like yours, and many that have been flatter and denser.

Most of the T3 breads are really moist. I actually like that most of the time, but you could try baking your dough a little longer to dry it out more if you're not a fan. But if you're merely concerned, don't worry, it's not just you.

From what I understand, einkorn can be a bit tricky to work with, and I haven't gotten myself to try this loaf yet (I also only recently was able to get my hands on aforementioned flour). Part of the trick, I think, is that when dealing with ancient/less homogenized grain is that the flour's characteristics will probably vary more widely that we're used to. You may want to even hold back a little more water (maybe start with 70%) and add in additional water gradually, getting a feel for the dough.

I also second the suggestion to do some proofing in the fridge; I've taken to doing more of my final proofs there, since the dough seems to hold its shape better.

dabrownman's picture

Slap and Folds - high hydration makes it loose.  I would do a 2 hour autolyse, no salt no levai.n  Once you add levain it is not an autolyse it is fermenting instead and Professor Calvel said no salt in autolyse and he invented it and the term.

Then do 3 sets of slap and folds  of 8. 3 and 1 minute.  it should stop sticking to the counter by the end, if not them add as little flour as possible till it does stop sticking while doing slap and folds.  Then do stretch and folds from the compass points every half hour for 2 hours.  Pre-shape and shape then pu in a basket and straight into the fridge for the retard. Make sure to bake it cold right out of the fridge after scoring  when it has proofed 85% - no more - don't watch the clock -watch the dough.

That should give you a good enough bread but the one you posted isn't far off the mark either.

Happy Baking's picture

Thank you for all your suggestions. I will be at this again next week (last of my einkorn flour), and will post techniques and results. I think I will try the slap and fold technique to see if that will help build some more structure. Will also begin with 750g H2O and a levain free autolyse.

Thanks again for suggestions and complements. I do believe a more open structure is possible. Though, I'm relatively pleased with the product thus far. One fault of Chad's T3 book is the illustrations/pictures do not show final crumb in many cases. I want to see what the bread-god is achieving in order to judge what may be possible to achieve.

BobBoule's picture

is difficult to get any better than what you have demonstrated in these pics. I've tried many variations over the past several months and always get a tight crumb structure and not a lot of rise. Its still good and my family makes it disappear  almost instantly. On the plus side, to me it seems to toast up better that conventional wheat, giving a very crunchy mouth feel that we really enjoy. I'd be happy with what you produced, just keep experimenting and keep up up to date, please.'s picture

Hey all,

Slap-n-Fold did the trick. I used the same hydration, just added Slap-n-Fold after the autolyse. BTW, I did a 1.5 hour rest/autolyse after mixing ingredients (sans salt), and did an ~10min slap-n-fold session after the autolyse with salt. I did turns approx. every 40mins for like 4 times, then just let the dough ferment. I fermented for a total (starting after addition of salt) of ~7hours, then shaped and put in fridge for ~14hours (overnight). I am very happy with the product. Wasn't bad sliced warm with butter and raspberry preserves.

This dough just needs to be worked much more than the TB country loaf because the formula does not have as much gluten available. The slap-n-fold provided the gluten development and needed structure. I will try again at a higher hydration (85%), but I'm going back to country loaf on request of my kids.

Thanks for all the tips. Happy Baking.


dabrownman's picture

an improvement.  Well done.  Now if you hold back 25 g of dough water from the autolyse and dissolve the salt in it and do not put the levainn in the autolyse either. it will be much better still.  Remember - autolyse does not have salt or levain in it.   The idea is to get the flour hydrated to give the enzymes a head start in breaking down the starch in the flour into the sugars that the :LAB and Yeast can eat.  Adding levain defeats this purpose.  The more food for them to eat the better bread you will make.

Once the autolyse time is over then squish the salt water through the dough with your fingers to get it mixed in and then add the levain and start the autolyse. 

Happy Baking's picture

Just to be clear: I did not include salt during the autolyse. The salt was added after the 1.5 hour autolyse.

I understand fermentation began the moment I added the levain. Autolyse is not, to my understanding, impacted by the wild yeast culture. During autolyse, naturally occurring enzymes (amylase and protease) in the flour work to break down  starches to more simple sugars the yeast can process. Again to my understanding, the wild yeast culture should not impact this enzymatic reaction. I suppose the acidity of the levain may lead to some impact, but that acidity is much diluted but he 75% hydration (to be 85%) and flour. In addition, the autolyse time allows the flour to absorb water and condition, which is separate from the enzymatic reactions.

With wild yeast (commercial yeast is a different story altogether) I don't think I need to be overly concerned (at least in the time frames I am using 1-2 hours) with adding the levain at the same time of autolyse. I have seen where people autolyse overnight, in which case adding the levain is a distinctly bad idea. Autolyse, to work correctly, needs to occur at or slightly above fermentation temperatures and fermenting that long before actually making the loaf is not advisable. The enzymes do not function (well) at cooler temps. Salt will inhibit the enzymes from acting, which is why it can't be added before the autolyse. If using commercial yeast, I would not autolyse with the yeast because those little buggers are too frisky. But, starting the fermentation with slow acting wild yeast should not impact the autolyse.

I am very pleased with these results. I greatly appreciate the guidance I received from your and others comments. I will try an overnight autolyse with these bakes (sans levain) just to see if it makes a difference. But, these loaves were pretty damn good, so I'm pressed to see what I may want different. Maybe a more open crumb? What is the preferred crumb?

By the way, I did think the loaves may have been a bit under proofed. The fridge is pretty cold and I saw only slight rebound using the indentation test, presuming that test is even remotely reliable. I mean these loaves proofed, even if at lower refrig temps, for ~14 hours and had ~10 hour fermentation. Hard for me to believe they were under proofed, and the results were pretty good.

dabrownman's picture

disagree with you about autolyse.  He was the one that invented the term and was quite specific about how to do it - no levain no salt,  I know that Chad Robertson calls it an autolyse with the levain but he too is incorrect according to the wise priofessor and should read about the real process - and call what he does something else... like levain modified autolyse :-)

No worries -  you are getting there fast!

I definately had one under proofed today adn my post today shows what that usually looks like - yours doesn't look like that. 

Happy baking