No……. Not Those Pharaohs
Yes, they really did find einkorn in the tombs of the Pharaohs…..but it was the Italians really messed up farro for the English speaking. Farro, for Italians, comes is 3 sizes that are based on the size of the grain kernel. Small is einkorn, medium (the most common farro) is emmer and the large size spelt.
When Italians say farro we have no idea what they are talking about except that it isn’t a Pharaoh. If they say farro grande you know they are talking about spelt. IF they say farro itsy bitsy they are talking about einkorn but, if they say just plain old farro, which is most of the time then they are usually talking about emmer but not always depending on where you are in Italy.
Lucy and some left over ancient grains (einkorn and emmer) from the Plotziade 2 bake so she decided to add spelt to them so if an Italian walked in on us in the kitchen she could say she was making farro bread and no matter where they were from in Italy, they might know what she was baking if they spoke German or Swedish.
In any event to get back bread baking, Lucy whipped up a bread recipe that was mainly whole grain Farros of the 3rd Kind with a touch of AP to ensure it wouldn’t take over the world . We kept the levain to 12.5% of the weight of the total flour and water in the dough to try to not the dough over proof during the 12 hour retard in the fridge.
We milled the 3 farro types and then sifted out the hard bits to get 15% extraction that we fed to the 6 g of rye sour starter in 3 stages to make the levain. The starter has been in the fridge for 6 weeks and we were getting down to the end of it - so it should make some very sour bread –just the way we like it.
The first stage build was 2 hours and the2nd stage was 4hours where the levain doubled and the 3rd stage doubled in 3 hours. Usually we would retard levain after the 3rd feeding for 24 hours once it rises 25% but we were a day late getting th levain started on Thursday morning instead of Wednesday morning.
We needed some bread for breakfast this morning and who knew that the Ian's bread, that has been in the freezer for 6 months, would turn up.- very nice to eat a bread so different that ones you make. Yesterdays lunch wasn't bad either.
We autolysed the dough flour and water for 11/2 hours with the salt sprinkled on top. When everything came together after a short mix with the spoon to incorporate the levain, we did 3 sets of slap and folds, 15 minutes apart, of 8, 1,l 1 minute. The wet dough quit sticking to the counter at the 6 minute mark.
We were struck by the beautiful brown color that these whole grains imparted to the dough – very rich, attractive and perfect for Brownmen everywhere. We then did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points - also 15 minutes apart.
After a 15 minute rest, we pre-shaped and then shaped the dough into a squat boule, placed into a small basket, wrapped in a trash can liner and put in the fridge for 12 hours. Since we are baking in the mini oven for the summer, we need to keep the size of the dough down to 750 g or less, shaped as an oval, in order to fit well and still get (2) of Sylvia’s Steaming Cups in there too.
Today's sandwich with this bread for lunch was exceptional - a mix of bologna and grilled chicken. The next morning got the mini oven heated too 500 F regular bake setting and the steaming cups boiling in the microwave. We took the dough out of the fridge, upended it on parchment on the mini oven’s vented broiler pan top, slashed it and put the steaming cups catty corner. We then slid the whole assembly into the mini oven.
Two minutes later we turned the oven down to 475 F until the 12 minutes of steaming was complete. We then took out the steaming cups and turned the oven down to 425 F, convection this time and continued to bake for another 12 minutes until the bread was well browned and reaches 210 F on the inside.
We eat some kind of grilled chicken at least twice a week since we just love it so much. This one was boneless skinless thighs served with Indian rice, steamed veggies and a salad.
It sprang well but instead of blooming the two ends closest to the steam cracked open pointing to some fairly serious under proofing if proofing is something to be taken seriously. The crust developed the small blisters the mini oven is famous for putting whole grain breads. Not a great looking loaf but the spring points to a fairly open crumb.
Sure enough the crumb was open, soft, moist and glossy. It also was a beautiful shade of brown not often seen around here except in high whole grain breads. The more spelt than usual really brought out the color. The best part was the taste. This bread tastes great – uniquely so.
It’s o earthy, deep and complex – sour but not too much. Lucy thought about putting some honey into the mix to counteract the bitterness of the whole grains but thought better of it and I’m glad she did. This bread has a sweet undertone which is weird for sour bread. Just delicious and we can’t wait to make a 100% whole grain version
15% Extraction 3 Grains
Levain % of Total
85% Extraction 10 Grain
Whole Grain Equivalent %
Hydration w/ Adds