The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

60% Kamut Sourdough Bread from "Tartine Book No. 3"

dmsnyder's picture

60% Kamut Sourdough Bread from "Tartine Book No. 3"

This is my first venture into baking with Kamut. It won't be my last. Kamut is a copyrighted name for Khorasan wheat which is an "ancient grain" - one of the ancestors of modern durum wheat. Like durum, it is a large berry that is yellowish in color and, when used in high percentages, gives a yellowish color to the bread's crumb. It is claimed that individuals who cannot tolerate the commonly available modern hybrid wheat can tolerate breads made with ancient grains (eikorn, emmer, khorasan).

Kamut is very high in protein, but not in gluten. It absorbs a lot of water, particularly when used as a whole grain flour. The resulting dough benefits from high hydration and from a longer than normal autolyse.

This bread is said to be 85% hydration. In fact, because Chad Robertson does not account for the water in his liquid starter when calculating baker's percentages, the hydration is a bit higher. This dough is 60% whole grain Kamut. (I used freshly milled flour.) It also calls for another 20% high-extraction flour. (I used Central Milling's T85 Organic flour). Yet, the dough was delightful to handle. It was tacky but not sticky and very extensible. The loaf's crumb is airy, light, cool and tender. The flavor when freshly cooled was not very different from a bread made with common red hard Winter wheat, to my taste. My experience with similar breads is that their flavor evolves over the first 2 or 3 days, though. So, we'll see.

How about some photos?

The bread was very nice for lunch with a lettuce salad with Point Reyes blue cheese, toasted pecans and comice pear.

When I was working on my Pane di Altamura, I made several loaves with 100% fine durum flour and a durum-fed starter. I plan on trying a bread with 100% Kamut. I'm thinking a Greek Pan di Horiadeki.

Happy baking!



trailrunner's picture

i love kamut. I have been finishing all my Breadtopia flours and will be milling my grains as soon as I get through my storage. I just made a fig/date bread with a large amount of kamut. It was wonderiful with cheese. Look forward to the New Year and baking discoveries. Happy Baking David

loydb's picture

I've never used Kamut, but that loaf makes me want to try it! Gorgeous.


dabrownman's picture

breads but she rarely specifies more than 20% in any loaf.  It tends to spread more than elevate and gets worse the wetter the dough.  We just love the color though.  Your example is a perfect example.

There seems to be some confusion about whether Kamut or Khorasan is an 'ancient' grain.  I was reading somewhere that, through modern DNA testing, it turns out that Kamut is a cross between durum and another grain so durum had to come first - not the other way around.  But, just saying it is 'ancient' has to make the sales better I am sure.  

I don't think that durum is an ancient grain like emmer either but all of these terms, like 'ancient' are really marketing tools like 'artisan' bread.  Emmer is just considered ancient because it was supposedly found in the tombs of pharaohs.  Even that was only 5-6000 years ago and grains were around a long, long time before the Pharaohs.  Ancient is what ever someone calls it I guess.  I'm thinking real ancient has to be at least from the time of the dinosaurs - 150 million years ago - or from the time of disco music if you talk to my daughter:-)  Still, it is nice to have all the grains we do have around today and that folks are trying to bring back the older hybrids as well.

Nice baking David as usual and Happy Holidays to you and yours.