The Fresh Loaf

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Einkorn Question

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Einkorn Question

I guess it's Einkorn week. My next recipe, which I'm in the middle of, is 100% wholegrain Einkorn. 

Now my usual Einkorn method is as follows...

  • Flour : 100%
  • Water : 70%
  • Salt : 2%
  • Starter : 10% @ 70% hydration 

The method is simple. Mix until a dough is formed but don't over knead. Stop before it turns really sticky. The more you knead the stickier it gets. Then cover and bulk ferment till risen and craggy on top. When it reaches this stage it's no longer a dough but resembles a 90-100% hydration rye. Spoon into an oiled loaf pan and leave to rise till one or two holes just begin to appear in too then bake in a pre heated oven. 

The recipe above is very similar but it's 80% hydration and has yeast. It's also a long rise and no knead. I've adapted it to a sourdough by taking out the yeast and using 1% inoculation. So far so good. Very much like mine. It's the lack of a final proof I'm querying. I understand that some doughs have little or no final proof but they've had a bulk ferment with a very quick final shape which wouldn't de-gas the dough too much. Just the right amount to be baked straight away. And these are the usual bread flour kind of doughs etc. 

The recipe above says to portion out into a loaf pan, smooth out (like one would do for a rye loaf) and bake straight away. Covered for 30 minutes at 220°C then uncovered for another 30 minutes at 180°C. 

Why is it done this way when I'd lose the gas while portioning it out into a loaf pan? Is there anything to be gained from doing it this way or should I do a final proof? 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Can't help you with the questions, but looking forward to seeing what your loaf looks like..

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I could see why it made sense. What started off as some sort of dough was now a bubbling cake mixture. Scraped it out into an oiled loaf pan, made a covering with some foil and it's now baking. I hope when it comes to taking the foil off I don't find it has overflowed. The finished bulk ferment smelled really good and if that's an indicator to the finished bread it's a good sign. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sounds like a workable recipe. Spooning into a pan sounds like rye, that little step does give more rise, sort of like what a fold would do.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Rose really well. Smells wonderful. Won't be cutting into it till tomorrow but what an easy recipe with great results - so far! 

My reworking was: 

  • Wholegrain Einkorn Flour (10.6% protein) 100%
  • Water : 80%
  • Salt 1.8%
  • Mature starter 1%

Mix into a dough. Cover and bulk ferment till ready. Can't recall exact time but it was tripled (atleast) and bubbly. Around 17 ish hours. Its very forgiving so as long as  it's risen and bubbly it'll do just fine. Poured into an oiled loaf pan and baked straight away in a preheated oven. Covered (domed tin foil) for 30 min at 220°C then uncovered for 30 min at 180°C. Simple. 

Photo coming in a few minutes but not cutting into it for atleast 24 hours. 

Original yeast - Active dry yeast? As supposed to instant yeast? 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Crumb shot and taste report tomorrow

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Looks amazing so far. I can't wait for the crumb shot and tasting notes! I wonder - would this work the same way for spelt, do you think? I'm just getting a spelt starter going so I can try Hadjiandreou's 100% Spelt sourdough, so this might be comparable.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

The aroma is a familiar one. Smokey. I find that einkorn has a smokey aroma and taste. I believe this is the high percentage of minerals. But the taste test is to come. Whether this low inoculation with long fermentation and no final proof as such will bring out some other aspect we'll know tomorrow. Watch this space. 

As for spelt I can't think why it shouldn't work this way too. I've never tried though. It's suited for Einkorn as it's more difficult to handle than spelt as it's very sticky. This way you don't have to handle it. Should you try it for spelt let me know! 

Are you creating a starter from scratch or taking a bit of your ongoing starter and turning it into a spelt starter? 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I'm using a tiny bit of mature whole wheat starter and feeding it whole stone-ground spelt in a couple of builds. Easier than starting yet another culture.

I'll try the Hadjiandreou recipe first, then I might try your recipe and contrast them. The thing I would worry about with the low inoculation - long ferment recipe is it becoming too sour.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I believe that einkorn also needs time to absorb the water. This low inoculation I've done before with other flour and has produced a tasteful loaf. I believe it's a healthy way to do bread too. See the 'do nothing bread' by Yohan Ferrant. 

That used to be my understanding as well but producing a really tangy loaf I've yet to pinpoint what is the optimal way to do so. 

Best of luck with the spelt bread. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

looking forward to crumb and taste tests.    I'm back in Austria now and can compare Austrian Einkorn flour soon.

 The flavour is asking me to experiment with dropping or rolling spoonfuls of dough through a pan of cinnamon (nut?) crumbs before hitting the buttered baking pan.  Sort of monkey bread type action that would marble the crumb.  If I spread cinnamon crumbs out on a rimless tilted baking sheet, there isn't much handling and the dough could be very soft. Maybe some chocolate sprinkles tossed in too!   Bananas in the liquid?  Whoops, I keep heading forward muesli bars!

Might prove to be a great bread to bake in jars.

Very curious how the spelt comes out.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

A lovely loaf even if slightly too much on the tangy side. Biggest pro is how easy it was and literally a do nothing bread. Dense-ish with irregular holes but soft crumb. A good bake. 

I do prefer my recipe of 10% starter and a dough which is 70% hydration with a final proof. Made very much the same way though! The extra starter and less bulk ferment makes for a less tangy but still flavoursome loaf and the final proof gives it a better crumb. 

But both can be appreciated for what they are. It's down to personal taste. Haven't tried the yeasted version yet so this is just me being critical of my sourdough conversion. 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Lechem said: "Why is it done this way when I'd lose the gas while portioning it out into a loaf pan? Is there anything to be gained from doing it this way or should I do a final proof?"

After trying to beat my 100% Einkorn loaves into submission I have concluded that Einkorn has relatively low structural strength and works best in a Dutch Oven or Loaf Pan, both of which hold the dough up as its baking, so it comes out looking like an actual loaf of bread,

I essentially pour all my loaves and it does not seem to affect them at all. After trying for years to knead relentlessly, stretch and fold, slap and fold, long rest, short rest, etc. I found that my Einkorn is so weak structurally that if I leave it on my board for more than a few minutes, its will turn into a puddle of ooze. In fact, more than once I stepped away for a few minutes and when I returned to the kitchen the Einkorn dough changed from a rather lovely looking, tight, tall ball into a puddle that nearly ran off the edge of the counter. Since then I have always used a form of some kind successfully (regardless of hydration level),