Sourdough bread with 20% Home-Milled Einkorn Flour
Mixed Grain Sourdough Bread
David M. Snyder
After the disappointing attempt to replicate Larraburu Brothers' San Francisco Sourdough Bread, I needed solace. The best cure for failure is to get up and do better.
I had recently had a nice message exchange with Dan Larsson, a very talented young Swedish baker. He posted photos on Instagram of a gorgeous loaf that was 20% fresh-milled Einkorn flour. In response to my questioning, Dan said Einkorn added a lot of good flavor and also speeded up fermentation. (It was not clear that was an Einkorn or just a whole grain flour effect.) Anyway, I decided to formulate a sourdough bread with 20% Einkorn just to see what I thought. I happened to have a bag or Einkorn berries, and I milled some fine Einkorn flour with my Mockmill100 for this test.
Whole rye flour
Whole wheat (Einkorn) flour
Note: I fed my starter with a flour mix consisting of 70% All Purpose flour, 20% Whole Wheat flour and 10% whole rye flour. I pre-mix these flours and keep them in a large, air-tight glass jar to use as needed. A typical pre-mix batch would be 280g AP + 80g WW + 40g Rye flours.
Note: For this bake, I used home-milled Einkorn flour for the “Whole Wheat flour” in the Final dough.
Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour blend and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.
Ferment at 76ºF for 6 hours
Reserve 50 g of the ripe Starter 1 for another purpose.
Dissolve 20 g of the ripe Starter 1 in the water. Add the flour blend and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.
Ferment at room temperature for 5-6 hours.
The next morning, let the starter come to room temperature during the autolyse.
Mix the flour and water at low speed until they form a shaggy mass.
Cover and autolyse for 90 minutes
Add the salt and levain and mix thoroughly.
Form the dough into a ball and place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.
Ferment at 76º F for 31/2 to 4 hours with a stretch and fold in the bowl at 30 minutes and 60 minutes and a stretch and fold on a lightly floured board at 90 minutes.
Divide the dough as desired or bake as one larger loaf.
Pre-shape as round(s) and rest, covered, for 10-30 minutes.
Shape each piece as a boule or bâtard and place in a banneton. Place banneton in plastic bags.
Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours. Do not over-proof. (My loaf was very puffy after 1 hour.)
Cold retard overnight.
The next morning, assess the degree of proofing. The loaf may be ready to bake or need additional proofing. Act accordingly.
45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
Score as desired.
Bake at 460ºF with steam for 15 minutes, then for another 25-35 minutes in a dry oven.
(Optionally) Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.
Transfer the bread to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.
I did not note that fermentation was any faster than usual, compared to other doughs with similar proportions of whole grain flour. I did note that the dough seemed less absorbent than usual, but then I have been baking breads that, most often, have at least double this proportion of whole grain flour.
On the other hand, there was amazing oven spring, and I don't think the loaf was under-proofed .... at least not by much.
The crust was crunchy, but becoming chewy. The crumb was tender-chewy. The flavor was wonderfully balanced with a prominent lactic acid mellow sour and just a touch of acetic acid tang. Lovely! We had some for dinner with Joe's Special.
For those not in the know, this is a very traditional San Francisco specialty invented by the long-closed New Joe's Restaurant, which was right on the Northeast corner of Broadway and Columbus in the heart of North Beach. It is a scramble of onions, ground beef, spinach and eggs. It might have garlic. I seasoned it with salt and pepper only. I added sautéd mushrooms. Some inauthentic versions add wine. Very delicious hot or cold.