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Recently I've posted about bakes using 50% spelt and 50% einkorn:

Today's loaf used the third "ancient" grain - emmer.  I've never used it before.

As for the other two flours, this emmer was stoneground by a local restored water mill (Locke's Mill in northwestern Virginia).  The bits of bran were much smaller than with the einkorn flour, and I had to use a finer sieve to remove them.  I ended up with about a 94% extraction, made a soaker with the bran, and added the soaker to the flour during mixing.

The formula was the same as I used for the einkorn loaf, except that I expected that the water might come out a little differently since einkorn is known for being slow to absorb water.

220g sifted einkorn (Locke's mill)
all the soaker
200g KA bread flour
150g white sourdough starter, refreshed earlier in the day
285g water (includes water in soaker and water added during mixing)
10g salt

During mixing I added 15g more water than originally planned to hydrate some dry flour in the bottom of the mixing bowl.  This water was absorbed well and I did not feel a need to add any more later.  By contrast, the einkorn dough didn't want to absorb added water and I actually left some liquid water in the bowl to be worked in during later S&Fs.

Other than the water and improved handling, the process was the same as I had used for the einkorn loaf. The dough rested after mixing for 35 minutes, and had two more S&F sessions over the next 1 3/4 hours.  Bulk ferment lasted 6 hours.  Shaped the loaf with no perform - the dough had become very extensible so I stretched it very far in the first stages of shaping.

The shaped loaf proofed for 55 minutes in a proofing basked, and then was refrigerated overnight for 13 hours.  After it warmed up for 15 minutes the loaf was turned out onto a parchment-covered cutting board, slashed, and slid into the preheated oven onto a baking steel.  I generated steam by pouring water onto rocks in a cast iron pan in the bottom of the oven.

I baked the loaf at 400° F for 40 minutes.  The top had turned black, which was a surprise, and the internal temperature was 208° F. From the pictures below you can see that there was good expansion in the oven and the crumb came out nicely open for this kind of bread.  The flavor is outstanding, the best (to my taste) of the three kinds: spelt, einkorn, emmer.  I would say that this loaf has the ideal flavor I always look for an a whole-wheat type of loaf.

The dough was easy to handle and work with, now that I've gained experience with the spelt and einkorn variations.  I'd say the dough properties were between the spelt and einkorn loaves.  And now for the photos:

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This loaf is a slightly changed version of the bread in my previous 50% einkorn post

Here's what I changed:

1. Used KA bread flour for all the white flour, as I had intended all along;
2. For the soaker, I used more water with the bran (about 30g) and heated the mixture to about 150° F;
3. During initial mixing I withheld about 50g of the planned water (see below);
4. The hydration ended slightly lower - about 20g of water less;
5. I proofed the loaf in a proofing basket;
6. I retarded the loaf in the refrigerator overnight.

Here's the formula from before:

220g sifted einkorn (Locke's mill)
all the soaker
200g KA bread flour
150g white sourdough starter
270g water (but see #3 below)
10g salt

For #3, after I mixed everything by hand and worked all the water in by repeatedly squeezing the dough, I thought the dough could handle more water.  I was mindful that in reading, it's always said that einkorn either can't absorb as much water or that it absorbs water slowly.  My plan was to get gluten development started and then work in more water.

This seemed to work - the dough was not sticky or hard to handle, so I added about 30g more.  It didn't absorb much, so I let the dough rest covered for half an hour with the unabsorbed water sitting in the bottom of the bowl.  Then I mixed by squeezing and kneading, and all that water got absorbed.  The dough felt good and easy to handle, so I didn't add any more water.  This means the total water was about 250g, not the 270g originally planned.  This makes the overall hydration including water and flour in the starter about 66%.

After this, I did a first S&F after 30 minutes - basically coil folds, though I took the dough out and stretched it in my hands for the last two turns.  A second S&F after a further 40 minutes, also between my hands.  The dough was getting extensible, but was willing to hold a shape, and was not sticky.  Altogether, the dough was much easier to handle compared with the previous einkorn loaf.

After a 5 hour bulk ferment, the dough had more than doubled and was growing rapidly.  I shaped it into a log without making a preform, and put it seam side up in the rattan proofing basket. Shaping was easier than the previous loaf because the dough was firmer and not sticky.  I covered it with a thin cotton hand towel.

After 45 minutes the loaf was rising well and possibly proofed well enough to bake, like the previous loaf after the same BF and proof times.  Instead, I put the loaf into the fridge.

The next morning I preheated the oven to 410° F for an hour. I took the loaf out of the fridge 10 minutes before bake time.  The top (while in the basket - i.e., the seam side) was pretty dry so I wiped it with water.  I inverted the loaf onto a parchment-covered cutting board, slashed it, and baked with initial steam for 37 minutes, to internal temperature 208° F.

The results were very pleasing.  The loaf was not overproofed during the overnight retardation, the crumb was a little more open than the previous loaf and was on the soft side (like the previous loaf).  The shape of the loaf was more pleasing because it had not had a chance to spread sideways much, and the overall volume was good.

Overall, I'm happy with this loaf, and the experience makes me more confident about raising the proportion of einkorn in the future.

In the pictures below, the slice may look smallish because it is the first slice off the end.


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After trying my hand at a 50% spelt loaf - see

I made a similar loaf with 50% einkorn flour. The stone-ground flour comes from a local restored water mill.  I've read a lot, mainly on this site, about how einkorn flour is runny and sticky and won't hold its shape.  E.g.,

I did recently make a loaf of mostly einkorn that I had to bake in a loaf pan - it had a very fine taste -  and I wondered if I could make a 50-50 formula hold a shape better.  I have also read that you won't really taste the einkorn difference until you get to a much higher percentage of einkorn flour.

The formula and procedure were nearly the same as for the 50% spelt loaf, with one exception I'll talk about in a minute.

220g sifted einkorn (Locke's mill)
all the soaker
200g white flour
150g white sourdough starter
270g water
10g salt

I increased the salt from 9g to 10g in the hope of strengthening the gluten.  My kitchen sifter sifted out about 7% of the flour weight, the same as for the spelt flour from the other post.  I poured 150% of the weight of the bran in boiling water to make a soaker, which I added back during initial kneading.

The big difference with the spelt loaf was that I didn't use bread flour for the 50% white component  By a mental lapse, I started adding all purpose flour, and only realized when I had put in 150g of the planned 200g. The remaining 50g was King Arthur bread flour, and I added another 10g for good measure.

Otherwise, the dough and its development went almost exactly like it did with the 50% spelt loaf.  I did proof it about an hour longer (I was out on a visit to a local farm market), and the bulk ferment volume had tripled.  Nothing wrong with the rising ability!  Overall, I did two stretch-and-fold sessions as for the spelt loaf.

Now for the shaping - gulp - the dough was pretty extensible and sure enough, didn't want to hold its form.  I rolled it and re-rolled it about 4 times and finally got to a point where I thought there might be some chance for a free-standing proof.  If it didn't work out, I figured I would convert the loaf to a pan loaf.

After 45 minutes, the loaf was proofed enough but it had spread out a lot sideways.  I suppose that was to be expected.  I thought it could make a successful bake anyway, so I went ahead and slashed it and baked with steam.  It baked to an internal temperature of 208° F in 30 minutes at 410° F.

You can see from the pictures that although the loaf did end up very wide, it rose decently and the crumb is quite open for this kind of flour.  I think this bread would work well in a pain rustique form factor.

The flavor?  It was very pleasant, but I thought the distinct einkorn taste was not very prominent.  This fits in with other's remarks that a higher percentage of einkorn is needed to let its distinctive flavor come forward.

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For my first foray into baking with spelt flour, I made a loaf with 50% spelt, 50% bread flour.  The spelt was stone-ground from a local water mill.  Using a kitchen sifter I was able to sift out a little bran, which I scalded with water and left overnight.  The amount of extraction was only around 6 - 7%, though.  The bread flour was King Arthur's.  The total amount of flour exclusive of the starter was 420g plus a few more for the bran scald.

To try to counter the lower amount or grade of gluten that spelt is reputed to have, I used a little more salt than I usually would, a lightly lower hydration - 70% including the starter ingredients - and more starter (35%) than I otherwise would have to get a faster fermentation.  I also included the starter and salt in the initial mix.  This was a hand mix, just enough to hydrate the flour and mix everything reasonably uniformly. 

After a rest of 30 minutes, I kneaded and stretched the dough briefly, and then did two more S&F sessions after 30 and 45 minutes.  For this last one, the dough had enough extensibility that I stretched it between my hands so I could pull it out further than I could have using coil folds in its tub.

The dough had doubled in 4 hours, and I shaped it without needing a preform.  I stretched it and worked it enough that it seemed to have enough elasticity to proof free-form, and I shaped the dough into a batarde loaf.  After proofing covered for 45 minutes, I slashed it and started the bake with initial steam.

You can see from the photos that this all worked very well and produced an attractive, well risen loaf with a reasonably open crumb for this kind of flour.  The crumb seems a little soft. and it has a good flavor subtly richer than ordinary whole wheat usually does.  


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I recently bought a sack of Hayden AP flour.  This flour features Sonoran white wheat, which is supposed to be very extensible, rather soft flour.  In this AP it is combined with some bread flour.  Sonoran white is used to make those incredibly thin, large Sonoran tortillas - see

Here's a link to the flour -

I tried it out and was able to make very good tortillas - not as large and dramatic as in the linked article, but close.  The dough was amazingly stretchy.  I wondered whether this characteristic would make a difference in making a loaf of bread.  So I made what is basically my standard baseline sourdough bread.  I planned to make a single, small loaf using 10 oz of flour and 3 oz of 100% hydration white flour starter.

Normally I would use 6.5 - 7 oz of water for this bread.  What a surprise!  The flour soaked up water like a sponge. I had to add enough more water to get to at least 95% hydration to have the dough feel like I expected.  At 65% there wasn't enough to even moisten all the flour.

I followed my baseline process - mix, rest 1/2 hour or more, knead/stretch, then bulk ferment with a few more S&F sessions.  To my surprise the dough was not very extensible at first, nor after the first s&f. Only at the 3rd (and last) s&f, after several hours, did I notice some real extensibility.

I had started bulk ferment on the late side so after it had risen close to 2X I refrigerated the container until morning.  By then it had risen something more than 2X.  I patted the dough into a fairly thin rectangle on my counter so it could warm up more effectively than if it were a ball.  After half an hour I shaped the dough into a single batarde.  This was easy since the dough was still cool.

After 2 hours proofing I baked it with initial steam at 435 deg F (224C) for 34 minutes. The loaf turned out much like the same bread but made with Gold Medal or King Arthur AP.  The flavor may be subtly different.  The crumb is modestly open, the crust is crispy, and does not shatter into lots of flakes when bitten.  The flavor is a mild buttery very pleasant flavor.

This bake has been interesting but I'm not sure there's enough difference from my usual AP flours to justify getting this flour for bread. Now for tortillas, that's a different matter!  Photos follow -

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I make a delicious masa harina skillet cornbread.  The masa harina vs cornmeal brings a tasty, subtle flavor. because I like it so much, I've been thinking about trying a sourdough bread with masa harina, and now I've tried it.  I was surprised how easy it was.

There have been some other posts on this site about cornmeal or corn flour bread, and now I'm adding my own.  First, some pictures, then the formula.

All baker's percentages for this formula are based on the added flour not including flour in the starter. This flour added up to 10 oz, a small loaf but good for experimenting.

- Masa harina: 35%

- KA bread flour: 65%

- starter (white, 100% hydration): 20%

- liquid: about 100% (see below)

- salt: 2%

- beaten egg: 15% (1 US large egg)

- sugar: 3%

The hydration is unsure because I started at 85% (masa harina can really soak up the water) and added "enough" more without actually measuring it.  The added liquid was going to be milk, but I didn't have any so I used a mixture of half-and-half with water (for non-US readers, half-and-half is a near-cream with fat content between  light cream and milk).

The egg is there to provide some extra structure to try to make up for the lack of gluten in the masa harina.

Mix by hand, rest 1/2 hour, initial knead and stretch.  3 S&F sessions during the first part of the 5 1/2 hour bulk ferment.  Form the loaf, proof 1 hour, bake with steam at 450 deg, reducing to 430 after 20 minutes.  Baked 36 minutes to an internal temperature of 208 deg F.

This is basically my standard day-in, day-out sourdough process.

I didn't know how long to proof for since with the masa harina in the dough I knew its properties would be different from a wheat bread. In the end, the load depressed without springing back when I gently touched it with my finger, but I thought it could go a little longer so I gave it another 10 or 15 minutes.

You can see the loaf developed fabulous ears and had a good amount of expansion.  The crumb is surprisingly open, although the loaf is on the dense side.  It weighed in at 18 oz, whereas an all-purpose flour loaf of this size would be about 16 oz.  Maybe it's the 1.5 oz of egg...

The bread slices well. It has a mild pleasant taste with the corn obvious but not overwhelming.  The crust is chewy rather than crisp or crunchy (despite its appearance).  The crumb is very chewy (not tough, but it stays in the mouth as you chew) so thin slices would be best.

I'm very happy with the way it turned out, the dough was pleasant and easy to work with, and I will probably increase the masa harina content next time to (gulp) 50%.


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I've been wanting to try Dave Snyder's San Joaquin formula, and I've also been wanting to try my hand at making a Pain Rustique loaf a la Prof. Calvert. So I combined the two, and it worked great.

Here's the formula, which I think has been updated a few times, with this maybe being the most recent -

I used the amounts as is, which gave me two loaves: a Pain Rustique and a small batarde.  I made the levain Friday evening and let it ferment overnight on my room-temperature counter (72 - 75 deg F). Mid-morning Saturday I mixed the dough and let it ferment with about 3 S&F sessions for about 5 hours, after which it had risen more than the target 50% but less than doubled. Then the dough went into the refrigerator until the next morning.

At this point I deviated slightly from the formula because I didn't make a preform form the Pain Rustique, since the loaf itself was essentially a preform.  I fermented it for 45 minutes and then baked with steam.  Here is how it came out:



I don't have a photo of the crumb because I took it to our local bread bakery to share with the baker and staff, something I sometimes do (they comp me one of their loaves in return).  The crumb was nicely open with a good sprinkling of larger pores.  The taste was lovely, mellow, complex with hints of the whole wheat and rye.  The crust was thin and crackly.  It may have been cooked a little bit hot since the crust flavor was pretty strong - not burnt but strong.

I made a preform for the batarde when I formed the Rustique, and shaped it about an hour later.  It proofed in about 45 minutes.  The crumb of this loaf was a little tighter and more regular than the Rustique, and the flavor was the same.  Here's what it looked like:

Overall I'm very happy with the results.  Thanks, Dave!

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