The Fresh Loaf

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50% Einkorn Take 2

tpassin's picture

50% Einkorn Take 2

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.



mariana's picture

This one is so much better. Really nice bread with a beautiful crumb. Congratulations, Tom!

tpassin's picture

Thanks, Mariana!

WatertownNewbie's picture

Looks like you are getting the hang of einkorn.  Tomorrow I am going to mix the dough for your 50% spelt bread and see how that goes.  It is fun to play around with spelt, einkorn, and emmer and see what some other types of flour produce.


tpassin's picture

I bought a bag of emmer this weekend from the local water mill, and I'm planning to try a loaf of that at 50% also.

jkandell's picture

I heard somewhere that you don't really get the unique taste of einkorn if you don't go 100%.

Have you found this to be true?

tpassin's picture

I've read this too, but haven't tested it yet.  I did bake a loaf pan loaf of around 80% einkorn a while back, and that did have a more distinctive (and tasty) flavor, so it may be true.

Benito's picture

This looks perfect Tom, well done!


tpassin's picture

Thanks, Benny!