Sunday, February 5, 2012


Einkorn is an ancestor of modern wheat and is one of the earliest cultivated forms of wheat (which is, in turn, one of the oldest domesticated crops). I tend to be fascinated by such things, so when I found recipe for Einkornbrot (Einkorn bread) in one of my newest cookbooks, Brot: Bread Notes from a Floury German Kitchen by Nils Schoener, I had to try it out. The bread is definitely worth trying, and as noted by Mr. Schoener, the crust is something fantastic.

An aside about the book: at $9.95, it was a bit expensive for a Kindle ebook (it is only available as such), but I had a gift certificate, so I bought it anyways. It was worth every penny (however, I think it'd sell a lot better if it only cost $5). I have made several breads from this book, and about 80% of them have turned out fantastic. The other 20% were still good, and I can only assume that the reason they weren't better was due to errors made on my part.

Einkorn soaker:
  • 100g coarse einkorn meal
  • 100g warm water
let stand for 3-16 hours. I noticed that after almost 20 hours in my kitchen, the surface has turned a brownish-green color. I assume this is due to the oxidation of organic compounds in the grain, similar to what happens with ripe avocados when exposed to air.

Einkorn sourdough:
  • 100g whole einkorn flour
  • 100g warm water
  • 1 Tblsp. rye sourdough starter (hydration 100%)
Mix and let stand for 12-16 hours at room temperature (~21C).

  • 50g rye flour
  • 100g strong white flour (I used German type 550, which is equivalent to American unbleached all-purpose flour.)
  • 50-100g of water (enough to get a loose dough)
  • 1/4 tsp. dry activated yeast
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Einkorn soaker
  • Einkorn sourdough

Preheat oven to 250C. Mix dough and proof for 45-60 minutes at room temperature. During this period gently fold the dough 3-4 times every 15 minutes. Shape dough and work (whole) rye flour into seam. Let rest in a round Brotform, seam-side down, for 5-10 minutes (I used a small floured plastic mixing bowl, but I can't recommend this since the flour doesn't cling to the sides of the bowl as it should and the dough ends up sticking). Invert onto a floured bread paddle (I just used a wooden cutting board) and bake seam-side up for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200C at bake for a further 30-40 minutes.

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