Monday, January 28, 2019

Einkorn Wheat-the Most Ancient Grain

Einkorn wheat is higher in protein, phosphorus, potassium and beta carotene than modern wheat and, while lower in gluten forming potential, produced this melt-in-your mouth Challah bread.  Called "little spelt" in Italy and "little farro" in Germany, farmers in Washington state are now bringing back this drought tolerant wheat. 

This 100% whole wheat bread dough has less rise potential than those made with modern wheat and because there's less gluten, won't hold its' shape as well, so I used a rounded bread pan to produce the breads.  The recipe is based on one in Sue Becker's book with more flour than the modern wheat version.

Einkorn Challah

(2 medium loaves, about 8 servings each)

Heat milk and water to 125 F.
1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 cup water

In bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place, mix 1 cup flour, sugar and yeast.
1 cup einkorn wheat flour
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
Slowly add warm milk-water mixture to bowl.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down midway.

Add 1/2 cup flour, eggs, salt and olive oil to bowl.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down midway.
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup einkorn wheat flour

Turn mixer to low speed.  Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, kneading for 8-10 minutes until dough starts to form a ball.
3 1/2 cups einkorn wheat flour
Turn dough into greased bowl.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Punch dough down.  Divide in half.  Turn 1/2 of dough out onto floured surface.  Dough will be very sticky.  Divide into 3 pieces and form each piece into a rope, about 10 inches long.  Roll in more flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.  Braid 3 ropes together to form a loaf.  I moved the ropes into the greased bread pan for easier formation.

Repeat with remaining dough to form a second loaf.

Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
Brush each loaf with egg wash.
Egg Wash
1 egg
1 tablespoon water 
Sprinkle with seeds of choice.  (Mine has sesame and chia seeds).
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.




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