I’ve received positive feedback about the grains I’ve been featuring on my blog so I decided to continue experimenting with different grains.
The grain of the month for March is Einkorn. Einkorn is known as the first ancient original wheat. It has more protein and minerals than modern wheat and makes excellent breads with a light rich, nutty flavor.
I ordered some Einkorn berries to test a few weeks ago and had been contemplating what bread to make. In the meantime, one of my readers asked me if I thought Sprouted Wheat Bread (with no flour) would work with spelt berries rather than regular wheat berries. Although I haven’t tried it with spelt berries, I thought it would work just fine. Another one of my readers wanted to know how the different grains compare to each other. This gave me an idea. In order to really compare apples to apples (or grains to grains, rather), I should use the same or a similar bread recipe. Sprouted Wheat Bread (with flour) is one of my favorite breads and I decided it would be a good bread to use as the test comparison.
Sprouted Einkorn Bread
Adapted from The Pleasure of Whole-Grain Breads by Beth Hensperger
Makes: 2 large loaves or 3 medium loaves
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 packages) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of ginger
2 cups Einkorn flour
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sprouted Einkorn berries, chopped
4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
Wheat germ, for sprinkling
Melted butter, for brushing
Step 1: Sprouting the Einkorn Berries
Duration: 2 to 3 days
Makes: 2 cups
1/2 cup raw Einkorn berries
I didn’t take photos of this part. If you’d like to view a photo tutorial of the sprouting process, please refer to the Sprouted Wheat Bread (with flour) post.
Place the einkorn berries in a bowl and add tepid water to cover by 1 inch. Let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours. Drain the einkorn berries and rinse with fresh water. Divide between two 1-quart jars. Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Place the jars on their sides in a warm, dark place. Twice a day, rinse and drain the einkorn berries with tepid water poured through the cheesecloth. After 2 to 3 days, the einkorn berries will sprout. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. Grind in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Do not over process; the berries should be chunky.
Tip: When you place the quart jars in a cool, dark place such as your cabinet, put them in a container so that the excess water drains into the container instead of your cabinet.
Step 2: Making the Bread
Pour 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast, sugar, and ginger over the water.
Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl using a whisk or in the bowl of your mixer, combine the einkorn flour, milk powder, and salt.
Add the warm water, honey, and 4 tablespoons butter. Mix or beat for 1 minute.
Add the yeast mixture and beat 1 minute longer.
Add all the einkorn berries and the bread flour, 1/2 cup a a time, beating on low speed until a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl forms, switching to a wooden spoon when necessary if making by hand. I used a Danish dough whisk for this part.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and spongy, 1 to 2 minutes for a machine mixed dough and 3 to 4 minutes for a hand-mixed dough, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time, just enough as needed to prevent sticking. Place in a lightly greased deep container, turn once to coat the top with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until double in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Grease three 8-by-4-inch loaf pans and sprinkle the bottom and sides with wheat germ. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide into 3 equal portions. Or, if you want bigger loaves, divide it into 2 equal portions.
Pat each portion into a rectangle and roll into a loaf shape.
Place, seam side down, into the prepared pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until level with the rims of the pans, about 1 hour.
About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crusty and golden.
Towards the end of the baking cycle, I covered the loaves with foil because they were starting to get dark on top and I didn’t want the crust to burn.
Remove the loaves from the pans to cool on a rack. Brush the tops with melted butter.
Now, for the taste test…
Step 3: Enjoying the Bread
This Sprouted Einkorn Bread is awesome! I think I’ve found my new favorite bread. I know I say that about them all, but this one is a keeper for sure. I think I like this version better than the other Sprouted Wheat Bread.
My boyfriend and I tried to pinpoint exactly what it is we like about this bread. It is a very light bread, rich in flavor and nutty due to the sprouted einkorn berries and flour. My BF said, “it’s total deliciousness!”
Thanks for joining me in the bread-baking blog.