Those of you who habitually grind your own grain bear with me while I write this post. This was my first time!
I had a bag of Einkorn from Germany which has been sitting on the shelf waiting for this moment. I had read about this fabled grain and nagged my friend Mandy to bring me some next time she went over. She brings me rye and all sorts of lovely baking ingredients and I make bread for her. It’s a good trade!
Brian found a much reduced handmill in the Lakeland sale the other week, so we thought we would try it out. It doesn’t make what I would call the finest grind of flour, but it was very exciting trying it out.
Einkorn is meant to be one of the oldest forms of wheat around. It produces a lovely golden flour with a sweet smell when newly ground.
I fed my starter with some of the flour. Left it for 8 hours and then fed it some more. I ended up with about 150 grams of starter, it was very happy eating einkorn, no complaints there!
The following day I sieved the remains of the einkorn, I returned half of the bran to the flour and reserved the rest for lining the banneton with.
I mixed up this dough, with the 150 grams of starter, the rest of the flour (about 300 grams) 8 grams of salt and enough water to make a soft and sticky dough.
Proved in a warm kitchen for 3 hours, then into a banneton, dressed with einkorn bran, for another 3 hours, it didn’t rise hugely, I wasn’t expecting miracles, as I had heard it has lower gluten levels than modern flour. There were lots of little gas holes in the top of the dough and so I thought I would bake it at that point.
I baked it on a stone with steam, giving it all I had. It didn’t rise hugely, but it didn’t collapse either.
I sliced it the following day with some trepidation. I thought, oh no it’s going to be a brick. Well, it wasn’t. It has a wonderful sourdough flavour with nutty wheat aromas and reminds me of German vollkornbrots more than anything else. And I was quite proud that I had managed to make it at all. :)