Introduction: Non Hybridized Einkorn Ancient Bread
This instructable was inspired by the films "The Iceman" and "The Iceman Reborn". I thought the scientific facts in the films were incredible and was most interested in the last meal that Otzi ate before he died. I learned that evidence show, he had undigested Einkorn wheat in his belly, probably from Einkorn bread. I had never heard of this wheat so I did a search because, I thought it would be nice to make some bread using the flour but further investigation brought me to the conclusion; I probably would not find any, because farmers quit planting this wheat in the Bronze years because it did not produce as much crop yield as other varieties.
Last September I saw "The Iceman Returns" and out of curiosity I searched online again to see if I could find the Einkorn flour and sure enough I did and I finally ordered some! I learned that Einkorn wheat is naturally low in Gluten and some people who have a bad reaction to wheat have discovered they can eat it. There are some people who can't eat Einkorn wheat so it is best to consult your doctor before trying it. It is often referred to as Natures true wheat and is said to be the healthiest wheat, as well as the only wheat grain that has never been hybridized and this is why I was so interested in it.
The gluten in Einkorn is very different than modern wheat because unlike wheat grown today, the body can digest it. It is higher in protein, iron, fiber, thiamine, and B Vitamins than the modern wheat grown today. Einkorn was near extinction until a few farmers made a choice to grow it for its nutritional benefits.There are many more benefits of this flour than what I list and is well worth the time to check them out.
Follow through and let's make some healthy nutritious Einkorn wheat bread~
Step 1: Important Facts About Einkorn Wheat
Einkorn flour is different than regular wheat flours, in that is naturally low in gluten and it is easy to add too much flour when mixing the dough which leads to failure.
Einkorn dough should have a very wet and sticky feel to it. Too much kneading of the dough, weakens the gluten which causes the dough not to rise properly.
A twelve hour limit is recommended for proofing the Einkorn dough in the refrigerator.Longer proofing weakens the gluten.
A kitchen scale will greatly improve your Einkorn bread making experience, however if you choose not to use one, I recommend to measure out the cups of flour needed by spooning the flour into the measuring cups, then sift and re-measure (by spooning) into the measuring cups for best results.I estimate that the first time I measured by spooning (without sifting), I had a scant cup more flour than I did after sifting. That is a significant amount.
A Linen couche and a dough scraper are very helpful when making Einkorn bread, because the dough is so wet and sticky.
When baking bread, adjustments are usually required if your Altitude is higher than 3500 feet. I made this loaf by reserving 1/4 cup of the water and a few tablespoons of the flour, until the flour and wet ingredients were added and mixed with a brief wait time. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of water or flour at a time until the dough began to form a ball and still slightly stuck to the surface. When I was finished, I had a scant 1/4 cup of water left over and did not add any more flour than what the recipe called for because I used the reserve for lightly dusting the work area. Our altitude is 35,700 feet and our climate is dry. If your climate is humid you may need to adjust the recipe for that as well.
Please note: Before I made this bread, I emailed Jovial and inquired about baking their bread at higher elevations and they mentioned they did not have any experience working with high-altitude baking, so I decided to make the bread according to their directions, with the exception of checking the dough during the rising period and keep an eye on the bread during the baking process. This method paid off for me. I am glad I made their recipe following their instructions, with the exception of reserving some of the flour and water until after the wet and dry ingredients were added and mixed with a brief ten minute wait time before adding any more. Lowering the temperature at 20 minutes also paid off. I am sure I will make more adjustments as I make more Einkorn bread.
Step 2: Ingredients and Utensils
- Einkorn organic all purpose unbleached flour
- Active dry yeast
- Spring Water
- Butter or oil
- Kitchen scale if you have one, Liquid and dry measuring cups and spoons
- non reactive mixing bowls
- non reactive spoons or kneading tool
- Rubber spatula
- 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pan
- Parchment paper
- Saran wrap
- Cutting board
- bread knife
- Dough scraper
- Kitchen scissors
- untreated flax linen couche This is a very useful cloth that helps with mixing and kneading einkorn flour.
Step 3: Recipe
This was my first attempt to try this recipe and I was expecting to modify Jovial's Einkorn Sandwich bread recipe because of our altitude and I did make slight changes and noted them, but did not change from the original recipe when sharing the recipe here (except for my notes). I did this because most people should have great success using her recipe unless their altitude is higher than 3500 feet. A google search for your altitude "baking tips for bread making" and I am sure you will find tips on how much flour and water to add or reduce for your altitude when adjusting a recipe for high altitudes. Humidity should also be considered.
I added some extra notes regarding sifting the flour and spooning it, when not using a kitchen scale and showed the difference in measurements in doing so. She mentions that it is best to use her instructions and then after some experience you can alter the recipe for some of your favorite bread recipes. I was totally satisfied with the final results of the Einkorn bread.
Gather ingredients and utensils and set up work station:
- kitchen scale or use a sifter and measuring the cups by spooning the flour into the cups.
- measuring cups, spoons, bowls, non reactive loaf pan, plastic wrap, parchment paper, bread knife, rubber spatula, dough scraper, kitchen scissors, wooden spoon or kneading tool and a flax linen couche if you have one.
- Oil the mixing bowl and line the loaf pan with parchment paper.
- 1¼ (295 g) cups warm spring water ( I reduced the water by; slightly under 1/4 cup because the mixture seemed to have plenty of liquid for my altitude) Even though I reduced the liquid, the dough was still very sticky and wet.
- 1½ teaspoons dry active yeast
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or you can use oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3¾ cups (450 g) All-purpose einkorn flour( sift flour if you don't have a kitchen scale and spoon into measuring cups. I reserved a 1/8 cup of flour for dusting the work surface, but only added a tablespoon at a time and waited ten minutes before adding anymore flour and it worked out perfectly and I had flour left
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
Step 4: Combine Ingredients
- In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, butter, and sugar. Stir until smooth.
- Measure the flour with a kitchen scale and add it to the top of the yeast mixture OR spoon the flour into a measuring cup, and then sift it and re-measure and when it is the correct amount add it to the yeast mixture.
- Sprinkle the salt over the top of the flour.
- Mix with a spatula or the knead tool, until the flour is combined and you have a very wet and sticky dough.
- Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with the plastic wrap snugly.
- Let rise for approximately for 45 minutes. (Keep an eye on the dough and do not allow the dough to rise double in size). Refer to important information about einkorn flour if needed.
Step 5: Pre-heat Oven and Transfer Dough to Work Surface
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butter 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pan or line with parchment paper if you have not already done so.
- Flour work surface by adding one to two tablespoons of flour to the surface. Try not to add more flour than needed, by waiting five to ten minutes before adding any more flour. If needed add a tablespoon at a time. This is supposed to be a wet and sticky dough.
- Carefully remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto the floured surface. ( The dough will be very sticky and wet).
- Gently fold in the surface flour using a dough scraper and add one tablespoon of flour at a time gently folding it into the dough until the dough will begin to release from the surface but still leaves a sticky residue.
- You will notice that the gluten is beginning to work but it is important not to over work the dough because the dough is low gluten and over working could cause the bread to fail.
Step 6: Transfer Dough to Loaf Pan
- Transfer the dough to the lined loaf pan and Let rise 45 minutes ( I cut off five minutes from the rise time to be sure I did not let the dough rise double because of a high altitude.
- Cover the loaf with a buttered plastic wrap to prevent the plastic from sticking to the dough.
- Let rise for 30 minutes.
Please note: I used a larger loaf pan because I did not have a smaller one. It worked OK but, had I used a smaller one, the bread would have been higher.
Step 7: Bake and Cool
I did not change the baking temperature because I wanted to follow her instructions. I was totally happy with this batch, although if I had not been watching the bread closely, it could have turned out too dry with a crumbly texture and the top would have browned too much.
- Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes but don't allow it to brown very much. I kept an eye out the last fifteen minutes so the top would not brown too much. I reduced the heat to 350 degrees F after 20 minutes and finished the baking time out.
- Cool completely before slicing.
Step 8: Sunshiines Final Thoughts
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading about Einkorn bread. If you are interested in making a bread that is delicious and very nutritious, I highly recommend using Einkorn flour. We all loved the flavor and moist texture of the bread and it was gone in no time~
Have a safe and happy Spring~