The photo doesn’t do justice to how tasty this bread is. This is the first time I’ve baked with petit épeautre (einkorn) flour and what have I been missing all this while… I bought a packet of stoneground organic petit épeautre (einkorn) flour and at first I thought it was spelt (épeautre) since I have practically no experience with spelt. But as I bit into the bread, I knew this was no spelt. I’ve tried spelt before but didn’t find it to be very distinctive in taste (or I need to try a better flour). This was nutty, in particular, hazelnutty, and there was a lovely soft, almost cake-like texture to it and an interesting crunch to it as well. As if one had added a sugar topping or sprinkled the bottom with sugar. Absolutely, absolutely delicious; good creamy butter smeared atop complements it in the most wonderful way as well.
It reminded me of the Sicilian pane nero I tried in Italy, also made with an ancient wheat grain called tumminia. This was another really distinctive-tasting bread I couldn’t get enough of. I managed to get hold of a bag of this flour and must get round to using it. These ancient grains really ought to be preserved and made more accessible. There is one boulangerie in Paris, which I’ve written about, that uses ancient grains, but their bread schedule is a bit confusing. I once went down all the way just to get the breads, having made sure to call the day before to confirm, only to be told the special flour breads are only available on Sunday. Come to think of it, this petit épeautre can’t be spelt, since shops here carry épeautre, and petit épeautre (usually from Haute Provence) is easily twice the price. Apparently it’s much harder to grow and the returns are much lower, which must account for the higher price.
There was some wheat in the final dough and I would like to go for a higher hydration but I’ve never baked with einkorn before and don’t know if the denser crumb is normal. I noticed that after the autolyse, I practically didn’t have to fold for strength anymore, but that there was not much rise. I did an overnight fermentation to fit my schedule but would be interested to know how einkorn takes to long fermentation, etc. Chime in anyone who knows!
Einkorn-wheat sourdough loaf
35g Starter (mine was wheat)
100g Einkorn flour, T110, stoneground
I left this for about 7-8 hours at 15-17 degrees. There was not much sign of activity, but then again i’m only familiar with liquid leavens. There was some puffiness and doming.
All of leaven above
270g Einkorn flour
125g T65 flour
I did the usual autolyse, then two stretch-and-folds over a period of five hours from the time of mixing, mainly because I was running in and out of the house. It certainly didn’t double but felt lighter and airy enough. Shaped and proofed overnight in fridge. The next morning, it had risen a little more, was taken out of fridge one hour before baking.