I’ve been working with einkorn flour for a couple of years, and as with every other type of grain I’ve experimented with, I’ve had some successes and some flops. It takes a little while to get used to how the grain works, especially when compared to regular bread flour, but that’s part of the fun.
The “Baking with Einkorn” workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago helped me understand more about the nuances of the flour. So after I got home, I couldn’t wait to begin testing this grain again.
Armed with some new tips and techniques, I set out to bake bread. I wanted to jump right in and start converting some of my favorite recipes now that I have a better idea of how to do that, but I opted to make a tested Einkorn bread recipe instead.
Start with the Classic Einkorn Sandwich Loaf
I started with a Classic Einkorn Sandwich Bread using the recipe printed on the bag of all-purpose Einkorn flour (also listed on the Jovial Foods’ site).
I was still getting over jet lag when I started this experiment so I forgot about the adjustments that need to be made when you’re baking in a hot kitchen. It’s 78 degrees F. in my Atlanta kitchen (with the air on and the oven off) so all bets are off when making bread, even if the recipe has been tested.
The first time I made it, I had to add a good bit more water than the recipe called for. I also reduced the yeast a bit, but I kept the amounts of other ingredients the same. The flavor of the bread was good, but the texture was too hard and chewy. Due to the excessive heat (and my foggy brain), the loaf was over proofed. It also didn’t have enough salt, in my opinion.
I baked the loaf at the suggested temperature of 375 degrees F. That temperature was too hot, especially in a ceramic loaf pan. The loaf turned out a bit chewy and harder than I expected. However, it made for a good grilled cheese sandwich. So although the loaf wasn’t optimal, it didn’t go to waste.
Make Adjustments for Baking in a Hot Kitchen
The second time I attempted this bread, I made several adjustments based on the issues I found with the first loaf. I ended up using more water than the original formula, but not as much as I did for the first loaf. I also reduced the yeast by half and increased the salt to help keep the dough from rising to fast and too much in the heat. I kept the flour ratio and the amount of honey the same for both loaves.
Einkorn is very extensible so the dough came together really easily. However, the gluten structure is weaker so it doesn’t benefit from a long mix like you would with regular bread flour.
This time, I paid careful attention to the bulk fermentation period and the final proof so the loaf didn’t overproof. As a result, this loaf turned out much better. It rose beautifully, but not too much. The extra salt helped with the texture and the flavor. The texture was soft and fluffy like sandwich bread is supposed to be and the flavor was good.
Einkorn Sandwich Loaf (in a hot kitchen)
I have not tested this particular recipe in milder weather yet, but this is version that worked for me in my hot kitchen during the summer.
Adapted from: Classic Einkorn Sandwich Loaf by Jovial Foods
- 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose einkorn flour
- 1 teaspoon (3.5 grams) instant yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8.5 grams) sea salt
- 1 1/8 cups (260 grams) water, lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) honey
Whisk together the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the warm water and honey in a separate container and stir to dissolve.
Add the water/honey mixture to the flour mixture and mix, using your hands or a Danish dough whisk, until there are no dry bits of flour. Add in additional water if necessary.
Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently until smooth.
Place the dough in a large, clean mixing bowl and let it rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour.
When the dough has doubled in bulk, remove it from the bowl to a lightly-floured work surface and shape into a loaf.
To shape the loaf, press the dough out into a rough rectangle, then fold the bottom and top edges in like a letter, pressing the seams closed so they don’t pop open during the proof cycle. Fold the left and right edges in toward the center; then fold it up again so the seam is enclosed in the center of the dough. Flip the loaf over and roll it gently back and forth on the work surface to elongate it to fit the loaf pan. Use a bench scraper to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface.
Place the loaf in a greased 8” x 4” loaf pan and cover with plastic. Let the loaf rise at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the loaf crests slightly over the top of the pan.
Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for nonstick pans and 325 degrees F. for glass loaf pans.
Remove the loaf from the oven, and if using glass pans, allow the loaf to rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
I enjoyed slices of this bread with butter and with peanut butter, my favorite taste test for sandwich loaves. It passed both taste tests.