Saturday, 2 April 2011

Emmer Bread: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes

The grain of the month for April is Emmer.  Emmer is an ancient grain that is plumper and longer than modern wheat grains. The grain is lower in gluten than regular wheat but higher in protein and fiber.

It just so happens that one of the breads for the April HBinFive Bread Braid is Emmer Bread. The Healthy Bread in Five Minutes Emmer Bread is made with a 50/50 blend of whole grain Emmer flour and all-purpose flour. Emmer has a bold-flavor and usually makes a heavy and dense bread compared to wheat bread. The HBinFive version contains a little bit of beer and white vinegar to enhance the flavor. It also has sesame seeds sprinkled throughout the dough and on top of the loaf.

Emmer was the primary wheat grown in Asia, Africa and Europe throughout the first 5,000 years of recorded agriculture, more than 17,000 years ago. Source:

Emmer is being rediscovered as a gourmet grain due to its rich flavor and high nutrition. I got some organic emmer from the Heritage Wheat Conservancy. 

This emmer is grown in the US from an ancient Ethiopian variety brought to Israel by Ethiopian Jews.

I milled the emmer grains into flour using my WonderMill grain mill. The flour has a beautiful beige color with pinkish under tones.

See how it contrasts with the all-purpose flour?

This dough ferments in the refrigerator overnight so the cold dough was pretty easy to work with and it shaped nicely into freeform loaves.

Since the dough ferments overnight, the loaves didn't rise very much during the proofing, but they had nice oven spring during baking.

The flavor of this bread was great!  It's very mild tasting with a chewy texture and a nutty flavor due to the sesame seeds. My boyfriend said he could taste a hint of the beer. 

I was pleased with my first attempt at baking with Emmer flour. 

Thanks for joining me in the bread baking blog.  Stay tuned for some more Emmer Breads.

Happy Baking!


About the HBinFive Baking Group

The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. For more information on the HBinFive baking group, check out BigBlackDog.

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