• Staying Creative – Milk and Honey Seeductive Einkorn Bread

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    Seeductive bread and hamburger rolls

    Seeduction in the oven

    One of the things that tends to go by the wayside when your work-related security blanket has gone the way of the dinosaurs is your sense of value and self-worth. After all, how do we define ourselves, if not by our jobs?

    For me, this means finding new ways to both keep busy and improve the general lot of our household, which, as a half-Sicilian, means time in the kitchen. Yes, I know, that whole kitchen thing is a stereotype. But not really. When I grew up, every gathering my family had, whether it was my nuclear family and Sunday Dinner or a bigger family gathering with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins (by blood or otherwise), included not -only- table-groaning amounts of really good food, but a lot of time spent in the kitchen. At least, for the women-folk. The closest my Uncle Sal ever got to the kitchen was the grill on the patio, and a drive-by peck on the cheek for my Aunt, Little Theresa (because I had an Aunt ‘Big Theresa, too).

    In any case, I came to truly love playing with food. I even went to culinary school — a dream that was cut short by the fact that my health won’t let me spend 16 hours a day in a commercial kitchen, running like a mad-woman. But that’s okay, because everything I’ve learned from my mother’s knee to my years of culinary education manage to bring some pretty cool stuff into being.

    So, today, since I don’t have a Community Spotlight for this weekend, I thought I’d share a recipe with you.

    This recipe is particularly nice because it is a completely no-knead bread recipe that uses Einkorn flour. This means that, even for someone like me, who isn’t physically capable of kneading bread any more, I can make an exquisite loaf of homemade bread. It also means that it’s fast — I can start a loaf of bread when I get up in the morning, and have fresh, homemade bread for breakfast two hours later.

    Einkorn is a type of ancient wheat, and its profile is a good bit different than regular wheat flour that we’ve come to know in modern times. Einkorn flour is particularly nice because it is gentle on the environment (grown in Italy without pesticides, etc.), and because it is, for the most part, gentle on the human stomach and intestines, and some people with wheat sensitivities find that they can tolerate Einkorn flour, just like some people with lactose intolerance find that they can tolerate yogurt. It does still have gluten, though, as one of its proteins, which means that you get bread that is more familiar in texture than most of the non-gluten breads out there. (However, if you have celiac disease or gluten allergy, you probably won’t be able to use Einkorn flour.)

    Speaking of sensitivities and avoiding allergens, this recipe also has a little milk in it. Most of the lactose in the milk in this recipe is eaten by the yeast while they’re growing, but for those who are lactose intolerant or milk allergic, or for those who want a vegan option, you can use water for all of the liquid and this bread will work just fine! (If you are vegan and don’t use honey, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or maple syrup for the honey.)

    Mmmm - Fresh Baked Bread

    ‘Seeductive’ Milk and Honey No-Knead Einkorn Bread

    ‘Seeductive’ Milk and Honey No-Knead Einkorn Bread

    INGREDIENTS

    3 cups Einkorn flour (I use Jovial, and get it here)

    1 tbsp sea salt

    1/4 cup millet

    1/4 cup poppy seed

    1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seed (raw)

    1/4 cup sesame seed

    1 cup water

    1/2 cup milk

    2 tablespoons honey (preferably raw local honey)

    1 packet baking yeast

    Fat to grease pans and to brush on top of loaves when they come out of the oven (I use butter)

    TOOLS YOU WILL NEED:

    Large, light-proof mixing bowl

    Heatproof measuring cup or smaller bowl

    Food thermometer that registers temperatures from 80 degrees F – 120 degrees F

    Dry-measure Measuring cups

    Measuring spoons

    Plastic wrap

    Heavy light-proof cloth or dish cloths to cover during the rise. (I use a baker’s couche like this one.)

    Silicone spatula or Einkorn Kneading Tool

    Heavy bread pan(s) and/or a cookie sheet

    Baking parchment and/or Silpat

    DIRECTIONS:

     

    • In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, salt, and seeds. Stir to combine well.
    • Heat milk to scalding (do not boil). Add water and honey.
    • Check temperature carefully. If temperature is above 110 degrees F, let water/milk mixture cool until temperature is between 100 and 110 degrees F (this is important — temperatures above 110 degrees will kill the yeast).
    • When liquid is at temperature, add yeast and allow to sit about five minutes, until yeast foams up and forms a distinct layer on top of the liquid (if yeast doesn’t foam, then it is inert and won’t work – start a new water/milk mixture and begin again with new yeast). Stir the liquid mixture gently to re-combine.
    • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the liquid, all at once, into the well. Using a silicone spatula (or Einkorn Kneading Tool, if you have one), mix the flour mixture into the liquid until ALL of the flour is absorbed. Make sure you scrape the walls. You’ll want all of the flour in the mix.
    • Once all of the flour has been absorbed, oil a piece of plastic wrap and lay over the dough in the same bowl. Cover with a light-proof cloth. (Einkorn is light sensitive, and will darken like potatoes or banana peel when wet and exposed to light. It doesn’t affect the flavor, but it does change the appearance.) Not only will the cloth keep the light out, but it will keep drafts off your bread to improve the rise and keep it rising evenly.
    • Allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes. How long it has to rise will depend on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. If it is hot and humid, check it after just 30 minutes. It should be just less than doubled in size.
    • When your dough is risen the first time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Oil your pans well, and place half the dough in each pan. This recipe makes two smallish (3/4 lb) loaves, or 1 large (1 lb) loaf with enough left over to make a few hamburger buns or dinner rolls. If you’re making rolls, form them carefully, with moistened hands, by folding the outer edges of the dough into the center underneath, and lay them on a parchment-lined or Silpat-lined cookie sheet.
    • Cover the pans with oiled plastic wrap and a cloth to block the light, and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes. Don’t over-proof this recipe, or it will collapse in the oven. It should have a nice mound to it, but not be too floppy. CAREFULLY remove the plastic wrap and place the baking pans/tray into the oven.
    • For a more rustic loaf, lay your dough out on a Roulpat for the first rise, covered with plastic wrap and a baker’s couche or other heavy cloth, then, for the second rise, fold like the roll recipe above and place on an oiled Silpat or oiled parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and your cloth cover for the second rise. Bake as below.
    • Bake for 20 minutes for the rolls, or 30 minutes for the loaf.
    • Remove immediately from pans to cool on a wire rack. Brush the top of the bread with butter or oil while they’re still hot.
    • Allow to cool completely before cutting. (You’re going to want to use a real bread knife for this bread, as the crumb is VERY tender.)

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