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.)
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)
Heatproof measuring cup or smaller bowl
Food thermometer that registers temperatures from 80 degrees F – 120 degrees F
Dry-measure Measuring cups
Heavy light-proof cloth or dish cloths to cover during the rise. (I use a baker’s couche like this one.)
Heavy bread pan(s) and/or a cookie sheet