Additional Information about Einkorn Sourdough
This sourdough bread is not like any other bread you have ever eaten. Bread in many societies around the world is considered sacred and the Arabic word for bread is the same word as for life. Bread used to be very nutritious, made with whole grain milled with stone, soured for 24 hours – this pre-digests so much of the nutrients that it's easy for your body to digest the bread. When bread began to be made with active dry yeast it was to make the process faster and less expensive for factories to produce bread. Yeast reduces the process of proofing the dough to a couple of hours instead of 24 hours. This process makes the bread less digestible. The pale white bread you get in the store – even the ones made with whole wheat – even the ones labeled “sourdough” - pale in nutrition compared to the loaf of bread we had in class. You truly could live on this bread, but as the Bible says, man cannot live on bread alone, he needs the Word of God, too.
Why sourdough? All grains – before they are eaten – should be either:
soaked, sprouted or soured. When you eat a grain that has not been prepared in this way, which is very traditional and has been done for millenia, your body has a hard time digesting the grain. You learned about sourdough in class. The soaking and sprouting are another lesson for another day.
A true sourdough bread has only three ingredients – flour, salt and water. If the bread you buy has yeast in it, it is not true sourdough.
Einkorn is ancient wheat that has never been hybridized. Because of this, combined with the souring that is done in sourdough, even celiacs have been known to eat einkorn and have no bad effects from it. That is the reason Carla Bartolucci and her family started growing einkorn in Italy – Carla's daughter was gluten-intolerant and had terrible symptoms when she ate wheat.
Essentially all bread made with einkorn flour is “no knead” because of the weak gluten in einkorn. It is a sticky dough because it takes einkorn longer to absorb liquids. Don't be tempted to add more flour to get past the stickiness or you will end up with a hockey puck.
When you have a recipe you love and want to use einkorn flour, you can substitute 1:1. However, please read the guidelines on my previous post for instructions about this. If you are a beginner baker, you really need to use a recipe written for einkorn.
This starter is for einkorn flour. It is from Carla's personal starter which is 15 years old. That is why all you have to do when you get home is refresh it and bake with it. It is a mature starter.
You can start you own einkorn starter using just flour and water. Google starting your own starter at Jovial Foods and Carla walks you through the whole thing. God has provided all the yeasts you need to make this nutritious bread! I love that.
You can transition it to another flour if you want, but once you taste the products made with einkorn, you probably won't want to. To transition to another flour, just feed the starter with another flour for several feedings. This starter will be very different from the einkorn starter and you will need to google how to take care of it and bake with it. Wendy Anderson has one of those starters and would welcome any questions you have about that kind of baking.
Warmth speeds up the action of natural yeasts. Cold slows it down. If you want to make something rise faster, put it in a warm space (not hot). If you have something come up and need to postpone baking, put the dough in a cold space (even the refrigerator) and hold it for up to 24 hours.
The water you use to refresh, make a levain, and make a dough is a lot cooler than you would think. If you get it too cold, the yeast will go to sleep, too warm and you will kill them. Remember, they are living organisms.
The reason ranges of time are given in the recipe is because you need to keep an eye on the dough to see if it's ready to bake. If your house is warm, the dough may have risen enough in 3 hours. If your house is colder, it may take the full 5 hours or even beyond. The times are just a guideline.
I like the einkorn starter because there is not much waste. When you feed a starter made with other flour, you have to pour off so much starter. This starter is not liquidy and there is very little waste.
You don't have to be so precise in your measurements if you are an expert baker, but if not, be precise. That is the second thing Carla told us at the Getaway – the first being always weigh your ingredients.
Forget the mixer with the dough hook when working with einkorn! Too much mixing. Do it by hand.
Sourdough bread takes time, but it is not active time. You do something that takes 5 minutes or 10 minutes and then you set it aside and do whatever you want. Then you come back and do another 5 to 10 minutes. Etc.
For videos on every aspect of sourdough making go to Jovial Foods website and click on Blog - Videos. Carla walks you through the whole process.