Saturday, May 24, 2014


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

Lutz (Plötzblog) announced the first Plötziade, and everybody came - to "build a bread" with 4 ingredients.

This challenge was so much fun that participation in the second Plötziade was an absolute must.

In support of an initiative to preserve ancient or heirloom grains, Lutz called his blog event: "Saat-Gut-Brot" (heirloom grain bread.) Worldwide 75% of all grains and vegetables have been lost - and in the EU even 90% - due to modern farming practices, and global agriculture corporations.

Ancient grain Einkorn
Monsanto & Co.'s sterile frankenfood GMO hybrids are responsible that farmers can no longer raise their own seeds, but have to buy it new every year.

Breeding heirloom varieties takes many years and receives little political support - contrary to highly subsidized Big Agrar Business. No wonder, the number of food plants is shrinking dramatically.

The second Plötziade calls for baking a bread with ancient (or ecologically bred new) grains. Pseudo-grains like buckwheat, quinoa or amaranth don't count - therefore I couldn't use our Maine albino buckwheat.

Having already baked with Einkorn (English Digestive Biscuits, Einkorn Hazelnut Levain), I like the nutty taste of this ancient wheat.

Instead of honey, often of dubious origin and adulterated here in the US, I took organic agave nectar for a hint of sweetness. With my Hamburg trip only days away I wanted to use up my yogurt, and I love breads with nuts. And for a delicate seasoning I added a little anise and fennel.

With help of BreadStorm I came up with this formula:

Stretching and folding the dough, the 100% einkorn was fairly easy to work with - even though the ancient wheat has less gluten. I loved the tasty bread with its tender, dark crumb and hearty, nutty taste, and will definitely bake it again!

Einkorn: grains, flour and meal

(1 Boule)

  38 g/1.3 oz einkorn meal (coarse)
374 g/13.2 oz einkorn flour
168 g/5.9 oz yogurt (plain or 2%)
136 g/4.8 oz water
  10 g/0.4 oz agave nectar or honey
    8 g/0.3 oz salt
    4 g/0.14 oz instant yeast (or 6 g/0.2 oz active dry yeast)
   1 g/1/4 tsp. fennel and/or anise seed
 50 g/1.8 oz walnuts, coarsely chopped

Mix all ingredients at lowest speed (or by hand) for 1-2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Knead at medium-low speed (or by hand) for 6 minutes (dough should still be somewhat sticky).

Stretch and pat dough first into a square...
...then fold like a business letter... three parts.
Repeat the folding from right...
...and left into a package.

Transfer dough to an oiled work surface. With oiled hands, stretch and pat into a square. Fold from top and bottom to the middle in 3 parts, like a business letter, then from both sides. Gather package into a ball and place, seam side down, into an oiled bowl.

Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat stretching and folding 3 more times at 10-minute intervals. After the last fold, refrigerate (well covered) overnight.

The dough has risen in the fridge overnight

Remove dough from the fridge 2 hours before using.

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface, shape into a boule and place, seam side up, in a well floured rising basket. Proof for 45-60 minutes, or until it has grown 1 1/2 times its original volume  (finger poke test).

The bread has grown 1 1/2 times its original volume

Preheat oven to 425ºF/220ºC (including steam pan).

Place loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet (or bake directly on a baking stone). Score as desired.

Score before baking

Bake at 350ºF/175ºC (with steam). After 20 minutes rotate loaf 180 degrees, remove steam pan, and continue baking for another 25 minutes, until dark golden brown (internal temperature about 200ºF/93ºC).

Let cool on wire rack.

A very tasty bread!

Submitted to      Yeast Spotting
and Panissimo:  Bread & Companatico                                       
                           Sono io, Sandra



  1. Sieht sehr gut aus, dein Brot! Diese Plötziade schaff ich leider nicht... na, es wird vielleicht wieder mal eine geben.

    1. Danke, Ninive! Schade, dass du diesmal nicht mitmachen kannst. Ich hab aber während meiner Reise eine Idee für eine nette Challenge gehabt, und werde das noch im Einzelnen schildern.
      Ich war nämlich in einem schönen Burghotel - alles toll, bis auf das labberige Brot. Ich schreibe oft Bewertungen für Tripadvisor, und hätte das einfach als Kritikpunkt angeben können. Anstattdessen würde ich ihnen gern ein Brot "schenken", also Rezeptideen zum Bessermachen.
      Es wäre schön, wenn du dabei mitmachen könntest. Später mehr darüber, und dafür gibt's keine enge Deadline.

  2. Funny Karin, the bread I have ready to bake also has yogurt in it and pecans instead of walnuts. I don't think I will make the deadline though :(. I made another loaf earlier in the week and my starter did not cooperate and I ended up with a brick. I will post it anyway in the next day or so.

    1. Sorry to hear that! But I'll have a nice and interesting challenge for you, without a tight deadline. I had the idea during my trip, when we stayed at an medieval castle turned hotel, where everything was wonderful - except for the bread. I'll post the details as soon as I have time.

  3. Hi, Karin! It's certainly a new recipe for me! And as I really love baking bread at home, I must try this one some day - when I get hold of einkorn :)

    1. Nice that you are a bread baker, too! I think drawing and baking are both very meditative practices. If you can get hold of kamut instead- that would work as well, I'm sure.

  4. Looks great Karin. I missed the deadline and have not decided if I even want to post about my effort. It came out very dense and I didn't really like it but it could be just me. Anyway, yours looks great.

    1. Thanks, Ian. I learned something interesting in the meantime: the addition of milk proteins stabilizes the dough structure. I was wondering why my 100% Einkorn bread with yogurt rose higher than an earlier trial with a 100% unenriched Einkorn bread, that spread and was rather flat.