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No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread, the Easiest Recipe Ever!

 

Some of the complaints I hear from people about making their own bread are: “I don’t have time,” “it’s too hard,”  “I don’t like kneading,” “I’m gluten sensitive (intolerant, etc).” Well, I’ve finally come up with a solution: an easy, no-knead, minimal-ingredient Einkorn sourdough bread that’s easy on the tummy. It can’t get any better than this!

Bread has been around for a long, long time. For about 30,000 years, give or take a few, if I can believe what I read. But lately, at least in this new millennium, bread has become, while still exceedingly popular, the “problem child” of the modern diet. Ancient bread was made with whole, unadulterated grains. Prehistoric women did not have to rush to work in the morning or get the kids off to school, so they had the time to make their own. The nutritional value of our bread has plummeted. Wheat and gluten have become gut-irritants for multitudes of people and no one is sure why. Could it be due to wheat grains being hybrid beyond recognition? Could it be the USA’s practice of spraying Roundup on wheat before harvest? Could it be leaky gut syndrome? Commercial yeast is another issue: just one more unnatural component in our foods. There are even some indications that commercial yeast creates a yeast imbalance in our bodies. Longer rise times, done with sourdough starter, helps break down gluten.

Last year I became aware of an ancient grain called Einkorn.  Einkorn has never been hybridized. It’s delicious, bakes really well and a lot of people with gluten sensitivity DO NOT react to it, myself included. I buy mine directly from the Jovial Foods web site. Their grains are grown in Tuscany, Italy. And anything grown in a GMO free area is all right with me.

I’d been experimenting with sourdough (no added yeast) bread for more than a year. The final result is the easiest—and best—bread I’ve EVER made or tasted. I mean seriously, I’m so excited about this recipe!

I started by re-working an old no-knead recipe using Einkorn rather than regular flour and baking it in a great, economical, Ikea 3-quart no-stick cast iron covered casserole, which cost about $40 (take THAT Le Creuset $300 casserole!). The loaf was gorgeous: crusty, fragrant and delicious, but on the small side and the process included some work that I thought could be eliminated. The next time around I simplified the process by skipping two steps and was blown away at how perfectly easy this recipe had become. All it takes is mixing, rising (waiting) and baking. And this bread is to die for! So, here’s my recipe. I think I’m done improving it, there’s nothing I can think of that would make it faster, easier, more delicious or nutritious. If you come up with any suggestions, please let me know.

If you’re new to keeping a sourdough starter, you can get an idea of what’s involved here.

Easy No-knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread

This recipe is especially great for people who work full time, it takes 10 minutes in the morning to throw this together and then it's ready to bake 8-12 hours later. You could also throw this together at night, and bake in the morning.

 

Makes one 3-1/2 lb loaf of bread

Ingredients
•  1 cup or more* proofed/bubbling sourdough starter
•  6 cups Einkorn flour
•  2 to 3 cups room temp filtered water
•  1 tbsp sea salt
•  1/2 tsp citric acid, totally optional, it’s to increase the sour flavor. You can also add some flavoring ingredients such as rosemary, asiago… whatever. Get creative!
*1 cup is all that’s needed, but if you add more, you’ll get a more sour-tasting bread. Just use a little less water if you’re using extra starter.

Instructions

1. In a large bowl (preferably one that has a lid), add the flour, sourdough starter, water and salt and mix until blended. It should be a gluey thick batter, a little thicker than brownie batter.

2. Cover and let it rise in a warm spot for about 8+ hours, or until bubbly and doubled in size. In the winter, I turn my oven light on for warmth and keep the bowl in the oven for rising.

3. Once the dough has risen sufficiently (8-12 hours, depending on ambient temps), remove it from the oven. Place your empty covered casserole in the oven and set the oven temp 450 degrees F.

4. Once temp is achieved, remove your casserole from the oven. CAUTION: HOT HOT HOT! Remove the lid and gently pour the dough into the casserole, being careful to not disturb too many bubbles. Cover and bake for 60 minutes. PLEASE NOTE: You may have to experiment with bake time due to altitude differences. Being at almost 6,000 ft., I bake for 80 minutes.

5. Remove the bread from the oven and remove lid. After 10-15 minutes, dump the bread out of the casserole, place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving. I usually leave it on the counter over night to cool and dry a little and then cut it in the morning with a meat slicer. If it makes it through the night, lol. Don’t forget the Kerry Gold!

Deb Tejada is an urban farmer, foodie, do-it-yourselfer, graphic designer, illustrator and web developer living in sunny Colorado.  When she’s not in the kitchen or garden, you can find her at The Herban Farmer.


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debt
12/2/2015 9:33:28 PM

Hi Tom! If you're going to be making Einkorn bread, you can make the starter using the Einkorn flour. Back when I first got my SD starter going, I was using organic flour. Then I discovered Einkorn and so "switched" my starter over to Einkorn by feeding it with about 1/4 cup of Einkorn flour every few days. Eventually it became 100% Einkorn. I've gotten to like the Einkorn flour so much that it's all I use for any of my cooking. I buy it 10 lbs at a time from the Jovial Foods web site. I just made chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight using Einkorn to thicken my sauce and make the dumplings and it was delicious! Deb


tom
12/2/2015 12:06:36 PM

Hello, I am ready to try your recipe after buying the ingredients you recommended. My only question is what type of flower do I use to make the starter. I bought the San Francisco sourdough starter and the Einkorn flour for baking. Can I use any type of flour for the starter and then use the Einkorn brand for baking or should i use that for starter as well, thanks in advance - Tom


rj
10/28/2015 4:35:46 PM

Great! thank you.


debt
10/28/2015 4:24:30 PM

Sure thing. I bought the San Francisco sourdough starter and used the einkorn flour, with no problems.


debt
10/28/2015 4:24:02 PM

Sure thing. I bought the San Francisco sourdough starter and used the einkorn flour, with no problems.


rj
10/28/2015 4:17:39 PM

Which of the starters from Cultures for Health did you use? They have a bunch to choose from and nothing is for Einkorn specifically. Thank you for taking the time to respond.


debt
10/28/2015 4:10:14 PM

Hi RJ & ntrippet, I don't have a recipe for the starter. I never had much luck making my own so I bought my starter from Cultures for Health. You can also find some on Amazon, they have a few to choose from. There are recipes on the Internet to make your own starter, some use potato water, some milk and flour... or check the Kings Flour web site, they seem to have a least one. If you don't have any luck either, I can say that once you buy a starter it can last forever if you feed it regularly. I have a friend that has a starter she got when she was in high school, and she's 50 now! My starter is more than a year old and we're old friends now. :-)


rj
10/28/2015 3:53:52 PM

Thank you, Deb, so much for your recipe. The bread looks so yummy! I too have noticed that the Einkorn doesn't bother me when I've used the Jovial pasta. Yeast doesn't agree with me and I have wanted to start using sourdough to make my own bread. I would love to know (if you don't mind sharing) your yeast free sourdough starter recipe. Thank you.


ntrippet
10/27/2015 11:11:57 PM

Do you have a recommended sourdough starter recipe?


yespat
10/26/2015 11:26:52 PM

How about if I use my 5 quart coated cast iron Dutch oven? Unfortunately, it's not non-stick. Use cooking spray? Also, have you tried using this technique with the whole wheat flour? Thanks!


debt
10/26/2015 5:08:24 PM

You can try the Pyrex, I've only used the cast iron casserole and just use it for the bread so I don't scratch it. The glass may cause the bread to have a slightly different crust, but I imagine it would still taste great. Just make sure your lid is heavy enough to keep in the moisture and make sure you don't overbake or burn it. It seems the glass would be thinner and transmit heat faster than the cast iron. Please let us know how it turns out!


yespat
10/26/2015 10:32:43 AM

This recipe looks very good. I was wondering if I could use some other kind of covered casserole. I have a couple of 2 quart Pyrex casseroles. Don't relish the thought of having to go out and buy a new casserole for a recipe, pause my kitchen has no more room for any new pots. Any suggestions? Thanks!