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.
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
• 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.
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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