Sunday, October 19, 2014

Easy Einkhorn Wheat Bread--The Really Low Gluten Alternative

First of all, let me just say right off the bat that Einkhorn wheat is not suggested for use by those with Celiac disease.

However, if you are avoiding gluten for other reasons, such as anti-inflammation or eczema healing, you may be very happy to know that many people with gluten intolerances do just fine with a little einkorn flour in their diets.  Using organic einkorn flour with a true sourdough leavening process (no yeast) produces a bread loaf that has a low gluten content.  In fact, with the right starter, your loaf could fall well below FDA guidelines for gluten free!  (See here for more information about using einkorn flour for low gluten cooking.)

To get the lowest gluten content use a true sourdough leavening process, not yeast.

Delicious, nutritious, low gluten, high protein einkorn sourdough bread.  

Why not just buy a loaf of gluten-free bread at the supermarket?  Gluten-free loaves are mostly made with tapioca starch, potato starch, white rice flour, and other starches.  The starches in these loaves get released as sugars into the blood stream very quickly which is not a good thing if you are overweight, diabetic or have an imbalance in your gut flora (candida).  On the other hand, einkorn flour is high in protein and much lower in carbohydrate than regular wheat bread.  It is a nutritious, blood sugar stabilizing choice.

Let's face it.  We all have busy lives and baking bread may seem like an overwhelming task.  However, if your choice is between never having a sandwich again and baking your own bread, you may feel motivated to make this easy no-fuss, no-mess einkorn bread.  Yes, there are a lot of hours involved, but there's almost no work.  With a little planning and this easy bake method, you can fit bread baking into your life.

If you're a working mom or dad, or anyone with a busy schedule, here's a way you can make this work.  Start your prep work the night before.  Just mix the ingredients up while you cook dinner.  Then let them raise overnight.  The next morning, the very first thing after you get up, gently press the dough down into a dutch oven, let it rise for one hour and bake it for 40 minutes while you're getting yourself ready for work.  Take the loaf out of the oven and out the door you go!

Total prep time:  10 hours,   Actual effort time:  12 minutes!!!

Easy Living Low Gluten Einkorn Wheat Bread 

1 cup of sourdough starter (you can beg, borrow or steal some starter from someone you know, order it online from here, or follow our directions to make your own einkorn flour version here.
5 cups einkorn flour
1 cup and 3 T warm water
1 t salt

Mix ingredients together and knead for 60 seconds until dough starts to smooth out a little bit,
cover tightly with plastic wrap and let raise overnight while you sleep, or for about 8-12 hours.

If your house is cooler than 70 degrees, you may want to provide your dough with a warmer environment in order to activate the leavening.  You can place your tightly wrapped dough on the bottom shelf of your oven and turn the oven light on.  This should raise the temperature of your oven well into the 70's.


The next morning, or when you have a good rise from your dough, gently press the dough down and put it in a dutch oven that you have sprayed with olive oil.  Make a slash or two in the top layer of dough with a knife so the bread can rise a little more in baking.  Put the lid on, place it in the unheated oven again on the low rack with the light on and allow it to rise again--about 1 hour.

This cast iron dutch oven from Le Creuset works perfectly.
Remove the dough from the oven and turn the oven on to 475 degrees.  When the oven is hot, put the covered dutch oven back into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.  After 20 minutes remove the lid.  When the bread is baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Be sure to slather that first slice out of the oven with grass fed butter and eat it while it's warm! Grass fed butter is high in omega-3s which are strong inflammation fighters (regular butter is not).  So enjoy a little organic grass fed butter in your daily life!

This method of cooking was inspired by an article in the New York Times explaining the no knead method adapted from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery.    

1 comment: