Tartine Einkorn Bread

I’ve been happily making my standard sourdough breads every three or four weeks for much of this year, so I recently decided to explore some new breads. Chad Robertson’s Tartine Book No. 3 has been on my shelf for some time now. It intimidated me — new recipes, new techniques, strange flours and other ingredients — so I avoided it until now. The motivation was the desire to cook with Einkorn again, an ancient grain which I found enjoyable years ago when I experimented with it.

After reading a few chapters meticulously, I was ready to try his Einkorn bread. Fortunately, I still had some sprouted Einkorn berries, so I could mill the 300 gm. of flour needed. I had to read carefully to understand that I also needed 400 gm. of “Medium Strong” wheat flour (which translates to high protein bread flour), 300 gm. of “High Extraction” wheat flour (explained below), 70 gm. of wheat germ, and coarse bran to coat the loaves so they don’t stick while resting in their baskets.

A year ago, during the early days of the pandemic, stores had run out of all-purpose and regular bread flour (remember?). I used to buy it from King Arthur Flour, but they were out, too, so I purchased a set of flour sifters, with the idea that I could mill flour from my whole wheat berries in my stock, and then sift out some of the bran, to get something a little more like bread flour. A set of three different diameter stainless steel sifting tools cost me only $18.58, so it was not a challenging purchase.

As it turned out, the sifters were not in stock either, and it took several months for them to arrive. By that time bread flour was becoming available, so the sifters stayed on my shelf until now. That’s where “High Extraction” comes in….so for the Einkorn bread, I milled my remaining portion of Breadtopia’s Heirloom Turkey Red Wheat Berries (a hard winter wheat variety). I then took that flour and sifted it all, saving the bran that was removed to use to coat the formed bread loaves, and using what came through the sifter for my 300 gm. of “High Extraction” wheat flour.

A package of Bob’s Red Mill wheat germ completed the necessary supply items, and I was ready to bake. Most of the methodology for this was the same as the Tartine bread approach I’ve used for years. Two aspects were different and needed to be noted. The hydration was higher for this bread (85% vs. the 76% I was used to), and his instructions maintained a higher heat longer when baking the breads.

Here are the results:

Einkorn bread
Grilled octopus and Einkorn bread for lunch
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