Multigrain bread with home-milled multigrain flour

 

After a mini break from blogging due to the arrival of my sweet little baby daughter, I wanted to share my current go-to sourdough bread recipe with you. This multigrain sourdough bread has been the weekly staple loaf in our house over the last six months. It’s a super easy, yet wholesome and delicious recipe which I found easy to integrate into my new-baby-routine.

As with most sourdough recipes, it’s not difficult to fit the required steps into your day.  A few small steps at a time, 5-10 minutes here or there, is easy to fit around even a newborn baby’s needs.

Multigrain bread
Multigrain bread

Since giving birth, I use my grain mill a lot more. I now just have bags of grains (wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley) at home and mill to fine flour or more roughly chopped grain mixtures as I see fit. I still need to use white flours as all flours milled by the grain mill are naturally wholegrain.

Multigrain bread recipe

Don’t be put off by the amount of steps needed – you will only need a few minutes at a time to bake this delicious multigrain loaf. This is  a solid loaf of bread full of delicious chopped whole grains and toasted seeds. It tastes delicious with both sweet and savoury toppings.

Multigrain sourdough bread
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5 from 1 vote

Multigrain bread recipe

With my grain mill it's easy to make any combination of multigrain flour, three grain bread, four grain bread etc. This particular five-grain sourdough bread recipe uses a five-grain mix but you could easily use fewer grain varieties to the same effect, according to what you have at home or personal preference. The recipe for this bread is a modified version of the loaf '5-Korn-Kruste' from the book Rustikale Brote in Deutschen Landen.

Ingredients

Multigrain bread ingredients

  • If you are using a mill at home to prepare the flour and chopped grains prepare the various portions as needed on the day.

For the sourdough

For the toasted seed and grain soaker

  • 50 g sunflower seeds
  • 50 g pumpkin seeds
  • 150 g roughly chopped grains a combination of wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley grain - e.g. 30g each
  • 3 g salt
  • 210 g boiling water

For the main dough

  • 220 g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 80 g wholemeal rye flour
  • 160 g water
  • 13 g salt
  • 1 tbsp malt extract

For the topping

  • A handful of chopped grains

Instructions

How to make multigrain bread

    Day 1

    • Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover. Keep at room temperature for about 16-24 hours.
    • To prepare the toasted seed and grain soaker, toast the seeds in a frying pan (without oil i.e. dry) until they start to release their nutty smell. Take the pan off the heat and add the chopped grains and salt. Mix well, then cover with boiling water. Cover the pan and leave to rest at room temperature for 16 hours.

    Day 2

    • Combine 240g of the refreshed sourdough with the seed and grain soaker and the other main dough ingredients in a large bowl.
    • Knead for 10 minutes, then cover the bowl and leave to rest for about 45 minutes at room temperature.
    • Prepare a bread tin (approximately 23 x 11 x 9.5 cm) and brush with sunflower oil.
    • Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, then shape into an oval to fit into your bread tin.
    • Brush the surface of the bread oval with water before rolling it in roughly chopped grains.
    • Place in the bread tin, cover and proof at room temperature for several hours until it has risen to the top of the bread tin.
    • Preheat the oven to 250C.
    • Bake the loaf on the second lowest oven shelf for 15 minutes at 250C. Turn down the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 45 minutes.
    • For a nice crust take the bread out of the tin at the end and place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes at 180C.
    • Cool on a wire rack.

    Low glycemic index bread: barley flour bread recipe

     

    Although barley is almost exclusively used in the brewing industry on account of its very low gluten content, barley flour is a really nice ingredient to introduce into bread baking. You’ll have even more reason for using barley if you are looking to keep the glycemic index (GI) of your home-baked bread as low as possible. I’ve been baking with barley flour ever since I came across the delicious barley rusks (used to prepare Dakos) hugely popular on the Greek island of Crete and after lots of research and experimentation I’d like to share my barley flour bread recipe with you.

    Dakos
    Dakos – If you’d like to make Greek barley rusks at home try this recipe which uses 44% barley flour… https://akispetretzikis.com/categories/snak-santoyits/kritharokoyloyres

    Firstly though, I want to give you some background on barley flour and the glycemic index GI/ glycemic load GL values of different types of grains.

    Barley flour bread is low GI bread

    I’ve recently looked into low glycemic bread options as I’ve had to ensure my blood sugar levels were as stable as possible throughout the day for health reasons connected to my pregnancy. Out of all the grains, barley seems to come out on top. It contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has been shown to slow glucose absorption and thought to help lower blood cholesterol.

    The table below shows (reasonably) comprehensive information comparing the GI and GL of different grains, flours and one specific brand of bread. Data source: http://www.diogenes-eu.org/GI-Database/Default.htm

    “The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Glycemic Load (or GL) combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.  It is also the best way to compare blood glucose values of different types and amounts of foods. The formula for calculating the GL of a particular food or meal is: Glycemic Load = GI x Carbohydrate (g) content per portion ÷ 100.Source: https://www.gisymbol.com/

    The Glycemic Index Foundation suggests that a GI of 45 or less is classified as low GI. For GL, 10 or less qualifies as low GL.

    From the table below, we can see that only barley is low GI and none of the grains or flours listed qualify as low GL. Nonetheless, barley scores well.

    Food name GI value GL
    Pearl barley raw 25 21
    Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread 40 16
    Porridge Oats 58 20
    Crispbread rye 64 45
    Bran wheat 70 19
    Wheatgerm 70 31
    Rye bread 70 32
    Wheat flour wholemeal 70 45
    Wheat flour brown 70 48
    Wheat flour white for breadmaking 70 53
    Rye flour  whole 70 53
    Wheat flour white plain 70 54

    My barley bread recipe has taken inspiration from the above-mentioned Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread, incorporating both wheat and barley flours as well as sunflower seeds.

    Barley flour bread recipe (sourdough barley bread)

    Opt for barley bread if you are looking for a hearty addition to a low-GI diet. 

    Barley flour bread recipe
    Barley flour bread recipe

    It is best to use barley flour in conjunction with high-gluten flour. My barley flour recipe uses 50% barley flour and 50% wholewheat flour to ensure the bread rises better. By adding at least 50% wheat flour benefits the crumb. In the interest of flavour and extensibility, I wouldn’t recommend to increase the % of barley flour. The higher the percentage of barley in relation to wheat, the less extensible the dough. I increased the dough hydration as well in order to account for the higher water absorption of the flours.

    Barley flour bread low glycemic
    Barley flour bread – low glycemic index bread
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    5 from 2 votes

    Barley flour bread recipe

    Barley flour adds a pronounced sweetness and a suggestion of maltiness to this loaf. This is even more pronounced due to the added barley flake soaker. Add in some pre-boiled barley kernels to make a coarser type of barley bread if you wish.
    Servings 8

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

      Sourdough Ingredients

      • 100 g wheat sourdough starter 100% hydration
      • 50 g wholewheat flour
      • 50 g water lukewarm

      Barley Flake & Sunflower Seed Soaker Ingredients

      • 50 g barley flakes
      • 50 g sunflower seeds
      • 100 g hot water

      Main Dough Ingredients

      • 250 g wholewheat flour
      • 250 g barley flour
      • 10 g salt
      • 320 g water lukewarm
      • 100 g natural yoghurt

      Toppings

      • 1 handful of sunflower seeds
      • 1 handful of barley flakes

      Instructions

      How to make barley flour sourdough bread

        Day 1  - Refresh your sourdough starter & prepare the soaker

        • For the sourdough - 
          In a medium bowl, combine all the sourdough ingredients, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature until the next day.
        • For the soaker - 
          Toast the barley flakes and sunflower seeds in a frying pan (no oil) to release the nutty flavours, then take off the heat, add the boiling water and cover immediately. Set aside at room temperature.

        Day 2 (about 24 hours later) - Prepare the main dough, proof & bake

        • Combine 100g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for future bakes) with all the remaining ingredients (the soaker you prepared the day before and all of the main dough ingredients) and knead for about 10 mins. The dough will be sticky yet pliable.
        • Leave the dough to rest for about an hour.
        • Oil a bread baking tin and distribute a handful of sunflower seeds across the bottom of the tin, covering the surface evenly.
        • Transfer the dough into the oiled and seeded bread baking tin, evenly distribute the barley flakes across the top of the dough and cover with a lid or a polythene bag to keep the moisture in.
        • Rest until fully proofed (this takes a good 4 hours in my cool kitchen) and preheat the oven to 220°C in time.
        • Bake at 220°C for 10 mins, and at 200°C for a further 40 mins.
        • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

        Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe

         

        Just a quick post to share my newly developed buttermilk bread recipe with you. I had a purposeless tub of buttermilk sitting in the fridge and didn’t really fancy baking any of the usual options like scones or soda bread. So, I decided to make a buttermilk-based sourdough loaf, using predominantly white bread flour, but providing depth of flavour and taste by adding dark wholemeal rye flour. The resulting loaf tasted delicious (and has been baked five times since), so do give this a try if you like the sound of a buttermilk sourdough bread.

        Buttermilk sourdough bread
        Buttermilk sourdough bread

        Buttermilk is traditionally a by-product of butter-making – the liquid that is left over after butter is churned from cream. However, what we find in supermarkets nowadays is often made by adding an active bacterial culture to skimmed milk. These cultures convert some of the sugar in the milk (the lactose) into lactic acid which causes the milk to thicken. When used in bread making, buttermilk adds a pleasing tang and tartness and makes the crumb more tender. You’ll also find that the dough has a soft and creamy quality while kneading.

        I always use organic ingredients for cooking and baking and although it is not readily available in supermarkets, organic buttermilk can be found in the UK. Daylesford Farm offers the real deal. Creamy and tangy organic buttermilk, made in the traditional way as a byproduct of the butter they produce.

        Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe

        I used only a small proportion of dark rye flour in my recipe as buttermilk tends to work best with mild flours in order for the tangy flavours to come through and the crumb to remain soft. Add herbs or spices to this buttermilk sourdough bread to play with different flavour combinations.

        Buttermilk bread
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        4.5 from 2 votes

        Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe

        An easy recipe for a wholesome loaf of sourdough bread. I love using buttermilk in sweet baking and it's a beautiful ingredient for sourdough loaves too.
        Servings 8 people

        Ingredients

        Sourdough ingredients

        Main dough ingredients

        • 450 g strong white wheat flour
        • 100 g wholemeal rye flour
        • 300 g buttermilk at room temperature
        • 120 g water
        • 12 g salt

        Instructions

        How to make buttermilk sourdough bread

        • On day 1, prepare the sourdough by combining the sourdough starter, wholemeal rye flour and water in a medium bowl. Mix well, then cover and leave to rest for 16 -24 hours at room temperature.
        • On day 2, once the sourdough starter is ready, combine 260g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the strong white wheat flour and wholemeal rye flour, the buttermilk (ideally at room temperature), the water and salt in a large bowl.
        • Combine to form a dough, then turn it out onto your work surface.
        • Knead for 10 minutes.
        • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
        • Turn out the dough and knead for 1 minute.
        • Place back into the bowl again, cover and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
        • Turn out the dough and shape into a boule.
        • Bathe the boule in a flour bath so it's no longer sticky on the outside, then place seam-side up into a pre-floured proofing basket.
        • Proof for several hours until risen - it takes about 3 hours in my kitchen but as always the proofing time depends very much on the temperature in your room so it might take a little shorter or longer - then preheat the oven to 200°C, and - if using - your baking dome at the same time.
        • Turn out the fully proofed loaf onto the preheated baking dome plate (if using) or a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
        • Make several decorative slashes with a scoring knife. Put the cover on the baking dome plate (if using).
        • Bake for 15 mins at 200°C, then turn the temperature down to 180°C and bake for a further 40 mins. Take off the baking dome cover for the last 10 minutes to finish the crust.
        • Cool on a wire rack.

        Grape seed flour bread recipe

         

        I stumbled upon grape seed flour in a small farm shop in Austria and was intrigued by this little known ingredient. Of course, I had to have it to use it in bread baking 🙂 Here are my notes on baking bread with grape seed flour.
        Grape seed flour can be made from any variety of grape, each with its own characteristic taste. When added to bread dough, the resulting loaf benefits from the grape flour’s richness of colour and flavour. I’ve noted down my grape seed flour bread recipe for those of you interested in giving this a go!

        Grape seed bread
        Grape seed bread

        Grape seed flour (which is actually more like a fine powder) is produced from pomace i.e. the skins, seeds and pulp generated during wine-making. Typically, only 80% of the total harvested grape crop is used to make wine, so it’s a nice way of using the ‘waste’ of the wine-making process. The seeds are pressed to extract the oils, and then, along with the grape skins, dried and milled into flour. Grape seeds have long been used to produce grape seed oil, and grape seed flour is just another alternative.

        Grape seed flour bread
        Grape seed flour bread

        How to use grape seed flour

        • Grape seed flour can be added to baked goods. The recommended ‘dosage’ is 5-7% based on the bread’s flour content.
        • Grape seed flour pancakes are another great option. Just use your standard pancake recipe and add a tablespoon of grape seed flour into the batter mixture.
        • It can also be added to yoghurt or smoothies and used to thicken and flavour soups or salad dressings.
        • It adds rich colour and flavour with a slightly astringent yet fruity taste. White wine grapes will lend a tan colour to baked goods, while red wine grapes will add a darker, purple-brown colour to them.
        • Grape seed flour provides a boost of antioxidants and is high in fibre.
        • Finally, it’s a gluten free ingredient.

        Grape Seed Flour Bread Recipe

        Have fun baking with grape seed bread and pairing it with wine. I used grape seed flour from the Urkornhof in Austria, but you can buy grape seed flour online too. The cold-pressed grape seed flour I used combines seeds from both white and red grape varieties into one flour.

        Ingredients

        Sourdough

        Main dough

        • 265g strong white bread flour
        • 35g wholemeal wheat flour
        • 15g grape seed flour
        • 8g salt
        • 180g water

        How to make grape seed flour bread

        1. On the day before baking, refresh your sourdough by combining the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, cover and keep at room temperature for 12 – 16 hours.
        2. On the day of baking, combine 200g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge until your next bake) with the main dough ingredients.
        3. Knead for 10 minutes and you should have a smooth dough at this point.
        4. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and rest for 1 hour or so until visibly risen.
        5. Punch down the dough and, on your work surface, shape it into a boule.
        6. Lightly dust the loaf with flour on all sides, then place it into a suitable proving basket.
        7. Cover the proving basket with a polythene bag (to prevent the dough from drying out), then leave to prove at room temperature for several hours until fully proved.
        8. Preheat the oven and your baking dome (if using) 20 minutes before the bake.
        9. Turn out the dough onto the baking dome plate or a baking tray lined with baking paper. Score a pattern with a scoring knife if you like.
        10. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes and a further 10 minutes without the baking dome lid (if using) to brown the crust.
        11. Cool on a wire rack.

        Hemp Seed Bread Recipe

         

        I’m a big fan of using seeds in bread baking – why not add extra nutrition and taste in the form of seeds when baking? One minor complaint I have about most seeds I usually use (sunflower, pumpkin, flax chia) is that they lose their crunch when baked into bread dough. However, I have just found a seed that is as crisp as ever when added to bread. Whole hemp seeds (i.e. hemp seeds with their outer shell still on) lose none of their toasted crunchiness which makes them a fun and unexpectedly unique addition to breads. Here is my wheat and rye based hemp seed bread recipe, give it a try!

        Hemp seed bread recipe
        Hemp seed bread recipe

        From a nutritional perspective, whole hemp seeds are a good source of insoluble fibre, protein, essential amino acids, omega 3 fatty acids and minerals including iron, magnesium and potassium.

        Hemp seeds
        Hemp seeds

        Hemp Seed Bread Recipe

        This sourdough bread recipe with whole hemp seeds creates an unusual loaf with plenty of crunch.

        Hemp seed bread
        Hemp seed bread

        Hemp Seed Bread Ingredients

        Sourdough

        • 125g wholegrain rye flour
        • 125g water
        • 25g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter

        Whole Grain Soaker

        • 50g grains e.g. spelt or rye grains
        • 50g water

        Main Dough

        • 400g flour
        • 125g wholegrain rye flour
        • 280g water
        • 11g salt
        • 75g toasted hemp seeds
        Hemp seed sourdough bread
        Hemp seed sourdough bread – spot the hemp seeds and the whole grains 🙂

        How To Make Hemp Seed Bread

        1. Start by preparing the sourdough and the whole grain soaker.
        2. Firstly, combine all sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, then cover and set aside at room temperature for 16 to 24 hours.
        3. In a small bowl, combine the whole grain soaker ingredients, cover and set aside for 16 to 24 hours as well.
        4. On day 2, combine 250g of the sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge for future sourdough bakes), the whole grain soaker and all main dough ingredients except the toasted hemp seeds in a large bowl.
        5. Form the dough, then turn out the dough onto your work surface to hand-knead for about 10 minutes.
        6. Add the toasted hemp seeds and knead them all in until evenly distributed.
        7. Put the dough back into the large bowl, cover and rest for about an hour or two. During this time, the dough should visibly expand.
        8. Turn out the dough and give it another quick knead before shaping it into a round loaf.
        9. Cover the loaf with flour before placing it seamside up into the pre-floured proofing basket.
        10. Cover with a polythene bag to ensure the dough doesn’t dry out and leave to rest for several hours at room temperature (how long exactly will depend on the temperature in your room; it took three hours in my kitchen) until fully proofed.
        11. In time, preheat the oven to 220°C and, if you are using a La Cloche baking dome, (as I did), preheat this from cold at the same time.
        12. Turn the loaf out onto the baking dome plate or onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
        13. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes before turning the temperature to 190°C for another 50 minutes. If you are using the baking dome, take the lid off for the last 10 minutes to further strengthen the crust.
        14. Cool on a wire rack.

        Caraway Seed Bread Recipe (Rye Bread)

         

        I’m sure my Austrian roots have something to do with my slight addiction to the flavour of caraway seeds. In Austrian cuisine, caraway seeds are used abundantly, from flavouring roast pork to enhancing salad dressings. Most notably, Austrian dark breads frequently use caraway seeds as part of the Brotgewürz which is used to flavour the loaves. Caraway seeds are superb bread flavour enhancers, some of the top seeds to add to breads and perfect for rye breads specifically. Here is my caraway seed bread recipe, based on a combination of wholemeal rye flour and white wheat flour, leavened with sourdough.

        Caraway seed bread
        Caraway seed bread

        Are caraway seeds good for you?

        Caraway (carum carvi) belongs, like coriander, fennel and celery for example, to the family of Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. Not technically seeds, caraway ‘seeds’ are the split halves of the dried fruits of the plant.

        Caraway seeds
        Caraway seeds

        The effect of caraway is mainly related to the essential oil containing Carvon, which has a stimulating effect on the stomach and a soothing impact on the bowel. Two digestive bonus points at once.

        At the same time, the delicate, aromatic but slightly bitter taste of caraway adds a completely new dimension to breads.

        Caraway seed bread recipe
        Caraway seed bread recipe

        Caraway seed bread recipe

        A great bread for tasty sandwiches or creamy vegetable soups. Delicious also with pastrami, mustard and gherkins (my personal favourite). Add slightly more or less caraway seeds than recommended below to intensify or lessen the flavour kick. The sharpness of the mustard and gherkins works incredibly well with the distinctively bitter, yet warm and sweet taste of the caraway seeded bread.

        Caraway bread ingredients

        For the sourdough starter

        For the main dough

        • 180g strong white bread flour
        • 80g dark rye flour
        • 150g water
        • 8g salt
        • 10g caraway seeds

        How to make caraway bread

        1. Prepare the sourdough by combining the various ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover the bowl. Leave to rest overnight (16 – 24 hours).
        2. On day 2, prepare the main dough by combining 300g of the sourdough from day 1 (the remaining 30g go back into the fridge for future bakes) with the main dough ingredients.
        3. Mix well and knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
        4. Rest for about an hour, then shape into a loaf before placing it in your pre-floured proofing basket.
        5. Leave to proof for a few hours (this will depend on your room temperature), then preheat the oven. If you have a La Cloche baking dome, preheat this in the oven from cold.
        6. Turn out the loaf from your proofing basket to the baking tray (lined with baking paper) or the La Cloche dome.
        7. Make a few slashes with your scoring knife.
        8. Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C and for another 45 minutes at 200°C. Take the lid off the dome for the last 10 minutes if using the La Cloche dome.
        9. Cool on a wire rack.

        Homemade seeded sourdough bread recipe

         

        Why make a plain loaf if you can make it so much more interesting with seeds! This seeded sourdough bread recipe uses a mix of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseed – a loaf packed with nutrients, protein and minerals.

        Homemade seeded sourdough
        Homemade seeded sourdough

        Seeded sourdough bread recipe

        This recipe uses both rye and wheat flours as well as a tablespoon of malt extract. A tremendous flavour combination, enhanced further by the delicious seed mix.

        Seeded sourdough bread
        Seeded sourdough bread

        Ingredients

        Sourdough

        Seed mix

        • 60g sunflower seeds
        • 40g sesame seeds
        • 40g linseed
        • 150g hot water

        Main dough

        • 40g rye flour
        • 260g white bread flour
        • 200g wholemeal bread flour
        • 195g water
        • 12g salt
        • 1 tbsp malt extract
        Seeded sourdough
        Seeded sourdough

        How to make homemade seeded sourdough bread

        Day 1

        1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.
        2. Dry roast the seeds in a frying pan (no oil!) and toast the mixed seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Place in a bowl, pour over the hot water, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.

        Day 2

        1. Combine 300g of the sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the seed mix soaker and the main dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.
        2. Knead for 10 minutes.
        3. Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
        4. Butter a lidded pullman loaf tin, then move the dough from the bowl into the tin. Squash the dough in quite firmly and evenly.
        5. Cover the tin with the lid and place in the fridge overnight or approx. 12 – 16 hours. It should have risen significantly during this time.

        Day 3

        1. Take the pullman loaf tin out of the fridge and  preheat the oven to 190°C for 20 minutes.
        2. Bake at 190°C for 1 hour. Remove the bread from the tin approx. 15 minutes before the hour is up and put back into the oven – the bread will get a much better crust that way.
        3. Remove from the loaf pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.

        Einkorn Sourdough Bread Recipe

         

        Einkorn (triticum monococcum) is the ancient precursor of wheat, the original wheat that grew in the area known as the Fertile Crescent in present-day Iraq and Syria. The grains are not very different from those harvested and eaten about 18,000 years ago and cultivated from about 10,00o BC. Einkorn moved from the Fertile Crescent area all the way to the Italian Alps where it was found in 1991 with the frozen remains of Ötzi the Iceman. They examined his last meal and it contained meat, roots, berries and Einkorn wheat. Even in the UK, grains of Einkorn have been discovered at an underwater archaeological site on the Isle of Wight where it was cultivated around 6,000 BC, when Britain was still connected by land to Europe.

        Einkorn has an ability to survive on poor soil and in adverse conditions; however, as time went on, other varieties of wheat became more popular due to bigger yield and easier processing. Here is my Einkorn sourdough bread recipe, made with 100% wholemeal Einkorn flour. A beautifully golden loaf, with a deliciously creamy texture.

        Einkorn sourdough bread
        Einkorn sourdough bread

        After all of this time, Einkorn has remained a pure wheat that has not been hybridized. It aptly translates into “one grain” in German as it has a single grain attached to its stem, while other modern varieties have groups of four grains. All varieties of wheat we know today are descendants of wild Einkorn.

        Baking with Einkorn

        Einkorn is ground into a soft and golden flour. As the gluten is weaker than standard wheat flour gluten, it requires a shorter mixing and kneading cycle than with regular bread flour. The dough can become sticky with excessive kneading and the slightly sticky gluten produces loaves of smaller volume than modern flours.

        Einkorn flour absorbs less liquid than other wholemeal flours. As a general rule, the hydration amount should be reduced by 15% for standard wholewheat Einkorn flour. Resist the temptation to add more flour to lessen the dough’s sticky texture as it will end up drying up and baking dense later. Try to keep your dough wet and sticky.

        Finally, don’t let it proof to the same degree as you would with normal wheat doughs. If Einkorn dough rises too much, it will deflate in the oven. Make sure the dough springs back when you press on it with your finger. It is better to under-proof than over-proof with Einkorn.

        Where to buy Einkorn flour

        Production today is limited and isolated, yet in the UK, Einkorn flour is available from Doves Farm and Shipton Mill.

        Einkorn Sourdough Recipe

        Bake a rustic sourdough bread with golden Einkorn flour. Light and creamy in colour with a rich flavour.

        Einkorn bread
        Einkorn bread

        Ingredients

        Sourdough

        • 50g wheat sourdough starter
        • 75g Einkorn flour
        • 75g water

        Main dough

        • 500g Einkorn flour
        • 8g salt
        • 400g water

        Dusting

        • Some extra flour (I use rice flour)

        How to make Einkorn sourdough bread

        1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 12 hours.
        2. On the second day, combine all main dough ingredients with 150g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest should be set aside for your next bake) in a large bowl.
        3. Mix until all ingredients are well combined but avoid kneading the dough. The dough will be sticky, so work with your dough scraper to make things easier.
        4. Shape into a ball and place back into the bowl.
        5. Cover and leave to rest for about an hour at room temperature.
        6. Deflate the dough and shape into a boule, cover with (rice) flour and place into lightly floured proofing basket.
        7. Cover with a polythene bag to protect the moisture and proof at room temperature. For me, in my Edinburgh kitchen, this process takes a good 6 or 7 hours. However, if your kitchen is warmer, the process may be much shorter, perhaps only 2 hours or so.
        8. Preheat the oven to 220°C and preheat your baking dome or Dutch oven at the same time.
        9. Turn out the loaf onto the baking dome or Dutch oven (or otherwise a baking stone or baking tray lined with baking paper).
        10. Score the top with a pattern of your choice. Use a scoring knife for best results.
        11. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and at 200°C for a further 40 minutes.
        12. Take off the lid of your baking dome or Dutch oven for the last 10 minutes if using to firm up the crust.
        13. Cool on a wire rack.
        14. Enjoy an beautiful Neolithic loaf of sourdough bread 🙂

        What to do with leftover sourdough starter?

         

        Starting the year with healthy and nutritious bread is a great way to improve your diet. In the same vein, minimising food waste should be another goal high on the list of food-related ambitions. 22.4% of all bread  (equating to 660,000t or £640 million of bread) is thrown away in UK homes every year. Bread is in the top three foods that Britons are throwing away uneaten, with potatoes and milk also making the shameful top three. Here are some tips to reduce bread waste, from storing bread in an ideal environment to using stale pieces of bread and ideas for leftover sourdough starter.

        Rye sourdough starter
        Rye sourdough starter

        Tips for storing bread

        Use a bread bin for storing bread to allow it to breathe and stay moist while shielding it from the worst of the dry air. Storing bread in plastic doesn’t let moisture escape so iwill get mushy. You can counteract this somewhat by wrapping the bread in a clean kitchen towel before putting it in a plastic bag as the fabric will absorb moisture. Don’t store bread in the fridge as it goes stale much faster. However, the freezer is a good option to go for if you’d like to keep your bread fresh for more than a few days.

        Tips for using stale bread

        I’m proud to report that I waste 0% of the bread I bake. Yes, we eat a lot of the tasty home-baked breads as long as they are fresh but, once a little bit stale, a splash of water and a hot oven can revive most breads to a deliciously soft state. Even really stale bread can be turned into breadcrumbs, croutons or pangrattato, used in salads such as fattoush or turned into bread dumplings or bread and butter pudding. There’s an assumption that stale bread means that it’s fit for the bin. But in actual fact stale bread is a versatile ingredient and there are many delicious recipes stale bread can be used in.

        Another great way to use stale rye bread is adding some of it to your new bread dough. Old stale rye bread pieces add fantastic flavour to new loaves of bread. How to achieve this?

        • You can either keep old pieces of dried out bread. When ready to bake, soak  the stale bread in water and blend before using the ‘bread puree’ for new bread dough.
        • Alternatively, if you have a grain mill at home, cut rye bread into cubes and leave them to dry out. Put them through the mill and let the crumbs dry out again. Just before baking, combine some of the crumbs with hot water which gives a wonderfully fragrant old bread soaker to add to your new dough.

        Tips for leftover sourdough starter

        After this long preamble, what I’ve come to talk about specifically here is the topic of leftover sourdough starter.

        There are too many recipes which frustratingly encourage people to chuck leftover sourdough starter. Why should one toss a perfectly good portion of starter? Firstly, it’s perfectly possible to produce a sensible amount of starter to begin with, without having to discard mixture along the way. Secondly, there are many good ways to use any excess starter you might have, so don’t just put it in the bin. There’s never a reason to waste and discard accumulations of old but functioning sourdough.

        Leftover sourdough starter ideas

        1. Initiate your next production sourdough…
          Here is one recipe that requires a good amount of sourdough starter (100g) and I’ve added another (new) recipe below using 140g starter. Please note: A fluffy loaf of sourdough bread is best baked with a refreshed, active starter to provide fermentation and leavening power. There are other recipes, however, that do well with discarded starter.
        2. Pass it on…
          Give the gift of good bread to your friends and family!
        3. Use it as a natural bread improver…
          A small amount (up to 10% of the total dough weight) of old starter will improve any bread in terms of flavour, especially yeast breads that don’t involve any sponge, sourdough or long fermentation. Just mix the old starter in with all the other ingredients and enjoy an improvement to the dough structure, flavour and quality that comes from its rich store of organic acids.
        4. Improve the flavour of quick breads and bakes…
          Use leftover sourdough starter to improve the flavour of pancakes, muffins or crackers .

        Leftover sourdough bread recipe

        This is a new sourdough recipe I put together with the purpose of using some spare starter I had. Due to the large amount of sourdough starter used, it’s a very vigorous dough so will prove more quickly than other recipes using only a fraction of the starter.

        White rye sourdough bread
        White rye sourdough bread

        Ingredients

        For the sourdough

        • 140g leftover/spare sourdough starter
        • 200g light/white rye flour
        • 200g water

        For the main dough

        • 50g piece of stale rye bread (+hot water to soak)
        • 280g light/white rye flour
        • 220g strong white bread flour
        • 305g water
        • 15g salt

        How to make bread with spare sourdough starter

        Day 1

        1. Combine the sourdough starter, rye flour and water in a medium bowl, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for about 16 hours until ripe and bubbly.

        Day 2

        1. An hour before you start making the dough, take a small bowl to soak the piece of stale rye bread in water. Make sure all of the old bread is covered. Leave to soak.
        2. Drain all the water from the bowl, then puree the bread until completely lump free.
        3. In a large bowl, combine the sourdough mixture from day 1 (all of it) with the main dough ingredients, including the pureed old bread.
        4. Form a dough and knead for a good 10 minutes. The dough will be quite soft, so you may want to knead it in a stand mixer.
        5. Place back in the bowl if you had taken the dough out onto your work surface and cover. Rest for about an hour at room temperature. You should see a good rise from the bread in that time.
        6. Oil a large bread baking tin and fill the punched down dough into the form.
        7. Dust with flour, cover with a polythene bag and prove for a few hours at room temperature until fully proved (e.g. if it filled your tin by half, it should now come almost to the top).
        8. Preheat your oven to 230°C in time for baking, then bake for 10 minutes at 230°C and a further 40 minutes at 190°C.
        9. Cool on a wire rack.

        Amaranth bread recipe

         

        I’ve finally got hold of amaranth! After putting down my thoughts on healthy bread last week, I wanted to dedicate this week’s post to another health-related topic and highlight the benefits of the nutritious amaranth plant, its seeds and flour. The amaranth plant, once a staple of the Aztec and Inca diet, produces seeds packed full of protein and nutrients. Amaranth seeds contain even more protein than oats and are brimming with iron, calcium, vitamin B, magnesium and zinc. This is therefore another healthy bread recipe for the start of the year; my amaranth bread recipe based on long fermentation, enhanced in its nutritional value by added pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

        Amaranth bread
        Amaranth bread

        Baking with amaranth flour and seeds

        Amaranth is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family of plants which means it’s a relative of beets, spinach and quinoa. For this reason, some of its nutritional characteristics are more related to these vegetables than cereal grain foods, which are members of an entirely different plant family.

        • The word ‘Amaranth’ is derived from the Greek term ‘amarantos’ meaning ‘unwithering’. Amaranth is also known as ‘Love-Lies-Bleeding’ due to its brightly coloured flowery head.

        Amaranth flour recipes

        Both amaranth seeds and flour can be used for baking. Due to its mild, nutty flavour amaranth flour produces relatively plain breads and I’ve enhanced my amaranth bread recipe with both pumpkin seeds and walnuts. If you fancy a quicker recipe, try these crackers for a healthy snack. I’ve seen the amaranth flavour described as ‘lightly reminiscent of corn with grassy tones’ which I think is pretty much spot on.

        Amaranth Seed recipes

        Amaranth is quite versatile and can be simmered like other grains. It has a porridge-like texture and goes well with curry dishes. If you are growing the plant, you can even use the green leaves as an addition to your curry or salad. I’ve also used amaranth to prepare healthy salads and it works well. Alternatively, you can make a dessert by using amaranth seeds to prepare a fruity amaranth pudding.

        Where to buy amaranth?

        I got the amaranth flour and seeds from BuyWholefoodsOnline.co.uk, which has proven to be a brilliant source for high quality whole foods difficult to find elsewhere.

        The individual products sourced were:

        Amaranth sourdough bread
        Amaranth sourdough bread

        Amaranth bread
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        Amaranth bread recipe

        My amaranth bread recipe includes 20% amaranth flour (based on overall flour content) and an additional portion of amaranth porridge made from amaranth seeds and water. It is therefore not a pure amaranth flour bread recipe, but using around 20% amaranth flour in a loaf of bread will provide a good texture and the amaranth taste will come through nicely.
        Prep Time 1 day 8 hours
        Cook Time 50 minutes
        Total Time 1 day 8 hours 50 minutes
        Calories 219kcal

        Ingredients

        Amaranth bread ingredients

          Sourdough

          • 30 g rye sourdough starter at 100% hydration
          • 75 g wholemeal flour
          • 75 g water

          Seed and Nut Soaker

          • 50 g chopped walnuts
          • 50 g chopped pumpkin seeds
          • 80 g water

          Amaranth Seed Porridge

          • 80 g amaranth seeds
          • 160 g water

          Main dough

          • 450 g strong white bread flour
          • 110 g amaranth flour
          • 325 g water
          • 12 g salt

          Dusting

          • Some extra flour I use rice flour

          Instructions

          How to make amaranth bread

            Day 1

            • Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 16 - 24 hours.
            • Dry-roast the chopped walnuts and pumpkin seeds until fragrant, then add 80g of boiling water to soak. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 16 - 24 hours.

            Day 2

            • Toast the amaranth seeds in a small pan until they become aromatic and light brown. Add the water and bring to a low simmer. The amaranth should soften in about 15 minutes and the water should evaporate by then. If it dries before the seeds are ready, add more water as needed. Remove from the heat to cool when done.
            • In a large bowl, combine 150g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest should be set aside for your next bake), the amaranth seed porridge and the main dough ingredients to form a dough.
            • Knead for at least 10 minutes until you have formed an elastic and smooth dough.
            • Add the seed and nut soaker from day 1 and kneed for a further few minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky, so work with your dough scraper to help things along.
            • Place back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for about an hour or two at room temperature until you can see the dough has risen slightly.
            • Deflate the dough and give it another quick knead on your work surface.
            • Shape into a loaf, cover with flour in a flour bath and place into a lightly floured proving basket.
            • Cover with a polythene bag to protect the moisture and prove at room temperature. In my wintery Edinburgh kitchen, this process takes a good 6 or 7 hours. However, if your kitchen is warmer, the process may be much shorter.
            • Preheat the oven to 220°C and preheat your baking dome or Dutch oven at the same time.
            • Turn out the loaf onto the baking dome or Dutch oven (or otherwise a baking stone or baking tray lined with baking paper).
            • Score the top with a pattern of your choice. Use a scoring knife for best results.
            • Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and at 200°C for a further 40 minutes.
            • Take off the lid of your baking dome or Dutch oven for the last 10 minutes if using to firm up the crust.
            • Cool on a wire rack.
            • Enjoy an amazing loaf of amaranth sourdough bread 🙂

            Nutrition

            Calories: 219kcal
            Amaranth bread recipe
            Amaranth bread loaf

            If you’d like to make this amaranth bread recipe without the use of pumpkin seeds and walnuts, you can simply omit the seed and nut soaker ingredients as well as step 4 above.