Jun 14, 2011

New 'Baby Kamut'

I love all aspects of bread making, how the yeasts work, the smell of the yeast or my sourdough starter, the feel of Goddess given, ground grains in my hands and the therapeutic aspect kneading the dough brings. I have never felt it to be a chore. I always try to pick flour types that are natural, unbleached - rye flour or meal, wholemeal, spelt and now slightly more modern version of an ancient grain, similar to durum wheat. Kamut flours common name is Khorasan wheat and it's from Egypt. The benefits of eating products made from this flour is vast. While it has gluten, it is easy to digest and also has no fructose, which is helpful to those with allergies, it is higher in vitamins, protein and amino acids. It can be used in any baking you use normal wheat flour.. you can even eat the grains. A 5kg bag of this flour followed me home on Friday, along with some wholemeal spelt and rye.
This new flour has a different texture than I am used to so it is a learning curve for me. As I am a huge fan of sourdough another bread steeped in ancient history, it seemed a foregone conclusion that I would make a sourdough starter with it. So I would like to introduce you to 'Kamut Baby'
I have put 'Kamut Baby' on the left and my original sourdough starter 'dough baby' side by side so you can see the difference in the colours. The Kamut flour is white until you add the water and it changes to a fawn colour.  As the weather is very cold here at the moment  it gets down to 8 or 9c over night colder as winter progresses, I don't have a warm place to keep the starters, so I knew the new starter would be slow or may even fail. So I cheated a weeeny teeeny bit, to the 1/2 cup of Kamut flour and 1/2c cup water I put about a teaspoon of my original starter in to kick it along. By bed time I was already seeing a little action, Kamut being a very strong flour and the joys of  being blessed with an amazingly active starter.
This is what greeted me this morning.

'Dough Baby' on the right is trying to climb out of his glass crib and wee 'Kamut Baby' is making little baby bubbles on the left. Again you can see the colour difference. I am noticing a difference between the too apart from colour.

See how there is a layer of plain looking flour paste on the bottom, a layer of liquid and then the bubbly flour brew on top. Now I think this could be because the bench top is cold, and it is not fermenting the same at the very bottom.. the liquid layer in the middle is common in a starter, but it is usually on the top.If anyone has another idea, I am happy to live and learn.
I have fed baby again this afternoon, and she is looking good this evening, I will post a photo of her growth tomorrow. I will know she is up and walking when I can smell her yeasty, goodness.

While I am on the topic of bread and growing things, I read some where about making bread a little like you do sourdough.. by mixing your flour water and rising agent (starter or yeast) then leaving it all sitting 24 hours to brew.. now I wanted to see if this made good bread. So I had a go - I cant give you a recipe, I didn't really use one, just put some flour, some water and a good sprinkle of yeast in a blow, stirred and left it.

This morning I had a bubbly bowl.. again no real recipe, I tossed in some salt, sugar, a little milk powder, a little oil and flour... Mixed it up and then kneaded it.. nice an glossy waiting for the first rise by the furnace.

After an hour or so I put it into it's cooking container, again new to me a casserole dish. While it was raising, I heated the oven to its very hottest setting- now it has doubled in size (2nd rising) it got weirder still - I added 3 tablespoons of water to the container and jammed on the lid, and quickly shoved it in the oven.
After 20 minutes cooking at around 250c I took of the lid, slashed the top and quickly shut the oven door, turning the oven down to about 180c - I left it cooking for about 20 minutes until it sounded hollow when it was tapped.
It looks and smells so good right now. The water made a good thick crust as it turned to steam inside the casserole dish. Then when the heat hits it without the lid, it gets crunchy. However not everything was as it seemed at first.. next time, I will use only 2 tablespoons of water next time,. and I will also roll the dough and secure it a little more tightly, because it unrolled itself - so it was my mistake. It is still very edible just a little crustacean looking.
 I can't tell you what it is like yet, bread is best cut a couple of hours after coming out the oven.. if you can wait that long. My breakfast it shall be, and I will take a photo for you then......


DEB said...

That bread looks YUM! I have never had a go at sour dough but one day when I have lots of time to experiment I will.
Oh bugger, now I am hungry! (:-0)

Christine said...

Wow, fascinating stuff! I've just come home from the health food shop with a big bag of flour goodies and NOW I read your post about kamut! Although I would be surprised if they stocked it..I'll keep the eyes peeled for it, I've never heard of it before. Looking forward to seeing 'baby' grow. And again, experiment #2 - very interesting! That's what is so great about bread - just the most basic ingredients but infinite possiblities on variations, both with flour types and baking methods. Fantastic! :)

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