Troubles with Einkorn

Troubles with Einkorn

Hi all,

I am an amateur baker, and have been experimenting with sourdough for the last two years or so.  Some time ago, I started baking with 100% home milled einkorn flour, partially for the taste and partially for the challenge.  I have struggled on and off with the occasional breakthrough to improve rising and handling of the dough, but I am finally feeling that some input from all of your experience might really make a difference for me.  

My primary issue is the slackness and stickiness of the dough after bulk ferment.  Einkorn has notoriously poor quality gluten, and even though I can get a decent window pain test and texture when mixing the final dough, the dough invariably becomes too slack and sticky by the time I am attempting to shape and proof it, after the 12 hour ferment, making handling the dough a bit of a nightmare.  Generally the loaves get enough oven spring to come out ok, but I’m still frustrated every time by the difficulty I have in shaping a decent loaf and I’m usually afraid it is going to flop, even though this has been a rare occurrence.

 The addition of eggs made a hug difference in my oven spring and the shelf life of the dough from the added fat and protein, but the liquid addition also threw off my initial recipe calculations, and where I was once adding 157r of flour to the final dough, I am now adding anywhere from 257-300gr, sometimes even more to compensate.  I recognize that using conventional wheat would pretty much be the easiest solution, but the family complains the flavor isn’t as good (and I agree), and moreover, I just don’t want to admit I can’t master this.

My recipe is as follows:

Starter:

Begin with 12gr SD starter from the fridge.  Add 100% WW flour to water in ratios of 7gr:5gr, 14:10, 28:20, 56:40 at 3-4 hour intervals with the starter doubling in volume between each feeding.  I usually begin int he morning and feed throughout the day so the starter is active and of sizable proportions by the evening.  This feeding schedule was developed to allow minimal amounts of starter to be stored each time, and keeps me from having to though any out between loaves.  You may notice it also doubles the weight of the SD with each feeding to ensure adequate food sources and health of the starter.

Soaker:

293 grams of 100% WW einkorn flour

293 grams of water

4gr salt

Add all together 8-10 hours prior to mixing final dough.

Final Dough:

Add all of starter and approximately 150gr (saving the other 50gr for future loaves) of starter together with:

5gr of salt (for a total of about 2% of flour volume)

2 whole eggs

45-50gr honey

293 gr flour +extra

Mix all ingredients plus extra flour to reach a tacky, but not overly sticky, texture and knead for 3-4minutes.  

Let rest 5min and resume kneading for a few minutes until passing the window pain test.  

Ferment at approximately 70 degree F in a non drafty location for 10-14 hours.  

Baking:

Turn out dough, shape and proof for 1 hour.  

30 minutes before baking, turn on oven and place cloche or oven safe pot in oven to preheat to 500 degrees.

When ready to bake, turn out dough into cloche/pot and reduce heat to 450 degrees.  

Bake for 30minutes and remove lid or remove whole loaf from cloche/pot and let bake an additional 5-7minutes until crust is golden brown.  

 

Source: Fresh Loaf