“The sight and scent of a newly baked loaf has a romantic appeal that transcends all other culinary achievements.” Elisabeth Luard
In my continuing research to make the ultimate bread loaf I have been trying many different flours throughout the last couple of years, including kamut flour. Some say this ancient grain was originally grown in Egypt, but khorasan’s true origins are unknown; some legends even hold it to be the “Prophet’s Wheat,” the grain Noah brought with him on the ark. It is high in proteins and minerals such as selenium. It has a lovely autumn orange glow.
Kamut flour gives the bread a unique sweet-nutty taste, a light texture and an original creamy colour. Its large kernels – about twice the size of standard wheat kernels – have a wealth of nutrition: also known as “high energy wheat” due to its relatively rich fatty acid profile, is high in key minerals such as selenium (known to be an immune-supporting, cancer-preventive antioxidant), zinc, manganese and magnesium. It also has 20 to 40 percent more protein than regular wheat, one half-cup serving supplying six grams of protein for only 140 calories.
500g kamut flour
20 g fresh yeast
1½ tsp fine salt
5 tbsp melted butter
3oo ml warm water
2 medium potato boiled, mashed and chilled
“We have learned to see in bread an instrument of community between men – the flavour of bread shared has no equal.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Mix the flour, yeast and potato in a bowl. Add salt, pour in the oil and the water and mix well with hands to a soft dough. Turn out onto a wooden board and knead for ten minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and is harder to stretch. Oil the bowl lightly and smooth the dough into a ball and place into the bowl. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a draught-free place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Preheat your oven to as high as it will go (220°), preheating the baking tray or stone that your loaf will be sitting on at the same time.
Press the air out of the dough, then shape into a loaf and put onto a well floured surface. Leave to prove for 20-30 minutes until it has risen until almost double in size. Slash the tops with a sharp knife to allow the loaf to rise better in the oven and place in the oven on the heated tray or stone. Leave for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 200°c, it can take between 20-40 minutes to cook. The bread will sound hollow when tapped on the base when they are cooked. Place onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.
“The universe of bread is made up of a nostalgia for ones childhood, the hard work of farmers, millers and bakers and the distinctive pleasure given by something ‘authentic and flavourful.” Jerome Assire