A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I was trying a new soaked bread recipe. Quite a few of you commented or emailed asking for the recipe, but I wanted to get it just right first before sharing. Making traditionally prepared bread (as opposed to modern, difficult to digest yeasted breads) can be a bit tricky to master and no one wants to waste quality ingredients not to mention precious time on failed attempts!
To make a long story short, it took me a little trial and error to get the recipe to work, but the results are awesome (you can even slice the loaf for sandwiches!) so I thought I’d share for those of you who enjoy baking traditionally prepared bread for your family.
Please note that I have only used einkorn flour to make this loaf so if you want to try making it with another type of flour, it may take you a couple of tries to get it exactly right. My friend Cathi who shared this recipe with me uses spelt flour, so based on our joint experience, it should work the very first try with either einkorn or spelt.
What is Einkorn?
Never heard of einkorn? It is the purest and most ancient form of wheat available. It is completely nonhybridized (my kids affectionately refer to it as “Jesus wheat”) as it only has 2 sets of chromosomes unlike all other types of wheat which are hybridized and have between 4 (emmer, kamut, durum) and 6 (spelt, modern wheat) chromosomal sets. Moreoever, einkorn is very low in gluten and the gluten present is different structurally from modern gluten and quite easy to digest even for many who have sensitivity to modern gluten. The truth is that not all wheat gluten is created equal!
The only downside to einkorn is that it is a low yield crop and hence rather pricey compared with hybridized wheat. However, if you don’t eat a ton of bread in your home anyway and really want to opt for the most digestible wheat flour available when you do bake, einkorn simply can’t be beat.
One other point of note: you must used raw kefir for this soaked bread recipe. The dough does not rise well if you soak using raw yogurt, clabbered raw milk or buttermilk. It also does not work well with plain store bought kefir.
The reason? I don’t actually know for sure, but my guess is that raw kefir has many more strains of beneficial microbes compared with other fermented dairy products – up to as many as 30. In addition, raw kefir would have all the original enzymes from the raw milk intact. Pasteurized kefir would not have the same level of enzymatic activity as raw kefir. In addition, clabbered raw milk, buttermilk and raw yogurt would have far fewer probiotic strains than raw kefir.
Onward to the soaked bread recipe! I do hope you enjoy it – please let me know the various ways you end up trying it, different flours and whatnot!
Soaked Bread Recipe
Mix 3 cups of flour and 3 cups of kefir well, cover with a clean cloth and let sit on the kitchen counter for 12-24 hours. After soaking, the dough should be liquidy and very bubbly.
Add baking soda, sweetener, coconut oil or butter and 3 more cups of flour. Stick to 6 cups of flour and don’t add more even if tempted to do so based on consistency of the dough.
Mix well for 3-4 minutes. The resulting dough should be soft and easily workable with your hands.
Divide loaf into 2 … put in 2 buttered loaf pans (these are what I use) or make 1 huge loaf with a single large loaf pan.
Let the pan(s) sit lightly covered with a clean cloth for another 12 hours on the kitchen counter. The dough will rise nicely in the pan(s) so allow for enough room at the top or it will spill over the sides.
Bake at 350 F (177 C) for 30 minutes for 2 loaves and 350 F (177 C) for 55 minutes for 1 loaf of soaked bread.
Once cooled, slice into sandwich slices. Enjoy immediately and refrigerate what will not be used up within 24 hours.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Subscribe today and gain access to my exclusive & FREE weekly newsletter packed with the latest health news, Real Food recipes, video how-to's, special discounts and much more!