A few weeks ago, I posted on social media 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. 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! I thought I’d share for those of you who enjoy using soaked flour to bake 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. Based on our joint experience, it should work the very first try with either einkorn or spelt. Other flours may take a bit of trial and error on your part.
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 contains good gluten. It 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.
How to Make Soaked Bread
Onward to the soaked bread recipe! I do hope you enjoy it – please let me know the various ways you end up trying it, with gluten free flours and whatnot!
Soaked Bread Recipe
Easy soaked bread recipe that can be sliced and used for sandwiches as well.
- 6 cups flour freshly ground and organic, einkorn or spelt recommended
- 3 cups raw kefir plain, preferably grassfed
- 2 Tbl butter preferably grassfed and organic
- 1.5 Tbl sucanat
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
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 liquid-y 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 smaller loaves and 350 F (177 C) for 55 minutes for 1 large loaf of soaked bread. Check that a knife inserted in the center comes out clean to ensure that the loaves are done.
Once cooled, slice into sandwich slices. Enjoy immediately and refrigerate what will not be used up within 24 hours.
Coconut sugar may be substituted for the sucanat. Do not use honey as cooking honey is not healthy.
Coconut oil may be substituted for the butter.
Do not use yogurt, clabbered milk or water plus lemon juice to soak the flour as the bread will not rise properly. Only raw kefir works based on my experience making this recipe.
Once you’ve made your loaf, be sure to save the crusts! You can make homemade breadcrumbs with them!
After 48 hours using raw kefir (store bought…for pet consumption…) and einkorn (Jovial brand), it has a white “fluffy” film on top. Strong smell, with a few bubbles on top. Is the film yeast? And is still ok to use?
Thanks for any assistance.
Sounds like kahm yeast, which is not mold and not a concern. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/mold-fermented-foods-what-to-do/
I would like to ask about dark breads like made from rye, they are very popular is my region. Usually baked with lots of seeds. Is rye also bad?
My Einkorn flour just arrived today. I will make the Kefir Soaked Bread. Does this recipe make two 9×5 loaves of bread?
Sarah Pope MGA
If you use the small glass breadpans, then yes 2 small loaves. If you use a larger breadpan, then it makes one loaf.
I made this recipe exactly as written, the bread never fully cooked. I took the loaves out after 30 mins and the dough in the center was raw (a consistency of yogurt. It actually poured onto the counter when I took them out of the pans to cool on wire racks I reheated the oven and put the loaves in for another 30 mins. It improved, but even then was not fully cooked.
You will notice that the recipe says to cook for 30 minutes OR until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Many times, an oven does not cook at the temperature it is set on. So, sometimes you have to cook until it is done instead of relying on a time limit. It seems there must be a problem with your oven.
Sounds amazing & I have all the ingredients to make one loaf…can this recipe work if it is halved??
I have not tried it halved, so cannot be sure.
I am lactose intolerant. Would soaking my einkorn in Keifer affect someone With a lactose intolerance? Also is there a different way to soak theeinkorn and make sandwich bread besides this particular recipe? I’ve been looking for quite a while and I was so pleased that I happened upon your recipe. I’m just unsure about Kiefer I’ve never tried to consume it.
Raw milk and raw kefir contain the enzyme lactase which is what is necessary to digest lactose. Pasteurization destroys lactase .. so you are really not lactose intolerant. You are pasteurization intolerant. My husband is lactose intolerant and does raw dairy just fine!
I followed Step 1 exactly, using homemade raw milk kefir and locally grown whole wheat flour from heirloom seed from the 1800s, but it hasn’t risen or gotten liquidy or bubbly after soaking for 22 hours. The temperature in the room is 75 degrees F. What went wrong?
Note that the dough does NOT rise from Step 1 alone. Was the flour freshly ground as called for in the recipe?
I’m preparing to make a 1/2 recipe. What size bread loaf pans do you use, or how much should the dough fill the pan before you let it sit for another 12 hours?