Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kamut bread

A strange story behind kamut (which should be followed by an R in a circle, which I've no idea how to achieve in the blogger editting page - hey, blogger in draft, this is something you could add. Wikipedia has an easy way to insert symbols etc, why don't you?).

But, as I was saying, a strange story. First the one I don't believe: Kamut was a seed found in the pyramids, showing that it was the grain of the pharaohs themselves. But it does seems likely that it came from Egypt in the middle of the 20th century, and was a survivor of an older wheat-like grain. It was successfully cultivated in USA, where the name was registered. As far as I can see, that's still the only place it's grown in any volume. It's particularly resistant to pests and diseases, and so is frequently grown organically. The flour I'm using, from Doves Farm, has a protein content of 15%. Given all those advantages, why hasn't Kamut taken over the world? Must taste really bad.

Well, I'll find out sometime later today. I've now mixed 300g of the flour with 200g of liquid (usual amounts of sugar, yeast and salt). Kneaded and set to rise at 12:25.

Knocked back about 1600 and formed into a shape I can only describe as a cudgel. That may not be a good idea, this flour may need more height to produce a pleasant slice of bread. Never mind, though, because here is how it looks after baking (in oven at 2025 for 30 mins).
That's the best slashing outcome I've ever seen! Clearly the oven spring was exuberant. Just waiting for it to cool ... 

And now - it's very much like wholemeal, but a bit lighter and sweeter. The crust is fairly soft, and a bit longer in the oven wouldn't have hurt, and the crumb is fairly dense, but soft and easy to eat without butter. Overall verdict is that this is a really good alternative to wholemeal wheat. I think there's definitely a bonus where the slash ridges have caramelised, so it would be worth trying a more irregular shape. 

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