Off to Florida for six weeks of surgery. I made a little video (click!) about it to get myself pumped up. The third year of medical school I might liken to a drowning experience. A daily drowning. I think the key is not to let yourself be afraid of the water.
Just like the last eight and half months have been an exercise in not being afraid of the kitchen. And look how much goodness has come of that leap?
I learned of Kamut khorasan at a booth at the Missoula marathon expo back in July. I had never heard of the grain before, but that’s because it is ancient. Legend has it kamut was King Tut’s favorite. Also, kamut may or may not have been the grain that Noah packed for the munchies on the Ark. All this to say, it’s that old. It’s Promised Land wheat. Possibly manna?
Sprouted Kamut Khorasan Wheat Bread
Adapted from Bread Experience
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 tablespoons active dry yeast (1/2 cup sourdough starter)
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of ginger
1 1/2 cups Kamut khorasan wheat flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
1/8 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sprouted Kamut berries, chopped
1 1/2 cups bread flour
Wheat germ, for sprinkling (optional)
Melted butter, for brushing
Step 1: Sprout the Kamut wheat berries
Place the Kamut wheat berries in a bowl and add tepid water to cover by 1 inch. Let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours. Drain the berries and rinse with fresh water. Place in a 1-quart jar. Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
Place the jar on its side in a warm, dark place. Twice a day, rinse and drain the berries with tepid water poured through the cheesecloth. After 2 to 3 days, the berries will sprout, which means they get this white gluey tongue like thing sticking out one end. You can refrigerate these in a baggie if you aren’t ready to make the bread once they have sprouted.
When you’re ready to bake the bread, grind the berries in a food processor or blender. Be careful not to over process; the berries should be chunky. They will be sticky, such that it will appear Elmer’s glue got into your food processor with the berries. Don’t worry– this is normal.
Step 2: Make the Bread
Pour 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast, sugar, and ginger over the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Or just get out the starter.
In a large bowl using a whisk or in the bowl of your mixer, combine the wheat flour, milk powder, and salt. Add the warm water, honey, and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix or beat for 1 minute.
Add the yeast mixture and beat 1 minute longer. Add all the wheat berries and the bread flour, 1/2 cup a a time, stirring until a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl forms, switching to a wooden spoon when necessary if making by hand.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and spongy, 1 to 2 minutes for a machine mixed dough and 3 to 4 minutes for a hand-mixed dough, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time, just enough as needed to prevent sticking.
Place in a lightly greased deep container, turn once to coat the top with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until double in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Grease an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with wheat germ. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and shape it into a loaf. Flatten each piece out on the counter and pat each portion into a rectangle and roll- into a loaf shape. Press the seam closed with your fingers and place, seam side down, into the prepared pan. Here’s a cool trick: instead of oiling and coating a bread tin with flour, oil and coat it with wheat bran or wheat germ! Nice to get a little extra nutritional value where you can. Works great.
About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and position a rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crusty and golden. Remove the loaf from the pan to cool on a rack and brush the top with melted butter.
Let the loaf cool, then slice and enjoy!
I am a huge fan of sprouting wheat berries. I did it once before with Hunza bread (something of a disaster). But it’s easier than watering a houseplant and the small effort maximizes the nutritional value of the wheat. The Kamut khorasan wheat berry had a nutty kind of flavor. Mixed into this wheat bread, really tasty! Pardon the comical shape! I put it in my smaller bread pan because usually wheat bread poops out on me for rise and lift—I don’t know if it was the kamut but this bread exploded in rise in the 350 degree oven (unusual). It hit the roof in the oven and then curled over the side. Looks like a loaf of bread with Dunlop disease. (Not a real condition, but what my mom always said about men with horrendous beer guts. His belly done-lopped over his belt.)
I am bringing my sourdough starter to Jacksonville. Hope it makes it through TSA. If TSA were to try to take my starter, I am rather sure there would be an international incident—as in, I would snatch it back and run for asylum to the nearest plane taking off for Russia.