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OMG Einkorn!

In Recipes on 5 February 2019 at 2:09 am

I think 2018 will have to be remembered as the year of Einkorn. Recently when trying to convey to my sister how ravenously exhilarated, how irrationally exuberant, how transcendentally euphoric I had become in the sannidhi of einkorn, Khiyali said, “I think it has replaced Taoism as her new religion.”

She said this because just a few months ago I was transported, I was understood, I was spoken to, by a verse from the Tao the Ching.

All the world talks about my Tao
with such familiarity — 
What folly!
Tao is not something found at the marketplace
or passed on from father to son
It is not something gained by knowing
or lost by forgetting
If Tao were like this
It would have been lost and forgotten long ago

Let us simply say, I exhaled.

A sigh of such satisfaction, of longed-for understanding, such sense of being found, being at once remembered without ever having been forgotten, a reassurance of trust in the world, a touch of the ancients, the likes of which I had not felt before or since … until I found einkorn.

Is there anything like einkorn? No there is not.

To think I stumbled upon it almost by accident. For introducing me to einkorn I must thank my friend Lisa Kinney, who has been purveying the goods of the Amish to me … when I asked her if she could bring me some wheat berries, she also brought einkorn. Not knowing what to do with einkorn I used up all the wheat berries first. Having resolved not to buy flour, back in my early days of milling when such resolutions were required to prevent me from taking the benighted way of seeking things that are to be found in the marketplace, I one day found myself out of wheat berries.

Freshly milled einkorn!

And so the einkorn pulled up to the front of the pantry and made its way into the mill. Now, for a recipe. I found one that said “if the thought of baking is daunting …” I thought, no, the thought of baking bread is not daunting, give me a recipe for the undaunted. Nonetheless, since this was the only recipe for plain wholegrain einkorn bread I could find, I followed it and found that there is little that can say “Tu Zinda Hai” with the wisdom and confidence of fresh baked einkorn.

Moreover, I can also attest that, for those daunted by baking, the process is simpler than baking with modern wheat, as there is little or no kneading involved. 

Step 1 – Mix water, honey and yeast. Let sit for 5-8 minutes as the yeast proofs.

Note: If you know your yeast is active you can go directly to step 2 without waiting for visual proof. If you do opt to confirm, or have littles who want to see the yeasties plunge down into the sweet water and foam up to the top, here is what it will look like after a few minutes:

Yeast after a few minutes in sweet warm water will look like this.
If nothing like this happens, your yeast is probably inactive and you need to get new yeast.

Step 2: Add flour and salt. Mix with a fork until all the flour is wet. No need to knead einkorn. In fact, after mixing, the dough gets half an hour to rest and rise. Don’t wait for it to double in bulk, just let it start rising and move to step 3.

All five ingredients for einkorn bread are mixed. The dough is too wet to roll or shape.
But it will rise.

Step 3: Stir down and transfer dough to oiled baking pan.  Keep in a warm place and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.   Don’t expect it to double in bulk. If you let it rise until it doubles in bulk, it might collapse while baking. Note that I am speaking from experience. If this happens though, all is not lost. The bread will still taste good, get eaten, and you can try again in a couple of days.

Step 4: Preheat oven to 375 °F and then put the pan in the oven to bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

 

It usually rises a bit more than what you see in the above pictures (will try to remember to take pictures again and put them in here for comparison) but even so the texture will be more dense than bread made with modern wheat.  

I found these proportions on the Jovial website and I have been using them ever since.  So simple – one pound einkorn flour , one ounce honey, half a teaspoon salt, half a tablespoon of yeast, and 350 grams of water.  Here it is in grams (mostly): 

456 grams whole grain einkorn flour
350 grams water
28 grams honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Basically – stir everything together, let rest for 30 minutes. By this time it should start rising but not double in bulk.  Stir down and transfer to an oiled baking pan.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Again, don’t wait for it to double.  Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

Don’t forget to preheat the oven so that it is ready at 375 by the time the 30 minutes are up.   Otherwise the dough will keep rising while you wait for the oven.  Timing is important in yeast-based baking, and especially so with einkorn where the rising time is short to begin with. 

Thanks to Jovial Foods for the recipe. 

 

 

Live: Amma flips millet dosas

In How on 26 January 2019 at 1:39 pm

Well, if you’ve been waiting for a live demonstration of millet dosa as it is flipped in real time, your wait ends now. Here you go:

Watch as Amma flips millet dosas without using any oil.

Yes, folks, AskAmma goes live, inviting you into the kitchen on just another Friday morning, as she flips dosas in real time. This batter is made with a 1:1 ratio of proso millet and urad aka black gram or మినువులు. Be sure to use unpolished urad, with peel intact, whole or split.

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Yogurt in Winter – Tips for keeping it warm

In How on 24 January 2019 at 7:25 pm

To make yogurt, you need yogurt.  What if you have no yogurt? Ask your neighbor. Like a candle can light another without losing its own flame, fermentation too is a neighborly process.

“How did they make the first yogurt?” my daughter once asked me. That, I replied, was like asking “who was the first neighbor?”

You also need a warm place. What if it is cold?? Here we will give not a philosophical but a practical answer.

Warmth is the key to perfectly set yogurt every time!
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Bel Air loves idli-dosa batter

In Field Notes, Recipes on 8 January 2019 at 2:07 am

Idli-dosa batter is like a hidden treasure that we can produce from scratch any time. A special bit of fun about being a South Indian outside of South India is the way you can win people over with the most staple of staple foods, idli and dosa. And for the truly smitten (and aren’t they all?), idli-dosa batter.

Idli plates are filled with freshly ground batter.

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Nursing Kurtas – new colors & patterns

In Uncategorized on 16 December 2018 at 9:24 pm

Ladies and all who love them, we have fresh stock of Nursing Kurtas available.  While supplies last you may choose from the following colors:

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Hopelessly devoted and endlessly grateful … bread, revisited

In How on 16 December 2018 at 8:52 pm

I’ve been baking bread since I was a teenager and yet every so often I become giddy with wonder at the amazingness of its aroma, texture and the head-to-toe comfort it brings.  I cannot contain my awe in the face of my own bread.  And at the magic of microbes.

small breadThere is an online forum called The Fresh Loaf full of people like me. Except actually these people are way way ahead of me.
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Tofu Pea Carrot Kura

In Recipes on 1 December 2018 at 1:00 pm

A trusty combination that goes well with millet or rice, this colorful dish will satisfy the whole family and fetch compliments at potlucks.

Sizzling spices liven up chopped vegetables every time.  If you find peas and carrots too sweet to eat as a main dish, try it this way, with some tofu, ginger and the South Indian spice combination known as tiragamuta. Read the rest of this entry »

Milling Wheat, part 1

In How, Recipes on 21 October 2018 at 12:00 am

Well the happy thing is that I need not live another day without freshly milled flour.  My sister mills.  I have friends who mill at home.  The women who work in our house and neighborhood in Mumbai don’t buy flour.  They take their grains to the shop to have them freshly milled.  The corner shop mills grain every day and sells it in bulk, but many of the middle class consumers prefer to buy brand name flour in packages, even though it may be several weeks old.

In the US you cannot find a corner shop that will mill grain for you, but you can buy a family size mill for home use.  A friend of mine bought one several years ago.  She has gone back to school now.  With that plus two kids, she isn’t milling like she used to.  She mentioned that if I wanted, I could try it out sometime.

Reader, I borrowed it. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask Amma 360-degree revolution workout

In How, What on 9 October 2018 at 8:00 pm

With Democracy Now! live in the background, Amma gets ready for a new day with this 360-degree revolution workout. Stop, drop and exercise your arms and legs, back and abs, with no impact to feet or knees, no need to go anywhere, no special clothes or even socks and shoes.

This 16-minute workout takes 16 minutes of your time. And you can listen to the news while you stretch and strengthen and prepare for a new day.

Nutan Pandit: Medical students need soft skills

In How on 17 September 2018 at 8:02 pm

How can women have access to the entire health, social support structure that makes normal delivery normal?

Aravinda of Ask Amma sat down with childbirth educator Nutan Pandit at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference that took place at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai in February 2017.

 

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