My husband is of Italian origin, so Italian comfort food is often found at our table. But as we all know, this wonderful cuisine is often loaded with unfriendly, improperly prepared carbs: something many of us try to avoid.
In an effort to try to adapt a few of our favorite recipes, I’ve been using more and more ancient grains and adapting the recipes with traditional preparation methods such as sourdough. Our most recent recipe redo was focaccia — a flat bread that goes great with pasta, soups, sausage dishes, and will even work as a pizza crust.
I used our sourdough starter in combination with Einkorn flour and soured the dough overnight. If you are not familiar with Einkorn, it is very similar to spelt — it's an ancient variety of wheat that's high in antioxidants and a rich source of vitamins. While it does still contain gluten, the amounts are lower than what is commonly found in conventional wheat varieties. Therefore, it can be more on the digestive system and may be easier for wheat-sensitive folks to digest. (We can't guarantee this, though, and everyone is different — so proceed with caution and listen to your own body.)
I have found one drawback to using Einkorn — my breads are not as voluminous and “puffy” as when conventional ingredients and preparation techniques are used. However, I am willing to settle for a less-than-perfect loaf of bread in exchange for better health, especially when neither flavor or texture have been compromised. The following recipe is very simple; feel free to add seasonings and additional toppings of your choice: fennel, oregano, cracked pepper, gorgonzola cheese, dried olives, etc.
Sourdough Einkorn Rosemary Focaccia
This delicious recipe is so very simple; feel free to add seasonings and additional toppings of your choice: fennel, oregano, cracked pepper, gorgonzola cheese, dried olives, etc.
Recipe adapted from Trattoria Grappolo by Leonardo Curti and James O. Fraioli. Makes 1 loaf.
Combine the starter, the water, the olive oil, and the flour in a large bowl the night before, thoroughly incorporating all of the ingredients.
Cover and let set overnight or up to 24 hours.
Stretch the dough into a large free form rectangular shape on a treated cookie sheet.
Use your finger or the end of a wooden spoon to make indentations on the surface.
Sprinkle with salt and rosemary.
Set pan in oven and heat on the lowest temperature setting.
Allow it to raise for an hour or until doubled.
When loaf has risen, drizzle with additional olive oil (optional).
Increase oven heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes -- until loaf makes a hollow noise when tapped.
Note that Einkorn tends to bake faster and brown a bit more than regular wheat.
The flavor and the texture should still be quite good but you may need to adjust your bake time, so watch it carefully.
To serve, break into pieces.
Serve with additional oil and salt if desired.
- Italian comfort food!
Do you bake with Einkorn? How do you find it works in your recipes?
This post was featured in 30 Traditionally Prepared Einkorn Goodies.
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