Our friends at Muddy Fork Bakery, as well as the many professional and home bakers on the Janie’s Mill Baking Group Facebook page, have found Black Emmer to be a very versatile flour, great mixed with High-Protein or Sifted Artisan flour in yeast or sourdough breads, or on its own or mixed with All-Purpose flour in cookies, muffins, pancakes, and quick breads (zucchini bread! banana bread!), as well as in cakes. Some of their experiences with Black Emmer are below.
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Baker’s Notes About Working With Black Emmer
Muddy Fork Bakery: “The Emmer lends these loaves great color and extensibility. Not to mention its nutty, almost sweet flavor.”
Linda: Made my first two batches of sourdough using the Black Emmer today. The first was a 50 50 mix of Black Emmer and High Protein. The second was also a 50 50 mix of Black Emmer and Artisan Blend. The Black Emmer and High Protein needed more hydration than the other mix. The Black Emmer and Artisan Blend rose a little higher but both have a wonderful flavor, each a little different.
Cecilia: Black Emmer makes a wonderful loaf 50/50 with the High Protein Bread Flour.
Kevin: I grind my own flour, but I have worked with a 1:1:1 blend of Glenn, Durum, and Black emmer and it turns out great loaves.
Jennie: I am doing a side by side comparison with the new black emmer and durum flours. 50% HP and 50% Black emmer or Durum, 75% hydration, 4% starter, 1.7 % salt.
No kneading — light mixing just to combine ingredients, three stretch and fold sessions, overnight rise, divide and shape into bannetons and final rise before bake. In shaping, the emmer dough was definitely more slack, as one would expect.
Out of the oven. They both smell fabulous. I was nervous about the Emmer as it was quite floppy and flat when it went into the vessel, but considering it received the same treatment as the Durum, I am pleased with the amount of oven spring.
Very different flavors. Emmer more earthy, intense, spicy, almost cheese-like. Durum milder, with a bit of a citrus tang. Also, very different colors. Both delicious!
The recipe above, adapted from King Arthur’s Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf, was made and photographed by home baker Michael Windlinger, a cottage baker in North Carolina (follow him on Instagram at windy.bake.) Michael says: “As far as working with the dough, it definitely didn't rise a whole lot (presumably due to it being a low-gluten flour). When I handled the dough it felt nice, but it didn't really get puffy during fermentation. However, the final loaf didn't have too dense of a crumb for a sandwich loaf, and the texture is good. The bread tastes great, with a mild flavor for a 100% extraction flour.”