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Einkorn Banana Bread sweetened with Dates

By January 24, 2017 bread, desserts, fruit

I have long been interested in using dates as a sweetener in baked goods, so I decided to try them out in my “go-to” banana bread recipe, from Martha Stewart’s Entertaining. This version is not as sweet as the original one, and has the lovely yellowish hue of einkorn. The dates contribute their flavor, as well as their sweetness and the coconut oil makes it deliciously moist. I like to eat it for breakfast, slathered with sunflower seed butter and just a bit of honey.

Mashed banana                         1 cup (about 1 1/2 bananas)
pitted dates                                1 cup plus 3 or 4 chopped ones for topping
eggs                                              2
coconut oil, melted                   1/2 cup  (or 50/50 butter/coconut oil mix)
whole milk plain yoghurt        1/2 cup
pure vanilla extract                   1 tsp.
einkorn all-purpose flour        1 3/4 cups plus 1 TBS  (7.5 oz.)
baking soda                                1 tsp.
salt                                                1/2 tsp.
ground nutmeg                          1/8 tsp.
ground cinnamon                      1/8 tsp.
walnut halves                              1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, soda and spices. Set aside. Place the banana and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fairly smooth, with some flecks of date remaining. With a rubber spatula, scoop mixture into a mixing bowl, and whisk in the eggs, coconut oil, yoghurt and vanilla. Gently stir in the dry ingredients, and then the walnuts.

Use the rubber spatula to transfer batter to a greased and floured loaf pan. Press it into the corners and smooth the top. Sprinkle the reserved chopped dates on top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on your oven and the dimensions of your pan. You can tell that the loaf is ready if it springs back when lightly pressed.

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peach blueberry crostata with einkorn flour crust

By August 27, 2016 desserts, fruit

I am intrigued with einkorn wheat flour. Its golden hue and nutty flavor add interest to any application. This ancient grain has several health benefits, such as a higher protein/starch ratio, it contains carotenoids and the structure of its gluten makes it easier for many people to digest than modern wheat. That said, I am not using these nutritional perks as an excuse to consume my new baked products with reckless abandon!

Ok, so now that I’ll get to the, shall we say, “challenging” aspect of einkorn. Because of its structure, einkorn flour does not behave in the same way as the modern wheat flour I’m used to. A dough made from it absorbs water at a slower rate, and is more fragile. Keep this in mind when mixing and, and when rolling out your pastry dough, you might want to consider using a floured pastry cloth to minimize sticking. I didn’t use one here, but I also did not try to roll it super thin. The egg in the recipe adds some leavening to it, so a slightly thicker crust is just as delicious. I also highly recommend investing in a dough (or bench) scraper to aid in transferring dough to pan. Once you have this handy tool, trust me, you will find many uses for it.

einkorn pastry

einkorn all-purpose flour                         2 cups (240g)
unsalted butter, cut into small cubes    1 stick
coconut oil                                                  2 TBS (28g)
fine salt                                                        1/2 tsp.
egg, pastured                                              1
cold water                                                   3 TBS (42g)

fruit filling

unsalted butter or ghee                            1 TBS
raw sugar                                                     2 TBS
crystallized ginger, cut into strips           1 oz.
peaches                                                         4 – 5 (about 800 g or 1# 12 oz.)
blueberries                                                   1/2 cup
einkorn flour                                               1 TBS.


using a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, coconut oil and salt until finely crumbled. slowly add the egg and cold water and pulse until it all comes together. empty it onto a floured spot on the table and knead gently into a disc. wrap in parchment and chill at least an hour, until firm.

Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Peel the peaches, if desired and cut them into thick wedges, about 5/half peach, depending on size of peaches. Next, warm a large skillet on medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the sugar and crystallized ginger and cook briefly, until the mixture bubbles up. Do not burn! Now add the peaches. Let them brown a bit, before turning them gently. Stir in the blueberries and sprinkle the flour on top. Allow mixture to cool. At this point, you could refrigerate it and finish the tart the next day, as I did.

When you’re ready to bake your crostata, heat your oven to 400F. Take your pastry out and let it rest while oven is warming. You won’t want to assemble it until the oven is hot. Once the oven is hot, roll out your dough, carefully, adding flour to the rolling surface and pin, as needed, but try not to overdo. Place your tart pan on top of the dough and trace a circle,  2” larger than the pan. Carefully fold the dough circle in half, using the dough scraper, if you have one, and place it over the pan. Nestle it into the pan, spoon the filling over it, leaving out any excessive amount of juice that may have accumulated in the fruit mixture. This would only make the dough soggy.

Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and pop the crostata into the oven. Time it for 20 minutes, then check it to see how it’s doing. If the the crust is browning too quickly, lower the heat to 375. I also like to rotate the pan for more even baking. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned and bubbly. Remove from oven, allow to cool about 10 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

What to do with that extra dough that you cut from the circle? well, roll it out sprinkle with some seeds, coarse salt, whatever you like, and make some crispy snacks to eat with beer.


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