Monday, August 6, 2012

100% Whole Grain Spelt & Kamut Pavés

Maybe because it is summer and I bake constantly to feed my family, I find I have become a minimalist when it comes to bread: I like doughs that require minimum intervention on my part (an autolyse and a few folds and they are on their way) and yield loaves that bring smiles to everyone's face while providing good nutrition (the more whole grains the better). These pavés (pavé is French for cobblestone) satisfy on all counts.
The inspiration came from a facebook post by French SHB Thierry Delabre who created a half-kamut and half-spelt bread he called a "fanette". Thierry used a firm levain, hydrated the dough at 75% and retarded it for 16 hours at 43° F/6° C. The result (which I wish I could show you but the pictures are on facebook, not on the web) was a beautifully golden rustic loaf.
I had freshly stoneground whole kamut flour which I had bought across the river in Ontario the day before and I had a bag of Quebec spelt grains I could mill but I was all out of mature firm levain and I couldn't go beyond eight hours' total fermentation time as we needed bread for dinner: there have been six of us here at camp in upstate New York for the past ten days and I don't believe I have ever seen such bread eaters as these three little kids - one seven-year old and five-year old twins. I bake and bake and barely keep up. Whenever they are hungry, bread is the first thing they ask for, quite often with no adornment, not even butter, like true bread purists! It keeps me pretty busy but I love knowing that the taste of bread is being passed down to their generation.
Plus they see me mix dough everyday, usually when they are having breakfast. Maybe one day when they are all grown-up and crave honest bread, they'll remember that all it takes is a big bowl and two hands and they'll want to learn how to make their own. One can only hope, right?
I didn't have a working firm levain but I had plenty of the liquid variety and it smelled so good I had to bake with it or I would be tempted to eat it with a spoon (just kidding!). To come back to the kids (and I promise I won't mention them again in this post), another thing that goes straight to my baker's heart is that they all three love the fragrance of levain and breathe it in with relish whenever they have a chance (they say it smells like bread!). Ok, so enough with the grand-kids and on to the dough.
I decided to borrow Thierry's idea and go for a 100% whole-grain loaf that would be 50% spelt and 50% kamut but I would use liquid levain and I would up the hydration a bit. Like him, I would do one post-fermentation fold in lieu of pre-shaping and cut the folded dough into rectangles without further shaping (hence the pavé shape). Unlike Thierry - whose dough had a different consistency - I wouldn't score.
The bread came out seductively "moëlleux" (a French word I always have trouble translating: it means "mellow", "tender", "cushy" and "smooth" at the same time -it can also mean "sweet" when applied to wine- and I don't think there is an exact equivalent in English) and yet it is the word that comes irresistibly to my mind when I think about kamut. Spelt tends to be a bit drier in the mouth but it is sweet and fragrant in its own right and combined, the two grains conjure up the scent and taste of summer itself, sun-baked fields and all. These pavés may not be much to look at: I lack couches here at camp, so they spread a bit as they proofed, especially because both kamut and spelt are low in gluten, but they do pack a wallop in the mouth.
Ingredients: (all organic)
  • 493 g whole kamut flour
  • 493 g freshly-milled whole spelt flour
  • 749 g water
  • 295 g mature wheat levain at 100% hydration
  • 18 g salt
Method: (hand-mixed)
  1. Mix both flours with all the water until no dry flour remains and let rest, covered, 20 to 40 minutes
  2. Add the levain and mix until incorporated
  3. Add the salt
  4. Cover the dough and let it rest, doing as many folds as necessary to obtain medium soft consistency
  5. When the dough is ready (it took about seven hours at my house with folds every thirty minutes for the first two hours but then the outside temperature was otherworldly hot and we had the A/C on all day), transfer it out of the bowl on a floured surface and fold it once over itself length-wise forming a long rectangle (no overlapping)
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 470°
  7. Using a wet dough scraper, cut the dough into four even pieces
  8. Transfer the pieces to baking sheets lined with parchment paper (heavily dusted with semolina) (as mentioned before, I have no couches here, hence the paper, but if you can, it would be better to proof the pavés upside down on heavily floured couches, turning them right side up prior to baking)
  9. Cover and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes
  10. Bake with steam in pre-heated oven (470°F/243°C for 10 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 450°F/232°C and continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes, turning the loaves half-way through to ensure even baking (again these temperatures are given solely as an indication. Here at camp, the oven is small, very old and rather weak and I have to crank it up to the max. I actually set it on 500°F+  for the initial 10 minutes and on 470°F for the remaining 20 minutes or so but, from past experience with my regular home oven, I would say 470° F and 450°F should do the trick. If your oven is very efficient however, these temperatures might need to be adjusted down)
  11. Cool on a rack
  12. Enjoy!

The Whole Spelt & Kamut Pavés go to Susan from Wild Yeast for this week's issue of Yeastspotting.


  1. Another masterpiece by Farine! Loved this post, you do make bread baking seem natural, easy, and trouble free... which in a way it is, but it can be intimidating in the beginning

    I love the word moëlleux, which I had trouble pronouncing correctly - my first encounter with it was a "chocolate moëlleux" that honestly was one of the best things I've ever had in my life, in a small bakery at the 7eme in Paris. Oh, my....

    back to bread, I wish I could bake this right now, but it will have to wait a while - plus, I already have a few of your productions waiting in line ;-)

    1. Hello SallyBR, thank you for your kind words. It is so true that bread-baking can be intimidating at the beginning, maybe because what goes on inside the dough is so mysterious... And then there are the mishaps: like the dough you gave so much TLC and still turned into a brick or the scary stuff like the time I left my apple-levain dough ferment too long in a tightly closed fermentation bucket and it literally exploded out of the container (when I got home there was dough hanging from the ceiling and splattered against walls and windows). It gets better with experience but some of the mystery perdures... I love that!

    2. Me again.... Encore moi! ;-) (good to practice a little rusty French)

      I intend to make this bread this coming weekend, and all of a sudden realize I'm not sure your levain is white flour or whole wheat - could you confirm for me? I bet it would work either way, but I'd like to follow your lead, and if so I would start feeding my baby with whole wheat flour or maybe rye

      I hope you still see comments to this post, if not I'll drop you an email in a couple of days...

      Merci bien! (I am a little behind reading your blog, but will fix this problem before this day is over! ;-)

    3. Bonjour Sally!
      I used my white levain because it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of bread. If I had planned better, I would have used a spelt or kamut levain but maybe not a 100% wholegrain one. If you want to go the wholegrain way on the levain, twenty percent whole grain might be just right. Lots of flavor but plenty of push too. Anything else and the bread might be a bit dense since both flours are 100% whole grain. On the other hand, it might be worth a try! Keep me posted et bonne chance !

    4. Merci, merci, merci! Can hardly wait... I will probably use 20% spelt. Of course now that I want some kamut flour it disappeared from Manhattan. Story of my life

      (will keep you posted!)

  2. Thierry Delabre :

    Je me permets un album pour ce pain... parce que ce n'est pas n'importe quel pain.
    C'est une "Fanette", dont la recette a été mise au point par Roland Feuillas en hommage à Fanny Leenhardt, médecin nutritionniste.
    J'ai un immense respect pour eux et leur conviction à laquelle j'adhère à 100%.
    Et c'est avec ce même respect que je me suis exécuté avec mon nouveau pétrin ! :-)

    •50% de Kamut® / 50% grands épeautres anciens.
    •90 % d'hydratation (70% au frasage, et 20% au bassinage)
    •14g de sel/kg de farine
    •30% levain dur/ kg de farine

    •19h de pointage à 6°
    • pas de façonnage (un rabat et division à la paline "maison")
    • Cuisson dans four domestique sur pierre avec verre d'eau sur plaque de fonte posée à même la sole du four. (240° -> 220 °)

    il est léger comme l'air qu'il contient. Sa mie est gouteuse, suave et chaude en bouche. sa croute est bien présente, ni trop ni pas assez...

    Ce pain est à mes yeux comme un aboutissement, ou plutôt une étape.

    J'ai connu le pain nature à Cucugnan, où j'ai pu mieux connaitre Roland, puis suis allé le revoir chez Laurent Bonneau à Paris 16. et je l'ai vu naitre ce matin à Lansargues avec la foi de Patrick.

    Merci à vous tous, les loups loups, car c'est bien vous qui m'avez aussi permis d'avancer au fur et à mesure... ♥

    1. Bonjour Thierry,
      Une bien jolie histoire que celle de cette Fanette. Y-aurait-il une adresse où on pourrait voir l'album dont vous parlez?

  3. Great photos - makes me want to bite right through my screen!
    About the kamut flour, as I don't have any on hand (and it is canada's civic holiday monday today, everything is closed!) - how do you think it would turn out if I substituted with acorn or black bean "flour" ?

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hello jenbeans,
      Sorry I couldn't get back to you yesterday: I was flying home to the Pacific Northwest. I don't think acorn or black bean flours would do the trick. They have no gluten whatsoever and since spelt has very little, I am afraid you might get a brick. Better wait until the stores open!
      I hope you had a nice holiday.

  4. Acabo de hacer este pan porque me quedé enamorada cuando lo vi, además me va muy bien ya que ahora no puedo comer harina de trigo.... lo he sacado del horno y está impresionante! Gracias..... Besos

    1. Muy bien! Me encanta que te guste! Besitos

  5. Hi MC,
    I think these pavés look absolutely beautiful - inside and out!
    I am not surprised the grandkids always want to eat your bread :^)
    When I get some kamut flour, I'll come back to this lovely formula...thank you!
    :^) breadsong

    1. Thank you, breadsong! I think these kids have bread in their genes (and levain in their blood!), that's what it is... ;-)

  6. you know MC, when I read 100% spelt and kamut I thought "really?? there's going to be no rise!". but I was wrong. the crumb looks lovely, dense, yes, but "alveolata" (honeycombed?). love the idea of not have to use (and wash) my stand mixer. if it wasn't already late today I would try this healthy and pretty bread right away. thank you for sharing!

    1. I know... I was a bit nervous myself wondering how the crumb would turn out but Gérard Rubaud says if your levain is active enough, it can pretty much lift anything and he was right... ;-)
      I hardly ever use my mixer any more. I'd rather mix by hand. I too find it much less work than cleaning the mixer. Isn't that funny?

  7. Hi MC,
    thanks for this nice recipe. Appreciate whole grain breads with distinctive flavor. The crumb is beautiful!

    1. Thank you, bernd! Yes, this bread is right up your alley, isn't it? We both love the taste of freshly milled whole grains. There is nothing else quite like it...

  8. Este es el pan que hice con tu receta, lo mío fué una superhogaza que duró bastante tiempo y resultó muy sabrosa. Gracias por tus magníficos panes.... Besos

    1. Bravissimo Salome! Tu pan salió hermosísimo. Me da hambre!



Blog Designed by: Deanna @ Design Chicky