It’s time for another Eating the Alphabet recipe link-up where each month we make a recipe featuring a fruit, vegetable, legume, or whole grain from a different set of letters of the alphabet.
So far I’ve done:
(A or B): Buttercup Squash and Artichoke Pasta
(C or D): Grenadian Oil Down with Cassava (Favourite)
(E or F): Homemade Fig Newtons (Favourite)
(G or H): White Chicken Chili with Hominy
(I or J): Juniper Berry Bechamel
This month we look at K or L. My ingredient of choice: Kamut.
WTF is Kamut?
What is Kamut? Khorasan Wheat is more commonly referred to as Kamut which is actually it’s trademark name. It’s a bit odd that a strain of wheat has been trademarked, but according to Kamut International, this is to ensure that customers are always getting 100% organic khorasan wheat that has not been combined with standard wheat or genetically modified. So if you’re buying Kamut and not plain old Khorasan wheat, you can rest easy my friends.
Kamut is a hardy strain of wheat that originated in Egypt. It grows relatively easily with less water than standard wheat requires to produce the same yield. It can often be grown without pesticides since the low moisture requirement naturally deters insects.
Kamut is high in protein (12-18%) making it a good substitute for bread flour in bread making. (Learn more about protein content of flours here). It can also be used in cereals, other baked goods, and pastas.
A serving of Kamut contains more than your daily required intake of selenium, the antioxidant that boosts immunity and prevents cancer.
Kamut tastes much nuttier than plain ol’ white flour or even whole wheat flour. I found it’s depth of flavour to be really very enjoyable.
How the hell do I use Kamut?
You can use Kamut either as a whole grain, cooking it like you would rice, or as a flour, baking with it in place of regular wheat flours.
- eat whole grain kamut it instead of oatmeal for breakfast
- use kamut flour for making pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, or bread
- use kamut pastas in place of regular pasta (or make fresh pasta with kamut flour)
- eat whole grain kamut instead of rice as a side dish at dinner
I decided to use Kamut flour in bread for its high protein content. I thought that its nutty flavour would be really good in a rich bread, so I baked the richest bread I could think of: brioche! But I kept the butter content on the lower end so that the flavour of the Kamut wouldn’t be overpowered bythe butter flavour of a richer brioche.
makes 12 brioche a tete
1/2 c. kamut flour
2 t. instant yeast
1/2 c. warm milk
4 large eggs (or 3 XL), lightly beaten
3 1/4 c. kamut flour
2 T. granulated sugar
1-1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. butter at room temperature
1 egg whisked for an egg wash.
Combine the sponge ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or until it bubbles and rises.
Whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt to the sponge until smooth. Add in the flour and stir by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time while stirring.
Once the butter is incorporated transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until smooth and supple but not sticky, adding in more flour if needed.
Place the dough in a large clean bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover with plastic and let rise at room temperature for 90 minutes or doubled in size.
To shape the brioche, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a large log and cut into 12 equal pieces with a pastry cutter. Shape each piece into a ball, flouring your hands and the dough as needed. Then shape each ball into a tapered oblong shape, sort of like a snowman, with a head and body. Use your finger to poke a hole through the centre of the larger “body” of the brioche and poke the smaller ball through it. Place the brioches in an oiled muffin tin. Cover with a towel and let rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the tops of the brioche with the egg wash; place the tins on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until an even rich brown colour. Cool the brioche for 5 minutes, then turn the brioche out of the tins to cool completely.