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Grain of the Week – Kamut (9/19 – 9/25/16)

Kamut brand Khorasan Wheat

Special Price for Grain Week (click here to see all grain specials)

Code Description Retail Sale
04750 Kamut ® Brand ORGANIC Grain  42lbs. 6 gal. Bckt. $75.85 $68.26
04753 Kamut ® Brand Grain  in 2 lb. Baggie $7.24 $6.00
04752 Kamut®  Brand Grain  7lbs. 1 gal. Pail $28.12 $19.40

The legends surrounding the Egyptian origins of Kamut brand Khorasan Wheat is quite fascinating although the accuracy is questionable. The original seeds that came to the US were said to have been recovered from an ancient tomb in Egypt.  It is unknown when Khorasan wheat was introduced into Egypt, but today it is known as balady durum, which is known as native durum. Local legend in Turkey where this ancient wheat is still grown, say that Khorasan, known there as “camel’s tooth” or the “Prophets wheat”, is the wheat that Noah carried on the ark. Who knows for sure?

But what we do know is that Kamut brand, Khorasan wheat, is a very delicious and versatile grain. It is well suited to grind into flour to make pasta, quick breads and yeast breads or to cook whole and enjoy added to soups and stews or the base for pilafs and whole grain salads. Flour made from Kamut lends a rich golden color to the baked goods and a buttery flavor similar to corn.  Kamut has a more delicate gluten forming structure so breads made entirely from Kamut will have a slightly denser texture than those made from wheat flour. It is a perfect grain to choose when making slightly denser yeast breads like the delicious English Muffins or the Fabulous French Bread from The Essential Home Ground Flour Book by Sue Becker. For added flavor and lighter texture yeast breads, Kamut works well when combined with wheat flour. It is a nice change of flavor and texture in non-yeast breads such as muffins, pancakes, coffee cakes and tortillas. Much of the Kamut grown in the US is exported to Italy for pasta making. It is our grain of choice for homemade pasta.

Like most grains, Kamut is rich in nutrients that are essential for good health, including dietary fiber and many vitamins and minerals. Though in the wheat family, as a more ancient grain, kamut is often well tolerated by those with a traditional wheat sensitivity.

Try some today as a boiled grain or substitute Kamut flour for the flour called for in your favorite recipe.

Fabulous French Bread

This fabulous French bread has the perfect thick crunchy crust but is moist and fluffy on the inside.  Better than any store bought French bread or baguette.  Kamut or hard white wheat are the perfect flour choices for this fabulously crusty bread.

Makes 2 long French loaves

Baking pan or 2-3 channel perforated pan, greased and sprinkled with cornmeal
•    2 cups     warm water     500 mL
•    1 tbsp     liquid honey or light evaporated cane juice
•    5 cups     hard white wheat flour or Kamut flour, divided     1.25 L
•    1 tbsp     instant yeast     15 mL
•    1 tbsp     oil     15 mL
•    2 tsp     salt     10 mL

Ground corn meal for sprinkling baking pan

In large mixing bowl, combine warm water, 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) flour, and yeast.  Mix well for 2-3 minutes.  Cover and let sponge for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the remaining flour, oil and salt.  Knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough and turn out on lightly floured or oiled surface. Divide dough in half and shape into two long slender loaves.  Place loaves on prepared pan and cut diagonal slashes across top of loaf, if desired.  Baste or spray tops of loaves with water.  Let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F (220C).  For best crust, place a pan of hot water on bottom rack of oven.

Baste or spray risen loaves again with water.  Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F (190C) and finish baking for 20 minutes or until loaves are golden browned and internal temperature is 190F (88C).

Serve hot or transfer to rack to cool.

•    For a really crunchy crust, mist the loaves with water several times during baking.
•    For a fluffier interior, 1 tsp of vital wheat gluten can be added with the flour. This will help give the bread the traditional chew of French bread.
•    Variation
•    Rosemary Thyme French Bread – Add 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or oregano to the sponge and knead in with the remaining flour, oil and salt.

Kamut Salad with Carrots and Pomengranate

From “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” by Maria Speck.  Please “friend” Maria on her Facebook page and twitter

•    1 cup water
•    ½ cup Kamut, soaked overnight and drained

Salad, and To Finish
•    2 ½ cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium)
•    ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
•    3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
•    1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
•    1 teaspoon honey
•    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    ¼ teaspoon salt
•    2 Tablespoons olive oil
•    ¼ cup toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)
•    Seeds from 1 pomegranate

To prepare the Kamut: Bring the water and Kamut to a boil in a small heavy bottomed saucepan.  Decrease the heat to maintain simmer, cover, and cook until the Kamut berries are tender but still slightly chewy, 50-60 minutes.  Remove from heat and if you have time, let it sit, covered for 10-15 minutes.  Drain any remaining liquid and transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.

* I cook the Kamut in a pressure cooker on second ring for 18-20 minutes and let it naturally release.  Then drain and cool.

Once the Kamut has cooled, prepare the salad.  Add the carrots and golden raisins to the serving bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the orange and lemon juices, honey, cinnamon and salt until smooth.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream.

To finish pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.  Taste and adjust for salt. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.  Toss again before serving.

Sprinkle with pomegranate and walnuts if using, and golden raisins.

* Taste and adjust flavors.  I added a little honey (about 1 Tablespoon) and some chopped fresh tarragon, which add a delightful sweetness and depth of flavor.  To make ahead store in refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.  Add walnuts and pomegranate just before serving.