I had never planned to make a loaf of bread with Farro, but it is now in my list of regular bakes. I got the idea because one day I ended up with some leftover cooked grains from a recipe we love out of the Pollan Families book "Mostly Plants". It wasn't really enough to make a meal out of it and as I was baking bread that day anyways I decided to give it a shot. The Farro has a similar texture oatmeal, so I figured the process wouldn't be much different than making a Porridge loaf... and it wasn't. The flavour was nice, a little bit of a nutty taste and a little bit chewy. As with a Porridge loaf the Crumb opened right up around the Farro and left some pretty significant holes. Even with the larger holes it still made for a great Sandwich bread without creating too much of a mess. Maybe my next step will be to experiment with milling Farro...
Ingredients (Two Loaves)
600g (75%) Robin Hood & Anita's White flours, 300g of each
200g (25%) Nunweilers Red Fife (or any other preferred whole wheat)
640g (80%) Water
16g (2%) Redmond Salt
160g (20%) Levain
320g (40%) Bob's Redmill Farro Cooked
8:30am- Levain Build with 25g starter: 75g warm water: 75g Flour blend (75% White, 25% Dark Rye)
12:00pm- Autolyse all of the 800g of flour with 625g of the water
1:15pm- Mix in 160g of Levain
1:45pm- Mix in Salt with the remaining 15g of water and Cooked Farro
2:15pm- Coil Fold
2:45pm- Coil Fold
3:15pm- Coil Fold
4:15pm- Coil Fold
5:15pm- Coil Fold
6:20pm- Divide and Preshape
6:45pm- Shape, put into Banneton, cover with a plastic bag, put in Fridge overnight
7:30am- Preheat Oven and Challenger Bread Pan to 500°F
8:00am- Score the dough and bake at 450°F for 22 minutes with the lid on, then 22 minutes with the lid off.
Adding an ice cube just before you put the lid on your Cast Iron is a good way to generate some extra steam and help get a better oven spring (up for debate).
Feel free to add as much or as little Farro as you would like; this ratio works well for me.
If you are using another Cast Iron pan you should probably heat it up hotter and longer. The loaves should bake at the same temperature.
Play around with different hydration levels, the amount of water in your Farro after you've cooked it will impact your loaf. I generally range between 78% and 84% on these.
Your fermentation times may vary depending on a lot of different factors. Use these times for the folding and the duration of the Bulk Fermentation only as a guideline. What worked for me may need to be tweaked a little bit for your bake.