We are really baking Emmer Bread and Focaccia with Garlic Shards, Artichokes and Rosemary.
According to Wikipedia, Emmer is "a low yielding, awned wheat" (an awn is "either a hair- or bristle-like appendage on a larger structure," so the heads of grain are hairy or spikey.
The article notes that Emmer "was one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East" and that "[i]t was widely cultivated in the ancient world, but is now a relict crop in mountainous regions of Europe and Asia." That being said, the article notes that while "[t]oday emmer is primarily a relict crop in mountainous areas" and that "[i]ts value lies in its ability to give good yields on poor soils, and its resistance to fungal diseases," "[i]n Italy, uniquely, emmer cultivation is well established and even expanding."
The recipe in HB in 5 gives a source for Emmer flour, but with shipping it was kind of expensive for one loaf of bread. While searching for other sources online I noted that the Italian variety is called Farro. And Farro, as a cereal, was available locally. So I got some Farro and ground that to use in my Emmer Bread.
You know, sometimes a recipe just resonates with you, and the Emmer Bread was one of those recipes. The recipe calls for beer. I made a half recipe, which calls for 1/4 cup of beer. Now I hate wasting any ingredients, so I had no choice but to drink the rest of the beer. Also, many times recipes will call for different kinds of the same ingredient to enhance flavor--several kind of apples for a pie or applesauce, for example. So I thought it might be good to use different beers, which meant I had to finish TWO bottles. Baking can be nasty work, but someone has to do it. I am not sure what the beer did for the bread, but it enhanced the mood of the baker.
Perhaps it was because we had been away on Spring Break (see YouTube for my wet T-Shirt performance) and this was the first homemade bread we had had for awhile, but we both really liked this bread. In addition to the beer there was also a bit of vinegar. Cooks Illustrated uses beer and vinegar in its no-knead bread recipe to enhance the flavor. Since Emmer is just an heirloom wheat, I do not see why you could not make this recipe substituting whole wheat flour for the Emmer. Seems to me to be worth a try.
For the Focaccia I used the 100% Whole Wheat with Olive Oil. Focacce (the plural of Focaccia, Ellen) are some of my favorite breads to bake. They are fairly quick, and unlike most loaves, you get to eat them warm. For this loaf I gently sautéed some thinly sliced garlic in olive oil. I used the garlic for the "shards" and drizzled the garlic infused oil on the bread. I used canned, not marinated, artichokes, which I patted dry with a paper towel so they would not make the whole thing too wet. I flattened the dough on some parchment paper (to make getting it into the oven easier) dimpled it with my fingers, topped it with the garlic shards and thinly sliced artichokes, and let it rise.
Broccoli Rabe and Salami Pasta. (When doing what Winnie the Pooh would call my Stoutness Exercises I watch the Food Network.) I cooked some broccoli in the nuker, then sautéed it in some olive oil with some garlic and red pepper flakes. While the pasta (whole wheat) was cooking I cut up some capicola I had and mixed it with half of a 16 ounce carton of low fat ricotta and some Parmigiano-Reggiano in a large bowl. When the pasta was done, I added a cup of cooking water to the cheese mixture, to make a sauce. Then, I added the broccoli and drained pasta, and Bob, as they was, was my uncle. (I actually had an Uncle Bob.)
It went great with the bread.
So that's all he wrote for this time, be sure to tune in next time.
And watch out for those April Fools!