Saturday, 5 June 2010

Kamut flour rolls - not the Pharaoh's bread

This is the first in a series of posts documenting my adventures with less common flours. Today: Kamut flour. (Next: Barleycorn flour.)

Kamut was the most expensive of the flours we bought, at £2.69/kg - more than three times the price of normal wheat flour. I was attracted to it by Doves Farm’s description: an ancient wheat variety used by the Pharaohs. Unfortunately further research reveals this to be a ‘marketing myth’ (or less euphemistically, a lie to sell more products) promulgated by Kamut International Limited. There is no evidence for an Egyptian origin, and genetic tests suggest it may in fact be a hybrid of durum and Polish wheat. ‘Kamut’ is a trademark of Kamut International Limited, and the company impose strict limits on what can be described as Kamut wheat. One of these restrictions is that it must be organically grown, which partly makes up for the slightly sinister concept of trademarking the name of a plant subspecies.

I made four small rolls using the Kamut flour. The result was fairly pleasant, but not exceptional. Kamut is a wholegrain flour, and high in fibre, but has a pale yellowish colour and makes a lighter bread, with a sweeter flavour, than you would expect from a wholegrain flour. It might make a good substitute for normal wholegrain wheat flour, but the price and the fact it has to be shipped from North America (which isn’t terribly environmentally-friendly) means I probably won’t be using it as a bread flour again.

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