Friday, September 25, 2009

Kamut Pound Cake

Ever since I got Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert a few months ago, I have been wanting to try out this pound cake. I finally had the opportunity when a few of us decided to bake it together via Twitter.

The thing that stopped me from making this pound cake earlier was the kamut. The health food store that I shop at regularly doesn't carry kamut flour or whole kamut. Thankfully I did find whole kamut at a different store, and even more thankfully, I own a (previously unused) grain mill. Problem solved. Freshly ground kamut flour in hand, I met up with Nancy, Di and Amy Ruth online to make our cakes.

Kamut is an ancient variety of wheat, that has only in recent years made it into the mainstream. It has a sweeter, more buttery flavor than the wheat we're used to eating, and is higher in minerals, amino acids and protein than its more common relative.

I was really excited to bake with a new ingredient, and I was not disappointed. The end result was an unbelievably moist pound cake, with a wonderfully dense yet separate crumb. The kamut added a cornmeal-like crunch to the cake, that gave it a rustic feel. It wasn't too sweet, which I loved, and I think it would be delicious served with fresh fruit and perhaps a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The only think I didn't like about it was that the crust was greasy. I don't know if my fellow bakers had the same experience or if it had to do with my alterations.

Kamut Pound Cake
adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich

3 tablespoons whole milk at room temperature
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/2 cup kamut flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350. Line 8x4 loaf pan with parchment. Whisk together milk, eggs, agave and vanilla. Set aside. Over the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together flours, baking powder and salt. If there is any bran left in the sifter, tip it into the bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together. Add butter and half of egg mixture. With the paddle attachment, beat on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened, then increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Add 1/2 of remaining egg mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Add the rest of the egg mixture and beat for another 20 seconds. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake until tester comes out clean 55-60 minutes. If cake looks like it's browning too quickly, place a foil tent over it at 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on rack. Serve it plain or toast thick slices and serve with fresh peaches and cream. Alternately, toast slices and top with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, and serve with a cup of black tea.

Alice Medrich also gives a few variations on this pound cake such as bourbon & nutmeg and whole wheat & chocolate which I'm anxious to try out. If the simple kamut is any indication, I know they will be delicious.


  1. My hat's off to you: not only did you choose this cool recipe, you baked and posted it on the same day! That's nearly unheard of in my blogging world. I really want to try the kamut next time and will be on the lookout for it. The spelt wasn't as assertive, I think, and the very fine grind made for a light rather than dense crumb on my cake. I'm so glad I finally baked something from this book, which I've had for 3 months...and so fun baking along together.

  2. Wow, you're quick, Sarah! =) Your cake looks fabulous. I saw whole kamut when I was shopping, but then was lucky enough to find flour as well. Neat idea to grind your own. I'm still not sure which variation I like the best, but I know I'll be making them again.

  3. This looks really good and I am sorry I did not get to bake with all of you, but you can be assured I will try this recipe as soon as I find some Kamut. It was fun to read all the tweets and watch it as it progressed.

  4. Looks good, I have to go looking for Kamut, I love trying new ingredients

  5. This looks really tasty. Now I have a reason to dig my grain mill out of the pantry! I've gotten lazy and have not used it forever! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  6. Interesting recipe. I always keep a bottle of agave nectar at home in the pantry and in my desk at work for my coffee and herbal teas. I've never used it in baking, but then again, I've never taken the time to search out any recipes. This pound cake looks good and simple to make. Thanks for the recipe, I will soon give it a try.


  7. I so missed making this with y'all . Now have spelt but no kamut. Wanna try bourbon/nutmeg, but no bourbon. I will try this one, tho'.

    Sarah, yours looks/sounds fantastic.

  8. The best way to get kamut is to order it online from somewhere like Walton Feed. You do have to order a large quantity, and grind it yourself, but it's so much cheaper that way. I've been substituting kamut in a chocolate cake recipe and a chocolate cookie recipe and it's wonderful!

  9. Thank you so much for the shout out!! I loved this recipe and have made it again although I chose the version w/cornmeal and love the tooth it adds. I was shocked to find the Kamut at my little organic/whole foods market, Clovers. Its delicious and so beautiful. Your photos are lovely as always. I am headed to the kitchen to make two cakes for a friend.
    Thanks again!


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