If you’ve ever wondered about einkorn flour, this is the post for you.
Perhaps you’ve heard that einkorn is different than modern wheat and that it has many nutritional benefits. Even so, that still leaves many questions. I’d love to give you some answers and share all about einkorn flour so that you can enjoy it as much as my family has!
Einkorn is the oldest known form of wheat grain and traces back thousands of years to the fertile crescent.
But what is einkorn?
Einkorn Wheat vs. Modern Wheat
Yes, einkorn is a form of wheat but in many ways, it’s so far from it. You see, einkorn is the mother of our modern wheat. Einkorn has never been hybridized but farro, for instance, is a hybrid of einkorn. Einkorn has lots of kids! Remember hybrids are different than GMO’s, which have had the actual genes spliced to create a new form.
While modern wheat has 6 sets of chromosomes, einkorn wheat has just two. This makes the gluten especially weak in einkorn. As a result, those who are gluten sensitive can often enjoy einkorn without the usual gluten reaction! Take note that einkorn does have gluten in it so those with celiac disease should avoid it.
Though very old, einkorn is quite new to us today. Studies have just begun but their findings are promising. This study found that an ancient grain diet could help to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that it does not spike insulin levels as many grains do.
I personally have to be careful with the amount of sugars I eat because I not only have issues with blood sugar, but also with gut bacteria. Einkorn, it appears, may help with both! This study found that not only does this ancient grain help maintain blood sugar levels, but also with overall gut health. That means it’s keeping the good bacteria in charge down there.
Using einkorn four for sourdough based foods has also shown to be anti-inflammatory so get out your sourdough starter!
As far as nutrition goes, hold onto your hats! This grain has an impressive 9 grams of protein per serving compared to whole modern soft wheat which has 5g. Phosphorus content is approximately 75% higher in einkorn. Lutein is 215% higher and B12 is 55% higher in einkorn when compared to modern soft wheat. This is just the beginning. It’s really pretty amazing. You can see the full nutrition facts chart here.
As I said, einkorn has been traced back thousands of years to the fertile crescent. Einkorn hasn’t been considered an easy crop to grow compared to modern wheat. It doesn’t produce the same yield and that could be why it ceased production. Only in the last several years has einkorn made a comeback.
In 1991 the remains were found of a man in the mountains between Italy and Austria. This mummy was believed to be from approximately 5,300 years ago. The interesting thing is that an unleavened bread, made from einkorn flour, was found in his colon.
Researchers began collecting einkorn seeds in Europe. At the same time Carla of Jovial Foods was searching for help for her daughter’s gluten sensitivity. She eagerly listened to the researcher’s findings on this grain. When asking if she might try using some of the seeds, the researchers shared them. She was overjoyed at how her daughter could now enjoy bread. Just learning about einkorn flour had changed her family’s lives. Her family soon founded Jovial foods, the largest einkorn producer in the world. You can listen to the story here.
Though Jovial foods has become the world’s largest einkorn producer, many other businesses have popped up since. Now there are endless options for those looking to incorporate einkorn into their baking.
When baking with einkorn you have to take it’s weak gluten content into consideration. It’s wheat but also quite different then wheat. It won’t rise into the same fluffy bread you might be used to eating. It’s a little denser due to the protein. Handling einkorn dough may take some getting used to but it’s so worth it. The sweet flavor is like no other and the rich yellow orange color of baked goods proves it’s difference.
When first grinding whole einkorn into flour, I was shocked at how sweet and soft the whole wheat breads tasted! Usually I feel whole wheat exudes a rich bite. Einkorn isn’t this way. My husband thinks it’s flavor as just as soft and light as any other bread. He’s sold and that makes me happy. The only downside to the Whole grain einkorn compared to all purpose is that it might take a little longer to master it when baking bread products. It has even less elasticity than the all purpose einkorn.
The best tip is to know you have a recipe that will work for it. There are many if you look around. If you like cookies, try my soft and chewy chocolate chip recipe!
About Einkorn Flour: Where to Start
When just starting with einkorn it’s important to practice. Search for recipe tutorials about einkorn flour. Learn tricks. Get to know how it feels when stirring, or kneading.
I’ve included several links in this post to start you on your journey with einkorn so check them out. Have fun with this new and very old grain!
From the Farmhouse,