If you’ve been wanting to have more guidance as you learn how to bake with einkorn flour, this is it. These are common questions, information and tips you don’t always hear when you first start baking with einkorn. At the end are some recipes made especially for those beginning einkorn baking. Lets start at the beginning.
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What is Einkorn Flour?
Einkorn flour is made up of ground einkorn wheat berries. This is the oldest wheat known to man and the only unhybridized wheat. To be hybridized means that it has been made into a variation by means of crossbreeding. For example, a Poodle that is bred with a Labrador Retriever brings about a Labradoodle. Don’t get hybrids confused with GMO’s. These are quite different. A hybrid can happen naturally in your garden. Just plant three different types of beans. Collect and save the seeds. Then plant them the next year. You’ll find they might grow into a very different type of bean due to being pollenated by three different beans.
Hybrids are not bad on their own as you can see. The trouble comes when breeding has been so specific that certain aspects of the plant are lost or added to too much. This is what happened with our modern day wheat. You might also hear talk of pesticides being drenched on them. After researching, I can’t give an exact cause for modern day toxicity except for extensive hybridizing and pesticide usage. Check out my post “does einkorn cause inflammation” for more info on what has happened to the modern day wheat and why it is connected to gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
How is Einkorn Flour Different?
The chemistry make up of ancient grain einkorn doesn’t contain the D Chromosome connected with gluten sensitivity. It has only 14 chromosomes. A much simpler composition than modern hard to digest wheat, which has 42! As a nutritional powerhouse, it offers 213% more lutein, 76 % more manganese and more. Before you talk about digestibility of this nutrition, note that it has 50% less phytic acid than modern wheat. Phytic acid is that part of the grain that can bind the nutrients and make it hard to digest. Einkorn is much more digestible! It’s also doesn’t contain nearly as much gluten as it’s modern counterparts.
While there are so many positive aspects, the construction also makes einkorn a bit harder to work with. The lack of gluten results in less of a rise. The chemistry promotes a different absorption of hydration in recipes. This can make baking daunting. Realize this flour has been baked for thousands of years meaning we need to use age old wisdom in baking. Becoming familiar with the way it handles and using some tips can empower you to bake like a pro.
How to Bake with Einkorn Flour
Let’s start with how NOT to bake with einkorn flour.
Can you substitute einkorn for all-purpose flour?
No! With the exception of adding flour to soup recipes, you will need to follow a recipe JUST for einkorn wheat flour. Einkorn flour recipes assure that the hydration, texture and rise will be at it’s best. Other recipes will not turn out right. Follow your einkorn recipe for the best results!
A few things to Remember before learning how to bake with Einkorn Flour
- Einkorn dough will not be as stretchy
- Einkorn breads will generally have less of a rise
- Because einkorn is a high protein flour, breads will be more dense than modern wheat breads
- All purpose einkorn flour has had the bran and germ removed. It will produce a lighter bread but have less nutrition and protein content than whole wheat einkorn.
Tips for Baking with Einkorn Flour
Here are some of the best tips for baking with einkorn flour. If einkorn baking becomes your thing, these will become second nature to you. For now, look back often to remember these tips. You’ll want them close when figuring out how to make einkorn baking a simple practice.
Tips for baking Sourdough or Yeast Bread Einkorn Recipes
- When making Sourdough or yeast bread, the dough should seem a little sticky. Remember that einkorn absorbs hydration slower than modern wheat. Try not to add more flour to these recipes than what is called for.
- Don’t over knead. Because of it’s weak gluten, it’s tempting to want to knead and knead until it becomes super stretchy. Over kneading will just result in stickiness. What do we want to do when a dough is sticky? Add more flour. Don’t add more flour! You’ll only need to knead (pun intended) or fold the dough for a couple minutes max.
- Fold the dough. This helps trap air in that will help with the rise. When making yeast or sourdough breads, you’ll want to add in this trick. Instead of kneading for a long amount of time, try turning the dough. To do this, you’ll stretch the dough out flat and then simply fold it over on itself. I like to fold it into thirds until it’s back to a big clump, then repeat this process. Because of the lower gluten content, this bread will need all the rising help it can get.
- Bread dough will only rise a little. If modern wheat bread rises doubles, I’d describe einkorn’s rise as nearly 25 %. Don’t expect a big difference but there should be some difference.
If you want to learn more about sourdough, Karyn Lynn Newman PHD, author of “Sourdough by Science” is a great source. She shares about how and why sourdough works.
Tips for Baking Quick Breads and Cakes
- Beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed in a mixer or for several minutes by hand. Then add them to the other ingredients. I learned this trick from Carla of Jovial foods in her Cookbook “Einkorn.” This prevents and grainy crumb and helps keep the muffins lighter.
- The Batter may seem thicker than usual. They should be. It will take longer for these batters to set in the oven.
- The Baking Temperature will often be higher than with modern wheat. Because of the time it takes for einkorn flour to set in the oven, a higher temperature actually helps.
Other Common Questions
Can You Substitute Whole Einkorn flour and All-Purpose Einkorn Flour 1:1?
Whole grain einkorn flour tends to absorb more of the hydration. This means it will need more water. It also won’t use as much flour compared with the all-purpose einkorn flour.
I don’t like to give out specific conversions because I feel different baked goods will act differently while converting. It’s not a won and done deal and may take time to adjust it correctly.
What can I bake with whole grain einkorn?
There are multiple draws to whole grain einkorn. You can grind it at home. It has more nutritional content and protein with a very light whole grain flavor. It can work in just about any recipe you use and be just fine. Perhaps you just love the whole grain flavor and want to make everything whole grain. That’s absolutely all right to do!
Remember choosing the nutrition of whole grains will also mean you are choosing a different flavor or less of a rise. Certain flavors tend to go together better so I do recommend one flour over the other. It’s all opinion though.
I personally love the light flavor of the all-purpose einkorn flour but also love the nutrition from the whole grain einkorn. I’ve made a go-to chart of my favorite flavor combos for both all-purpose einkorn flour and whole grain einkorn flour. Click HERE to grab it! Feel free to print it, crop it and tape it in your cookbook or on the inside of your cupboard door.
Where To Find Einkorn Flour and Berries
I’ve been all over the internet looking for einkorn. You can even find various crafters selling it on Etsy! It may not be the easiest to find, but it’s even harder to find a source that’s budget friendly. After several years I’ve found the two main sources.
Where to Buy Einkorn Berries
I love purchasing my einkorn berries from Ancient Grains because they are grown and packed here in the northwest (yay!). They have good quality berries, and great prices for the large quantities I purchase. When I get them in the mail, I store them in large pails in our pantry. Then I mill about a weeks worth at a time. I will usually get enough to receive free shipping, which also brings the price down. I can’t recommend their berries enough!
Where to Buy Whole Grain and All-Purpose Einkorn Flour
I’ve mentioned them before when talking about filling the pantry. Azure Standard is a Family run company that bring me groceries, house supplies, garden starts and most importantly: einkorn flour. I purchase the Jovial brand for special baking or on the months I find sales. They also offer an Azure brand whole grain einkorn flour in case you don’t mill you own. Once a month I go to the drop off point and a refrigerated truck meets all us Azure customers with our orders. We say hello to each other, then pack our treasures in the car and head home to open out treasures. You can see one of my Azure Pick up trips on YouTube HERE.
My other go to for All-Purpose einkorn flour is Ancient Grains. Especially if I want a big bag for holiday baking. Yes, I have been known to search for super deals from those mega nutrition style online markets but I’ve also had horrible service such as a package getting damaged in the mail. Twice. The second time they didn’t bother to tell me. I had to look it up and cancel the order about a month after it was placed. So much for that coming quick! All, deals are great, but don’t depend on the company unless you’ve had excellent service from them.
Best Beginner Einkorn Recipes
Here are my favorite EASY recipes with einkorn flour.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Website Favorite!)
Simple Sourdough Buttermilk Waffles (great way to use sourdough as a beginner)
If you are wanting to start baking einkorn sourdough bread, try this Sourdough Garlic Herb Bread recipe. You can even omit the garlic and herbs for a basic bread. I recommend beginning sourdough breads with an all-purpose flour but I must admit I didn’t. I started with whole grain and it all worked out fine.
You will have struggles and you will also have some amazing treats. Enjoy the beauty of baking with this amazing ancient grain!
Hope this helps as you learn how to bake with einkorn flour!
From the Hilltop,