Ancient Grains Make Their Comeback – Look at Einkorn Flour!

Einkorn wheat in wooden bowl isolated on white background

Einkorn flour is a type of ancient wheat that has been grown for thousands of years. It is one of the earliest forms of cultivated wheat and has been found in funerary jars from at least 12,000 years ago. It is considered a “primitive” or “ancient” grain. The name “einkorn” comes from the German words “ein” (meaning one) and “korn” (meaning grain), referring to the fact that einkorn has only one grain per seed head.

The wheat remains untouched by modern hybridization methods and is definitely not mas produced. Unfortunately availability is thus limited. 

Einkorn has a unique nutritional profile, containing more protein, essential fatty acids, and micronutrients than modern wheat. Einkorn flour is also highly nutritious and contains 4g of protein, 2g of fiber per 1/3 cup serving, and is a rich source of B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Einkorn has a pleasing sweet flavor, silky texture and yellow hue, due to its rich content of lutein. It also has a different gluten structure, which some people find easier to digest. This is because einkorn contains a simpler form of gluten that is less complex and therefore less likely to cause digestive issues for those with gluten sensitivities.

Einkorn flour is typically used in baking, including bread, pasta, and pastries, and can be substituted for other types of flour in many recipes. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and can add a unique taste to baked goods. Einkorn flour is also available in whole grain form, which contains the bran and germ and is more nutritious than refined flour.

One of the benefits of einkorn flour is its high protein content. Einkorn contains around 15% protein, which is higher than most other types of wheat. Protein is an essential nutrient that is important for building and repairing tissues in the body, including muscles, bones, and skin. It is also important for the production of enzymes and hormones.

Einkorn flour is also a good source of essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are important for brain health, immune function, and reducing inflammation in the body. Einkorn also contains a variety of micronutrients, including iron, zinc, and magnesium, which are important for overall health and well-being.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, einkorn flour has some practical benefits for baking. Because einkorn has a different gluten structure than modern wheat, it can be more forgiving when it comes to baking. This means that it is less likely to become tough or dry when over-mixed, which can be a problem with other types of flour. Einkorn flour also absorbs liquid differently than modern wheat, so it may require some adjustments to recipes when substituting for other types of flour.

Einkorn flour can be used in a variety of recipes, including bread, pizza crust, pancakes, and cookies. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with savory and sweet ingredients. Einkorn flour can also be used in combination with other flours, such as spelt or wheat, to create unique flavors and textures in baked goods.

One thing to keep in mind when using einkorn flour is that it does contain gluten, so it is not suitable for those with celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance. However, because einkorn contains a simpler form of gluten, some people with mild gluten sensitivities may be able to tolerate it better than other types of wheat flour.

Einkorn flour is also more expensive than other types of flour, partly because it is a specialty product that is not as widely available as other types of wheat flour. However, because einkorn is an ancient grain that has been grown for thousands of years, some people believe that it is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than modern wheat, which has been heavily modified over the years to increase yields and resist pests.

The flour is available in most retailers and grocers. Jovial are a well-established producer with a solid name in flour production. They produce an all-purpose 100% organic flour that currently retails for 23 USD (2023, April). This is grown in Italy.

In conclusion, einkorn flour is a type of ancient wheat that has a unique nutritional profile and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It can be used in a variety of baked goods and may be more forgiving when it comes to baking than other types of flour.

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Purchase your Einkorn Flour here

Here is a basic recipe for a basic white bread that uses einkorn flour and makes one large loaf, serving about 10 people:

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the einkorn flour, bread flour, instant yeast, and salt. Mix together until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the warm water, honey, and olive oil.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a 9×5 inch (23×13 cm) loaf pan.
  7. Punch down the risen dough and shape it into a loaf that will fit in the prepared pan. Place the dough in the pan, cover with a clean towel, and let rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy your freshly baked einkorn bread!

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