Einkorn is the original form of wheat eating during prehistoric times, dating back to about 12,000 years ago at the dawn of agriculture. Substantially different at the chromosomal level from modern wheat, einkorn can still yield a shockingly delicious loaf of bread which is quite a bit more healthy than the usual stuff. I had read that einkorn bread was hard to work with, and yielded a bread that was heavy, and bitter, astringent, or oddly sour.
I did not experience this at all: the bread had a wonderful soft texture, and was very "bready"/malty tasting, with no off tastes whatsoever. It did also have a nice tan color to it, which is apparently due to its relatively high content of lutein, a carotenoid which is good for your eye health. I purchased my einkorn flour from Heritage Grain Conservancy (I have absolutely no affiliation with them besides being a customer).
Let's start with the recipe first, and then I'll delve into the nutritionals and history behind einkorn and modern wheat afterwards.
Einkorn bread recipe
This recipe is deliberately simple. I had read about other recipes involving oils, honey, and eggs, that were supposedly necessary to give the bread necessary lift and moisture. The recipe I used below didn't use any of those, and they were not necessary: the bread was springy, light, and moist (and it didn't get dry and crumbly even when I ate it the next day). The only thing I can think of is that I used quite a bit of yeast for a relatively small loaf, and I gave the yeast a bit more oomph by adding a teaspoon of sugar.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
2 hours 15 min
2 hours 45 min
One 1 lb (454 g) loaf
- 2 cups Einkorn Flour
- 1 cup Water, (warm)
- 1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
Instructions (if making by hand; bread machine directions below)
- Combine 1/4 cup of the water, the sugar, and the yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Sift 2 cups of einkorn flour into a large bowl.
- Add the salt, and mix together.
- And the remaining water, and the yeast mixture (slurry), and mix well until you have a tacky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto your countertop, and knead for 2-3 minutes. Note the the dough will be a bit stickier than regular bread dough. Resist the urge to flour it more; you'll want a relatively high-moisture, tacky dough to develop into a nice crust.
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover, and put in a relatively warm place in your kitchen (in your oven with the oven light only on is a good option) to allow it to rise. Give it a good 60 minutes, or until it has doubled in volume.
- Punch down the dough and reshape it into a loaf shape.
- Place into a loaf pan and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 335 F (170 C).
- Place the loaf pan into the oven, and allow to bake for about 30 minutes. When done, the crust should be golden brown and should sound hollow if you knock it with your knuckles.
- Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow to cool another 30 minutes on a cooling rack before attempting to slice. Enjoy!
Directions for bread machines
- Place all the ingredients in the bread pan. Isolate the water from the dry ingredients (especially the yeast) if you are using the delayed timer.
- Use the white bread cycle on your machine (if you're using Jovial's einkorn flour, which, as a high-extraction flour, behaves more like a white flour than a whole-wheat one) or whole wheat cycle if you are grinding your own einkorn flour from whole einkorn berries.
- Because the dough tends to be a bit gummier than most, you might consider "helping" the bread machine by pushing all the flour and dough towards the paddle until it does wad up into a big dough ball.
Einkorn bread vs regular wheat bread: Nutritionals
|Einkorn||Einkorn||Regular wheat||Regular wheat|
1 lb loaf
1 lb loaf
Riboflavin (vit B2)
Lutein + zeaxanthin
A brief history of wheat: Einkorn to today's hybridized wheat
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum) was the first wheat cultivar, harvested as early as 10-12,000 years ago in Mesopotamia/Fertile Crescent, before the dawn of human historical records. Compared to modern wheat, einkorn looks sparse and almost like a weed. It is also the simplest form of wheat, with 2 sets of chromosomes (diploid) or 14 chromosomes. Another variety that developed in parallel to einkorn, emmer, is a tetraploid (4 sets) hybrid of wild emmer (itself a hybrid of 2 diploid grasses). Modern wheat (Triticum aestivum) is actually a hexaploid plant, or containing 6 sets of chromosomes, the result of a hybridization of 3 different types of wheat grass.
Hybridization efforts over the last 30 years have yielded literally thousands of varieties of wheat that mankind didn't know even a couple of generations ago. As a species, we human beings have had the least amount of time to adapt to modern wheat, which continues to evolve in the laboratory without extensive, long-term knowledge on how this is affecting our health.
Many scientists speculate that, while einkorn does have gluten as do all varieties of wheat, its form of gluten might be more tolerable to some who are sensitive to wheat, since it was not a descendant of the same evolutionary path as modern wheat (which was derived from emmer). One such study seems to support that there's a difference. It's probably not safe for all people who suffer from celiac disease (an allergy to gluten), but might be tolerable for many people who suffer from gluten intolerance.
Here are some great additional web resources if you want to learn more about einkorn:
- einkorn nutritionals vs 18 other varieties of wheat
- Elisheva Rogosa's page on einkorn (she sells organic einkorn flour, too)
- Dr William Davis (writer of Wheat Belly) has written an article on agribusiness's role in the rapid proliferation of modern wheat varieities
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on May 05, 2020:
Interesting :) never heard of eichorn bread before :) Thank you for sharing :)
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 16, 2020:
Fascinating. I'll have to check to see if I can order this wheat online.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 18, 2018:
This flour looks like it is worth a try! Thanks for posting this informative article.
Abdul Haadi from Lahore, Pakistan. on November 27, 2017:
A healthy recipe, INDEED!
devisree from India on June 12, 2015:
Seems Delicious.Will it comes perfect with wheat flour?.. Any way I will make a try. Thank you for sharing.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on November 25, 2014:
Hi Cat - Thank you for your comment. Are you using Jovial's einkorn flour? If not, would you mind sharing what brand you're using?
Cat on November 24, 2014:
I am making this, and like most if the commenters, it is SOOO soupy and gooey! This recipe says avoid adding more flour, but I'm sorry, I should have. It's so wet and heavy and I did everything as you said. I think the einkorn bag is right when it says 4 cups flour to 1 cup water. I'll let you know when it comes out, but it was sticky and barely filled the pan...luckily I live in Europe and this flour is sold here and easy to replace.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on October 23, 2013:
I'm not sure what alterations you'd have to make for high altitude and a whole-germ flour. You might have to experiment a bit, but if you strike upon success, please share your secrets here!
Kim on October 21, 2013:
Any special instructions for high altitude? Also I am using Tropical Traditions flour which is the whole germ and is different than the Jovial brand.
Susan Bailey from South Yorkshire, UK on May 14, 2013:
Sounds so simple and looks great. I have never seen this flour in the UK but I will look out for it.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on May 06, 2013:
Paula: is the resulting loaf twice as big?
Paula on May 05, 2013:
I'm confused because the Jovial recipe calls for 4 c flour to one loaf of bread...
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on April 16, 2013:
Thank you for sharing your experience, Keith!
Keith Crossley on April 13, 2013:
About to make my 4th loaf... briefly scanning some comments my experience might be informative. I make this primarily for my (mostly) GF wife; so she decides.
1. By hand - rather small and dense. She really liked it, esp. dipping in olive oil
2. By machine - I thought is was pretty good - a much airier consistency. But she preferred the first version
3. Dough cycle in machine; bake in pan (oven). This really seemed to work well.
4. Repeat of #3. Will let you know later.
Larry on March 02, 2013:
Can I double the quantities for a 2lb loaf?
Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on February 21, 2013:
A very useful article! Thank you for sharing, livelonger! Voted up, interesting and useful!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 19, 2013:
Babble: I made it successfully using the recipe below. However, YMMV, and your dough might require a higher flour:water ratio to achieve the necessary hydration. I'll try again soon; this recipe was from a couple of years ago, and maybe their flour has changed.
Babble on February 18, 2013:
I have a bag of this flour with a recipe on the side, it say 4 cups of flour to 1 cup of water. Is there a misprint on this website?
jes1776 on January 26, 2013:
This recipe was a disaster in my bread machine (zojirrushi). The dough was way to wet for only 2 cups of flour--like soup, so I added an additional half cup of flour. The bread never rose and completely stuck in the bread pan. I had to break it into chunks to get it out. Very disappointing considering the cost of the flour! Found another recipe though--uses 5 cups of flour to 1 3/4 c water( plus the other ingred) but you let the mixed ingredients sit in a bowl covered overnight, knead it lightly and toss into a preheated dutch oven and bake at 450 for 30 min. Supposed to have a nice artisan type crust. Hoping that turns out better!!
Vanderleelie on November 02, 2012:
A very informative hub about an alternative to regular wheat flour. I think genetically modified wheat has become a huge health issue for many people. I am going to do a little research and find a source for einkorn flour here in Canada (I have not seen it in the supermarket or health food store in New Brunswick.) Voted up, useful and shared.
caleone313 on October 23, 2012:
Thanks....I added more flour and at least I was able to knead it a bit, but it never did rise much.......I couldn't throw it away, so I made focaccia.........it was OK.....and at least I got to taste the einkorn.....good stuff...........I will try again!!!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on October 23, 2012:
Hmm...I would try adding more einkorn flour so that the dough isn't as sticky. Maybe because of higher ambient humidity, your flour is just naturally more moist. I live in a rather dry climate myself.
caleone313 on October 23, 2012:
I am making this bread now; it has not risen at all after 2 hours and it is so sticky. The yeast did bubble up, so I don't think that is the problem. I don't know what to do to salvage this dough....this happen to anyone else?...This is my first time trying einkorn....I'm so disappointed...dying for some bread!!!
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 05, 2012:
I love to bake and am a person who uses heirloom whenever possible. I like the simplicity of the recipe. Sometimes we make bread difficult but it really is easy to have delicious homemade breads. Thanks for the great recipe and interesting background information.
idigwebsites from United States on September 03, 2012:
it's like baking and eating a food with bit of history on it. good hub!! and so much interesting!
Kefra on September 02, 2012:
Has anyone tried doubling the recipe for bread machine? My machine makes 1.5lb or 2lbs loaf.
Ruth Pieterse on July 31, 2012:
Excellent hub. My husband is the breadmaker in the family, will pass the recipe on to him.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 24, 2012:
sewmadd: Please let me know what you think. Hopefully it works to make you feel better. I think you'll like the taste. :)
sewmadd on July 24, 2012:
I ordered some einhorn flour today. Amazon had it as an add-on to orders totaling $25 and was available for Prime. My oncologist and naturopath have suggested I go wheat free and this looks like I may be able to have bread again as it is not genetically modified. I love my bread machine so wish me luck:)
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 21, 2012:
Yes, there might be limits to how much rise you can get out of it, because the gluten-like proteins are not the same as in modern wheat. I'm happy with the texture, but it is a bit different. I hear you on the cost!
djanak on July 21, 2012:
Ok, thanks for your help. Maybe I just have high expectations. The bread comes out tasty each time, I just want it to rise more during baking and I hate to waste it experimenting because it's so pricey.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 21, 2012:
djanak: I used a breadmaker, too (the Breadman Ultra, if that matters). I've actually never used emmer, but I know from research that it's closer to modern wheat than einkorn.
djanak on July 20, 2012:
I used a bread maker both times. I've just tried again in the bread maker on the white bread cycle and again it came out VERY flat. I'm currently baking it a bit extra in the toaster over it seemed underdone. Your recipe does not use a bread maker so maybe that is my issue. Good point about Rye, I think I'll try spelt. Your suggestion of emmer may also be a good one for me, have you tried mixing emmer and einkorn?
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 17, 2012:
Gary712: Oh, no! I'm not a master baker, so I can't help troubleshoot what went wrong, but I've made this several times and it always comes out soft and fluffy.
A flour you might also try is emmer - it is a closer relative to modern wheat, but without all the hybridizations.
Gary712 on July 17, 2012:
The bread comes out hard and basically inedible, tough to eat. I get the dough perfect and somewhere in the oven, it transforms. I even use an electronic thermostat on top of the oven to make sure that it reaches the proper temperature. Maybe we need to go back to the 24-chromosome wheat of the 1950s or 1960. I do not use a bread machine although I own one.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 16, 2012:
Hi djanak: I didn't experience that. How much did you knead your dough? I suspect going through a few more knead/rest cycles might build the dough up enough to make it fluffier for you. I don't think rye would help - it has no gluten-like proteins - but spelt might. (That's just a guess, though; I haven't tried)
djanak on July 16, 2012:
The texture wasn't bad but it just didn't rise much either time. It looked like banana bread because of the lack of rise/volume. I have heard that Einkorn works well combined with other flours. Have you tried it with Spelt or Rye, I'm trying to stay away from regular wheat.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on June 06, 2012:
When you say it turned out "flat" do you mean the texture/volume or the taste? If the former, maybe giving it more time to rise would do the trick (and maybe a bit more sugar); if the latter, probably adding more salt. For the second time: how did it look like banana bread?
djanak on June 06, 2012:
I haven't had great luck with this recipe. The first time I made it in my bread machine I did add some extra flour because it was so sticky. It turned out tasty but rather flat. The second time I doubled the recipe (2 cups just isn't a big enough loaf of bread in my house) and created a sticky mess that over-flowed my bread machine. I was able to salvage most of it and bake it in a bread pan but it came out looking like banana bread. Any suggestions for improving this recipe?
Tanuka Bhattacharjee from Cupertino on June 05, 2012:
Delicious.........will definitely try making these.
Gary712 on May 12, 2012:
One can also purchase Einkorn flour from www.primegrains.com They are located in Northern Canada and will grind the flour the day before they send it. They also have other ancient grains.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on April 23, 2012:
Jen Z: I don't know what wheat bread recipe you're considering. I used the recipe detailed above with fantastic results.
Jen Z on April 21, 2012:
So I just grind it in my mill on fine and use a wheat bread recipe?
Hady Chahine from Manhattan Beach on April 14, 2012:
This looks delicious, thank you.
itakins from Irl on April 12, 2012:
Seems like a great recipe-I'm going to give it a go.Thanks for sharing.
Vivienne on April 04, 2012:
I tried out this recipe yesterday when I used einkorn for the first time. It's great! Thanks for the detailed instructions about helping the bread machine to mix the ingredients and not adding any extra flour during kneading. I just wet my hands, plonked the dough into a baking tin and baked the loaf. Thanks for the recipe!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on January 18, 2012:
Nancy: That sounds delicious!
Nancy Dobrinski on January 18, 2012:
I like to let my Einkorn bread dough rise on a well-floured and cornmeal covered wood paddle, then slide it onto a hot stone in the oven. The loaf is much flatter, but for those of you who love chewy crust, this is fantastic as the loaf is mostly crust! We don't even slice it. We just rip it into chunks and butter them. Awesome.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on December 18, 2011:
It worked for me, and I used those exact amounts. Can you share what exactly happened when you tried it?
first time try on December 18, 2011:
This recipe sucks. The amounts are off and therefore the bread doesn't turn out. Will not try it again. Waste of very expensive product.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on November 21, 2011:
Thanks, Peggy! I don't think you can get it at Whole Foods, but I haven't looked carefully. (Maybe?) I bought mine online, but maybe you can get it "offline" now. Another to try is emmer, which is unrelated to einkorn, but is an ancestor to the modern wheat we use today. That might be available, too.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 21, 2011:
Can one purchase it at a place like Whole Foods?
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 21, 2011:
This is fascinating! I never even heard of einkorn flour muchless bread. Will have to look for it. Thanks for the education! Up, useful and interesting votes.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on November 17, 2011:
Nice! Thanks for your comment, Nancy. I think wholegrain einkorn flour should be great. You'll probably just have to give it a bit more time to rise (the usual advice for using whole-wheat flour in making bread vs white bread). I'll have to try Eli's flour, too.
Nancy on November 17, 2011:
I just received my shipment of Einkhorn flour and am very excited to try it! Thanks for all the info! I bought it from Eli - thanks Eli - and will play around with making it from the whole grain (maybe lots of sifting etc.)
trecords0 from DeLand, Florida on November 11, 2011:
I used to be a baker in another lifetime long ago. Unfortunately I never got around to studying the history of different wheats. This is an interesting subject. Thank you for bringing it to light and doing such a good job at it. I look forward to trying the recipe.
wanzulfikri from Malaysia on November 04, 2011:
Really nice! Makes my mouth wet
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on October 28, 2011:
That he did. And I have to admit, I brought home two more slices with me because I loved the first one so much. I just had them toasted with butter, and think it is the tastiest thing I've eaten in months.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on October 28, 2011:
Thanks, habee! Brought a half-loaf of it in this morning, and Simone, Marina and Pia liked it, too. :)
Holle Abee from Georgia on October 28, 2011:
Wow - I have GOT to try this! I'm a big bread lover, so this really appeals to me. Voted up and +1'd!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on October 25, 2011:
Thank you, Simone! I checked at WF just today and they do not carry this. You might want to try mail order like I did. Or...maybe I'll make a loaf and bring it to the office. :)
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on October 24, 2011:
This is BEYOND fascinating. The bread looks so much lighter than I expected it to be!
The bready/malty flavor sounds amazing. I'm going to check Whole Foods to see if they might have this stuff... if not, I'll order online! The recipe is SO SIMPLE and I love my bread machine so much- I'm so stoked about trying this out!
Thanks a ton for the awesome Hub!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on October 22, 2011:
chefsref: I think Eli Rogosa's answer below yours answers your question about gluten. Einkorn's gluten might be different enough from the gluten in modern wheat, which evolved through an entirely different pathway, to not provoke problems for those who are sensitive to wheat gluten.
Eli: Thank you for your comment! I'm honored you dropped by, considering I read through your site and watched a couple of videos where you talked about einkorn and other ancient wheat varieties. I did not know you had a bakery, but I'd imagine there's a growing market for what you make. I wonder if we can pull of growing einkorn in our backyard here in San Francisco...and I wonder how einkorn can be threshed. Anyway, thanks again for stopping by!
Eli Rogosa on October 22, 2011:
Thank you for this excellent and informative article. As an artisan baker, I have been collecting and trialing world heritage wheats for many years. I collected ancient einkorn seeds in Bulgaria and the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary from traditional farmers. For folks concerned about the price, it is easy to grow your own einkorn in a backyard garden. I have plenty. Although einkorn is classified as a wheat, it is not genetically related to any other wheats. All modern wheats evolved from T. dicoccoides, not T. monococcum, ie wild emmer wheat NOT einkorn. There are many many scientific studies confirming the lack of celiac disease stimulatory epitopes in einkorn. My bakery is dedicated only to einkorn, and many folks who cannot eat modern wheat, such as myself, are happy to finally have a safe delicious bread alternative. Kindly,
Lee Raynor from Citra Florida on October 22, 2011:
Interesting recipe and the nutritionals look great. If I can find some einkorn I'll have to give it a try. Do you know how the gluten content of einkorn compares with bread or all purpose flour?
It's unfortunate that things like einkorn and amaranth are considered specialty items with exorbitant prices. The nutrition has been bred out of what we eat
Kim Morgan Gregory from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry on October 21, 2011:
i really want to try this...sounds so interisting...and historical...
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on October 21, 2011:
Moon Daisy - yes, it does yield a very nicely nutty-flavored loaf, which is quite a bit more nutritious than regular wheat flour loaves. Hope you can try it, and thank you for your comment!
Moon Daisy from London on October 21, 2011:
Very interesting. I try to avoid (regular) wheat, and love experimenting with different breads. I've never heard of this kind of flour before, and might have to investigate!