You may have spotted Einkorn flour in your local store, or they may have been selling Einkorn berries at the local market and you wondered what to do with them.
Wherever you have seen Einkorn around and it appears to be quite a new product but it might surprise you then that Einkorn is actually an ancient grain.
We find out what Einkorn flour is, and what you can do with it.
What’s Einkorn Flour?
Einkorn is a type of wheat which is many thousands of years old (Check out another type wheat Here). People have been cultivating and eating Einkorn from almost the day they settled as farmers.
So, what makes Einkorn different from common wheat? Einkorn is, in fact, the original type of wheat which has not been bred and hybridized (see also ‘10 Triticale Grains‘).
This means that this grain is very high in minerals and nutrients, such as B vitamins and beta carotene.
Genetically, Einkorn doesn’t have the D genome so many other wheats have, and it also has fewer chromosomes than other grains.
This makes it very popular with our digestive system aiding the digestive process.
Some studies have even looked at the gliadin (a certain type of protein) in Einkorn, and they found that it is significantly different to that of modern wheat.
This indicates that those with gluten sensitivities and intolerances may be able to tolerate Einkorn better.
Is Einkorn Gluten-Free?
No, Einkorn is not gluten-free, despite that there may be evidence that people with gluten intolerances may be able to digest this ancient grain.
Many believe that Einkorn may have less gluten than modern wheat, but both grains contain about the same amount of gluten.
However, Einkorn does have some types of gluten proteins missing, which means that some who may be allergic to wheat, may not have a reaction to Einkorn.
Saying this, Einkorn is not safe for anyone with a gluten allergy, wheat allergy or an autoimmune disease such as celiac disease.
If you do have any of these intolerances and you want to add Einkorn to your diet, then it’s a good idea to check with your doctor.
He may run an allergy test and find out whether you are also allergic to Einkorn or you can enjoy Einkorn flour with your baked goods.
Is Einkorn The Healthiest Flour?
There are a number of different healthy whole grains, and Einkorn is often considered to be one of them.
Einkorn is sometimes labelled as “the world’s most primitive heat” which means that it has not been modified through hybridization or breeding.
This makes this ancient grain particularly nutritious and healthy.
Health Benefits Of Einkorn
Thanks to its almost original state without hybridization and excessive cross-breeding, Einkorn does keep a lot of its original health properties and nutritional values.
Einkorn has a high protein content, which is around a third higher than modern wheat. In addition, it also contains less starch but more flavor and minerals.
This is particularly useful when we look at Einkorn flour.
The milling process typically removes nutrients from the grain, and when there aren’t many to start with (as in modern wheat), then the flour has almost no nutritional value anymore.
This is what makes Einkorn so much better than any other types of wheat because it has a large amount of nutrients before milling, so millers do not usually have to add key nutrients back in.
How Can You Use Einkorn And Einkorn Flour?
As a whole grain, Einkorn can be easily cooked like any type of rice (see also ‘10 Mediterranean Grains‘). You can use it as a side dish or just toss it in with your salad.
If you want to use Einkorn flour for baking then you can either buy pre-milled flour, or you can also grind Einkorn berries in a small mill at home.
It’s worthwhile pointing out here that grinding the flour does take longer and a little more effort, so if you are in a hurry, then it’s fine to use the pre-milled Einkorn flour.
Einkorn flour can be used in almost any recipe where you would normally use wheat flour, including delicious muffins, cakes, pies, bread and pastries.
Einkorn does have a nutty and sweet taste, which can impact some of your savory recipes.
But one of the biggest advantages with Einkorn flour is that it doesn’t have this gritty taste like whole wheat flour.
Einkorn flour also have a large amount of carotenoids which make your baked treats look slightly golden.
Although Einkorn flour is a great alternative to wheat flour when baking, it can be a little harder to handle because it doesn’t have a natural elasticity (due to the different structure of its gluten compounds).
Try to avoid over-working or over-kneading Einkorn to ensure that you get the results that you want.
This does make Einkorn a very popular flour with hobby bakers because you don’t need to knead for too long.
How To Make Einkorn Easier To Digest
Some people may not be intolerant to gluten or Einkorn directly but as a grain, it can be a little more difficult to digest.
Luckily, there are a few different things you can do to make Einkorn more digestible.
You can use a sourdough starter to ferment Einkorn (You might also want to check out Fermented rice with soy beans here). Previous studies have indicated that this does help gut health and the digestive system.
Sprout Einkorn Grains
If you allow Einkorn to sprout, then you can increase not just the nutritional value of the grain but sprouting also makes it more digestible.
How Should You Store Einkorn Grain And Flour?
The best way to store your Einkorn berries and Einkorn flour is in an airtight container which should be placed in a cool and dry place.
If you love your baking, then you can also get Einkorn flour in bulk. However, larger amounts of the flour and Einkorn grain are best stored in the freezer or fridge.
This will make sure that they last for around six months.
Einkorn is an ancient type of wheat that has not been modified. This makes Einkorn flour the ideal, natural flour for baking healthy goods.