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Einkorn has been eaten for thousands of years, but it’s come back to the mainstream only recently. It was one of the first crops domesticated by farmers about 10,000 years ago, and it fell by the wayside as hybridization led to wheat strands with higher yields. Wheat has undergone the most change over the last 100 years, and modern wheat is now very different from that original einkorn. These changes have produced a wheat that is harder for many people to digest, thanks to a different gluten profile (among other differences). Jovial Foods, the company responsible for reintroducing us to einkorn, has much more info about the grain. Those with a wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity may be able to eat einkorn. It varies from person to person. However, it’s not recommended for those with Celiac disease. Einkorn contains a different protein profile, but it stills has gluten.
Because einkorn has a smaller yield than modern wheat, the cost is higher. Is the expense worth it? For me, definitely so. If I eat modern wheat for 2 consecutive days, I feel miserable. Everything aches, my chest burns, and my mood is “you better stay away from me!” I don’t get like that with einkorn wheat. Okay, I might have those effects if I ate einkorn every single day for months, but I’m not going to try that. I talk about why in my post Eat All the Foods! My Kind of Diet.
I buy Jovial brand of whole einkorn berries from Amazon – 10 pounds for about $26, when it’s available – and grind it into flour at home. You can also buy the flour or berries from Vitacost (4% cashback if you shop through TopCashBack), Tropical Traditions, and Einkorn.com.
It needs to be said that baking with einkorn is different than using modern wheat. Since the gluten profile is different, breads and such don’t bake quite the same. It’s a very sticky flour when wet, and less liquid is typically needed in recipes. (The founders of Jovial Foods have taken care of this problem, too, and produced an einkorn cookbook.) Homeground flours, though, usually absorb more water than all-purpose ones. So, in my experience, I can use the normal amount of liquid in recipes if I use homeground einkorn. The factors seem to balance out.
Have you tried einkorn yet? If you’ve baked with it, did you find it difficult to use at first?