Einkorn: Wheat for the Gluten Sensitive?


Sourdough Einkorn Loaves

As an avid baker, I’ve spent years in pursuit of mastering all types of breads, pastries and other savory, comfort foods that include wheat as a major ingredient; so you can imagine how I felt upon realizing that my digestive problems seemed to coincide with consuming products made with commercial wheat flours.

I do not believe that I have celiac disease or a gluten allergy but think I reside in a sort of in between place along with so many others; my body is just intolerant of hard to digest grain s— wheat in particular. Out of a reluctance to give up wheat completely, I embarked on a mission to learn all I could about traditional methods of preparing grains that render them more digestible — as well as the different types of wheat: hard red, soft white, emmer, kamut, spelt, etc.

Our ancestors knew the value of soaking legumes, sprouting grains, and sourdough fermentation. But in our modern society — which values “instant” and convenience above all else — this knowledge has fallen by the wayside. It is fascinating to examine through the lens of science the difference it can make to take some extra time to prepare foods properly.

I became dedicated to sourdough, learned how to sprout grains and started milling my own flour. I also experimented with ancient grains like spelt — which I enjoyed the flavor of — but found that it produced a texture that was often too dry for my taste. When I spoke to a good friend of mine she mentioned, “Have you tried baking with einkorn?” I had never heard of it but was intrigued and began to do some research. The plethora of information I came upon is too great to recount here but I’ll give you some of the main points.

A Primer on Einkorn Wheat

Einkorn is the most ancient form of wheat cultivated by humans. In fact, einkorn is the only wheat that has never been hybridized.

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