Einkorn, an ancient grain, and the first wheat cultivated along the plains of western Asia, is my favorite grain for baking and I bake with it readily in my kitchen – using it for homemade breads, pies, pastries, and cookies. Its sweet nutty flavor and a characteristic golden crumb, owing to its high carotene content, are two of the reasons why I’ve come to love it.
While a nostalgic romanticism no doubt plays into my love of ancient and heirloom wheat like einkorn, there are other factors too as einkorn is richer in beta carotene and lutein than modern kinds of wheat, and its gluten profile also differs from the gluten found in modern wheat. For this reason, it bakes differently and needs a slightly different hand and touch than modern varietals.
Einkorn is an original wheat: it’s not hybridized, and it’s akin to wild grains and native grasses – harder to grow, less efficient to harvest and process into usable wheat berries and flour.