Are you wondering what the difference is between einkorn flour vs. wheat flour, let me share some of my thoughts. Let me say when I am talking about whole wheat flour in this article, I will be referencing red or white winter wheat, which is commonly sold as "wheat flour" in most grocery stores. As this is a blog focused on whole grains and I have been using them for years, I have plenty to say on this.
If you are new to using einkorn wheat, it is a wonderful ancient grain that is very different from modern wheat.
I will share what the differences are and a little about how to use Einkorn.
What is Einkorn?
There are so many cool things about Einkorn, let me list a few. It is commonly known as nature's original wheat, which is true. It comes from farro piccolo which is the smallest farro grain.
- It is considered the original wheat. In fact, it used to grow wild in the Fertile Crescent.
- Einkorn is weak in gluten, making it easier for many people to digest. Note: I am not talking about those with Celiacs. This is a common misconception and I will clear this up below.
- Einkorn has never been hybridized. I have nothing against the process, but it is certainly worth noting and one of the things that make Einkorn unique.
- Pure einkorn flour is not bleached, bromated, or enriched- which is the way I prefer my wheat to be!
- It is higher in protein and less starch than any modern wheat.
- It thrives in soils that most wheat doesn't. Early on, it was found in the mountains of Turkey, France, and Morocco.
What are the differences between einkorn and whole wheat flour?
Modern wheat has been hybridized and grown on shorter stalks and roots. This produces a grain that grows quickly and can easily be harvested with machinery. It can produce 5 times the yield that einkorn can.
Einkorn is an ancient grain that has never been hybridized.
There is also the size difference, as you can see in the photo below, einkorn grains are much smaller than modern white wheat.
This isn't necessarily important, but einkorn also does not have the crease in the grain that modern wheat does, again, noted in the photo below.
Einkorn has lower gluten, which makes it act very differently in many baked goods. This einkorn bread recipe I developed is one that took me forever to get right. Be sure to check your Einkorn bread recipe to ensure it is made specifically for Einkorn flour. I don't have the same problem with whole wheat flour. It is very easy to use and incorporate. I will say though, I love it for cookies, cakes, and muffins!
What are the similarities between einkorn and whole wheat flour?
The first, and most notable is they are both whole-grain flours and ground from the whole-grain kernel to produce flour that is perfect for baking.
Both can be cooked and used as a breakfast porridge or even a substitute for rice.
They can both be used for baking as well, and with really great results. I have plenty of recipes on the blog and will share a few below.
Is Einkorn grown in the United States?
It sure is. In fact, we have a great farm right here in Idaho that I purchase my Einkorn berries from a farm in Eastern Idaho called Grand Tetons Ancient Grains. I can recommend them without hesitation as I have purchased from them for the last 5 years we have lived here.
Another grower I love is Barton Springs in Texas, I have purchased from them many times as well. I love their heritage grains and quality.
Bluebird grain farms in a farm in Washington that I also use as a resource for grains.
There are, of course, many others, but these are the ones I know and trust.
Why is Einkorn so expensive?
As noted above, einkorn has not been hybridized. This means it isn't cultivated to produce grain quickly and more efficiently. In fact, modern wheat produces a 5 times yield over what einkorn does.
Because of the slower growth and yield, it is naturally more expensive.
Modern wheat is also bred to produce a thin husk that is easy to remove. This is not the case with Einkorn. The husk is thick and hard to remove.
All of these things add up to cost for farmers, and in return, extra cost for us.
Is it worth the cost? I think so.
Recipes that use Einkorn flour
I have several recipes that use einkorn flour and you can check them out below. Testing takes a while for these recipes, and I cannot wait to add in more soon.
How to grind Einkorn wheat berries into flour
If you have a grain mill and are wondering how to mill einkorn, let me tell you how. It is very simple and just like grinding most other whole wheat grains.
I use a Nutrimill grain mill which I love. It uses corundum milling stones and is so quick and efficient. I grew up using the Magic Mill, which is a stone mill.
Simply add in the grains and adjust your mill to get the consistency you are looking for. I almost always mill for a fine consistency as this is what I prefer for my baked goods. You can, however, grind them as you like.
Where can you buy Einkorn flour?
Jovial Foods has long been a leader in Einkorn in the United States. Carla Bartolucci and her husband started a revolution with their company and have long been respected in the industry. Their all-purpose einkorn flour is a great way to start using Einkorn flour. It has 20% of the bran and germ removed, making it easier to work with. They also have 100% whole wheat Einkorn flour that contains all the grain. I feel like it bakes very similar to white flour. They have a great variety of einkorn products to choose from.
You can also find einkorn flour in your local grocery store if it has specialty products.
My most commonly used whole-grain flour
I use a LOT of whole-grain flour, but let me share a few of my favorites.
- Spelt flour- this is a wheat flour ground from Triticum Spelta. It was cultivated thousands of years ago and has grown so much in popularity and for good reason. I love this flour! I use it for baking just about anything you can think of, including chocolate chip cookies, brownies, pie crusts, and bread. I love using it for sourdough bread, like this recipe from Heartbeat Kitchen.
- Rye flour- is another amazing flour that I love to use! This is a close relative of both wheat and barley. It has a delicious nutty flavor that bakes so well! It can be anywhere from light to dark rye. I have a great recipe for cheddar and green onion scones with rye flour that are so good! Or these salted rye chocolate chip cookies.
- White wheat- My family loves this one the best for its mild flavor and texture. This is modern wheat, but we still love it. It is good for making pizza dough too.
- Soft wheat- This is also called whole wheat pastry flour and can come from red or white soft wheat. As a reminder, this is different from white pastry flour, which is refined flour. This is ground from soft wheat and is perfect for cakes, cookies, etc. Learn all about it in this Youtube video about soft wheat.
- Oat flour- this is one of the gluten-free flours, but still is great for pancakes, waffles, cookies, etc.