Einkorn Sourdough Bread

Feb. 19, 2019, noon

Einkorn is the original ancient grain, which dates back to the beginning of time. When compared to the modern, highly modified wheat of today, einkorn's unhybridized genetics and low gluten levels make it more compatible with the human body and easier to digest.
Nutrients are also more abundant in einkorn grain than in modern wheat. Einkorn offers:
higher protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6
two times more vitamin A
four times more beta-carotene and lutein
5 times more riboflavin
Highly nutritious, unhybridized and low in gluten, einkorn flour is a must-have for your pantry!

Baking with einkorn flour:

Einkorn can be used to make every type of baked good. You will quickly taste how much more sustaining and flavorful your food is when made with einkorn. It makes beautiful pasta too.
Einkorn flour is easy to use and can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio with all-purpose or whole wheat flours. However, einkorn does take some getting use to. Use the following guidelines for the best results in your standard recipes (from Carla Bartolucci in Einkorn).
When making cakes, you'll notice that the flour takes longer to fold in, since einkorn absorbs liquid more slowly than other flours. All-purpose einkorn flour is also very fine and can form clumps easily, so it is sometimes a good idea to sift the flour twice before folding it into other ingredients.
Einkorn absorbs fats slowly, so dough that includes fat might seem a bit dry at first, but will soften up after the flour has had time to absorb the fat. Let your pie crusts and cookie dough rest in the refrigerator to give the flour time to absorb the fat fully for a better final texture.
Overmixing einkorn will activate its stickiness, so while you can use a standing mixer for all steps prior to adding the flour, it's best to work in the flour by hand unless otherwise indicated in a recipe.
Beating whole eggs on high speed with sugar and then adding them to muffins and cakes can help add lightness to the crumb, which may otherwise seem denser then baked goods made with modern wheat.
Cake and muffin batters that are too thin and wet may not firm up completely during baking, so the rule of thumb is to keep batters slightly thicker. It actually takes longer for these types of batters to set in the oven when baking with einkorn, so a hotter oven and stiffer batter will also help added fruits and nuts stay suspended evenly in the finished baked good.

If you have baked bread before, einkorn bread dough will seem way too sticky to you. This is normal and if you add more flour than is called for in the recipe, your end product will be a brick. Trust me, been there, done that.

Essential tools:

Bowl scraper
Bench scraper
Large glass bowl
Small glass bowls
Plastic wrap
Kitchen scale

proofing basket

Dutch oven (can be just a regular cast iron one)
cooling rack
bread knife

Not essential but nice to have:
slicing box
bread box
bread bags

You should have your sourdough starter by now and it should be in your refrigerator. Here is what you need to do to make sourdough bread from it....

The night BEFORE you want to make bread, take the starter out of the refrigerator and, using a fork, remove 10 grams by weight and put it in another smallish bowl. Put the rest of the starter back into the refrigerator.


30 grams of sourdough starter
130 grams warm water, at 100 degrees F
120 grams of all-purpose Einkorn flour

In a medium bowl, mix the starter and water together with a fork until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Mix in the flour until all of the flour is absorbed. Cover and let stand in a warm, dark place in your kitchen for 6 to 10 hours (overnight).

The levain is ready to use when the surface of the mixture is covered with large bubbles. However, if you mix a batch of sourdough levain and then decide you want to delay baking, you may refrigerate the levain for up to 24 hours and then use it the next day.

The next morning, mix up the dough using your recipe. You can go to Jovial Foods website and Carla has lots of recipes that you can use. Follow them exactly.

Here is the recipe for a basic boule: 


600 grams all-purpose einkorn flour
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 batch sourdough levain
315 grams warm water at 100 degrees F

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Set the levain in a medium bowl. Add the water to the levain and stir to combine before pouring it into the bowl with the flour. Mix the ingredients with a stiff spatula as much as you can until you have a wet, sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand for 15 minutes.
Scrape around the edges of the bowl to loosen the dough. Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the dough to it. Knead the dough until smooth, about 2 minutes, using a dough scraper to help handle the dough if it's sticky. Cover the bowl and let proof for 3 to 5 hours.

Scrape the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a number of times until just smooth and form it into a round ball. Flip over the ball and stretch out the edges to form a 10-inch-long oval. Pull up each corner and the middle of each side, pressing them tightly into the center, to make a 6-inch round. Turn the dough over so the seam side is on the counter. Cup the dough with both hands and rotate in a circular motion between your hands until you have a tight round loaf. Dust the top of the loaf generously with flour.
Heavily dust an 8 1/2-inch unlined proofing basket with flour and invert the loaf into it. Cover with a linen couche or plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes.

Place a Dutch oven with the lid on in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid. Invert the loaf and place it in the pot seam side down. Cut four 1/2-inch-deep slashes in the top of the loaf. Cover and place in the oven.
Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. At this point, you can remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid. If you like your loaf darker, return the uncovered pot to the oven for 5 minutes.
Lift the loaf out of the pot with oven mitts. Place on a wire rack to cool for 2 hours before slicing. This will be the hardest part of the recipe!

Wrap the loaf in a clean cotton or linen kitchen towel for up to 3 days, or freeze in a sealed plastic bag for up to 1 month.
Serve with lots of butter and possibly jelly or jam.

When your starter is running low in the refrigerator, refresh it:


This makes about 1/3 cup (100 grams) of starter, enough for 3 loaves of bread per week. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month, but it is better to use it weekly.
10 grams einkorn starter
30 grams warm water, at 100 degrees
60 grams all-purpose einkorn flour or 48 grams whole grain einkorn flour
Place the starter in a small bowl. Add the water and mix with a fork until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the flour and knead to form a firm ball. Roll the starter between your hands until the flour is absorbed; add a tiny bit more if it seems overly sticky, but the dough should remain very moist. Store in a large sealed container (so you have room for the starter to expand) for 6 to 12 hours. The starter will bubble up and then subside. Refrigerate the starter until you refresh it again. Remember to always leave your einkorn starter in a dark place because light can oxidize the carotenoids in the flour.
To bake bread, you will remove a small piece of the starter to mix a sourdough levain the night before baking. Some recipes will also call for kneading the dough straight with the starter. Remember to monitor the amount of sourdough that remains, because you will always need to have at least 10 grams for refreshing. The original starter can survive forever – it is already 15 years old! The more you bake bread, the more einkorn yeasts will be in your kitchen and your bread will get better and better.

For those of you who aren't into making your own bread, here are a couple of Carla's recipes using einkorn flour that do not require a sourdough starter....

Blueberry Muffins
2 large eggs
100 grams sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
220 grams buttermilk
240 grams all-purpose einkorn flour, plus extra to coat blueberries
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
84 grams butter, melted and cooled
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a large mixing bowl with a blender or in a standing mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until foamy for 2 minutes.
Add 100 grams sugar and continue to beat on medium for 30 seconds until creamy.
Add the buttermilk and beat for 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt together.
Add the blueberries to a third bowl and coat with a few tablespoons of the flour.
Now, gently fold in the flour to the egg mixture with a stiff spatula until smooth.
Fold in melted butter.
Add the blueberries and continue to mix very gently until all the ingredients are incorporated, but try not to break open the blueberries or the batter will be colored blue.
For oversized muffins, fill 6 muffin cups with ½ cup of batter. For smaller muffins, use ¼ cup of batter.
Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar with the cinnamon and dust the tops of the muffins before baking.
Bake for 30 minutes for large muffins, and about 20 minutes for smaller.
Note: We have cut back on the quantity of sugar and butter in this recipe, for a lighter muffin. Give it a try as is, we think its perfect, but you can also as much as double the sugar and butter content to you liking.

Golden Buttermilk Pancakes
210 grams all-purpose einkorn flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
360 grams buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for frying the pancakes
1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (optional)
Pure maple syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter in a large bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, and whisk briefly but vigorously until the batter is smooth. Add your fruit of choice here, is using.
Heat a skillet or cast-iron griddle to medium-low heat and grease lightly with butter. Scoop up 1/3 cup of batter at a time and pour onto the griddle. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the edges are dry and bubbles start to form. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through. You might not see the same amount of bubbles that you are used to with regular wheat flour, so be careful not to burn the bottom before flipping. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate, then cover and repeat with the remaining pancakes. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Ginger Cookies
I have made a batch of these cookies every week since I came back from Italy in October. They are delicious!
300 grams all-purpose einkorn flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
138 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
100 grams granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling the balls of dough
73 grams dark brown sugar
(I use 173 grams of coconut sugar instead of the white sugar and brown sugar.)
2 tablespoons organic unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg

Reheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a second bowl, stir together the butter, sugars, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the egg and whisk together until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until the dry ingredients are no longer visible.
Let stand for 15 minutes to give the flour time to absorb the wet ingredients.
Put about ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl. Roll balls of dough between your hands and roll them in the sugar to dust completely.
Place the balls 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes until the cookies have spread and are barely firm to the touch. Remove the the baking sheet and transfer to a rack to cool completely. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but they won't last that long. These cookies are wonderful right out of the oven!