Nutty and warm with a malty sweetness, this ancient grain is a flavorful alternative to classic wheat that is used to make bread and other items. Add it to your pantry to instantly elevate the flavor of your baked goods while maintaining a dreamy rustic finish.
History of Einkorn
Einkorn is one of the oldest varieties of wheat cultivated by humans. In fact, it’s one of the eight founder crops, the foundational crops of all human agriculture. This ancient grain was believed to have first been cultivated around 7500 BC near Karacadağ, a volcano along the border of Turkey and Syria, and likely originated in the Tigris-Euphrates region. From there, it was then grown throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Einkorn was a widely cultivated crop until the creation of the common bread wheat we use today. As the new hybrid wheat was easier to grow and process, einkorn steadily grew out of favor and was approaching near extinction. But with the rising demand for ancient grains and wheat alternatives, einkorn has seen a resurgence in popularity, finding its place in the kitchens of both home cooks and restaurants across the United States and Europe.
Flavor of Einkorn
Einkorn tastes similar to common bread wheat but with a more developed nuttiness and malty sweetness. When added to baked goods, it also imparts a golden-brown hue
Cooking with Einkorn
You can prepare einkorn berries or use einkorn wheat in your cooking. Einkorn flour adds a richer flavor and deeper color to baked goods. You can use it in place of flour in anything from bread to cake. It’s particularly wonderful when paired with warming spices such as in gingerbread, banana muffins, or pumpkin pie crust. It also makes a fragrant and flavorful sourdough.
Einkorn wheat berries can be boiled like rice, blended and made into porridge, or toasted until crunchy. Boiled or toasted wheat berries make a wonderful addition to salads and grain bowls, bringing textural contrast and a warm, nutty flavor. Einkorn porridge is a delicious alternative to oatmeal and can be dressed up in much the same way. Top it with your choice of nuts, fruits, and even a little chocolate.
Feature Image: Tobias Frick from Pixabay