The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Gail_NK's picture

Growing Local Grain: Let's Take Back Our Wheat

December 13, 2012 - 10:38am -- Gail_NK

At GoodFood World (, we just published a piece called "Local Grains: Taking Back Our Wheat" (

I put it here to open discussion; this has been a group known for its knowledge of grain and willingness to share/criticise/discuss ideas.

Have at it folks!

Much appreciate your input and advice!

Gail N-K

ph_kosel's picture

I recently got some emmer (farro) flour from ( link ) and have made 3 loaves with it so far.  I got interested in emmer after researching biblical era bread making. This post includes photos of my most recent loaf and a recap of my experience so far with this flour.

For those unfamiliar with emmer, it is an "antique" grain and genetic ancester of modern wheat.  I think it was used (along with barley) in Egypt and the middle east until about the time of the Roman conquest but I wasn't there so you'll have to ask the antiquarians about exact dates.

Anyway, I got curious and ordered some emmer flour from the folks at Bulubird Farms.

I've made three yeasted loaves so far with the flour: (1) an artisan loaf, 60% hydration; (2) a pan loaf, 67% hydration; and (3) another artisan loaf, 67% hydration.  Each loaf was made using 450g flour, 0.5 tablespoon instant yeast, 0.5 tablespoon salt, and either 300g or 270g water.

This is a low-gluten flour that behaves differently from my usual bread flour.  Emmer dough seems stickier than dough made with King Arthur flour and doesn't seem to gain "elasticity" from kneading/mixing.  Labeled protein content is almost identical to King Arthur bread flour as is labeled protein content of King Arthur All Purpose flour, which I find confusing.  I think 60% hydration is better than 67% to reduce stickyness.  Pan loaves should only be baked in a thoroughly greased pan.

The emmer flour is a "whole grain" product that produces a crumb similar in color to regular whole wheat.

The taste of the emmer bread is quite distinctive, sort of "nutty",  and I find it tasty and less harsh than whole wheat bread.  The emmer flour seems a little coarse and the emmer bread feels vaguely granular in my mouth.  Overall I like the bread quite a bit and it might be even better with stuff in it like sugar and raisins and such.  The package label has a muffin recipe that might be very nice (if I ate  muffins).

One drawback to this flour is the cost.  Including shipping it's close to $4/pound!

River Elderholly of River's picture

Farro is not emmer

October 8, 2007 - 8:12pm -- River Elderholl...

Farro is an old Italian word for Iron and as such can ONLY mean emmer because emmer is the only grain in the world whose limiting factor is iron and will provide 100% of the bodies needs in one cup a day. Farro from italy most often isn't even emmer any more but is spelt. The Italians think the americans can't tell the difference (and they are right - most everybody but I cannot) tell emmer from spelt from barley from wheat from einkorn, especially pearled.

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