The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Einkorn sourdough help/questions.

MattR's picture

Einkorn sourdough help/questions.

My son has severe reactions to gluten so I tried making a 100% einkorn sourdough. It's been 24 hours since he ate two fat slices and he's had no problems. Usually he would be hanging out on a toilet all day after eating that much.

That's the good news. The bad news is the dough was impossible to work with. It was sticky at 65%. It never made a skin. The slightest stretching caused the dough to tear. I ended up dumping the dough in a bread pan, which by accident was two bread pans. While the dough rose there was no spring in the oven. I suspect the double bread pan might have something to do with that.

So, question #1, does anyone have a 100% einkorn sourdough recipe?

Question #2, is it possible King Arthur bread flour, used in sourdough, would be easily digested by someone with gluten intolerance. I use KA all the time but I'm afraid to experiment on my son.

Question #3, are there other flours that are closer to what I might be used to (KA) that they have used in sourdough and given to gluten intolerant people without problems? i.e., is there another way to solve this problem? My son used to love pizza I made and it would be nice to make him some more, but the einkorn won't roll out.

Thank you for your help.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

will yield more info but I can tell you right off that the flour needs more water, or yogurt and more time to hydrate than other wheat flours.  Even for thickening sauces, pancakes and such otherwise the texture may be rough or gritty. Let the flour hydrate for half an hour before heating up. Don't be afraid to add more moisture.  

Crumb will be more cakelike after baking.  The dough can take a good deal of abuse but if it tears like how you describe, work more water or dairy product into the dough.  Sticky is a good description and characteristic of the dough, so forget long kneading.  It just gets worse.  Knead using wet hands instead of flour if you insist on kneading.  How does corn meal/flour affect your son?  

If you haven't got an einkorn sourdough starter, then make one, the flavor will improve dramatically. There are several of us working with 100% Einkorn so search around here for ideas and recipes.


an idea for pizza crust ( haven't tried it yet) may be to make an einkorn batter instead of dough.  Pour and spread out onto baking parchment, bake. Then top and bake again.  

MattR's picture

I'll try 70%.  What does yogurt do?

I let the dough hydrate for 2 hours, put it in the fridge over night, let it warm up, and then added the starter. I suspect that means it had plenty of time to hydrate?

I guess sticky is what it is. My son does fine with corn in any form.

To make the starter I took a gram of regular starter and added 10gr each of einkorn and water, let it rise, and took 5gr of the result and made 90 gr of starter using einkorn.

deva's picture

Thanks for your post, as usual. Have a mixed Levain working now to make a loaf later today. I was going to mix einkorn, ap and some hard red wheat. My goal is flavor and texture. I keep some hogh gluten flour around in the event I worry my loaf will be heavy. I imagine I’ll add 50-75gms based on what I’ve read here about einkorn. I’ll also check your comments about using yogurt. I suspect your recommendation has to do with fermentation boosting. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

belongs here but I can tell you that einkorn flour makes a very cake like, short crumb.  The more einkorn in the flour mix, the more cake like it will be.  

Milk products provide proteins helping with gluten bonding. Some provide fats or a good dose of healthy bacteria to making a softer crumb.  There is also more food value than water. 

deva's picture

Thanks for your comment. I did this mix and got the pictured result.  Just out of oven, so I can't comment on crumb or taste yet.  

150gm Levain

350gm H2o

25gm avocado oil

100gm einkorn

150 gm Red fife wheat 

50gm high gluten

200gm all purpose white.

I do like a fluffier loaf.  I've started experimenting with oils to improve softness over the week it takes the 2 of us to use a large loaf.  

I feel I've found a tribe here at FL and you are in that tribe.  You along with others give me the confidence to move into sprouted grain bread, something I've never done.

Thanks for all your posts,


deva's picture

BobBoule's picture

with 100% Einkorn for my bread, I still have the same issues that you do.

Question #1, Use any sourdough recipe that you like, just keep in mind hat Einkorn doesn't have Gluten which means it has no elastic fibers to hold it together like a regular dough. I usually go with 69% hydration recipes and it works ok for me. I have baled loaves up to 85% hydration (100% Einkorn) and they work but they are so runny that I just do not enjoy handling them.

Question #2, No, I have not found any regular "flour" (i.e. wheat flour) that is digestible by persons with gluten intolerance. I only serve then 100% Einkorn and they are ok with that.

Question #3, You can get non-wheat flour blends, typically labeled as "Gluten Free" that can bake up a loaf of bread, make a pizza dough or even work in cakes. Do they them and see how they work for you. I'm sticking with 100% Einkorn because it seems to give me better results. Einkorn is higher in nutrition than other flour so I suggest looking at the USDA analysis to see if that helps in your decision making process.

If you continue with Einkorn just know that its soft/runny and adapt your technique to its needs. To make pizza I use a cast iron pizza pan (cold), sprinkle it with cornmeal, then I place the Einkorn dough in the center of the pan and gently press it into the pan from the center to the outside. I preheat the oven then bake normally. It comes out just fine (I have not had any complaints about it) and the cornmeal prevents it from sticking or burning.


MattR's picture

All grains have gluten, it's just that all gluten is not the same.

I'm wondering if recipes for 100% rye might work. They're all sticky doughs that are based on flour that has little gluten.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Einkorn Flour 100%

Water 70%

Salt 2%

Starter 10%



Bulk ferment overnight till risen and craggy on top

Portion out into loaf pan 

Smooth over with the back of a wet spoon

Final proof till one or two small holes just begin to show on top

Bake in pre-heated oven

MattR's picture

This doesn't collapse when rising overnight? The rest of it makes sense. Thanks.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

The inoculation is low at only 10% starter. In a normal room temperature you should find it'll rise, stay risen and have a craggy top. Even if it does collapse a bit don't worry. Just portion it out into a loaf pan as above.  It'll rise again. 

Einkorn gets stickier the more it's handled so this way you don't handle it. 

Needs time to hydrate and this long bulk ferment gives it enough time. 

Starts off as a dough but at the end of the bulk ferment it's more of a no knead consistency. So you just portion it out into a loaf pan. Even more  digestable.

Timing the final proof just right so you bake when just a few small holes begin to appear will give you a nice crumb which isn't dense.  

Hope you find success.  

Danni3ll3's picture

where she can have Einkorn but nothing else. Here is her recipe and thoughts. 

Danni, tell him to buy Einkorn by Carla Bartolucci. I put together my own bread recipe. 

4 c flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tbsp salt

Warm water to make a stiff dough. 

Don’t let it rise beyond double in size, it collapses. It is really sticky so I use a spatula to scrape it out onto a real well floured surface. I also use the spatula to work it a bit until not so sticky. Then I work it in to a rectangle and fold like a letter. I do it a couple of times and then let it rise about 45 minutes. I put it into a hot covered Dutch oven for 30 minutes at 450. I reduce the temp to 400 and back for another 20 minutes. Temps are F. Einkorn should be worked too much and cannot be used in a mixer with a dough hook. It’s tricky, I just made a galette from the book and the crust doesn’t like to hold up! He should buy the book, there’s all kinds of recipes.

Einkorn seems to need a boast to rise, that’s why the tablespoon of yeast. I have made a starter and used it but I still needed some yeast.


Hope this helps!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

even after it collapses it can be re shaped, even deflated and it will rise again.  Funny that way.  Scares people into thinking the dough has flopped.  Adding a milk product increases the variety of proteins and fats in the dough.  Some condition and some help proteins bond together and soften the crumb.

I have a good time with bread experiments too.  Just cut or crumble up the loaf and dry out/ toast in the oven.  Makes a good " grape nuts" type cereal to eat in a dish or use in a crumble topping.  (Muesli).  Add just enough sweetened cond. milk to stick together, bake and cookies or bars are self made. Or follow a popcorn ball recipe and sub-in the self made cereal.

Captain Foulweather's picture
Captain Foulweather

I am baking a 30/30/40 blended bread of einkorn, CamasCountry Mill hard red spring and Bobs Red Mill AP flour, 80% hydration and used my sourdough starter. I fought somewhat with the stickiness but seem to have nicely shaped loaves. The dough shook like Jello and spread out, but had pretty good rise. I'll post a picture when it cools and I can cut it to show the crumb.

MattR's picture

I made it 60% water, about 10% starter, 6% salt, and tried to keep the temp in the low 70s. It took all day but it did rise. I put it in a cloth lined oval basket and used a lot of flour to handle it. So, I got it out of the bowl, rougly shaped it, and sprinkled a lot of flour about so I could handle it. Then I put into a well floured, cloth lined bowl. Once it had risen enough, which it did very well, I put it in the fridge. The following morning I flipped it over and the basket and cloth came off easily, nothing stuck, I made a shallow score through it, I cooked it, and my son, who hasn't had bread in years, really enjoyed it.

Thanks everyone!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is that a typo?    Congratulations on the loaf!  Yay!  

Einkorn flour makes a strange dough to work with with lots of surprises and great flavour. :)

When used for normal daily cooking, let the flour have at least a quarter of an hour to "swell" with liquids before continuing.  It takes a little patience but worth the wait.  Otherwise it has a grainy mouth feel.

MattR's picture

Um, that does sound odd doesn't it. Not so much a typo as a brain fart. I put in 6gr with 450gr of flour, so 1,3%. Does that sound reasonable?

I'm not sure what you mean by let it swell. I just mixed it all together and let it sit for about 8 hours. I did a couple of stretch and folds in the middle. It's such a goopy mess that I really didn't want to work with it. For the first 4 or 5 hours it didn't seem to do anything. Then it started growing. I'm not sure how strong the starter was. After the 8 hours I carefully made it into a shape that would fit my oval basket, with lots of flour, and put it in the basket. It sat for a few more hours until it filled the basket. Then I put it in the fridge over night. I did that because I figured it was going to be hard to get out of the basket and if it was cool that would give it a bit more structure. I do this with my regular breads and it works great because I can have fresh bread for lunch.

I gave up on trying to get a skin on the dough so in a way it's easier to work with. All I have to do is wait until it's grown enough.

I didn't get much of a taste (my son ate half the loaf for lunch) but it was not grainy at all. The yogurt was a great idea.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or for thickening sauces, soups or flouring meat surfaces.  Allow the flour to soak up juices and soften a bit before heating.  

Sounds like your having fun with the flour.  :). Karin mentioned the yoghurt and it does work well.  Also buttermilk, sour cream and other similar dairy products.