The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sticky einkorn flour

Poofah's picture

sticky einkorn flour

Hi,  I have been baking sourdough bread for a few months with einkorn flour that I grind from berries. My last two batches of prepared dough for sourdough bread have been very sticky and not well formed into a ball shape.  It has been so difficult to work with.   I am using the same recipe as I always have so I don't understand why.  I am losing so much of the dough because it sticks to the bowl I have it rise in and then to the surface as I fold it before baking.  Any suggestions?

mdskarin's picture

Its important to measure all your ingredients on a good accurate scale, so they are always exact. This helps eliminate inconsistancies. Einkorn takes longer than regular wheat flour to absorb the water in a recipe. After you first mix the recipe together, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes to give it time to absorb the water. Adding a small amount (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon depending on size of recipe) of oil (Olive, Avocado, Coconut) to your recipe helps with handling Einkorn dough. Some times I spray my mixing bowl with Coconut oil spray which helps keep the dough from sticking. After you have waited 15 to 20 minutes, use a curved dough scraper to get dough out of bowl and on to a flour dusted surface, dust top of dough also and then stretch dough out to form a rectangle shape and then do a series of 6 folds, three times. Some recipes call for doing the series of folding the dough every hour for three hours, some only once. After folding place dough back in your bowl, cover and let rest and rise 3 to 12 hours depending on your recipe. Then you fold dough one last time and shape it for baking and let rest for 30 to 60 minutes, then bake.

Jovial Foods has a great Einkorn Cooking book available, (you get a free bag of flour with the book when you purchase it from Jovial, plus cooking videos on their website, and more videos on YouTube. Search Jovial Foods videos.

I hope this was helpful to you,


BobBoule's picture

I have been baking with Einkorn for years now and I always find it runny and sticky, Thats it's nature because it does not have the same gluten buildup as modern dwarf wheat has.

The real question is why you didn't experience the stickiness and runniness before now. If you blended the Einkorn with anything previously then that would explain it, if the humidity is significantly different then that could explain it. If it is a different batch of Einkorn then that could explain it.

I generally just oil my hands and my bench scraper and minimally touch my dough (it looks more like a porridge than a dough LOL) and let it ferment a long time so I do not have to rely on kneading it.

Hotbake's picture

It's summer now the humidity might have changed, that could be the culprit of dough being overly hydrated using the same recipe you've always been using.

I still found 100% einkorn bread a nightmare to handle, but a 50%version with strong bread flour, lower hydration, slap and fold at the early stage, plastic container, very wet hands for the folds and stitching method for shaping works like a dream