The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much Einkorn is necessary to taste Einkorn?

Morus's picture

How much Einkorn is necessary to taste Einkorn?

I am new to Einkorn. I have two times baked a loaf along these lines:

  • 80 g sourdough starter (organic sifted strong wheat flour - 100% hydration)
  • 240 g water
  • 200 g wheat (same as in starter)
  • 160 g organic wholemeal Einkorn flour (rather coarse grinded).
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Baked til 96C.  

So hydration is 70% and the amount of Einkorn is 40% of the flour.

I (and friends) can't taste much difference (if any) compared to a 100% wheat bread. I'm not sure how it should taste, but I was told it is supposed to taste very good (rather non-descript...).

I have understood that Einkorn is a weak flour so if I try 100% Einkorn it will probably become a brick in my hands. I guess I could try a 100%, just to learn what it taste... Does anyone have some other idea? 




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

They start out flat.  Or crepes.   Let einkorn flour hydrate for at least half an hour before heating.

Morus's picture

Sweet, I was hoping you would answer. I saw your Blog post about 100% Einkorn ceramic bake. Seems like a small miracle but too advanced for me at this point.

Making pancakes is a brilliant idea. I can make small batches (and don't waste my expensive Einkorn flour). And I can probably easy make em 100% Einkorn. The flour is a bit coarse but I guess an egg and some milk will glue them well enough together.

I have several times made 100% barley pancakes (with a fine wholemeal barley flour) and they are delicious. I will probably never use AP wheat for pancakes again.

Is it surprising that I can't taste much difference with 40% of Einkorn in my loaves? Should I try a higher temperature?




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just older in evolution.  Soaking is important or there will be a grainy or sandy texture.  Very high temps can bake out flavours so be careful.  Einkorn may be weak in the gluten department but if given more time it can develop.  So save some of your pancake batter in the fridge for a day and then make another pancake to compare. You can also make pancakes as simple as possible omitting eggs and milk, just to check on flour flavour alone.  Einkorn certainly makes great pancakes with eggs and milk, butter, etc..  

Morus's picture

I made Einkorn (100%) crêpes. I considered your recommendation to omit eggs and milk, but I was really getting into the mood for crêpes and didn't want take chances and risk my dinner :-) I did let the batter rest for a couple of hours though before frying the pancakes. 

I didn't taste anything special of the pancakes per se. They tasted wheat to me. (But as part of my crêpes dinner with my usual spicy sausage tomato filling/sauce they were excellent :-))  

Meanwhile I have just tried autolyse for the first time ever. I made a tin-baked SD loaf with 100% fine wholegrain Spelt. I have yet to let i cool down before I slaughter it but it looks very good; with a good rise and a nice smell that I think might be specific for Spelt.

You said soaking is important with Einkorn  and as I have understood, one main point of autolyse is to hydrate wholegrain flours of wheat type properly. So autolyse should work well with wholegrain Einkorn, right?

I'm considering doing the same loaf I just did, but with 100% of my wholegrain Einkorn flour instead. What do you think? The Einkorn flour is considerably more coarse (but not in any way the most coarse flour I have handled). Can you foresee any alteration of my formula I need to make in order to make a success out of an Einkorn version (incl a specific taste of Einkorn)? More or less water perhaps? (Hydration was 80%). (My SD starter is the same as in the first post.)

I have read that both Spelt and Einkorn are weak in the gluten department. About the same? Because my Spelt-loaf is looking good with a high rise and it feels airy and light and If I can make the Einkorn loaf equally risen I will be content!  



BobBoule's picture

Oh its a handful! I've been baking 100% Einkorn loaves for many years now.

Einkorn is weak but mine do not come out like bricks, they are a little bit denser than regular wheat flours but my family still likes them.

I have tried everything from 60% to 85% hydration an duo be honest it doesn't make much difference. I settled on 68% hydration only because all the numbers are easy for me to memorize.

As for blends, it seems to me that you need 75% Einkorn for you to be able to taste and see the difference.

I suggest trying as close to 100% Einkorn as possible for one loaf just so you can see the orange color and get to know the taste.

Then try a bake at 75% Einkorn and a bake at 50% Einkorn to see which works best for you.

Good luck!

Morus's picture

I tried a 100% einkorn sourdough loaf (well my starter was wheat as in the original post) and baked it in a tin. I settled for 70% hydration.

It became a brick in my hands as I expected. I did a 4 hour autolyse before incorporating the sourdough - but it didn't seem to have any effect - dough was like clay. And my stretch n folds seemed to have very little as well.

But the taste was good and somewhat different than regular wheat, although I can't describe it.




idaveindy's picture

I have not used einkorn flour, but my experience with whole grains is that 60 minute autolyse (with no levain) is enough, or 90 minutes if it is coarse ground.

Whole grains convert starch to sugar rapidly with all the enzymes in the  bran.

If you want to go longer, do the autolyse in the refrigerator.

If you autolyse _with_ the levain, remember that that then counts as part of the bulk ferment time, too.

Morus's picture

Only an hour. Ah ok. I was hoping that since there is so little gluten in einkorn a longer autolyse would be helpful. But I was wrong, I doubt the fridge will improve an autolyse of einkorn.

BobBoule's picture

That's odd, it should become runny again after sitting untouched.

Each time that it is worked it will turn into a brick, that is natural, then when you let it rest it should become runny again.

I don't know what you are adding but if it is staying like a brick all the time then I would look at what is being added to see what it is reacting with to make it do that.

Morus's picture

I meant that my end result after baking was a brick (compact).

BobBoule's picture

That is also odd.

Yes it will be denser than regular wheat which is why I went as high as 85% hydration and it always came out denser but it was not brick-like.

I use the dutch oven method to get as much rise as possible so that its the least brick-like that Einkorn can do.

My family does note that its a little bit denser but no longer says that it is like a brick, so maybe you can try for super hu hydration and see what you get.

How is the color on it?

Morus's picture

Only a little bit denser? Compared to regular wheat?? That is uplifting... But you might be an Einkorn specialist :-) I have seen you made several posts about einkorn and you seem more than experienced with einkorn.

I baked in a pullman tin (its a couple of cm deeper than a regular bread tin) with a lid. Normally I take the lid off in the end of the baking for extra color. But I followed some suggestion here on TFL (probably in a post by you) to keep it on the the whole time for einkorn.

My pullman tin with a lid is a dutch oven of sorts (and gives me very good results for other type of loaves). 

Color is light brown I'd say.

One thing I noticed was that the sourdough might not have been perfectly active with the einkorn. I fed my mother with the regular wheat that I use for my starter. Should I rather try feeding it with the einkorn? To get yeast and LAB early hooked on the diet to come I was thinking.


BobBoule's picture

The problem I see with pullman is that Einkorn doesn't end to rise in it, there must be a lack of space or something like that.

Yes, I'm the one that doesn't remove the lid, it gives me more rise so I get a "not so dense" Einkorn loaf. LOL

The color is actually orange (trust me you'll know it when you see it) not brown so your starter is probably overwhelming it somehow


85% hydration

A dutch oven with lots of air space above it but that is small in diameter (a make-shift dutch oven should work fine for this test, I use to use a Pyrex casserole dish when I started)

Don't remove the lid during the bake

I would feed the starter with Einkorn (How about converting it to 100% Einkorn instead)

Then spray the top of the dough with a lot of water just before you put the lid on

The hottest oven temp that you dare (I use 500º F but I'm at high altitude now so after a few minutes I have to turn it down to 450º F because it will both otherwise, I haven't figured out why, yet)

Pre-heat for 45 minutes (yes it sounds like overkill but in all the ovens that I have tried, longer is better to get that initial oven rise going as quickly as possible, Einkorn really needs as much help to get that immediate rise otherwise its a brick. If I could, I would preheat at 550º put in a 90% hydration loaf, spray the dough with a garden hose just before I put the lid on then drop to 475º F after 5 minutes, and leave the lid on, to see if it made any difference. LOL

Morus's picture

Thank you for pointers. I'm encouraged to have another go with a loaf at 100% of whats left of my wholegrain einkorn (it's rather expensive).

I do have something I could make a makeshift DO of. But there is plenty of room in my pullman. Before baking, the dough filled perhaps only 25% of the tin.

Higher hydration, feed with Einkorn, higher temp, top spray... I will probably do all that.

Wow...   At 85% hydration it must be very messy!? How do u handle it? Pouring!?


BobBoule's picture

Yes its expensive! That is why I have been trying to get my local farmers to grow t but with no success so far.

You have the right idea, only filling it 25% sounds logical to me so there is plenty of space (I don't know why my Einkorn needs space, its just happier that way).

Yes, Einkorn at 85% hydration is messy and runny, as it is at 75% and 65%, it just seems messy no matter what I do.

Pouring is correct for me. Its very runny and if I try to stretch and fold, or knead it then it turns into a tight ball that cannot be worked. Then I leave it in the counter and in a short while its running down my counter again so I gave it.

I literally get a big spoon, mix the dough in a container, let it stand on the counter for 12 to 18 hours. Then I out it into the fridge for 1 to 3 days, then I pull it out and out it back on the counter for a few hours until it reaches room temperature before I out it into the screaming hot Dutch Oven.

The screaming hot Dutch Oven transfers an enormous amount of heat in the first 5 minutes, more than any other kind of vessel, so the dough rises very quickly. The pullman does not have that stores heat because it is so thin, so if you can make a make-shift dutch oven it is important that its something that can store some heat during the pre-heat process.

I have been helping an old school friend with her baking, instead of buying a used dutch oven (or borrowing mine) she purchase a ceramic cloche baker and that works but it does not goie as much rise as mu cast iron dutch oven, so it seems that even though the cloche is covered (to capture the steam) and the size is reasonable, that it doesn't have the thermal mass that cast iron dutch ovens have so she does not get as much rise as I do.

See if you borrow a cats iron dutch oven with the lid, the more I think about it the more I suspect that the huge thermal mass that is has is what is gloving my dough the immediate oven rise they need to no be so dense.

Have fun and good luck!

Morus's picture

Second attempt making a 100% einkorn loaf was successful.

I fed starter with einkorn. And that I think made it much more active in the dough. The dough doubled in size this time.

I used 80% hydration.

I baked in the Pullman again under lid the whole time. (I will attempt DO some other time).

I didn't get any oven spring but it is still much airier than first time (I did spray the top but i don't think it made much difference in my Pullman). And very tasty. Crust is chewy - very good,

Color I would still describe as light brown. I am using whole grain quite coarse einkorn flour, are you perhaps using sifted einkorn flour? 

BobBoule's picture

I don't sift, probably because I'm too lazy! LOL

Congrats on your edible Einkorn! YAY! LOL

You really shod see an orange tint to it because it has a huge amount of beta carotene in it which we all know is orange.

I have been buying my 100% Einkorn flour fro Jovial, maybe you are using a difference source.

Now that you are in the zone and know that you can bake Einkorn, you can slowly make changes and get to you final desired target loaf! Have Fun!

Morus's picture

Thanks BobBoule for celebratory and encouraging words,

Haha, yes you are right. It fels like a feat. Loaf 2 was much better than Loaf 1. I'm glad i didn't give up on making 100% einkorn loaf. And I'm sure I will come back to einkorn again.

I have some einkorn flour left but I think I will try cheap rye again for my next loaf/loaves (more sticky clay handling haha). I assume you also have been baking with rye (to keep gluten content low for your customers right?).

I haven't used Jovial products. But I see that Jovial have three different Einkorn flours: AP, Whole Wheat and Sprouted. Which one do you use?


BobBoule's picture

You're welcome!

I had been using "Jovial Organic Einkorn Flour" but that is no longer available so now I use Jovial All Purpose Einkorn Flour.

I can't stand Rye, so no, I don't even touch it ROFLOL.

Just keep experimenting, it really is worth it!