Baking with Einkorn Flour

Einkorn is an ancient hulled wheat, domesticated in Syria more than 7,000 years ago. It has never been hybridized and is easier to digest than modern wheat for those with gluten intolerance, possibly because it has a simpler structure, containing only fourteen chromosomes compared to modern wheat’s forty-two. In theory Einkorn looked like the perfect substitute not to trigger my autoimmune disease. I was wrong.

I started my Einkorn experiment tentatively. The flour is soft and silky and it has a wonderful flavor that gives baked goods an amazing crumb. With Einkorn the baker gets an authentic flour experience unlike a measure for measure rice-based formula.

I started with almond scones

this makes 8 or 9 scones

You will need:

2 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking power

1/2 Tablespoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 sour cream

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

7 or 8 oz almond paste (however yours came is fine)

sliced almonds and sugar to finish

Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter, mixing it until it is in 1/2 pea-sized bits. Make a well and add wet ingredients. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. Dump dough onto a floured work surface. Dust with flour and fold the dough over itself a few times until it is no longer sticky. Press dough into a disk and cover with parchment paper. Use a rolling pen to roll dough into a rectangle about 10 by 13. Rip off bits of the almond paste and use to dot over the dough. starting at the longer side, roll dough to form a log. Slice the log into triangles. Sprinkle slice almonds and sugar over the top and place is the refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or make the day ahead and store dough in an airtight container. When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 400 degrees.

Space scones evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 23 minutes. Serve while scones are still warm.

I served these when my lovely friend Britta came for brunch. The dough stored overnight in the refrigerator nicely and I got it out and baked it just before her visit so they were still hot from the oven and the house was scented with their baking goodness when she arrived. Everyone loved them and they were quickly eaten up.

I ate one and it did not trigger any symptoms. I was hopeful.

My next experiment was Einkorn Pizza. I was not disapointed. This flour undoubtedly created the best pizza I'd ever baked. The crust was deliciously chew. The edges crisp and hardened.

This recipe make one 11 by 14 pizza.

You will need:

2 1/2 cups of Einkorn flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon yeast

3 Tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup water

In a mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Make a well and add oil and water. Mix until shaggy dough forms then dump dough onto a floured work surface and knead until structure becomes elastic. Place dough into an oil bowl and cover with plastic wrap. My kitchen is cold so when I work with yeast, I set the bowl on a heating pad to help the process.

Let rest for 2 hours.

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Press dough to form a disk. Use your hands to stretch the dough. Then lay over baking sheet, and cover with parchment paper. Use a rolling pen to roll dough into a large rectangle. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Top the dough with your favorite sauce and cheese. I used a tomato-based sauce and mozzarella cheese.

bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

I also baked up a batch of savory zucchini pancakes

makes about 9 4 inch cakes

you will need:

2 cups einkorn flour

3 Tablespoons coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard

1 1/2 cups milk

1 shallot, diced

3 cups shredded zucchini, (2 small)

In a mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add eggs, oil, mustard, and milk and mix until incorporated. Stir in shallot and zucchini pieces and mix to incorporate. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Use a 1/2 cup measure to drop batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until the underside is golden and flip. Cook until the middle has set. Serve while hot.

I know I overdid it with the continuous gluten exposure. I was hopeful but after 5 days of eating tasty einkorn treats a response was triggered. After finishing off the pizza and pancakes, on Thursday evening, I began to experience running ears, an itchy scalp, and a headache. I woke to find my fingers, face, and knees swollen. This morning I'm so tired and my body aches to the point that it was painful creeping down the stairs. I'm going to eat only fruit and veg for a week or so and see if I can straighten my body out. I haven't given up hope completely on the Einkorn. It's possible that limited exposure won't trigger a response. I was foolish for eating the way I did.