Rustic homemade bread made with einkorn flour is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It takes four ingredients to make and it’s done in only two hours.
How I Learned to Make Homemade Bread
I don’t quite remember how I learned to cook overall, but I do specifically remember how I learned to make the homemade bread. My learning involved my grandmother who excels in all things domestic, and for who food is the cure for everything. I remember when I was 14 and my grandmother had just broken her arm.
The only way for her to continue making her beloved food was to have my brother and I help her after school. While my brother was in charge of all the fun things such as stirring, chopping, dicing, and slicing, I was in charge of baking and making fresh bread every couple of days.
Grandma would stand next to me and give detailed instructions on what to do. She would check the water to make sure it was the perfect temperature; she’d use her experienced eye to tell me if the dough needed more flour or more kneading. Just very detail oriented concerning her craft. I am beyond thankful that I learned to make her basic recipe that is now the base for all other artisan breads I make, including this homemade bread with einkorn flour.
Is Einkorn Flour a Wheat Flour?
Einkorn flour is made out of einkorn grains, the only type of wheat that has never been hybridized. That means it has never been crossed with a different plant species to form a new genetic makeup. Plants are usually hybridized to create a plant with improved characteristics or higher-yielding varieties.
For instance, einkorn grows with the outer husk, a protective layer around its grain, and most modern wheat grows without it. While that makes it easier to mill modern wheat grains, it also removes its natural protection from dangerous fungi. Of all wheat varieties available on the market today, einkorn is the only wheat that comes in its original shape, unaltered.
Why Is Einkorn Good For You?
Einkorn has more nutrients, minerals and vitamins than regular wheat. It also has more protein per 100 grams than oats, and about 15% less starch than wheat. Like all wheat, einkorn does contain gluten, but its gluten content “lacks the high molecular weight proteins that many people can’t digest,” (Source) which makes it easier to digest.
Still, if you have celiac disease, you should probably stay away from einkorn and other wheats. Finally, the reason I prefer einkorn over whole wheat is its taste. Unlike whole wheat, whole einkorn doesn’t taste gritty to me.
This bread, once tightly wrapped and kept at room temperature, will keep for a couple of days, although it’s usually gone within hours of baking in our house and that’s how we like it the best. You can serve it with almost any dish but it’s especially good dipped in soups or stews. You could make a delicious snack for the little ones with different spreads, our favorite is butter, of course.
Homemade Bread with Einkorn Flour
Rustic homemade bread made with einkorn flour is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It takes four ingredients to make.
- 3½ cups flour + more for dusting
- 1 cup warm water around 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2 cups cold water
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt fine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for greasing the bowl
Sift einkorn flour, salt and yeast into a bowl of your standing mixer. With the mixer running, slowly start pouring in the warm water until the dough comes together. Let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be slightly wet. If it feels dry, like pizza dough, add a couple of tablespoons of water to it.
Dust your hands with flour and scrape the dough from the hook and the bowl walls. Form a ball with your hands and place it on a clean plate. Generously oil the mixing bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm, draft-free are to rise for an hour. A closed oven with the light on is my favorite spot.
Flour the work surface and prepare your baking sheet. Turn the baking sheet upside down and dust heavily with flour. Transfer the dough from the bowl to the working surface. Re-knead by folding and pressing its sides inwards with your hands all while forming a ball.
Place the dough onto the baking sheet and dust with flour. Using a sharp knife make a few cuts on the top. Cover with the towel while the oven preheats. Put an oven-safe pan in the oven on the rack under the rack you will use to bake your bread and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer the bread in the preheated oven. Pour 2 cups cold water in the lower pan and close the oven immediately. This will create steam in the oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Baking times depend heavily on the oven. For this recipe, I found that my oven bakes it in exactly 33 minutes. Try baking for 35 minutes the first time, and then decrease baking time as necessary.
Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. It’s important to resist the temptation of cutting into it while it’s still hot. For this recipe, if you cut into it before it cools properly the dough may appear to be gooey.
Store in a plastic bag on the counter for two days or freeze as soon as it cools completely.