What is Einkorn Flour and How Do You Use It?

The idea of einkorn flour is nothing new around here, not when we’ve brought you einkorn pizza crust, einkorn apple tartlets, and einkorn overnight pancakes. But, ask any wife of a fantasy-football-lover, even familiar ideas can be confusing (am I right?).

A white, porcelain bowl full of einkorn berries.

We’ve received so many questions about this ingredient—Why are we using it? What is it? Where can you find it? What’s it like to cook with? Can we buy the berries and grind them ourselves?—that we realized it was probably time for an all-around einkorn explanation post.

So in the following lengthy, FAQ-style paragraphs, we hope to give you the clear, nuts-and-bolts low-down on this new-to-many-people flour (which is actually an ancient grain).

So einkorn flour. What is it? The simple answer is einkorn is an ancient form of wheat, thousands of years old, the kind of thing men were eating in their earliest grain-eating days.

The longer answer is einkorn is original wheat, as in, the kind that hasn’t been hybridized. It’s high in minerals and, like other ancient grains, rich in nutrients (such as beta carotene and B vitamins). It has fewer chromosomes than other grains—14, as pictured in the Jovial Foods chart below—and it doesn’t have the D genome, which many think has caused the most problems with modern wheat. The combination of these characteristics makes einkorn a pretty big deal, at least in terms of digestibility. What’s more, because the gliadin in einkorn functions so differently from the gliadin in modern, hybridized wheat, there’s good reason to think it would be tolerated better by people with gluten sensitivities (see study).

(So einkorn does have gluten? Yes.)

Jovial Foods einkorn chart

Why are we using einkorn flour now?

We like that it’s an ancient grain, we like that it’s easier to digest than other options, we like its versatility and, it should also be said, we like its mild flavor and faintly sweet smell.

Where can I buy einkorn flour?

The best resources for buying einkorn flour are online. We’ve purchased Jovial Foods einkorn via Amazon, when it’s been available there. Note that Jovial only ships within the United States; if you’re located elsewhere, we’d love to hear if/where you find it near you.

Jovial Foods Organic Einkorn Flour via Amazon

But it’s expensive! Einkorn flour is more expensive than other flour we’ve bought in the past, but we think it’s worth it. Likewise, we don’t use it every day. Our current eating lifestyle is fairly produce-heavy, with grains and dairy and meat in smaller proportions. Over the last few months, we’ve just moved the grains section increasingly to einkorn.

What about einkorn berries? I’ve seen those at [insert grocery here]. Can I buy them and grind them?

Yes! Jovial also sells einkorn berries online, as does our local Whole Foods, in its bulk bins. They not only can be ground into flour at home but also make an excellent breakfast porridge or can be used like farro or wheat berries in a grain salad.

Top down view of einkore wheat seeds in a glass mug.

One thing to note, at least when using the flour in recipes, however, is that proportions may be slightly altered in freshly ground flour versus packaged (due to variations in the fineness of the grinding).

What’s it like in baking?

Einkorn is a fairly easy substitute for all-purpose or wheat or spelt flour in recipes, but it absorbs liquids a little differently. So when using it, we usually lower the recipe’s liquid content slightly to accommodate the difference.

Do you have any recipe suggestions?

You can see all of our einkorn recipes here.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

72 thoughts on “What is Einkorn Flour and How Do You Use It?”

  1. I was just wondering about einkorn yesterday (as I was planning on making your sweet potato gnocchi which calls for it)… so this post is perfect timing! Thanks for the info.

  2. Super interesting–I had been wondering about it! Also, I think you need to make your website tag line to be “We eat pitas like crack.” Hahaha! 😉

  3. Interesting! This whole time (until the very end of the post) I was reading “einkorn” as “elkhorn”…? so while I apparently can’t read, I would love an einkorn pita 🙂

  4. I found your blog a few weeks ago while reading Annie Parsons’ post about your book, and I’ve enjoyed following it. Thank you for this post! About 6 months ago, I read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and while the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I found the first few chapters on the history of wheat to be fascinating. That is where I first heard of einkorn, and I’ve been wanting to buy it since then, so this giveaway and the discount are exciting! Another company you may be interested in checking out (they grow other ancient and heirloom grains) is http://www.ansonmills.com. I plan to order from them soon as well. Thanks again!

  5. Just got my first purchase bag of Einkorn flour. Can’t wait to try it. My granddaughter is Type I Diabetic and is gluten intolerant, so hoping this is a flour she can tolerate!

  6. Oh love these too! I make something similar, but cook them on the stove top. They are the softest chapatis/wraps I’ve ever made. I also don’t use yeast, but a few tablespoons of kefir instead, letting it rest overnight. I usually do 2 cups einkorn flour + 1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons kefir + 3 tablespoons coconut oil + 1 tsp salt. Thanks so much for this fun giveaway. Can’t wait to try einkorn porridge too.

  7. I just bought some of the berries from the bulk section at Whole Foods for the first time the other day but I would LOVE to try some of the flour!

  8. I’ve been enjoying learning more about my food and where it comes from lately, so I really appreciate this post! I’d love to try some Einkorn flour (and your pitas!).

  9. This looks great. I have not made any pitas before. I don’t know that actually honey is added in pitas. Sound good if can taste the honey. It would be really delicious if serve this with curry. 🙂

  10. I’ve been able to find wholegrain einkorn flour in the UK made by Doves Farm, one of the biggest producers of speciality flours and you can buy it online from them or from one of the online supermarkets we have here called Ocado.

    (Sorry Shanna for the UK-centric comment but I hope it will help any other readers you have here!)

  11. We use a lot of soft wheat (pastry wheat) for waffles, crackers, pancakes, pie crust etc… so how would Einkorn stack up to that in terms of performance due to gluten content/type? And… do you ‘soak’ the items you make with Einkorn as one might be advised to do with standard wheat, hard or soft varieties?

    • Hi Mattie, thanks for your question. That is a difficult question because einkorn definitely behaves differently. It has higher overall protein, and it has the same amount of gluten, however the proteins found in soft wheat are a different molecular weight so they react different. What is fascinating is that einkorn (and even emmer) have very low gluten index values which typically producers want high gluten index values to produce quality pasta and yeast goods–all of which einkorn has done exceptionally well with.

      It seems that einkorn has been up to the task whether it comes to pancakes, waffles, cookies, crusts, sourdough, and most baked goods–it just calls for some experimentation in getting the ratio of water to flour right as it is often a more sticky dough.

      As mentioned in the post, because it does not not have the D genome it does not have “tough” gluten like soft wheat (even though soft wheat has lower gluten overall).

      I think that soaking/sprouting/sourdoughing is always good for wheat products as it enhances the nutrient availability and usually makes it easier to digest. Our general stance is to soak grains and legumes. There are times when do not do it, like in this recipe, but at least with einkorn we know that the gliadin and gluten has been shown to be less troublesome in the digestive tract.

      I hope that makes some sense. We are still trying a lot of different recipes with it, so hopefully you will see more and more tested recipes pop up.

  12. You have wonderful einkorn pictures and recipes! Some say einkorn flour absorbs less water compared with modern bread flour, and that’s what makes einkorn dough so sticky. Does using less water make the dough less sticky? Thanks!

    • Hello Einkorn.com!
      Thank you for your nice comment!

      We have found that having a higher flour to water ratio does help make the dough less sticky. Even if einkorn does absorb less water, it does absorb some and so by lowering the amount of water relative to the flour it will become less sticky. It does take some experimentation with different modern wheat recipes in order to get the desired texture and results, that is why we recommend slowly adding flour to get the dough to the desired consistency.

      Hope that helps!

  13. Thank you so much for the explanation about einhorn flour. I would love to try it and start with your pita or pizza crust recipe. I am fasting from all gluten to see a connection between the consumption and my symptoms. I think having the einhorn flour I could reintroduce gluten in this healthy ancient form to see if it has made a difference. Thank you for all you do. I so enjoy your stories and travel pics as well as your awesome recipes and style you both put into everything you do. I hope for all the best for you in your marriage and future. God bless you both and thank you.

  14. i would love to be able to try this flour. the spinach “pie” recipe the company has on their website looks very good. I would also like to try in in cookies and bread.

    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

  15. I am so thankful for you guys. You have challenged Steve and I to eat a more healthful diet. I’m thankful for the changes we’ve been able to make over the last couple of years and I’m really excited about this year– I think it will be the most drastic yet. I’ve decided that I am going to try to adopt a new “health” item each month. This month, I chose the einkorn flour, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, and this post just jumpstarted that decision for me : ) Also, we made the switch over to Sucanut a while back, thanks to you two : ) Anywho, I’ve decided that I’m going to FLW-atize our lives this year : )

  16. Thanks for this post! I was wondering about this type of flour after you posted the pancake recipe last week and can’t wait to try it!

    • Hi Ashley,
      I personally think that it is easier to digest than spelt. Both spelt and einkorn are “covered grains” so the grain is protected. Spelt has weak gluten and is very water soluble which makes it easier to digest than common wheat (which has strong gluten). However, spelt still has the d genome which can cause inflammation in the gut no matter how it is prepared. Einkorn also has “weak gluten” like spelt even though it has more of it, even as much as common wheat, but einkorn does not have the d genome–so I think it wins the digestability all around and einkorn has more nutrients (protein, fats, carotenoids, etc). If you do some reading, many people who are gluten intolerant have no problems with the gluten that is in einkorn.

      Hope that helps!

  17. I am very excited to learn of this flour, and will definitely try it. I bake alot and want to use the best flour possible for the health of my family. Thank you for making me aware of it.

  18. Just ate the pasta I ordered using this discount code- SO GOOD. Tastes just like “normal” pasta, I am so excited that I don’t have to miss pasta anymore!

  19. Hi,

    Thanks for the great post. I’ve been searching for einkorn flour for a while. I live in Montreal , Canada ;so I could not order it from Amazon. Finally I discovered a farm in Saskatchewan; Prime Grains Canada http://www.primegrains.com/ I contacted them by email and a week later I recieved the flour. It smells so different from modern flour, but the dough comes out so sticky and not as easy to manipulate as I used to with modern flour. I had to add either spelt or kamut flour to make it easier to deal with, I am still experimenting with it, and I was so glad to find your pita recipe.Coming from the middle east we use pita almost everyday.
    Thanks again:0)

  20. Hello again! I just want to say thanks, thanks, thanks! Since einkorn isn’t as easy to work with as other flours, I find it’s best to use a recipe that someone else has tested and knows works. Anyway, I was looking for a naan recipe and this was perfect! I did everything as the recipe states, but instead of baking, I heated up my pizza stone in my gas grill (to about 500 degrees) and put the rounds on the stone for about 30 seconds each side. Seriously amazing. So, thanks!

  21. I just tried these tonight. I ground up einkorn berries that I ordered from einkorn.com with the dry container of my Vitamix. I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out since fresh ground flour can behave just a little differently than flour that has already been processed and bagged. They turned out GREAT!!! This is the first time I’ve ever tried einkorn and the taste is DEFINITELY different. Almost reminds me of flaxseed when ground fine and used to make wraps. I did find that when I used my rolling pin they didn’t puff up very well. However, when I patted them into a circle by hand they puffed up PERFECTLY! I wish I could post some pics to show you. Also, the flour took a little longer to absorb the water than modern wheat flour. Will take some getting used to, but I can’t wait to make some bread! Sorry for the long post, I just have one more question. I doubled the recipe (by accident actually, I put in too much water and had to double the recipe to make up for it..haha)…so now I have a ton of pitas. How would you suggest they are stored? I thought of freezing them. I don’t want them to go bad before my daughter and I can eat them! Thanks for the great recipe and lovely pictures.

    • That’s great, Tiffany! Thanks for the feedback! If you’re going to eat the pitas within the week, keep them in the fridge; if later, keep them in ziplock bags in the freezer. We like defrosting/toasting in the oven. Hope that helps!

  22. Can you please tell me if einkorn is the same thing as the chapati flour that comes from India? They appear to be the same in color, texture, and taste……I would really like to know.

    Thank you
    Graciella

    • Hi Graciella, They are not the same, unfortunately! Chapati flour (also called atta flour), which, as best as we can tell, is a finely ground wheat. Some sources say it’s wheat mixed with barley. In either case, it’s probably closest to wheat flour and not einkorn. That said! If you are looking to make chapati bread, you could probably do so with einkorn flour. I hope that helps! -s

  23. We loved these. I made them with einkorn flour that I ground last week and stored in the freezer. They were a hit – hubby said I can make them forever and we should try using this as a pizza base. Anyone else tried that?

  24. I was directed to you (awesome!) site by an Amazon review of an Einkorn book. I have baked bread for decades, but am looking for ideas to use Einkorn. The pita recipe will be used tomorrow–LOL. I really want to learn how to use Einkorn and emmer effectively so that my family will eat GOOD bread again. Until this past winter, I was making whole wheat breads, but with stomach issues I plan to try my hand at emmer. Haven’t found a decent 100% einkorn loaf, but many other nice “breads”. Thanks for doing the grunt work to help us find great recipes.

    • Oh, I’m so glad! We have a 100% einkorn sourdough loaf in the book that I can honestly say I love — hope you’ll keep experimenting and enjoying!

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