Einkorn Flour


Triticum monococcum

This is the oldest species of wheat to be cultivated.  It was used to make flour from around 8,000 BC and continued to be used throughout the Neolithic and well into Roman times. The variety was a hybrid development from Wild Einkorn (Triticum boeotictim) and another species, probably Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides). There is evidence to suggest that this type of wheat was gathered in Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic times so it may have been around for a much longer time that is thought. 

         
Einkorn Wheat - Images Copyright of Doves Farm, Matt Watts, 2010 harvest.

Einkorn (German - single grain or first wheat) was first known from Turkey and soon spread across the Fertile Crescent.  This was an area including Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, Levant, Phoenicia, Assyria and Mesopotamia to the Lower Sea (Persian Gulf).


Fertile Crescent with modern boundaries

The Vikings are known to have grown this variety of wheat and it is assumed that they traded grain from this area of the globe.  Einkorn was probably distributed throughout Northern Europe as a result of early sea trading.

The grain itself is high in protein and low in gluten and the glandins found in this variety show exceptionally low levels of reaction in sufferers of coeliac disease.  It produces a tall plant with two rows of grain on  the seed head and long awns, similar to those seen in Barley.  When ground, the flour produced is soft and has a yellow golden colour.  Bread produced using this flour will show a small rise with yeast baking.  It has a distinct taste similar to oats.  This grain is still used for cracked wheat (bulgar wheat) and animal feed in some Mediterranean countries as it grows and crops very well in poor soil environments.

The use of this variety of wheat went into decline during the Roman Period as higher yield varieties were discovered and distributed across the Roman Empire.  Einkorn is now only grown as a relict variety and maintained as a research crop.  Dove Farms and other rare flour providers will produce small quantities commercially, but this flour remains hard to obtain.

Suppliers

Doves Farm - grow relatively small scale crops for milling into stone-ground flour in the UK.  It is available direct or on their internet shop, but few of their suppliers carry stock.

 

 

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This part of the Bread Pages looks at the The different types of Flour used throughout history.

Einkorn Wheat

Emmer Wheat


Durum Wheat


Spelt Wheat


Khorasan Wheat


Clubwheat


Common Wheat


Oats


Barley


Rye


Maize


Chickpea


Millet


Rice


Buckwheat


Teff


Potato


Beans


Vetch