Have you ever used ancient grains in your cooking? If you’re new to the game, you’ll likely realize that using Einkorn flour produces a much different experience when it comes to cooking and baking. Today we’re going to explore the health benefits of using Einkorn and other ancient grains. We’re also going to dig into different uses and what to expect when you first go to use ancient grains in your cooking.
Some highlights from the episode:
• Check out my favorite source for pantry items at https://www.thrivemarket.com
• Follow this link to gain access to my Heritage Cooking Crash Course
• If you're ready to start your home dairy journey, head to http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/cheese to access the guide mentioned in the episode.
• To begin this homesteading journey, head to http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/grow to access my full library of resources to guide you down the path.
• Check out https://www.jovialfoods.com for my favorite place to order einkorn flour.
Welcome to the old fashioned on purpose podcast . Know what? It took me quite awhile to catch onto the idea of using einkorn flour, which is an ancient grain that has some pretty cool health benefits. If you've been curious about using einkorn, but you're not quite sure how to get started, you're gonna love this episode. I'm your host Jill winger and for the last 10 years I have been helping people who feel a little disenchanted by modern life. I'll show you how to create the life you really want by learning how to grow your own food and master old fashioned skills. Einkorn flour has generated quite the buzz these days. It's being touted as a more nutritious option that is better for people with gluten intolerance and that is basically just a more natural choice if you're going to cook and make baked goods. Now there is a problem and that is if you've ever used or you've only used regular flour, it can take a little bit of practice to get used to einkorn. And I've talked to more than one person who is a little bit disappointed when they buy their bag of einkorn, try to make a loaf of bread with it and the results are less than appealing. So in today's episode, I'm going to share exactly what you need to know to get started using this ancient flour while still making breads and big goods your family's actually gonna want to eat. So a little bit of background to get started. Let's talk about what ancient grains are because I feel like that can be a little bit confusing at times. I like to think of ancient grains as basically being similar to heirloom vegetables. It's a grain that has not been tinkered with or hybridized over the years in an effort to produce higher yields. They are things that have been maintained, whether we're talking heritage wheat or heirloom vegetables, you know, they have been maintained by gardeners and farmers for many, many years. In an effort to keep them as is. Now, the downfall to that, I guess you could call it a downfall, is that ancient grains aren't well suited for modern large scale agriculture operations because they haven't been selectively bred to reduce a disease or to be drought tolerant. So you're not going to find your average wheat farmer incorporating einkorn in large quantities in their fields. However, because they didn't have all that hybridization happen, they're actually really, really good for us. And a lot of folks find that if they have trouble digesting modern wheat, they often can handle einkorn without an issue. I personally love baking with einkorn. It gives the baked goods this rich, nutty flavor. It's way more tasty than your typical white flour, and it also gives your baked goods, more protein, more fiber, and more minerals. So I think the question to ask here is, why aren't ancient grains more popular? Why haven't we seen them hit the market and become a trend maybe in with more force than we're seeing now? So a few things to keep in mind as you're venturing into iron corn or other ancient grains for the first time, they can be a little bit fickle. So yes, they give us that wonderful full flavor and they're more nutritious, but einkorn in particular does not have the same baking qualities of conventional flour. You're going to find it doesn't rise quite as high. The crumb is a little heavier. Um, it just a little more challenging to work with. That's not to say you can't do it with amazing results, but there is a little bit of a learning curve. So another thing to consider when you are looking at starting to use einkorn flour in your kitchen is it does come with a slightly higher price tag. However, if you have been on this homestead journey for any amount of time, then you're probably well acquainted with this idea of paying a little bit more for higher quality ingredients, whether that's farm fresh eggs or local raw milk or a bag of corn flour. It's worth it to buy this, these ingredients that are better for us and more ethically produced. So for me, yes einkorn costs a little bit more than the cheap bleached flour at the grocery store, but truly there is no comparison. Also, just a reminder, if you're buying whole wheat and corn flour like it's already been ground, you want to be really mindful of how you store it. As with all whole wheat flours , they tend to go rancid fairly quickly. That doesn't mean that they're inferior or you shouldn't use them, but because you are grinding the whole wheat, they have the oils and the germ and the brand in there which makes it whole wheat flour and that causes it to go bad more quickly. So if you are going to purchase einkorn flour in pre-ground form, I would suggest either getting the all purpose einkorn flour or keeping your whole wheat flour in the freezer when you're not using it. Another alternative, if you are 100% on board to this einkorn journey is to invest in a grain mill and then keep some einkorn and wheat berries and grind as you need it. That'll ensure that you have the very freshest flour available. And I think it will probably save you some money in the long run. Okay. So I know we have a lot of folks who are wanting to bake with einkorn and other ancient grains, but you're not sure how. Let me reassure you, it is not intimidating, they can be a little fickle, but it's not complicated. So let's walk through some of the basics. So einkorn definitely acts different than wheats. We've already stated that. So keep that in mind. I can't say that enough. You cannot generally take a regular wheat flour bread recipe and just throw einkorn in it without some adjustments. So grab your pen and paper. Here are some of the most important things to remember as you bake. Okay? So number one, you can substitute whole wheat and corn flour, one to one for regular whole wheat flour in most recipes. Although you may need to reduce the liquid by about 15% so let me say that again. If you have a recipe using regular whole wheat flour, you can probably substitute whole wheat einkorn flour, one-to-one without too much issue. However, what you don't want to do is if you have a recipe that calls for all purpose, einkorn flour, you definitely don't want to use whole wheat instead because that does take some definite adjustments. It's not going to be super palatable trying to go one-to-one in that scenario. Okay ? I want you to also keep in mind that einkorn absorbs liquid more slowly than other flours. So as you add the liquid ingredients into your dough, give a little bit of time to absorb. And also you know that smooth elastic dough that you're used to in your regular yeast bread recipes, you're probably not going to see that with your einkorn doughs. They're going to be much stickier and much wetter, which is totally fine, but it can be a little bit surprising when you see it for the first time. Einkorn doughs, especially if they contain extra ingredients like eggs, milk, butter, they're going to rise more slowly than you're used to. So I know for me as I've gotten to know our climate and our altitude and how my ingredients work, I know that I can mix up a batch of dough, let it rise in a warm place and within 45 minutes it's ready for the next step. Einkorn doesn't work quite like that. Takes a little bit longer. So make sure you plan that into your schedule. You're also probably not going to ask your einkorn doughs to rise as high as we would a traditional wheat dough. I would say a good rule of thumb is to let it rise by about half and call it good. It's not going to be that giant puffy rise. And if you're just getting your first bag of einkorn flour, you're a little bit nervous. I would highly recommend starting with some non yeast recipes, whether that's einkorn cookies or einkorn quick breads. Start with something that doesn't have to rise and doesn't need a lot of gluten development to make it edible. And that'll give you some experience using the flour , seeing how it absorbs liquids and then going from there. So a great example of an einkorn yeast dough that I always think of would be that einkorn cinnamon rolls. So I included this recipe in my heritage cooking crash course , which is my old fashioned cooking course. And if you've watched those videos, you can see right on camera. The dough does not get as puffy and full as your traditional cinnamon rolls do. In fact, you know you do your roll and you put your cinnamon and sugar and you put it into the little pinwheels. And when I stick them in my greased pan to do the second rise, like there's not a whole heck of a lot of change from when I start to the rise to when I finished the rise. Once I bake them, they definitely puff up. But the cinnamon rolls themselves or just a little more compact, shall we say. It doesn't affect the flavor at all. The cinamon rolls are fantastic. People love them. I've made them for guests and they get rave reviews. But if you're expecting that giant puffy, fluffy cinnamon roll, you're going to be a little disappointed. But they're good in their own right. So you got to accept einkorn for what it is. Don't try to make it be regular wheat and I really think that the extra flavor, the extra digestability and that gorgeous yellow, rich coloring totally makes up for it. So last little side note, in case you're having trouble finding einkorn flour because it's usually not sold in your typical grocery stores. I would suggest looking into jovial foods. This is not a sponsored ad for them. I just love them and use them and I will drop a link to their website in the show notes they have einkorn right from the source, great company and it's very, very high quality and that it, I cannot wait for you to try einkorn. Once you try your first einkorn recipe, please post a picture and tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can celebrate right along with you. So if you are falling in love with the idea of an old fashioned intentional kitchen full of nourishing food and rich memories, you will love my heritage kitchen handbook. I've packed this little ebook full of my best tricks for cooking and eating like a farmer. Even if you live in this city and you can grab it for free at www.heritagekitchenhandbook.com when we started our homestead journey about 10 years ago, home dairy captured my imagination more than anything else. I could not wait to dive into cheese making. The problem was when I went to my local stores, I couldn't find any of the cultures or equipment or even the cheesecloth that the recipes were calling for. And that is why I depend heavily on resources like the New England cheese making supply company. They're a small business run by a mother and daughter duo who had the exact same problem I did many years ago except they decided to do something about it. They carry cheese presses, cultures, and every sort of tool you could imagine needing for all of the home dairy recipes you're wanting to try. And if you head over to theprairiehomestead.com/cheese I put together a free quick start guide that not only will give you my favorite proven home dairy recipes, there's also a little coupon code in there too. You can grab that for free at theprairiehomestead.com/cheese and that is it my friend. Thank you for listening and if you have a minute I would be so honored if you would pop over to iTunes, hit subscribe and leave a quick review so more people can find this podcast and bring homesteading into their, I will catch up with you next time on the old fashioned on purpose podcast. Okay, my friends , I have some good news for you. You are not a weirdo. It feels good to hear that right, but if you have had these strange urges to make yogurts or to culture buttermilk or to try your hand at some homemade mozzarella, well you're in good company. The tough part is that sometimes it's almost impossible to find home dairy supplies locally, which is why I have come to rely heavily on the new England cheese making supply company. They are my absolute lifeline for everything I need to make all the dairy stuff in my kitchen from cultures to equipment to supplies they've got it, and to make your life easier, I've put together a free quick start guide that includes not only my favorite home dairy recipes, a list of the cultures that I use the most, but we put a little discount code in there for you as well. Head over to theprairiehomestead.com/cheese to check it out.