Having issues with your einkorn baking efforts? This troubleshooting guide will help you overcome the learning curve often associated with einkorn flour, and lead you into the abundance of einkorn success!
For the last 10 years, it's been my near-full-time job to experiment with and perfect the art of einkorn baking. And along the way, I had a LOT of failures!
But in those 10 years, I've also been able to cultivate the tips and tricks to help others find their own successes - and now I'm sharing my best tips in one easy-to-read location.
Troubleshooting Einkorn Baking
If you've found your way here, chances are you're excited about the unique qualities of einkorn and perhaps encountered a few bumps on your baking journey. Fear not, because this troubleshooting guide is your compass through the sometimes perplexing but ultimately rewarding realm of einkorn flour.
Einkorn flour has recently become a darling of the gluten-sensitive, real-food world. Its nutty flavor, nutritional richness, and lower gluten content make it an intriguing choice for those seeking an alternative to modern wheat. While einkorn brings a lot to the table, mastering its nuances can be a bit like learning to dance with an old friend – it takes time, patience, and a few missteps - but it's ultimately well worth the effort!
As with any unique ingredient, there are many challenges that home bakers often encounter. Whether you've experienced a dense loaf, a crumbly texture, or a lack of rise, this guide aims to demystify the einkorn baking process and empower you to create delightful einkorn treats in your own kitchen.
Should You Weigh Your Ingredients?
First and foremost, let's talk about weighing your flour when baking. Almost ALL of the issues I've helped people past could have been avoided if the einkorn flour was weighed.
Why can't you use volume measurements? Well, you CAN, however, volume measurements can vary quite significantly.
For example, if you scoop your measuring cup into a bag of flour, your "cup" is going to weigh about 145g - generally. But if you scoop sifted flour with a spoon and place it in a measuring cup, your "cup" is going to weigh about 120g.
That's a HUGE difference!
If you use a 120g cup instead of a 145g cup, then your mix will be soupy and will likely fall during baking too.
When using this site, if a recipe doesn't have a listed weight for einkorn in a recipe, please assume 135g per cup. I am working through all the recipes to update them, but some older recipes are still volume measurements!
Common Issues in Einkorn Baking
After helping more than 16 million people bake with and enjoy einkorn flour, here are the most common issues people ask me about while baking with einkorn flour.
Einkorn products are naturally more dense than modern wheat, due to the weaker gluten structure. However, making sure that the dough is properly hydrated will make a huge difference in the fluffiness of the final product.
Lean more towards "too sticky" than too dry when mixing dough, and be sure to add 1/4 tsp of ginger powder to increase gluten structure.
Additionally, fats and proteins can be added for even better structure. A tablespoon of butter, or an egg will make the dough stronger as well, which will allow for more rise during baking.
Einkorn flour products don't really rise that much on the counter, so you won't be able to "rise until doubled" as most modern wheat recipes call for.
Instead, rise for the indicated amount of time in the recipe (even if you don't see any change), and then understand that einkorn has a fairly decent oven spring!
Don't worry, this is normal! Einkorn doesn't absorb liquid the same way modern wheat does, so it tends to be stickier than normal dough. It shouldn't be as sticky as a cake batter, but it's going to be stickier than you're used to if you've been baking with modern wheat.
If you do have a dough that is immediately losing its shape when formed, adding 1-2 tbsp of einkorn flour at a time until it's still sticky but will hold a shape will result in better products.
This is usually caused by one of two things: too much liquid, or overproofing.
Be sure to follow the directions for both weight measurements of the flour and rise times to avoid this in the future.
Without the preservatives of store-bought bread, fresh bread does dry out faster, no matter the flour type.
However, there are a few things you can do to help keep a moist crumb to your bread.
1. Keep your dough more sticky than you might think is best.
2. Mix with a dough hook on low for 10 minutes to help develop the gluten bonds.
3. Add ginger powder as indicated to strengthen gluten bonds further.
4. Add an egg or 1-2 tbsp of oil/butter to your dough during mixing.
5. Keep an eye on rise times and don't over-rise.
6. Avoid overbaking as this will drastically dry out your loaf as well!
7. Allow the bread to cool before slicing. When sliced warm, the bread with release moisture in the form of steam and it will dry out very quickly.
8. Store in an air-tight container for 3-5 days.
This is a very common issue, especially if you are using a 35% hydration starter.
To enjoy strong and fluffy einkorn sourdough products, simply update your starter to a 100% hydration starter and you should see immediate results while using the same recipes!
Several thousand readers have updated their starters and they were able to move forward with fabulous einkorn sourdough goods. Here is my recipe for 100% hydration einkorn sourdough starter.
Yes!! I have created this easy-to-follow einkorn conversion cheatsheet that will allow you to keep your favorite recipes while using einkorn flour!
Baking Einkorn at High Altitude
If you are baking at high-altitude, what do you need to adjust for einkorn baking to make it work?
Essentially, the same thing you need to do for regular wheat!
While I haven't had the opportunity to test these myself, I have had many readers use the King Arthur baking at high-altitude tips with great success!
Using Freshly Milled Einkorn Instead of All-Purpose
The einkorn recipes on my site use the standard convention for flour, which is that "flour" in a recipe refers to all-purpose flour unless otherwise specified. I have not tested all my recipes with whole wheat, but typically, you can use 113g of store-bought einkorn whole wheat flour for every 1 cup (120g) of white flour called for in the recipe.
For freshly ground einkorn, use the same weight as called for in the recipe, NOT volume, and reduce the liquid by 10%. If the recipe doesn't list a weight yet, you can assume 135g per cup of all-purpose einkorn flour.
Try this freshly milled einkorn honey wheat loaf recipe, it's a reader favorite!
Our Best Einkorn Recipes
If you're looking for some tried and true einkorn recipes to help you get started, here are a few of our favorites from the last 10 years!
- Einkorn No-Knead Sandwich Bread
- Einkorn Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Einkorn Tortillas
- Grandma's Einkorn Pie Crust