I started baking with einkorn about four years ago. I was lucky to have family members much further along the journey and learned a lot from them. But they were all into sourdough. And I wasn’t ready for that. So I searched the internet for a good, simple yeast einkorn bread recipe. And I tried my share, but none of them seemed quite right. I started to think that einkorn just couldn’t make as good a bread as wheat, but I loved einkorn so much I kept at it.
Was one flavorful loaf without weird ingredients that actually rose too much to ask?
Many of the recipes I had tried had elements that I liked, but none of them were worthy of becoming my forever bread recipe. I finally decided to just make my own using the things I’d learned from trying other recipes.
Here’s what I learned.
First, Einkorn dough needs to be wetter than you’d think. Many of the bread recipes didn’t work because there was simply too much flour. Einkorn can be desperately tricky to work with. It is a wetter grain and takes longer to absorb liquid, and the dough can be very sticky. I’ve thrown mini tantrums trying to roll cinnamon rolls or peel naan off the counter. But, recipes that combat that with more flour always ended up dense and crumbly. If you add enough flour to einkorn bread that the dough isn’t sticky, you probably aren’t going to like the finished product. So, I’ve learned to embrace the sticky. There are certain things that make that easier – invest in a dough scraper and wet or oil your hands when working with difficult dough.
I don’t even try to shape this recipe into loaves. It’s too wet and sticky for that. I keep a bowl of water nearby to wet my hands and I just get the dough into the greased pan. Then I wet my fingers some more and smooth it out in the pan. The results have always been very nice.
Second, butter! Because einkorn dough is sticky, I found that it sticks to the pan and I had a frustrating time getting it out. I was using coconut oil. One day I decided to try butter. And…
I have no idea why, but it made all the difference. I don’t understand the science behind it, but butter made it so much easier to get out of the pan. If you are vegan, coconut oil will still work.
Third, salt. I feel like the vast majority of bread recipes out there are under salted. Many of the recipes I tried just ended up being very bland. Einkorn has an amazing flavor, but a little salt certainly helps it along. I use real salt or himalayan pink salt.
Fourth, don’t over knead einkorn dough. This recipe is hardly kneaded at all. You just combine the ingredients and then let it rise!
This is a recipe I actually use…like all the time. I make this bread every one or two weeks. It freezes well, so I make three loaves at a time and freeze two of them. We use it for everything and my husband has not found a sandwich bread he likes better.
If you’ve had poor luck with einkorn sandwich bread, search no more!
Whole Grain Einkorn Sandwich Bread
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 4 2/3 cup whole grain einkorn flour if grinding yourself, grind 2 1/3 cups of einkorn berries
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix water, yeast, and honey into a stand mixer and let stand while the flour mills. If you're not milling yourself, just wait until it's frothy.
- Add flour and salt and mix until just combined. It may not pull away from the sides of the bowl. That's ok. Don't overknead.
- Let rise in mixing bowl for 25-35 minutes. It should rise well, but doesn't necessarily need to double. Just do what you have time for.
- Knead to punch down.
- Place in buttered loaf pan (You can use oil, but we’ve found that butter works SO much better for this particular recipe. It prevents sticking much better than oil). It may be too wet to shape. Don’t add more flour. Just water your fingers and smooth it out in pan. You don’t have to shape it into a loaf. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and let rise in the pan for another 25-30 minutes.
- Bake for about 33-38 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and butter the top. Let cool 20 minutes in pan.
- Remove from pan and let cool for an hour or so (We’ve also sliced it right then if you can’t wait, but if you’re going to do that, we recommend an electric knife to avoid squishing it).