Observations about Heirloom/Ancient Wheat

I’m starting this thread for people to share and debate about what they’ve learned along the way as they bake with heirloom and ancient wheats.

I’ll get the ball rolling…

Whole Grain Einkorn:
Doesn’t absorb as much water as other whole grain wheat flours
Seems to perform better without an autolyse or gluten development manipulations (stretching and folding)

Whole Grain Blue Tinge Emmer
More thirsty than other whole grain wheats
Good for pasta
(I haven’t made a 100% whole grain blue emmer bread so can’t speak to that)

Whole Grain Spelt
Very extensible
I can get a pretty open crumb with Sprouted whole grain spelt in the clay oval baker. Not sure why :slight_smile:

Whole Grain Rye
If more than 75% the total flour weight is rye, I don’t believe gluten building manipulations help. Better to bake in a loaf pan if 100% whole grain rye.
Rye dough rises better with sourdough than yeast because of the acidity of sourdough.


@Fermentada Melissa, I have used the Whole Grain Rye berries that I grind in my Mockmill 100 to make a modified NY style rye bread. I have modified Eric’s artisan sourdough rye bread recipe that is on Breadtopia to make a rye bread more reminiscent of rye bread I grew up with. The ratio on the grain is 50% whole grain rye and 50% white bread flour. As stated in the recipe, I do a series of three “manipulations” of the dough, about 15 minutes apart from each one. I have been very pleased with the resulting rye bread.

I have also used, and really like, the Heirloom Turkey Red wheat berries that I grind in my Mockmill as the whole grain in Eric’s NK sourdough bread recipe. That basic sourdough NK recipe is my go-to standard for making an “everyday” loaf of bread.


Thanks for adding your insights, Leah. Have you posted your modified rye recipe in the Reader’s Recipe section? I’ve never made a traditional NY rye but i order rye toast whenever I’m at a diner :slight_smile: I should add this to my to-bake list

@Fermentada Melissa, I will write it up and post it! Thanks for asking. What I bake is probably not a “traditional” NY or Jewish rye BUT the flavor is close enough to what I remember eating as a child for me to enjoy eating it and there’s a strange satisfaction in knowing I’ve baked it myself. I’ve given loaves of that rye away as gifts to friends and they’ve all enjoyed it and ask for more.


Glad to add to this and would love feedback. Sorry for this long post but I thought the reasons for Melissa’s “Observations about Heirloom/Ancient Wheat” needed some reasons why and here it is I THINK:

I have Turkey Red, Einkorn, Durum, Kamut and some other grains not wheat. Have tried using all with mixed results and starting to get a feel for why. From all my reading on this subject not only is it important to know the name of the grain but where it cam from.

I read an article on another forum where a grower commented on their Turkey Red they grew as it was 13% protein and high in minerals but the falling numbers (FN) were a bit higher than normal bread flours (don’t remember the exact numbers.) Their neighbor grew the same Turkey and it was like 10% protein and very low in minerals. TR is grown in the Midwest and also in NY, NC and SC. It all has the same name. So far I have found only one grain supplier that will go the extra distance to get you this information. Is it necessary, yes! If a particular grain has a falling number of 400 and you want to bake with it you need to make significant changes in your methods to accomplish a reasonably decent loaf of bread. Will list some of these changes below. You may also need to add a small % (.1 to .3%) of diastatic malt powder (DMP) if it is a high FN. This addition would be a trial and error procedure as adding too much will result in a gummy crumb. Understand that a miller tests the flour, mixes various ones together, adds enzymes and vitamins to get you a product that will work, we don’t have this ability, BUT our ancestors made due and so shall we. Some manufacturers also use some pretty nasty stuff in the flour so that is why I won’t use it.

With that said without going into their details, if you purchased from both growers you would find both baked differently. Most recipes ARE NOT devised for home milled flour and one must learn to adapt. A recipe that defines “Breadtopia whole grain bread flour” means nothing as far as knowing how it will react when you bake it (of course unless we use it and describe the outcome.) Turkey Red and Red Fife are similar but not the same. Someone’s unknown Hard winter wheat will react HOW?

It is EXTREMELY important to know the protein content and the falling numbers (FN) of the grain as the FN will tell you the enzyme levels of the grain. Some grains will develop their gluten content differently when mixing and this knowledge will come from either testing or as feedback from readers like us. Example: Einkorn does not mix or bake like the other grains, the finish texture is different and from what I read SOMEWHAT the same for spelt and emmer as the three are ancient grains. The einkorn will only raise up about 20% or so and does little to develop gluten so over mixing and kneading will result in bricks. Made quite a few. :roll_eyes:

Home milled grain presents some challenges and the resultant bread will sometimes be different than what is made using AP and bread flour purchased, this is where I get frustrated looking at pictures of these perfect loaves as the baker used a portion of commercial blended flour to overcome the issues with the milled ancient or heirloom flour.

I recently made three 100% whole grain sourdough breads using Turkey Red and 3 different methods (methods used for commercial flour) to mix, form and bake in a dutch oven. ALL TURNED OUT the same with a sandwich style crumb and no oven spring. As a matter of fact the last which hydration was reduced from 90% to 62% came out slightly better. In each case the dough lost its ability to hold shape after pre-shaping and spread out horizontally even when cold. The dough lost elasticity (did the gluten get degraded?) Now if only to get my bread volumes to match my baking receptacles which will help in shoring up this issue but frankly is this not a crutch like using high hydration doughs to attempt to build spring using steam instead of C02?

Here is a list of items to look at when using Heirloom or Ancient wheat:
First when you have the following:
Coarse milled flour
Higher Temperatures
High Enzyme activity and or adding DMP
Extended long ferments

YOU DON’T autolyse as it does not always equal better dough.

Below are some ideas to help protect the gluten of weak dough:

  1. First don’t autolyse
  2. Add your salt right away when mixing as it inhibits the action of the enzymes. Because of the salt the fermentation will slow. Allow the dough to rest.
  3. Keep the dough cold during mixing. If milling grain let stand and cool off, then use either cold or icy water. Again this will slow the enzyme action. Remember what we are dealing with, these are not commercially blended flours or hybridized grains.
  4. For those of us that have a Mockmill we are in luck as the grain needs to be ground as fine as it will make it. Evidently smaller particles mean less damage to the gluten.
  5. Use less mixing and handling of the dough as this will minimize the damage of “slicing.” Doesn’t mean you can’t knead, just less, how much I DON’T know. If the dough sits and hydrates for 20 minutes and it forms gluten what is the need for all this extra work? If while mixing the dough it starts to tear, stop and let rest for 10 minutes. I found it may take 2 or 3 times to get all mixed without tearing the formed gluten. After mixing the flour water and salt and letting it hydrate for a short period only do UNTIL the dough starts to form gluten and then stop mixing whether 2, 3 or 4 times.
  6. If you will be adding anything like fats, seeds, nuts etc. do so after the gluten has developed, hopefully a “windowpane.” BE EASY WITH the mix try not to tear the dough.
  7. Cool dough if it needs slowing down. Chilling down before shaping will even out the temperatures of the dough.
  8. Mix or blend stronger flours with the weaker flours. I do this with my pizza dough (Turkey & Durum) for a perfect crunch and soft texture to the crumb. Blending commercial bread flours will definitely add to the gluten development but FOR ME is against my grain (no pun intended.)
  9. Shorten ferment time as the longer it goes the more enzyme degradation there is. HOW LONG, don’t know, guess that is where these trials, errors and observations will all help us “millers.”
  10. I have read that using a double or triple hydration technique to get strong gluten binding helps with these grains BUT I have no idea what this is and have not found the techniques yet.
  11. Be very gentle when handling and shaping the dough.
  12. Don’t spray a lot of water on the dough before baking as it weakens the crust. A fact I did not know, I started doing this with the DO and had poor crust formation, was not so in the Romertoph as I did not spray.
  13. Use a fresh levain (has stronger gluten) than a older I’ll call it broken down starter. I have found this to make a difference, so I can see why folks do it.
  14. This has been tried by others and some have said it did not make a difference (maybe because of their mill maybe because of when added?) Sifting out the bran and soaking in hot water then adding to the dough AFTER the gluten has formed. The after is the key here.
  15. Err on the side of under-proofing the final loaf. Maybe someday I’ll figure this out myself.
  16. Using ascorbic acid (vitamin c) in small amounts will help strengthen. Experiment using very small amounts as too much will actually have a detrimental effect.

From a baking perspective I have a minimal amount of experience with these types of grain/flours but still learning. Melissa does great experiments and her visual examples help a lot, something I need to do. For me it is in the detail. It has taken about 2 months of baking pizza every Friday to finally get the dough exactly the way we like it and the baking procedure for the outdoor grill. Even which burner and what flame height has made differences.

I have converted a refrigerator into a “retarder” and will post as I start 2 use AND HOPEFULLY have better results because it is all in the temperature, different temperatures for different procedures. I’ll try anything to get better results with these grains, and eventually it will happen WITHOUT using commercial flour.

I have been lax at taking pictures although I keep a bake log. I will start doing so as I have perfected some things they all are not FLOPS :smile: My rye (as far as I am concerned is to die for) and I use my problem child TR in it with a great crumb and crust.




Doesn’t like to be handled and 70% hydration seems to be high enough for a no knead type of a approach (or just tad when forming the dough) when well fermented.

So something like this…

  • 500g wholegrain einkorn flour
  • 350g water
  • 9g salt
  • 50g starter

Dissolve the starter in the water. Mix the flour and salt then add to the water. Form the dough. You can give the dough a bit of a knead but as soon as it starts sticking to your hands - stop! Cover and leave till it’s risen and looks very craggy on top. The dough by now should be very soft. Transfer to a loaf pan and smooth the top over (like a rye loaf) and final proof till a few holes appear on top.

P.s. the Einkorn available her in the UK https://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/products/organic-einkorn-wholegrain-flour-1kg seems to be a bit different to North American. Protein is lower and mineral content seems to be higher. This method works well for the Einkorn i’ve worked with.

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Dennis, First, have you been able to learn the FN of Einkorn? Second, I have been experimenting combining Einkorn (high L/P) with Sonoran (low L/P). The results have been very interesting. In order to insure that we are ‘speaking the same language’, I need to explain 2 things.

  1. I fully ferment my bread so I get little to no spring when the dough is cooked. I do this because my lungs cannot easily remove C02. Therefore, I must remove as much C02 as possible BEFORE the dough is cooked. (High C02 gives high rise dough. Low C02 does not allow for a high rise dough.) For this reason, I do an long bulk fermentation…usually about 7 hours followed by a shape and then additional 1.5 - 2 hour fermentation. When using only Einkorn, the bread is tasty but very dense.

  2. I not only use Baker’s Percentages but consider use a 100% hydration sourdough starter. I treat 50% of my starter as part of my total hydration. When I make Einkorn bread (from 100% whole grain Einkorn flour…ground at home), I use 87% hydration. The formula looks like this: 600 grams flour, 522gr hydration (600 x .87) - 50% of starter. Since I usually use a 10% inoculation (starter)…which is 60 gr (600x.10), the starter hydration is 30 grams. Therefore, 522grams liquid - 30 grams (starter hydration) = 492 grams liquid. I needed the higher hydration to get the full fermentation.

I decided to experiment with Sonoran Flour. I bought the grain, milled it and then created the following blend: 75% Einkorn and 25% Sonoran. I used my Einkorn sourdough starter. I also lowered my total hydration to 80%.

In a bowl, I first added the starter to the liquid and mixed well (with my hand). Then I added the dry blend (Enkorn flour, sonoran flour, and salt (1.5% or 600). When all was mixed together, I had a sticky but workable dough (using my hands). I let the dough rest about 45 min. and then simply folded it in the bowl. I noted that the dough did stretch more than when I used only Einkorn but no where near as much as when I had made a loaf of only Sonoran. (With only Sonoran, I made a boule that was good but drier than I prefer. The stretch was far more than I ever imagined!) After about 3 folds, I covered the bowl and let the dough ferment for 7 hours. I then shaped it and placed it in a greased cast iron loaf pan to ferment until I saw holes on top of the dough (about 2 hours). I then covered the cast iron bread pan with a second cast iron bread pan (to make a cloche)…linked the two with binder clips…and baked at 450 degrees F for 45 minutes. The loaf was moist, not as dense (was filled with 1/4" holes), and very tasty.

I would not want to increase the percent of sonoran flour. I also hesitate to increase the Total Hydration.

I was able to find that sonoran flour has a FN of 349. Again, has anyone been able to find the FN of Einkorn?


FN of Einkorn no and to be frank I stopped using it for bread. I’ll do once in a while but not often as Abe says it is a no-knead kind of flour. WHAT I REALLY like it for is pastries. I would NOT EVER use pastry flour again after numerous bakes of cakes, torts etc. The flavor is OUTSTANDING.

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Yes, 100% einkorn is better as a no knead bread. One of its characteristics is that the more you knead einkorn the stickier it gets. But how about swapping out the whole wheat for wholegrain einkorn in a tartine country loaf? Its only 10% but for flavour it goes a long way.


Although you are no longer using FN (and don’t need to if you found what works for you), I thought there there might be others who would find my information interesting.

When I found FN, I was looking for L/P of Sonoran. While I use primarily Einkorn, like any other flour, it has its limitations. I did not like the way it cracked when baked…even when scored. This made me want to understand the strengths and limitations of Einkorn.

Having grown up with San Francisco sourdough bread (I am 73), I began making 100% sourdough bread (using my own starter) over 12 years ago. Over these years, I have made my 100% whole grain sourdough bread with turkey red, red fife, Kamut, Rye, Einkorn and Sonoran (the original flour used for San Francisco sourdough bread). I learned that Einkorn cannot be kneaded but (if fully fermenting) can be bulk fermented. I learned that Rye is better off as a thick batter (fully fermented in a pullman pan). I also learned that Sonoran is extremely extensible and difficult to fully ferment!!! Having settled on Einkorn, Rye, and Sonoran, I wanted to understand the underlying causes of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these grains. I learned that knowing the L/P of each would give me a greater understanding of each.

L/P is the ratio of gliadin (extensibility) to glutenin (resistance). Less than .4 is too soft for bread making, pasta, and even many cakes and cookies. Greater than 1.3 is considered too resistant for kneading and high rise in bread. (It is why Einkorn cracks on one side when making a sandwich loaf even when the dough is scored.). Flour with an L/P greater than 1 is ideal for pasta.

I learned that the L/P for Einkorn is 1.05 and the L/P for Durum is 1.02. Since the resistance of both flours were high, I knew I could not blend them for the purpose of a soft sandwich bread. While I was unable to learn the L/P of Rye, I am certain it is high since Rye is less extensible than Einkorn (although I have made rye loaf bread).

When searching for the L/P of Sonoran, I discovered its FN and learned that Europe will not accept any cake flour (from the US) that has an FN of less than 300. Sonoran has an FN of 349. This means its L/P is very extensible. It is excellent for flatbreads, cakes, cookies, pastries, etc. When I was sharing my findings (making sourdough boules with sonoran whole grain) with the company from which I purchased my sonoran, the owner gave my results (and questions) to the local bake who make sourdough sonoran boules. They responded that I should put the salt in my dough before the autolyse and add the starter after the autolyse…even though many videos said no autolyse for sonoran. These bakers…who use primarily Sonoran for sourdough boules…autolyse the flour before shaping. This makes sense since sonoran is a ‘desert’ grain and the sonoran I purchased was grown in the southern US (sonoran desert).

As I said in my original post, when I experimented with Einkorn/Sonoran (75%/25%), I got a moist, soft, well-fermented grain. The grain was not crumbly, was not gummy, and did not crack during baking. The crumb, while not ‘open’, was not tight. It was airy with small holes (about 1/8") throughout the crumb. I learned what I needed to know. Will I always make a combo of Einkorn/Sonoran? Most of the time, yes. I do know that, If I am going to make a Rye/Wheat combo, I will use either Rye/Sonoran or Rye/ Strong bread flour (Breadtopia). I will not use a Rye/Einkorn blend unless I want to make it a very high hydration and cook in a pullman pan.


You have some very interesting information I need to digest. Never heard of L/P and have never seen this posted anywhere even at the mills. I am going to save your post and go back through my notes, I’ll probably have some questions for you.

I have attributed my MANY sourdough failures to over kneading and over fermenting resulting in the enzyme attacks that turn the dough into goo. As I am still on this learning curve I appreciate your information. I have difficulty myself with sourdough although I did make one this weekend that did not look very good but tasted great.

I tried Einkorn and rye and failed miserably. Most of my issues with all bakes though come from in-experience in when to stop the kneading and fermentation. My weekly bake now is roughly a 50/50 blend of Organic White and Hazlet Rye. I autolyse the white with salt overnight and the balance is rye including the starter. It comes out great as a sandwich or free standing. I did try different combos of the rye and others but the white and procedure I have for it works well and it was nothing more than trial and error over a year not knowing anything else.

Thanks for your time in adding to the discussion on these grains.



Feel free to ask away. I wish there had been someone for me to ask 13 years ago! Bulk fermentation is easy only after you know some basic facts. However, it took me years to learn them. It’s all in the math for the Total Hydration needed for the various kinds of flour as well as using a 100% hydration sourdough starter.

Here goes:

  1. The type of flour determines the level of Total Hydration (TH). Refined flour needs only about 50%-60% TH. Low extraction flour requires 60%-70% TH. High Extraction (or a blend of low extraction/refined flour with whole grain) requires 70%-80% TH. Finally, whole grain flour requires 80%-90% TH. The secret is in knowing HOW to determine TH within the range needed for the type of flour you are using.

  2. To determine TH, first determine how much flour you need. I use Baker’s Percentage. To explain this principle, I use 1000grams.) If I have whole grain wheat flour (kind does not matter), my TH must be 80%-90%. The kind of flour determines the actual hydration in this range. (The level of TH that suits your needs comes from experimentation). Kamut requires MORE hydration which is absorbed quickly. Therefore, the TH of Kamut will be closer to 90%. Einkorn requires LESS TH but more time to absorb it. Therefore, Einkorn will need only about 80% TH. [My greatest shock came in learning that whole grain rye performed best with a TH of 108%!!!]

  3. The shortest fermentation time MUST be 4-5 hours for complete fermentation. (It can be less if you don’t want complete fermentation). This time begins when the starter is added to the water and flour. I use a specific formula. It is all in the math. Once I figured this out, I have never had a failure. To explain the formula, I will use 1000g flour. (The flour is always 100%.)

1000 grams Einkorn Flour at 81% TH = 1000 x .81 = 810 grams of liquid.

This hydration % will be the same regardless of whether I do a short or long fermentation when I use whole grain Einkorn flour. The TH drops to 72% (720 gr) when I use Einkorn AP (high extraction) flour.

For complete fermentation in the shortest time (4-6 hrs), divide the TH (810 gr) by 3. (It would take too long in this post to explain the ‘3’. Simply trust me for now. This will give me 270 grams. Now comes the potentially confusing part. If you always keep your starter at 100% hydration, it is easy. 1/2 of my starter is always water. The other 1/2 is flour. In this formula, 1/3 of the TH (810 grams) or 270 grams…MUST COME from my starter. Therefore my starter must be 270 x 2 or 540 grams. (Remember, 1/2 of my starter is water. The other 1/2 is flour.) That is a lot of starter but it is what is needed! I then subtract my starter hydration (270 gr) from the total (810 - 270 = 540) and the remaining 540 grams is added water. Let me put this into a Baker’s % formula…

100% Flour: Einkorn: 1000 grams @ 81% TH = 810 grams Hydration (810/3= 270 gr starter hydration)
54% Starter: 540 grams ripe starter (270 x 2) [The 54% is 540/1000 = 54%]
54% Liquid: 540 grams (810 total - 270 starter hydration = 540 g)
1% Salt: 10 grams (1% of 1000)…I use less salt with Einkorn since it is resistant to stretch

If I had used AP Einkorn, my TH would have been only 72%.

100% Flour; 1000g @ 72% TH = 720 grams 720/3 = 240gr
48% Starter: 480 gr. (240 x 2+ 480 gr starter)
48% Liquid: 480 gr. (720 TH - 240 starter hydration = 480)
1% salt: 10 gr

Once you have mixed all the ingredients, don’t bother stretching and folding as this is Einkorn. Once all ingredients are fully incorporated, cover and let dough ferment for about 1 hour then fold (in bowl) to insure all flour is well hydrated. (The actual degree of stickiness will be determined by the % of TH used. I suggest 81% to start.) Allow to ferment for another 2 hours. Remove from bowl and shape only sufficiently to put in container in which the dough will be baked. The container should be well greased. For cast iron, I have found that palm shortening seems to work the best. However, whatever container you use, it must be well greased. You can also put the ‘shaped’ dough on parchment paper and then put the parchment paper in the container. For a boule, I use a 4 qt dutch oven (for 1000 grams).

This next part is CRITICAL. You must allow the dough time to finish fermenting. This will take approximately 1.5 hours. You will know it is completely fermented when you see open holes on the top of the loaf. When you see about 10 open holes on the top, put in a pre-heated 500 degree F oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and heat for ~ 45 minutes. If you want an ‘oven spring’, you must put the loaf in the oven as soon as you see only 1-2 holes in the top. This would be about 45 min. From the time you see the first hole until you see 10-15 is only about 10 minutes! The C02 will break through very rapidly once fermentation is ending. Therefore, you must watch this last stage very closely till you have done several loaves. Once fully fermented, Einkorn ‘drops’ and becomes a gluten glob very quickly! Remember, its L/P is 1.05…This means it resists stretching! It is like a thick rubber band. There is a limit to how much you can stretch it and, once released (exit all C02), the band snaps back quickly. The goal is to bake the dough just before the C02 escapes!

Once the bread is baked, cook for at least 6 hours before slicing. I prefer to wait 12 hours.

If you want a long fermentation (more than 6 hours), you will need to decrease inoculation. At 10% inoculation (100 grams starter for 1000g flour), complete fermentation takes about 9 hours. The TH, however remains the same…80% - 90%. A long fermentation will be written as follows:

100%: Flour: 1000 gr @ 81% = 810 gr TH (Do Not divide by 3 for long fermentation.)
10%: Starter: 100 grams (1/2 of starter = 50 grams…starter hydration)
76%: Liquid: 760 grams (810 TH - 50 grams starter Hydration)
1%: Salt: 10 grams

PLEASE NOTICE: In the short fermentation, added liquid is only 54% but in the long fermentation, the added liquid is 76% !!! If one does not take into consideration the amount of liquid in the starter, the amount of hydration will either be too low or too high. Very few sourdough recipes tell you whether or not the hydration of the starter has been taken into account. If the one writing the recipe does not state whether or not the hydration of the starter was included in the TH, you can end up adding too much or too little liquid. That is why I stopped using recipes!

If you have any questions, please ask as it took me time to master this. I never deviate from this formula as the results are always spectacular. If I experiment, it is only with the hydration (within the given range).

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Hello SilverTwist-Mary, Dennis, Abe, Liz, & Melissa!
Thank you all for your comprehensive posts and sharing fully detailed info; I get the gist, but many of the specifics are a lot to digest for me at this point, as I’m somewhat new to breadmaking and particularly with Einkorn flour. Anyway, here’s my recent extremely experimental bake; my intent was to make it as simple as possible and to sub Einkorn for 1/3 of the flour in a basic NK recipe:

360g flour (I used 240g bread flour + 120g Einkorn)
355g water
1/4 tsp yeast
1-1/2 tsp salt

15hour long fermentation in bowl
2hour proof rise in parchment-lined oval clay cooker
30min baked in covered clay cooker; then when I uncovered it, realized I had forgotten to slash the top, also the bread top was completely blond, i.e. had not browned at all; proceeded to commit what I think is a breadmaking crime and gave the top a couple scissor snips, replaced lid for10min more which apparently helped to brown the top (perhaps from released steam??); then baked 10min more w/o lid; then yanked it out of the oven. It did not rise much as you can see in photos, BUT the aroma was mesmerizing, sort of buttery-ish and a hint of somewhat nutty sweetness…not sure how to describe it! The flavor is deliciously unique, and I definitely want to make this again…altho, want to refine proportions and/or timing/process in order to get more rise.

Any suggestions from any of you seasoned breadmakers?
Thanks in advance for any guidance! ~ Patricia

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Hi Patricia,

Isn’t Einkorn a lovely grain. Has wonderful flavour even if it is a bit challenging to handle. You’ve managed to get a nice crumb there even with 1/3rd Einkorn, which isn’t easy!

I’ve done 100% Einkorn where 70% hydration is good. I’ve also done 10% Einkorn where it imparts a good amount of flavour all the while doesn’t alter the structure of dough. So you get the benefit of the flavour without compromise of the recipe. You’ve gone 33% and very high hydration. I’ve not done it in those proportions before but I’d probably have kept it at 70% hydration as that is also nice hydration for bread flour and since your recipe is a mix of bread and Einkorn flours it sounds about right to keep it at that percentage which would have made it 252g water.

I bake more with sourdough starter so for me to advise you about yeast and how long for the ferment will be a bit more difficult. But when I do use yeast I go for a small percentage and give it all the time it needs by watching the dough and not the clock. Which is the golden rule for all bread baking. How about 1% for fresh yeast and 1/3rd if that for dried and giving it 12+ hours until its ready. So with all that in mind and keeping your 1/3rd Einkorn how about the following?..

  • 420g flour (280g bread flour + 140g Einkorn flour)
  • 294g water
  • 1.4g dried yeast
  • 7.5g salt

This gives you almost the same weight of dough in your recipe. The flour proportions are the same. Final hydration is 70%. The yeast amount should give you a long ferment. Start in the evening so you can watch it come the next day and proceed when ready.

Sound good?

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First, your bread is fine in that it is fully fermented. The loaf shows holes throughout…all the way to the edges (crust). However, there are several things you might want to know. L/P is a term used to describe the ratio of gliaden: glutenen. Gliadin impacts extension (stretchiness) and glutenen impacts resistance (poor stretchiness). I like to create mental visuals. The ideal L/P in bread making is 0.5-0.6. Put in visual terms, when making bread, an L/P of 0.5 or 0.6 will give you a pair of socks that will stay up all day without your feeling any tightness. Those bread made with an L/P less than 0.5 will be ‘slouchy’ on your feet. That is, they will keep falling down…able to stretch but not retract. The lower the L/P, the slouchier the socks. A bread make with an L/P greater than 0.6 will have more resistant…approaching compression socks. That is, they will be tighter. Einkorn has an L/P of 1.05!!! It is like a pair of socks made with spandex!
(BTW…AP Einkorn is considered a High Extraction flour so would probably have an L/P closer to 0.9 or 1.0.) To put the L/P of your loaf into the fray…Let us assume (not a good idea but will give the info needed) that your Bread Flour had an L/P of 0.6 and your Einkorn had an L/P of 1.0 (assuming you used AP Einkorn). 0.6 + 1.0 = 1.6/2 = 0.8. This means your end loaf will have a tight crumb (resistance) causing the loaf to be denser. Another example, I blend whole grain Einkorn with whole grain sonoran. The L/P of whole grain Einkorn is 1.05. While I do not know the L/P of sonoran, I know it is considered a ‘cake flour’ but can make a boule. Therefore, I am saying it is probably about 0.4. Now for the math…1.05 + 0.4 = 1.09/2 = 0.7. While a loaf of 100% whole grain Einkorn will give me a ‘resistant’ (denser crumb) and a loaf of 100% sonoran will give me a loaf that is too extensive (naturally more open and lighter crumb), the combo gives me a loaf that is very close to a 0.6…the perfect loaf of bread by modern standards. Note that by combining Einkorn with a bread flour, my dough remains fairly resistant (dense with more lightness than just Einkorn). By combining it will a flour more comparable to a ‘cake’ flour, I have ‘created’ a more balanced gliadin: glutenen ration. Now, I realize that this is very complicated but it should help you to understand that combining flours with out knowing the nature of each (when made alone) can create problems difficult to understand/correct. For this reason, I learned how to make good loaf of whole grain Einkorn and then a good loaf of Sonoran before I attempted to blend them. In other words, I knew the strengths and weaknesses of both Einkorn and Sonoran before deciding to blend them. Even if you do not know the L/P of a flour, if you keep making bread from that flour until you really understand ‘what makes it tick’, and then do the same with a 2nd flour, you will know whether or not they will, if combined, make a good blend! I experimented with 100% rye and 100% Einkorn. While I got acceptable results, I could not get the results I wanted. Therefore, I studied and experimented with whole grain rye flour. I was unable to learn its L/P. However, I did learn that 100% rye was usually very dense (even denser than Einkorn). It could not be stretched at all. (At least Einkorn could handle one stretch.) Then I watched videos and learned that southern Germany use the combo 2/3 wheat flour : 1/3 rye flour to make a lighter loaf of ‘pumpernickle’ bread. Central Germany used a 50/50 combo of wheat:rye and got a denser ‘pumpernickle’ bread. Finally, north of Central Germany (Russia), used 100% rye (as little wheat grows there. That bread is very dense. I concluded that Rye has a higher L/P than Einkorn. While they can be blended, expect a dense crumb as neither Einkorn nor Rye has much extensibility!


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Mary, thanks so much for the extensive information; food science is fascinating and I’m enjoying researching various flours and their characteristics. Abe (in this thread) also sent a suggestion for proportions still using bread flour & Einkorn AP flour as in my first loaf, yet reduced water, so I will try that next and hope to post a loftier loaf later this week. Again thanks for the info; I look forward to reading more in depth about this L/P of which you speak! :slight_smile: And as you mentioned getting very successful bakes using the L/P ratios & flour math, I’m intrigued and want to learn more about estimating the balance of flour behavior.

Hello Mary,…so I just did a quick internet search on the L/P you mentioned which I believe is the same as P/L referred to in this doc from The Artisan (upper middle of page, just after “Table IX”). Also, this page provides (lower middle, just after “Table X”) link to Cooks Natural Products/Organic Grains & Specialty Flours…very helpful info: “how they present their wheat and flour information. It includes, Alveograph and Farinograph data, the Falling Number, Ash content, etc”…most of this is too scientific and maybe not useful to me, but the P/L Ratio as you noted IS very interesting. Wondering…does a chart exist with various flour types and their respective P/L ratios?



Hello Abe,
Sorry for this delayed reply. Thanks so much for your post, guidance, and Einkorn recipe; I will try it soon. Last week, I experimented again and made a loaf using a typical NK-method (well, almost…actually did some folds before shaping) and used the typical NK ratio of 3C flour:1-1/2C water, although reduced water by 2Tbls for the Einkorn. I used 1C each of Bread flour, White Whole Wheat flour, and Einkorn flour. Anyway, first long ferment lasted about 13hours at 70d F (top of dough dried out even tho it was covered with wet towel); made some folds and shaped into oblong loaf for second proof rise 1-1/2hours at 70d F; then baked in covered clay vessel 30min + uncovered for addtl 10min until 205d F interior temp and browned crust. Not sure why, but the loaf was somewhat soft and the outer shell did not harden to hollow sound; perhaps still too much water and/or needed a bit longer in the oven…regardless, it tasted lovely! Really like this blend of flours and will try again, but maybe reduce water a tad more. Fyi, the proportions above…my intent was aiming for 70% hydration just for the 1C Einkorn since there were 2C of flour that I figured need the full 1/2C of water proportion. I gladly welcome and appreciate any input.

I look forward to trying your suggested recipe proportions!

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That is a lovely loaf. And what a nice combo. 1 cup white wholewheat flour, 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup einkorn. Is your einkorn wholegrain too?

From the crumb perhaps a bit longer for the bulk ferment. But then again it’s a high percentage wholegrain loaf and has einkorn in it to-boot so perhaps that is a perfect crumb.

I think slightly up the dried yeast to 1/3rd of a teaspoon. And leave the dough till it’s billowy and has a good matrix of bubbles. But then again show anyone a loaf , ask what can be improved, then there will be always something to nitpick. It really is a nice loaf. What does it taste like?

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Jovial brand 100% organic Einkorn AP flour (80% whole grain); pkg states that a small part of germ&bran are removed to protect freshness (I also keep flour/nuts in the freezer to lengthen shelf life). The pkg also displays an enticing pizza crust recipe, so that’s on my radar!

Not sure how to describe the bread flavor, but it’s very tasty:) I have noticed with all three Einkorn-blend loaves that I made in recent weeks the Einkorn adds a “buttery-ness” to the feel and flavor…but I don’t mean real butter…more-so supple and no bitterness, just mellow and smooth.

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