The first of September is just one week away, and my social media feed is already buzzing with talk of pumpkin baked goods and cozy soups. I’ve even read a few status updates that mention cooler weather.
I haven’t embraced a can of pumpkin just yet, and the temperatures in Florida are still close to 100 degrees. But I’m all for thinking about cooler weather foods, like cozy soups, warm yeast bread, and a chai latte. Then again, I don’t think I ever stopped enjoying cooler weather foods. September just means that it’s safe to talk about them in public, right?!
As the weather begins to cool down (and we Floridians lower the temperature of our air conditioning systems to pretend), there’s no better time to make a loaf of homemade bread.
I must stop here and tell you: I don’t make yeast bread very often. In fact, 99% of the time, I purchase bread from a local market in our area. The market bakes and sells this incredible sourdough bread, which is perfect for toast and sandwiches. Just recently, I attended a sourdough class and “birthed” my first successful sourdough starter (see the photo, here), so hopefully with lots of practice and patience, I’ll be able to make amazing sourdough bread in the future, too. In the meantime, I purchase bread from the market.
In the fall, when soup graces our table far more often than it did during the summer grilling season, and the kids are in school during the day (which means a few quiet hours during the day to work and think), I’ll sometimes whisk together a few simple ingredients to make a loaf of homemade bread to have with dinner.
There’s nothing, in the kitchen, like the smell and gratification that comes from mixing together the ingredients to make a yeast bread, watching the sticky dough magically double in size, and then breathe in the aroma of the bread baking in the oven.
And when I actually take the time to make a homemade loaf of bread, the slices are usually gone within a few hours, leaving just a couple of slices left to enjoy (and fight over ;)) with an evening soup. When I remember to sneak some of the homemade bread out of sight before school pickup, the thick slices are used to make the best French toast on Saturday morning. There’s just something incredible about thick-sliced French toast that’s made from soft homemade bread!
As you’ve probably guessed, today’s recipe is for homemade bread. A couple of years ago, I shared a whole wheat bread recipe and crusty bread recipe, both of which have become reader favorites. Today’s recipe is a whole grain-based bread, but it doesn’t call for whole wheat flour; rather, this recipe is made from einkorn flour.
If you’ve been around Live Simply for a while, you may already know about einkorn flour. If you’re new to Live Simply, or just need a refresher, let’s chat for just a second about this special flour, and why it makes such great homemade bread.
What is Einkorn Flour?
Einkorn is known as the oldest variety of wheat making it an “ancient” grain. The ancient grain is believed to have originated in the Tigris-Euphrates region and is possibly the main grain referenced in the earliest accounts of the Bible. To put it simply, einkorn is the wheat men were eating in the earliest days before modern-day wheat varieties. While modern wheat has undergone hybridization, einkorn still holds true to its original properties. Einkorn is slowly gaining popularity, but is still grown in only a few regions in Europe.
The sweet, ancient grain has a lighter texture and taste than modern-day wheat, and contains a more favorable gluten ratio. People with minor gluten sensitives may be able to consume einkorn without the issues associated with whole wheat due the lack of D-genome, however, einkorn is not gluten-free. Einkorn is packed with nutrition, containing high levels of protein along with the antioxidant beta-carotene lutein and minerals.
Einkorn looks and tastes similar to white flour, so it’s the perfect healthy flour to use when making soft, fluffy bread. Einkorn is sold in some health food stores and online.
Today’s recipe uses just four simple ingredients to make a soft and sweet homemade bread that’s delicious to serve with butter and soup, or turn into French toast. I personally find that this bread is a bit too soft for sandwiches, although I may be biased since I prefer my sandwiches to made with dense sourdough bread. If you’d like to try to make this bread for sandwiches, you may want to reduce the honey to only 2 tablespoons. This may also mean upping the flour amount by just a tablespoon or two.
Happy soon-to-be fall, and happy baking!
How to Make Einkorn Bread
- 1 cup water room temperature, 230 g
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey 80 g
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil 20 g
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour See “Ingredient Notes” for using whole wheat einkorn flour or freshly-milled einkorn flour., 440 g, where to buy
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the active dry yeast over the water. Let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. You’ll notice that the yeast begins to foam and sink.
- Whisk in the honey, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon just until it becomes too hard to stir the mixture with a spoon. Your hands will get messy for this next part, that’s just part of the bread-making process.
- Use your fingertips to bring the rest of the flour into the dough mixture. This may require gently kneading the dough a couple of times. Einkorn doesn’t like to be messed with, so do not overwork the dough. Stop “kneading” once the flour has been combined with the wet ingredients. The dough will probably feel and look sticky. That’s okay! Einkorn slowly absorbs liquid ingredients, so as it rests, it will absorb more of the liquids.
- Cover the dough with a towel, and let it rest and double in size for about an hour. I’ve let my dough rest for an entire afternoon without issue. The goal here is at least an hour resting time. Keep in mind that if your home is very humid and hot, the dough may get stickier.
- Once the dough has doubled in size (about an hour), coat your hands with a bit of flour (this is optional, but it makes working with the dough easier), and form the dough into a loaf. I simply grab the dough, and shape it into a loaf. Einkorn is a bit sticky to roll out. If your dough is too sticky to handle, add just a couple of tablespoons of flour to the dough (until you reach a workable consistency), but remember not to overwork the dough while adding the flour.
- Place the loaf in a standard-size bread pan that’s been greased or lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375F. Cover the bread with a towel, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. The bread will again begin to rise and double in size. After 30 minutes, place the bread (with the towel removed) in the oven (preferably in the center of your oven), and bake for about 35 minutes. I’ve had to go as long as 40 minutes in the past, due to opening the oven door a couple of times while baking. The bread should have a golden crust and should have (imperfect) “lifted” sides.
- I know it’s tempting to eat the bread fresh from the oven, but it’s best to allow the bread to cool to room temperature before slicing.
If you’d like a “richer” loaf, try using whole milk and butter instead of the water and oil.
This recipe needs to be made with all-purpose einkorn flour. If you’re using whole wheat einkorn flour (either Jovial brand or freshly milled flour), you’ll need a different flour amount. You could use this recipe as a base (the liquid ingredients), and add whole wheat einkorn flour until you reach the ideal dough consistency.
I have made this recipe several times and I absolutely love it! I’m visiting my family in Colorado right now and I want to make it for them but Colorado is high altitude. Is there anything I need to change for the recipe to make it in high altitude? Thank you!
Hey Ashley, I apologize for my delayed response. I’m so glad you like the bread recipe. I don’t have any experience with high altitude baking. My thinking is the same “rules” that apply to bread making in high altitude places would also apply to this recipe.
I love the texture of this bread.
I followed your recipe exactly the first time I made it and thought it was a lot of honey but as this was my first time cooking with Einkorn I did it anyway.
After tasting it I remembered that Americans like their bread to be sweet!
It was more like eating a yeast-flavored cake! haha.
It took a while to get through but when that was finished I made some more with 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of oil (My liver wants me to be fat-free).
This is much more like bread to the British palate.
So I’m making another batch today but doubling the qualities.
Thank you for sharing, Patricia. I’m glad you’re loving the bread and love the modifications you made.
I have a question: in your video to start making the bread you use some electric contraption under the bowl with water and yeast, where you add the flour, and then latter you remove it. Would you tell me what it it, please.
Hey Basia, It’s a food scale to weigh the flour and other ingredients.
I am using the whole wheat, which you mention to read the ingredient notes to create a loaf with this.
Do I start with the same measurements as the all purpose, and then add more until the right consistency? Or do you mean to add flour a little bit after another?
What’s a good “starting amount”?????
Or do you have a recommendation on how much to use??
Hey Kaitlynd, I would start with the grams recommended in the recipe, see how the dough feels and increase as needed.
When you say to use a standard bread loaf pan, do you recommend 8 ½ x 4 ½ size or 9 x 5? Thanks!
Hey Debbie, I use a 9×5, but either one will work.
I’ve baked this bread several times. I love it. The first “test” loaf came out delicious-tasting, but had a slightly ‘wrong’ texture. I determined I had not let it rise enough. I now let my dough rise in a bowl with a large towel wrapped around it, with a small heater in the room or near a sunny window, high up, like on top of the fridge.
I also let the first rise go as long as 4 hours a few times. I would not let it rise for less than 2 hours. Then I GENTLY deflate it (I don’t over-handle the dough), shape into a loaf and let it rest, covered, in a warm place for a minimum of an hour and a half – yep – before it goes in the oven.
So it’s kind of an all-day thing. I find the extra rise time allows it to rest more and adds to the flavor. ALSO: I add as little extra flour as possible. I think I even cut back a bit on the flour in the recipe. “Less is more” I discovered, in terms of adding flour.
I added just enough so that it didn’t entirely stick to my hands when handling, and I resisted the temptation to keep adding flour. This also produced a lighter, softer loaf. I’m crazy about this bread now, as I am sensitive to hybridized wheat.
Hey FB, I love that you experimented with this recipe and found what works well for you! Thank you so much for sharing.
We are originally from Oregon and Washington and visitors to California (sourdough San Francisco!) . A bit over two years ago we moved to St Petersburg, Florida. My husband is so disappointed in everything I brought home labeled sourdough bread. It is so wimpy and weak in flavor! So much so that when the grandbaby was born in Idaho and I lived with the kids for a month I packed my return suitcases (yes you read that right, paid for an extra suitcase!) with 4 normal size loaves and two small ones of the sourdough that WinCo bakeries produce! We’ve been told that it’s because of the hot weather here that stores can’t produce sourdough bread that actually tastes sour, but you said you bought it at a particular store that you did not name. Would you mind telling me the name of that store so we can check it out if it’s in our area? Yes I know I could try my hand at making starter and doing this bread but I’ve just come out of 4 months of bad back problems and I can only stand about 20 minutes at a time and dealing with baking bread is not where my energy should be expended right now. Thank you so much for answering this whenever you get time. God bless you and have a great week!
Hey Harriet, That’s common–sourdough will taste different in each part of the country as the bacteria in that area, climate, etc. all are factors into the taste and density of the bread. I get my sourdough from Gulfcoast Sourdough. They have a shop in Tampa and also sell weekly at the Saturday Morning Market in Downtown St. Pete.
This is a great recipe. I grind the Einkorn to make flour and have been using buckwheat honey. My dough has never doubled in size, but I live at 4,500 feet in a dry climate and it’s fairly cold in my house…mid 60’s. Someone suggested using less water while keeping the flour measurements as called for to improve the rise when using whole einkorn.
Great tips, thank you for sharing!! So glad you like the recipe, Dolores.
I have an odd question: do you think the dough would hold up if it was put on a plain old cookie sheet?
College student without a bread pan
Hey Hannah, It might, or maybe try making rolls with the loaf.
Kristin, I can’t thank you enough for this straight-forward and easy to follow recipe…I’ve made it once, and my loaf was absolutely delicious!
Only change I made was to cut the honey in half and added 1 extra tablespoon of flour; exactly as you recommended. My husband and kids almost finished the entire loaf as soon as the bread came out the oven! No more searching for Einkorn sandwich bread recipes; this is my new go-to.
That’s awesome! So glad your family enjoyed it.
Hi! I’m new to einkorn flour- do you think I could make this in a bread maker?
Hey Karen, The only issue you may have with the bread maker is it tends to over-knead the bread. If you can adjust the kneading time and keep it very short, then I think it’s possible.