Einkorn Grain & Flour
By the 8th Century, Einkorn, Rye, Barley and Oats were the main cereal foods found in England. However, the improvements in grain storage methods, the difficulty of threshing Einkorn (to release the grain) and greater yields of traditional naked wheat eventually led to its demise.
According to research conducted on heritage cereals by the Agronomy Institute in Orkney, Einkorn is the oldest type of wheat and has been found on sites of the Fertile Crescent. Together with other ancient wheat types, Emmer and Spelt, these were once one of the most popular types of wheat grown in the UK.
The Einkorn crop grows tall in the field, with an unusual, short, flat, two-row seed head which encloses small wheat like grains encased in inedible husk. Einkorn thrives in poor soil and in adverse weather conditions, typically found in Britain.
When harvested the small seeds are enclosed in an inedible outer husk which must be removed prior to milling or cooking. Einkorn can be eaten as a grain, porridge or milled into a golden flour which is soft in texture and excellent for making rustic breads or artisan cakes with a distinctive nutty flavour. The grain has delicious and complex flavours, as well as presenting various nutritional benefits to the consumer such as higher levels of protein and antioxidants than regular wheat. There is evidence that the protein of einkorn may not be as toxic to sufferers of coeliac disease and may in the future, with further research, be recommended in a gluten-free diet.
Its production completely disappeared in the UK until 2008 when Doves Farm began a collaborative project with a small group of organic farmers to re-establish the production of Einkorn, using seed provided by an Agricultural Research Institute.
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