Einkorn Wheat

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Einkorn wheat, T. monococcum, was rediscovered in the early 1970s in the Vaucluse region of France and the southern Alps, where it was being grown to make a local porridge. It was probably the first wheat to be cultivated, around 10,000 years ago. It grows best in cool conditions, tends to be rich in yellow carotenoid pigments and is high in protein. However, where the proportions of elastic glutenin and flowing gliadin are 1 to 1 in bread wheat, in einkorn they’re 1 to 2. The result is a sticky, fluid gluten that’s unsuited to breadmaking.