By Carla Bartolucci
Photographs by Clay McLaclan
Published by Clarkson Potter
227 Pages

Back Cover: Discover the ancient grain with tremendous flavor that is a true gift for many who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

The only wheat in existence that has never been hybridized or modified, einkorn grew thousands of years ago in the Fertile Crescent. Carla Bartolucci came across it when searching for an alternative grain for her daughter Giulia, who was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in 2008. Einkorn has remained unaltered for thousands of years, which allows many, including Giulia—who suffered from mood swings, asthma, and digestive problems—to eat wheat without symptoms. Amazed by her daughter’s health transformation, Carla became a champion of this little-known, nutrient-packed grain.

Einkorn shares 100 delicious recipes for working with the grain and its flour in a wide variety of flavorful dishes, such as Yogurt Blueberry Muffins, Spinach Lasagna Bolognese, Neapolitan Pizza Margherita, and Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies—as well as sourdough and yeasted breads like Classic French Boule and buttery Sweet Potato Rolls. This book also explores einkorn’s history, unique genetics, and superior nutrient content, while sharing Carla’s tips for using it to its full baking and cooking potential.

With eighty-five beautiful color photographs, Einkorn will introduce home cooks to a delicious ancient grain that can transform the way they eat for the better by adding more nutrition and flavor to the foods they love.

REVIEW: This is a beautiful paperback cook book I can’t wait to dig into. The author says, “This book is a celebration of our return to real food, to better health, and to eating foods that are naturally delicious and good for you.”

This husband and wife team were passionate about the family’s food heritage and became very concerned when their two year old daughter Giulia became intolerant to dairy and eggs. Later on when her condition grew more severe they began taking a closer look at her diet. They soon learned that their daughter was sensitive to gluten but didn’t have Celiac disease but was seriously sick.

I appreciated the author sharing their journey in discovering what foods were making their daughter ill. Because of their passion for food, family and farming they moved back to Italy to be close to their fields. In their travels they discovered an ancient grain that had not been hybridized. They tested and researched this grain. After finding out all the great qualities in the wheat they wondered why they had never heard of it before. The author states, “In part because there were only a few hundred acres of Einkorn being grown worldwide and the grain was on the threshold of extinction – which, not surprising, made the relic grain hard to find. Einkorn’s yields are very low , and it is not the easiest wheat to grow or mill; it has a husk that must be removed before milling, which reduces the already low harvest by 40%, meaning the yield is just one fifth that of today’s wheat. Yet the way Einkorn grows the way wheat is supposed to grow, and as parents, we felt strongly that this was the type of wheat our daughter was meant to eat…After witnessing our daughters dramatic improvement, my husband and I knew we had to make Einkorn available to others….I gratefully accepted this as my life’s mission.”

I loved reading about their mission and see how passionate they are about this flour and making incredible food from it. This book is amazing. I wish it had a scratch and sniff feature because I felt like I walked into a remarkable bakery as I looked at all the incredible pictures of the recipes inside. There are wonderful step by step pictures which made me feel as if I was alongside the master chef at work.

The book starts out with the family’s testimony followed by the history of wild Einkorn informing readers about the evolution of the wheat we use today. They also show a protein chart comparing Einkorn to other grains and why Einkorn’s gluten is different. Since I have a sensitivity to gluten I found this fascinating. They talk about how to work with Einkorn flour. It’s a little bit different than working with regular flours. Again all very helpful and interesting.

This author kicks off the recipes with an Einkorn Sourdough Starter recipe. She talks about how to begin the starter and feed it and finish the starter over a 6 – 10 day period. The step by step pictures are helpful and the instructions are easy to follow. Then she goes to Yeast Levain bread. Again step by step pictures show what the dough should look like and how to knead it. There are directions for you if you use your oven and those for if you should want to put your dough in your bread machine.

The author goes on to talk about sprouted Einkorn wheat berries, what they are and how to cook with them. Then the first section titled Breads and Crackers. There are 30 recipes in this section. I want to make them all. There is the no-knead overnight Artisan Loaf, French Baguettes, Kefir Sourdough Bread, Classic Sandwich loaf, Raisin and Walnut Miche, Focaccia Genovese, Semi[Whole Grain Kaiser Rolls, Einkorn Corn Bread, Bagels, Hamburger and Hotdog rolls, and Sea Salt Crackers I’d love to try.

The next section is titled, Quick Breads and Breakfasts. There are 16 recipes in this section. The ones that I’d like to try first are Bacon & Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits; Whole Grain Caramelized Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread, Whole Grain Einkorn Pancakes, Golden Buttermilk Pancakes, and Slow-Fermented Begian Waffles.

Next is the section titled Cookies and Cakes, there are 14 recipes in all. The ones that looked yummy to me and want to try first are Goodness Graham Crackers, “Oatmeal” – Flax Sultanas cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies’ Olive Oil and Wine cookies, Classic Carrot Cake, Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting. Still more amazing desserts are under the section titled Pies, Tarts, Pastries and Pudding. There are 11 mouthwatering recipes in this section. Some I’d like to try are Lemon Cream Tart, Slow-Rise Sticky Cinnamon Buns, Classic Apple Pie and Italian Cream Puffs.

Next section is Pizza, Pasta and Savory Main Dishes. There are 12 recipes in this amazing section. I was raised in an Italian home and have stopped eating many of these dishes because of my gluten sensitivity. It will be excited to eat many items in this section again such as Neapolitan Pizza, New York – Style Pizza, Spinach Lasagna Bolognese, Butternut Squash Gnocchi and tomato sauce, Roasted Root Vegetable and Chicken Country-style pie; Cod and Salmon Burgers.

The last section is titled Street Food. There are 13 recipes in it. I want to try everyone. But the first on the list are Sprouted Veggie Burgers, Korean Dumplings, Refried Bean Chimichangas, Crepes, Soft German Pretzels and Churros. Ok, now I’m hungry.

In their search to find a cure for their daughter’s health issues this family discovered Einkorn, an ancient grain. In order to bring this flour to the rest of the world they started a company named Jovial. It’s a company devoted to Einkorn and gluten-free products. I’m looking forward to trying this flour and the recipes. I look forward to cooking these meals for my family. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten anything like this. I’ve checked out the prices on flour on their website and it’s reasonable. The health benefits look amazing. I hope to create some of these amazing dishes and reap the health benefits too. I’m excited. I’m ordering the flour soon and I’m hoping my body reacts as favorably as their daughters did!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the Blogging for Books site.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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