German for “single grain,” einkorn is considered to be the oldest form of cultivated wheat. While researching ways to alleviate her daughter’s life-altering food allergies, Carla Bartolucci discovered this ancient, unadulterated grain and began working with it to cook a multitude of foods in hopes that her daughter could not only endure, but also enjoy her food. It worked. Without years of hybridization genetic modifications, einkorn has stayed virtually the same. Though it provides lower yields and more work than other grains, it’s heartier and healthier.
In Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat, Carla first provides her family’s background, what lead her to einkorn, and a brief history and explanation of the grain, comparing and contrasting it to others, as well as the differences in how einkorn is to be worked with in the kitchen. She then provides ninety-five detailed and easy to understand recipes from simple breads to desserts to empanadas! Most recipes are accompanied by some incredible photography by Clay McLachlan, which may just inspire you to cook long before looking over a recipe! The form of the book is just as beautiful as its intended function.
I only have two complaints about the book, and they are minor. First, Carla uses some baking terminology at the beginning of the book without explaining them. For those who are brand new, they’ll need to look these up elsewhere; however, I doubt this is a book people will rush to who have never worked with bread before, so this may be a moot point. I do think, however, that books like this could and should be those first, go-to books, which is why I would like to see some things further explained for the complete beginner. Second, it would have been helpful to have an estimated timeframe from start to finish for each recipe somewhere below the name and list of ingredients. As it is, one really does need to read each recipe to figure out which foods make sense with one’s schedule and preferences.
As it is, this functions as both a great cookbook and a coffee table / conversation starting book. Kudos to Carla for introducing many of us to einkorn; I look forward to working with it myself!
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.