Until recently I’d never actually known anyone who had a severe gluten allergy.  Most people who are “gluten free” simply feel better avoiding bread products.  That makes sense to me, cutting out cookies is likely to give you a boost in your general well-being.  My young cousin has digestive issues, and her mother tried everything.  Nothing worked until they cut out gluten.  She recently had a relape after trying a new type of tea, and everyone was befuddled until they learned that tea bags can be sealed with gluten as a food safe glue.  Talk about a real test!  She had no idea that there was gluten in the tea, yet she reacted to that blind test with the allergy.  So interesting!

Still though, no one seems to know what causes gluten sensitivity.  Is it how the wheat has been selectively bred?  Is it the chemicals now sprayed on the crop to dry them before harvest?  Is it some other contaminant?

Carla Bartolucci, the author of “Einkorn: Recipes for Natures Original Wheat” believes it’s the selective breeding, and gets around that by going back to the source.  Though there are many old style wheats around includin emmer, spelt and durum, einkorn is according to Carla the only wheat strain to have never been hybridized.

The author takes her reader though her own personal story trying to find a way around her daughters gluten sensitivity, which she later after experimentation found to be simply a commercial wheat sensitivity.  Einkorn still contains gluten, but she believes without all the extra tampering in human hands it is the one gluten containing grain that may be an option for those with gluten senstivity.

She takes you through the ins and outs of baking with einkorn, and how it differs from cooking with regular all purpose white flour.  For example, “Einkorn absorbs fats slowly, so dough that includes fat might seem a bit dry at first, but will soften up as the flour has had time to absorb the fat.”  She warns against overmixing, and gives tips for how to create a good crumb in soft fluffy baked goods such as muffins.

Beyond the technical aspects of cooking with Einkorn, she also includes dozens of tasty recipes for breads, pastries and main courses.  All in all I found the book to be an excellent resource and introductory manual for cooking with a novel grain.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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