The Methow Valley is home to BlueBird Grain Farm, where Brooke and Sam Lucy raise an ancient grain called emmer. Emmer was one of the first domesticated grains and was widely cultivated in the ancient world, and like einkorn and spelt, emmer is a hulled wheat and requires milling or pounding to release the grains.
Farming 200 acres, the Lucy family takes their grain from seed to the store shelf and controls the quality through every step.
Emmer is a sweet tasty grain that is high protein and low gluten, which makes it edible for some people who don’t tolerate commercial wheat gluten very well. If you have gluten allergies, this is not gluten-free.
Bluebird Grain Farms‘ emmer gets two thumbs up from GoodFood World!
It is possible to bake bread entirely with emmer flour, but it takes a skilled hand. Because emmer is sweet, the yeast rises quickly. You might try a recipe with a single rising or watch closely so that it doesn’t over rise. To get the best “spring” during baking, start with a hot oven (450) and then reduce the temperature after 15 minutes or so.
1C Emmer Flour
1 C Whole Grain Whole Wheat
1/2C Golden Flax
2-3C Unbleached White
Note: the crust will be a nice nutty brown.
Where to buy?
Bluebird Grain Farms‘ products are widely available around the Northwest at natural food co-ops, small independent food markets, local farmers’ markets, and Bluebird Grain Farms’s online store. They also have a CSA for folks who want a regular delivery of flour, whole grain, and mixes. Great idea!