This ancient grain bun recipe is a form of bread made from ancient grains or grains that have remained largely unchanged over the last several hundred years.

Ancient Grain Bun Recipe


These ancient grains typically include spelt, millet, einkorn, barley, teff, freekeh, bulgur, sorghum, farro, Kamut, and emmer, among others. Unlike modern wheat varieties, which have been extensively bred and modified, ancient grains often offer a richer diversity of nutrition and flavors.

Many ancient grains are higher in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. They can add a depth of flavor, a variety of textures, and a certain heartiness to buns that you don’t usually find in products made from modern refined flours.

Ancient grain buns are increasingly popular in artisanal bakeries, specialty food stores, and health-conscious households, for their superior nutritional profile and their robust, unique flavors. They can be used in the same way as regular bread buns, perfect for sandwiches, burgers, or simply served on the side of a meal.

This ancient grain bun recipe represents a mix of culinary traditions, new and old. By using ancient grains, we tap into centuries of agrarian culture, drawing on the wisdom of ancient civilizations while also benefiting from modern baking techniques. This results in a product that is wholesome, delicious, and deeply satisfying. Whether you’re a seasoned bread maker or an adventurous eater, ancient grain buns offer a new way to appreciate the age-old tradition of bread making.

whole grains in piles on a board

What are ancient grains

“Ancient grains” is a term used to describe grains and pseudocereals that have remained largely unchanged for hundreds or even thousands of years. Unlike modern grains, which have been selectively bred or genetically modified to improve yield and disease resistance, ancient grains are much closer to their original state when humans first started cultivating them.

Here are some examples of ancient grains:

  1. Amaranth: Amaranth was a staple food of the Aztecs and has been cultivated for thousands of years. It’s a good source of protein, fiber, and micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
  2. Teff: Native to Ethiopia, teff is a tiny grain rich in protein, fiber, and a range of essential nutrients including manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, a nutrient not commonly found in grains.
  3. Farro: An ancient type of wheat from the Fertile Crescent, farro is rich in protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium, iron, and B vitamins.
  4. Freekeh: An ancient variety of wheat, freekeh is harvested while young and green. It’s high in protein, fiber, and a variety of important nutrients.
  5. Millet: Cultivated for thousands of years in East Asia, millet is versatile and drought-resistant. It’s also rich in fiber and micronutrients like magnesium and phosphorus.
  6. Spelt: An ancient form of wheat, spelt is high in protein and fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, zinc, and iron.
  7. Sorghum: One of the most important cereal crops in the world, particularly in Africa and India, sorghum is drought-resistant and rich in fiber and antioxidants.
  8. Barley: One of the oldest cultivated grains, barley is high in fiber, and also provides a good source of minerals like selenium, manganese, and molybdenum.
  9. Einkorn, Emmer, and Khorasan wheat (Kamut): These are all ancient varieties of wheat, each with its own unique nutritional profile, but all are generally high in protein, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals.

While all grains have health benefits, ancient grains often have higher levels of fiber and protein than their modern counterparts. Additionally, some people find that ancient grains are more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerance symptoms. However, like all food groups, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet.

ancient grain buns on a board stacked

Ancient grain bread

We love making ancient grain bread. It’s a staple in our household. And we find that my gluten sensitivity is not bothered by the ancient grains. When I eat modern wheat, I get a lot of inflammation and my joints are very painful. But when I stick to the Einkorn products my wife makes, I have no issues. I also do well with sourdough products as well.

Here is the ancient grain bread recipe she makes for us. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Remember, without as much gluten, the bread isn’t as chewy. So it’s a different experience than what you might be used to, but so much more flavorful!

For more ancient grain recipes, check these out:

Ancient grain buns

This ancient grain bun recipe is not only super flavorful, they are a great foundation for burgers, sandwiches, and more. You can use Einkorn flour, we recommend Jovial, or get wheat berries and grind your own flour in a wheat grinder like we do. You can also use other types of flours such as kamut and experiment with what you like best.

Recipe notes:

  • Make sure not to overbake them or they will be too crumbly. If they get too crumbly for you, toast them in a pan in some butter.
  • These buns freeze great for several months if wrapped in an airtight container.

Einkorn flour hamburger buns

whole grain buns on a cooling rack

Ancient Grain Buns

Soft, flavorful buns that are great for burgers or sandwiches.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cups milk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 5-6 cups Einkorn flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing tops of rolls optional
  • Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top optional


  • In a bread maker, place water, milk, honey, salt, eggs, and butter.
  • Add 4 1/2 cups of einkorn flour.
  • Add yeast and mix into flour.
  • Set to dough and let mix for a few minutes, watching to see when it comes together if it needs more flour. Keep adding more flour until the ball sticks together and allow to finish dough cycle.
  • Transfer dough to greased bowl, cover with with a wet towel and allow to rise for 1.5 hours.
  • Remove dough from bowl, place on floured surface, punch down, and roll into a ball.
  • Divide dough equally into 12 balls, place on a greased and floured surface.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise an additional 1.5 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove towel and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for an hour and then slice.
Keyword ancient grain buns, ancient grains, einkorn buns, einkorn flour