does farro need to be soaked in advance? maybe only pearl style?
Also known as emmer, the farmer we get our grain from has this recipe for farro (and they intend for us to use the grain right after washing it without soaking). We cook a lot of other whole grains (spelt and barley, for example) just like this below, no soak.
Ben’s Simple Emmer
1/2 cup emmer
1 cup water
2 tbsp butter
Bring water to a boil in a 2 qt pot. Add emmer and a pinch of salt, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy to taste. (You can also cut open a grain to test – the interior should all be one color). Let rest off the heat for ten minutes, then drain off any excess water. Stir in butter, add more salt to taste, and grate some Parmesan cheese on top. Bon Appetit!
I usually rinse my farro and then cook it according to the recipe. If I'm going to use it for a salad, I simmer it for 15-20 minutes in salted water. I don't like it overcooked, so usually 15 minutes does the trick. I let it rest in the water, like Jake suggests, and then drain it off.
you do not need to soak farro if it's pearled or semi-pearled. If it is not pearled, or if you are using spelt, soaking will decrease cooking time.