Bread – Spelt Flour

A wholemeal loaf with a delicious nutty flavour that will be enjoyed by many people who normally avoid wheat.



Spelt, also known as ‘dinkel’ or ‘hulled’ wheat, is an ancient grain from the wheat family. Its gluten and carbohydrate structure is different to that of the wheat we know; and it is suitable for some people on a Fodmap diet. However, it is not Gluten Free and cannot, therefore, be provided to people with Coeliac disease or those on a Gluten Free diet.

Spelt is usually available as a wholegrain, making more nutritious and denser bread than you will make with refined wheat and grains. Nevertheless, the bread remains a tasty, soft loaf. For variation with bread texture and for other baked goods, try mixing the spelt with other flours.

This bread recipe is based on the one my grandfather always used and I have simply replaced the white flour with spelt. I activate the dry yeast before adding it to the flour, which shortens the time the dough has to ‘prove’ and does not change the texture of the bread (spelt four proves a little faster than wheat flour).

It takes me under 2 1/2 hours to bake my bread; and most of the time is waiting. I find it a very relaxing activity for my Sunday morning; and I usually bake a few loaves or bread rolls and I freeze them for use during the week.

Diets for which Bread with Spelt Flour is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Fodmap, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegan and Vegetarian.

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 + 5 mins (+90 mins prooving time) | Cooking: 20 mins | Serves: 6+

7gm (2 tsp) dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
200 ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) water, ‘tepid’ (lukewarm)*
350 gm (2 1/3 cups) spelt flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sunflower seeds** (optional)

Method

MIX yeast, sugar and water in a jug and let sit for approx 10 minutes to allow the yeast to become active – the gasses start bubbling. (Tepid water is 35C; if you run tepid water on your wrist it feels neither warm nor cold.)
SIFT flour and add salt and oil and the yeast mix. (You can use a food processor with the correct blade.)
COMBINE all ingredients adding a little extra flour or water to obtain the consistency of dough.
FLOUR your bench surface lightly.
KNEAD for 5 minutes. (It requires less time kneading than regular wheat.)
RETURN the dough to the bowl, cover with clingfilm or a cloth and leave for approximately 60 minutes until it doubles in size.
FLOUR your bench surface lightly again.
KNEAD the dough for approximately 2 minutes. (This removes all the air bubbles, and the dough returns to its original size.)
MOULD the dough into the shape you want and place on a greased or floured baking tray or in a greased tin. (When making round loaves, I make two small loaves because I find they retain their shape better.)
COVER the dough and prove for approximately 15 minutes until it doubles in size.
HEAT oven to 220 C/450 F/Gas 7 (while the dough is proving).
BRUSH the uncooked loaf with water if you are to top it with flour or seeds.
BAKE for 15 – 20 minutes until cooked. (Tap the bottom to check if cooked. It will make a slightly hollow sound when ready. Cooking time varies on the size and shape of the loaf. For two small loaves 12 minutes, or 18 for one large round.)
COOL on a rack.

Notes

* Spelt flour requires a little less water than wheat flour.
** Top with seeds or flour just before baking, eg sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (not Nut Free), flour.

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