I had heard rumours that Tesco sold spelt flour, and so I went investigating, and true to their word they did. So a rather expensive 1 kg bag of Doves Farm spelt flour was the latest addition to my cupboard, but what to do with it. So last nights challenge was a spelt loaf, unsure if I have ever eaten a spelt loaf before I was a little unsure what to expect. I shouldn’t have been, it came out as one of my best bakes yet.
I initially struggled to find a recipe I liked the look of, there was talk of spelt not working well in bread makers, so that was out (I still made the dough in there anyway). Rolls needed to bake fast and hot. So in the end I did a striped down version of my normal loaf, but substituting some of the normal flour for spelt flour. That said my inspiration came from this recipe by Nigel Slater.
For a 500 g loaf –
- 200 g Spelt flour
- 150 g Strong white bread flour
- 245 ml Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Yeast
Make the dough in the bread maker as per usual. Then turn out onto a floured surface, knock back and kneed slightly. I then took the opportunity to use my new proving basket. So I shaped the dough, and placed into the floured basket. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 20 mins.
Once risen I turned it out onto the pre-heated baking stone. For some reason I decided not to slash it, perhaps a mistake as it tore, but that gave it an even more rustic feel.
Then bake for ~35 mins.
I pre-heated the oven at 210 °C then baked at 190 °C, with a little water for steam.
Would it be wrong to say I think that loaf is beautiful? Well it is beautiful.
The crust is nice and hard, but really shallow, and the bread inside is soft with a fantastic crumb, and actually quite dry. It just soaks up butter.
Taste wise it is a little like a wholemeal loaf, but slightly different. It took me back to sandwiches for Sunday tea at my grans when I was a child. I have no idea if we even ate spelt bread at hers, but the taste was spot on.
The basket gave the loaf a beautiful shape, and I am so happy with it I may have to buy more (in different shapes).
Given how easy this was, for such a great result I would recommend everyone has a go.
Still excited by this loaf this morning I decided to try it as toast, and what a good decision. It didn’t go too dry, as I was worried, and came out perfectly toasted. Again the addition of butter made it perfect.