"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight."
The Art of Eating, M. F. K. Fisher, (1908-1992)
You will always find Spelt bread in our house. Spelt flour is one of the grains I buy for our family's consumption. We do just about everything we once did with wheat flour with spelt flour. It is highly nutritious and wonderful for baking. We find it easy to digest and, as we aim for a diet low in gluten, spelt suits us well in our bid for a healthier diet. Sadly supply is not keeping up with demand and I am not always able to purchase it from my suppliers - Goodies and Grains or the market's Mega Health shop. I have recently found this very well-priced supplier in Bellingen NSW so if you live near there give it a go. My sister says she can purchase spelt for a reasonable price also in Brisbane. Much of our Spelt Flour is supplied from Canada but I am glad to read that we are working to optimise the quality and yield of spelt under production in south east Australia. Wholemeal Spelt seems to be more available currently, however my Generous Gentleman says white (or a combination of White and Wholemeal) bakes a better loaf of bread. The loaf you see here is 100% wholemeal.
My husband bakes bread for our family about every 4 to 5 days. He has worked for a couple of years on this recipe to perfect it. It's now very much enjoyed predominantly by himself and our two girls.
Now, to make the bread.
First of all you'll need to activate the yeast. Stir 3 teaspoons of dried yeast in 1 cup of warm water and let it sit while you prepare the dry ingredients.
Prepare the flour by sifting 4 cups of wholemeal or white spelt flour with 1 teaspoon of Xanthum Gum. (Some say you can substitute Guar Gum but we haven't tried this.) It is there to bind the bread.
Prepare the wet ingredients by placing the following into the bread pan from your Bread Maker in this order:
1 to 1 ½ cups water (depending on which type of flour you are using. Wholemeal needs more water than white).
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
Add the flour to the breadpan. Add the yeast combination to the pan, then set it to work.
Bake it on a Rapid or Quick Bread setting. Being low in gluten, spelt does not need as much time to knead and rise.
You may need to change a few things here to suit your own breadmaker, they are all a bit different. We use a Breville Bread Master Big Loaf Model No. BB380.
Our loaf is quite a dense one which is lovely for toast. Who can resist, however, the softness of bread and crispy crust once it is directly removed from the breadmaker. Certainly not my two little girls.
If you don't have a bread maker I have just stumbled across this recipe for a simple spelt loaf from a favourite local supplier of organic grains Four Leaf Milling in Tarlee, Clare Valley, South Australia. I will be picking up some of their spelt next time we pass by and also searching to see what their supply of Spelt Flour is like here in Adelaide. They have a "Where to Buy" feature on their home page which will assist you in buying their wonderful products in your state. They also make spelt flakes, spelt bran as well as spelt flour. Also some yummy millet flakes and fabulous baby rice, millet and porridge etc. OK now I am raving, but really the taste is just so fresh I can't go past it. I grew up with a family farm nearby, I know the flavour of grains nibbled directly from the plant (albeit wheat and barley predominantly), these products take me down memory lane.
All the best with your spelt bread baking. Please pop back here briefly to comment and let me know.