Spelt is a type of wheat, the ancestor of the wheat most of us eat now, and it is becoming more popular as some consider it easier to digest. This is not scientifically proven, but it is definitely a commonly-held belief. In bread-making terms, it’s great because a loaf made with spelt flour proves and rises much more quickly than one made with conventional wheat flour. So if you don’t want to try a slow-rise bread, and want something faster but more ‘bready’ and, frankly, longer-lasting/better for sandwiches, than soda bread, I’d recommend this.
It takes very little time and effort, it toasts beautifully, makes great sandwiches and works well in, not just with, a soup too. I’d say it takes about an hour to make including the rising. Spelt flour is available at most supermarkets, and online (this recipe is adapted from the Dove’s Farm website, which sells organic spelt flour, both white and wholemeal) and, though a little more expensive than some bread flours, it has a lovely nutty taste, so despite the quick rise this still has a depth of flavour. Go on, be tempted.
Spelt bread (adapted from here)
Makes one x 1kg loaf
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
fine salt, ½ tsp
sugar, 1 tsp (I used caster)
warm water, about 300ml
sunflower oil, 1 tbsp
white or wholemeal spelt flour, 500g
quick or easy-bake yeast, 1 tsp
1. Oil a 1kg loaf tin or a baking sheet.
2. Mix together the salt, sugar, flour and yeast.
3. Add the water, little by little, and stop when the mixture is holding together in a ball. You can do this in a mixer or by hand; both are very quick.
4. Mix the oil in thoroughly.
5. Put the dough into the tin, or shape it into a ball and place on the baking sheet.
6. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel or cloth and leave to rise until it has doubled in size (about 20-30 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-assisted/gas 7.
7. When the dough has doubled in size, put it into the oven and bake until risen and golden (about 35 minutes); it is done when tapping the base makes a solid, drum-like sound.
8. Remove from the tin/sheet and cool on a wire rack.