This is the most delicious bread I have baked in my life, ever – and the fastest.
Spelt bread has three great things going for it:
1. Wheat-sensitive types like myself find spelt easier-to-digest
2. Because it is spelt, you can get away with no-kneading because, as Rose Prince says in her recipe for white spelt, “Spelt, an ancient wheat grain, reacts quickly to yeast”.
3. It tastes fantastic – the crust was seed-crunchy and the inside was moist and held together.
My leading characters:
- Organic wholemeal spelt flour from Sharpham Park, Somerset (more expensive than Dove’s Farm but locally-grown and milled)
- A small packet of fresh organic yeast from Rapunzel, Germany wrapped in yellow wax paper, bought at Bristol’s Better Food Company, and kept in fridge
- Pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds mostly from Essential
- A jugful of warm water.
Thank you to Julia for real-time baking advice, the recipe and the loaf we ate
Julia says you have to use real yeast to make it taste so good, and I did.
See Yeast ** further down for more info including using dried yeast.
1lb 2oz/ 500g spelt flour
½ tsp sea salt
2oz/ 50g pumpkin seeds
2oz/ 50g sunflower seeds
2oz/ 50g linseeds or sesame seeds
17floz/ 500ml warm water
15-20g fresh yeast with 1 teaspoon of honey
a slosh of olive oil (or any oil)
Method after Julia
Add the fresh yeast and honey (1 teaspoon) to the warm water and leave it somewhere warm for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Feel it gently fizz in your face as you peer into the jug – smells like beer brewing.
Mix the ingredients above – flour + salt + seeds + oil (and anything else such as chilli for a devilish spicyness) – in a large mixing bowl, adding the yeast/water last.
Grease two loaf tins with oil and scatter seeds to line.
Size of tins? One 2lb tin and one 1lb tin did the job for me but you can improvise.
Pour in the mixture and leave it to rise in the tins
- about 30 minutes rising-time.
If you leave it longer, dough-mixture might collapse.
Bake in an oven pre-heated to Gas Mark 6 / 200C / 400F for 30 minutes.
Turn out and eat as soon as it cools.
(The recipe does tell you to return the loaf to oven for 5 minutes after removing it from tin but this did not seem necessary).
It’s exciting – a living organism.
If using dried yeast see Xanthe Clay‘s recipe – which is even faster as there is no need to wait for dough-mixture to rise in the tin (although dried yeast does have additives).
How much fresh yeast to use? Rose Prince says use 7g (1/4oz) of fresh yeast for making a white spelt loaf. Julia says use about 15g.
By mistake I used 42g. Read on.
My yeast story
In my ignorance I used the entire packet of organic fresh yeast instead of a third as Julia recommended.
It got very dramatic as the dough-mixture rose and rose and spilled over the loaf tin.
Domestic-slut that I am
I scooped the spilled mixture and slopped it into another greased loaf tin.
And let the mixture(s) rise again.
They behaved quite well this time, rising just-so – see pic below.
The bread was delicious and non-yeasty – maybe because the wholemeal spelt flour was strong enough to take the accidental extra yeast.
The moral of the tale?
You can make mistakes while cooking…
So to recap.
This spelt bread does not need kneading
making it fast to bake
Plus so damn delicious it’s also fast to partake.