Speedy spelt loaf recipe – not speedy roads

I am still on real bread, the topic of my last post.

Julia made the loaf in the picture above from a recipe in the Telegraph.

Apart from bread, Julia Guest, filmmaker extraordinaire, also made A Letter to the Prime Minister.

The documentary follows the British peace activist, Jo Wilding, in Iraq before and during the 2003 invasion.

Talking about films, I was round at Julia’s on Sunday to watch Life In The Fast Lane, a documentary she was involved with about the M11 road protest (1995).

The M11 sliced through three East London boroughs and tore apart communities – all for the sake of saving motorists three minutes of time.

The M11 road protest along with similar ones at Twyford and Newbury did not stop the roads being built.

However the cost of evictions – both financially and morally – eventually halted the then-mania for road-building.

This report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows new roads are not evaluated. And grandiose claims for reducing traffic appear not to have been realised. For instance, according to Countryside Voice, the CPRE magazine (summer 2006), the Newbury town centre peak-hour traffic flows are almost back to pre-bypass levels. And, “the actual damage to protected landscapes is even worse than expected.” [added 2012]

So while we were watching Life In The Fast Lane, we ate Julia’s homemade squash-from-her-allotment soup with the amazing bread. It was delicious – tasty and healthy.

I was blown away by Life In The Fast Lane:

– the local residents who helped patrol the squat including the 93-year-old resident made a squatter in her own childhood home

– the anguished cries of schoolschildren as the 250-year old chestnut tree was torn down by a digger (reminiscent of a scene from Avatar) and despite the protestors’ beautiful tree-top home

– the spectacular London rooftop shots of squatters who locked-on themselves to chimney pots with concrete and handcuffs to stop being evicted.

It was a real insider’s view of a mega-squat resisting the onslaught of so-called progress.

The M11 movie put me in mind of the eviction of the Tesco squatters.

Julia writes: “I make this with fresh yeast from the Better Food Company and less flour. Let it rise for just over an hour in the tin, then bake it.. but no kneading at all. I use a mix of any seeds I fancy…and the quantities vary. I also add a little olive oil to stop it sticking – as well as coating the tin in oil and then a coat of small seeds. Baking only takes about 30 minutes.”

Check out Julia’s inspiration, a spelt recipe by Xanthe Clay in the Telegraph using dried yeast and requiring no kneading or proving, and an earlier one by Rose Prince that ditto is fast.

For further inspiration visit Real Bread campaigner and master baker, Andrew Whitley, and author of much-recommended Bread Matters.

And for my real-life experience of Julia’s recipe see my blog on Easy-to-make spelt loaf – it works!

Surely a quick-to-make loaf is a better use of speed than an unnecessary road?

6 responses to “Speedy spelt loaf recipe – not speedy roads

  1. Yes.. but the cautionary tale is not to forget it and go to bed.. it’s only happened once!


  2. Hi Julia – thanks for the answer to my ‘do you bother returning it to oven?’

    Putting things in the oven and then forgetting them is an occupational health hazard for this cook too.

    Hence my timer is my most reliable ally.

    Thanks for great recipe and fantastic films.


    • Chris Young from the Real Bread Campaign has just emailed me and suggested:

      “Almost every brand of instant yeast contains artificial additives (and) 2 sachets is a heck of a lot for 500g flour”

      He also suggests the original recipe for spelt loaf that Xanthe refers to was by Rose Prince – and here it is:

      Grease two loaf tins with olive oil and preheat the oven to 400F/200C/gas mark 6.

      Put 1lb 2oz/500g of white spelt flour in a mixing bowl with ½ tsp salt and 3g (just over 1/8oz) of dried organic yeast or 7g (1/4oz) of fresh yeast.

      Mix in 18fl oz/500ml of warm water and mix to a smooth dough. Divide between the loaf tins, sprinkle with green pumpkin seeds and put straight into the oven (yes – there is no need to leave it to rise).

      Bake for 1 hour. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then tip out and put back in the oven for a few minutes for the sides to dry a little.
      Cool on a rack.

      The wonderful Rose Prince also explains why we can get away with no kneading with this recipe – precisely because it is made with spelt:

      Rose writes: “Spelt, an ancient wheat grain, reacts quickly to yeast and this loaf can be made without kneading or proving.”


  3. Pingback: Easy-to-make spelt loaf « Real Food Lover

  4. I just wanted to share a great recipe for a great all-round garden fertilizer. All you will need is 5 cups seaweed meal. 3 cups granite dust.1 cup dehydrated manure.1 cup bone meal. 1 teabag worth of tea. Just mix the ingredients in a pail. Finally side-dress your plants with the mixture. Treat your garden 2 or 3 times during the growing season. Your plants will absolutely love you for this one.


  5. Pingback: bread recipes spelt

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