Spelt is a species of wheat that has been cultivated since approximately 5,000 BC.
Spelt was an important staple food in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times. Now it survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain, and it has found a new market as a health food.
This is included in our June flour box as it is a delicious and nutritious flour to bake with.
Spelt is one of the world’s most ancient grains: it’s native to Iran and parts of Europe and was one of the first species of wheat ever used to make bread. Also known as farro in Italian, it is a sub-species of wheat.
Spelt has a lovely, nutty flavour not dissimilar to barley. It has gained popularity in recent times, thanks to its high levels of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and the fact that it is both easy to digest and low in gluten.
Spelt has a broader range of nutrients compared to other members of the wheat family, with higher levels of protein, fibre, manganese, niacin, thiamine, copper and vitamin B2. The high level of fibre in spelt helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol levels.
A wholegrain with unique properties; the husk protects it from pollutants and insects, which enables growers to use little or no pesticides.
When baking bread with spelt, be aware that the lack of gluten can make dough made with spelt hard to work with and difficult to make rise. Ideally, mix it with other types of flour that have higher gluten content (half and half spelt and white or wholemeal wheat flour works well), so you get both the elasticity and the nutritional content.
Mix the white bread flour and 75g water to a shaggy mass, cover and leave to autolyse for 1 hours.
Break the Motherdough into chunk and place on top of the autolyse mix.
Add the remaining spelt (and optional bakers malt) to the autolyse mixture and the Motherdough. With the dough hook attachment on, set the mixer to a medium speed and add the water in a slow stream.
Allow the water to mix with all the flour and the autolyse mix and let the dough come together. Rest for 30 minutes in the bowl.
Sprinkle on the salt and mix on a medium-high speed for 5-10 minutes until the dough visibly gains strength and
Remove the dough from bowl and transfer for to a container brushed with oil.
Execute 2 sets of stretch and folds to settle the dough.
Rest at 25-30 deg C and execute 2 sets of gentle coil folds every 20-30 minutes for 2-3 hours of bulk fermentation.
Shape and place in a banneton prepared with rice flour. Cover with plastic sheet and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Transfer to the fridge at 6 deg C and prove for 12-18 hours.
Remove from the fridge and allow a final warm proof for approx 2 hours at 25-30 deg C. You should notice a reasonable increase in volume and an improvement in the softness of the texture.
Bake with a Motherdough baking steel or dutch oven heated appropriately. Steam for the 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 deg C and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. Finally slightly crack the oven door with a wooden spoon and bake for a final 10-15 minutes.
Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature or just warm before cutting.
We have added an autolyse step with the white bread flour component in this recipes to give the dough some base structure.
This is the flour of the month for our June flour box "Brown" and "Healthy" subscriptions.