Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Whole Grain Spelt Bread

I've used this basic whole-wheat bread recipe for several years now. I love it. It's reliable, quick, and simple, with fabulous results. A few months ago I taught a bread class to some wonderful women. It was a lot of fun. I taught them to make my whole-wheat bread as well as these cornmeal crescent rolls. One of the ladies mentioned that she has a hard time digesting whole-wheat bread, which is one of the reasons she doesn't make much homemade bread. I asked her if she had heard of spelt, which is a grain that is actually a species of wheat, that some people with wheat allergies can handle. Now I am not talking about the Celiac disease, that's a completely different deal. My dad has Celiac and can't eat any type of gluten at all. Other people have just a wheat allergy, and can still handle grains that contain gluten like Spelt. That discussion led me to experiment a little with spelt and I created this wonderful whole grain spelt bread. If it looks a little similar to my whole-wheat bread, that's probably because it is. :) It's the same recipe using whole grain spelt flour instead of whole wheat flour. The result? Amazing. I loved it. It was lighter tasting that whole wheat bread and absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

Whole Grain Spelt Bread
Printable Recipe

*Makes 3 loaves

3 Cups hot water, heated until quite warm ( >110° F) *I put mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes to heat it
1/3 Cup canola oil
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp. salt (put in first before adding yeast)
½ Cup gluten flour*
½ Cup ground flax seed, optional (adds a great texture)
½ Cup rolled or quick oats, optional
3 Cups + more freshly ground whole grain spelt flour *the amount is not exact because it depends on various factors
2 Tbsp. instant yeast on top of flour *be sure to check out my kitchen tip/tutorial on yeast

Combine above ingredients in heavy duty stand mixer (like a Bosch) with dough hook and mix. Add more whole wheat flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Then mix for an additional six minutes. Divide dough into 3 loaves (the dough will still be VERY sticky - so sticky that you won't be able to form your loaves without putting oil on your hands, but make sure that there is enough flour that it still pulls away from the sides of the bowl when you’re mixing it). Put dough in oiled pans. Let rise until double or until the bread fills the pans. While bread is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the bread has risen, bake it at 400 deg. for 5 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 25 min or until done.

*NOTE on the Gluten flour: I use Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour that I buy at WinCo foods in their bulk bins - or you can get a 25 lb. bag of it there if you order it. I think you can also get it at Walmart in smaller quantities - like 22 oz. pkgs. You only use 1/2 cup for 3 loaves so it lasts a long time. It allows you to make the bread with whole-grain flour and still have it light and fluffy and stick together. This really is not an optional ingredient - you can try to leave it out, but you will end up with denser bread that is crumbly, doesn't have as long of a shelf life, and really is not as enjoyable to eat. Another option (if you're looking for one) is to use a good quality, high gluten white flour instead of some of the whole-wheat flour (experiment with how much - maybe 2 cups or more to get it to a good stick-together consistency). I'd rather spend a little more for the gluten flour because you can use less of it (which means more whole-grain flour which is better for you) and still have a great textured, tasty bread.

Recipe Source: healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com

What could taste better than hot, fresh bread and butter for a healthy afternoon snack?

Do you or anyone you know have wheat allergies? Have you tried using other grains in your baking? I'd love to hear about it. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

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