Whole Grain Spelt Bread Recipe
Rarely do you find a "Spelt Only" bread recipe. This one is wonderful and captures this ancient grain's more earthy flavor. The crust will be crispier than a hard red or white wheat bread, giving an artisanal look and feel.
4 ½ cups freshly milled spelt flour (+/- ½ cup as needed to reach a slightly wet but workable and not stiff dough*)
2 tsp. Salt
1 Tb. yeast
1 ¾ cups water
2 Tbs. honey
*optional - add ¼ cup of flax seeds and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1) In your mixer or large bowl, combine water, honey, and egg.
2) Mix in half of the flour, salt, and yeast until well combined. Then, mix in the remainder of the flour and other optional ingredients. Once the dough is well combined and the right consistency, or to a point where you can no longer stir it if doing it by hand, either allow the dough to continue in the mixer for 6 minutes to knead it or turn it out on a clean oiled surface and knead until it's stretchy and elastic. A good rule of thumb is to knead the dough until it can be stretched thin and make a "window pane." This lets you know the bread is ready for the first rise.
3) Place the dough back in your bowl or mixer and allow it to rise until about doubled in size. Depending on the temperature in your home, it can take forty-five minutes to an hour and a half.
4) Once the dough has risen, pour it onto your clean, oiled surface again and slightly pat down flat. It will be an oval or circle shape. Take the two sides (left and right sides of the bread) and fold them towards the dough's center. You now have a "rectangular" shaped dough. Roll the dough up tightly from the bottom to the top of the loaf and then gently fold under the irregular sides. These seams can be "pinched" in on the bottom to incorporate better if you see the sides not sticking to the main body of the bread well. You now have your loaf.
5) Place the loaf in the bread pan, seam side down, and lightly brush the top with water. (Optional: also sprinkle top with sesame seeds.) Cover and let rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It may not be doubled in size, but it will be noticeably bigger.
6) Lightly grease one 9" x 5" bread pan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
7) Once the oven is ready, bake the loaf until the top of the bread is golden brown and crusty. The internal temperature should be 190 degrees. Let the bread cool until you can easily handle it, then remove it to a wire rack.