Saturday, February 20, 2010

The House Around the Corner - Spelt Bread

Jenny's Spelt Sourdough Bread 
You can read this entire story at Jenny's
several of us in the our house have been suffering from a gluten sensitivity and i am on another mission to provide healthy food we can eat on a budget. i asked around about spelt flour, did a little internet searching, and decided that since spelt is supposed to be easier to digest than wheat and when made into sourdough bread should be even better for your body, i decided to give it a try. i wanted to buy the spelt whole grain and grind it myself, but i'm just not there yet, so i bought pre-ground flour. i also wish one day to soak the flour before baking with it, but again, i only have so many hours in the day. for now i just use it dry. baby steps, right?

anyway, i was asked to share "my" recipe by my friend cindy who is trying out any and every recipe she can find and taking tidbits from each of us and adding them to her own way of making bread. my recipe is pretty basic and not much different from the others except for the flour. 
i add these ingredients, in this order, to a warm bowl.

3/4 c starter
5 c spelt flour
about 1/4 c sweetener of choice. i'm trying to use up some sucanat. i have used honey too.
2 tsp sea salt
at this point i gently mix, by hand, the dry ingredients on top of starter before adding the water
1 1/2 c warm water
2 TBS oil

mix with your hands or a rubber spatula. the dough comes together rather quickly and i gently knead it a few times to make sure everything is mixed well, then put a damp towel over the bowl and place it in a warm place to rise. i put mine in the oven because it has a pilot light. depending on how much time i have, i let it double in size. i have also just let it rest an hour or two and then proceeded, the bread just turns out more dense. before transferring it to the baking pan, i knead it a few more times, but not too much. i read that if you overwork spelt dough your bread will be crumbly. after kneading, rub oil of your choice over the dough (i'm not sure why i do this, but i do!) and place in a baking dish. i bake my bread in a large loaf pan in an effort to have sandwich size bread for the days that my kids attend tutoring group. i let the dough rest or rise as long as my time allows. sometimes it's a few hours and sometimes it's 30 min. i'm all for making it work for me. after it's risen, place it in a 400* oven and bake until golden brown and the crust feels thick and somewhat hard to the touch. 3o min or so.

and that's it... please keep in mind all amounts and times are approximate. i just kind of add this and do that. i did jot things down as i made this loaf so i could write about it, but i like to cook more like my grandma, with a handful of this and a scoop of that. 

i'm still playing with new ideas every time i make bread, and noticing that every loaf gets easier. good luck to you!

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