I took another one of my ‘tried and true recipes’: French Bread and wondered what would happen if I substituted freshly milled spelt flour for the all-purpose white flour? I found that the bread did not rise quite as high, making for a bit of a heavier bread (which I prefer) and the flavor was wonderful! In the future, if I need a lighter bread, I can try blending the spelt with other lighter flours. I’ll keep you informed on my continuing experiments and explorations with whole grains!
French Bread with Spelt Flour
1 oz (or 1 tablespoon) dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey (or natural sweetener of your choice)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups organic spelt flour
1 egg white, beaten (to glaze the loaves)
Place yeast and water in a large mixing bowl and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. If yeast has begun to bubble or foam a little, add the honey, olive oil and salt and mix together. (If yeast isn’t bubbling, discard as this means that your yeast is dead and your bread will not rise.)
Add 2 cups of the spelt flour, mixing in with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, incorporating as much of the remaining 1 cup of flour as needed for a smooth, elastic dough.
Place dough into a large, oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to sit in a warm place for an hour and a half (or for one hour in the oven on the ‘proof’ setting).
Punch down dough. Cut in half. Roll out each half on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick, then roll up the dough into a long loaf. Make three diagonal cuts in the top of the loaf and place on a baguette or loaf pan. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Place loaf pan(s) in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until double in size. Brush beaten egg white over the loaf just before baking.
Bake in a 375 degree (F) oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!