Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Switch Your Whole Grains Up a Notch with Spelt

Spelt is a variety of wheat widely cultivated until the spread of fertilizers and mechanical harvesting left it by the wayside in favor of wheats more compatible with industrialization. Spelt can be used in place of common wheat in most recipes.

Spelt is higher in protein than common wheat. Twelfth century mystic St. Hildegard referred to spelt as the "healthiest of grains". Today, the German Abbey she founded still sells spelt products and even spelt liqueurs. In Italy spelt is known as farro grande, or "big farro". 

Spelt and Sausage Soup
To cook, mix 1 part grain to 4 parts water. Soak overnight, then cook 45-60 minutes. 1 cup dry grain yields 3 cups cooked.

 Butternut Squash Flan
Spelt flour is used for quick breads and yeast breads. Spelt has a soft texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.
With its higher moisture content, spelt flour reacts similary to pastry flour, giving cakes a moist texture with less crumb.

Spelt flour has gluten but does not contain gliadin. Yeast bread recipes require more flour than wheat flour. 

Spelt Bread

(1 8 X 4 inch loaf pan-14 slices)

Mix 1 cup spelt flour and dry yeast in bowl of electric mixer.  Dissolve honey in warm water.  Slowly add to bowl of mixer.  With dough hook in place, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, stirring down sides of bowl.
1 cup freshly ground spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
3/4 cup 125F water
3 tablespoon honey

Add 1/2 cup spelt flour, egg, oil and salt.  Beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stirring down sides of bowl.
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 egg
3 tablespoon 2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Reduce speed to low.  Slowly add additional flour, kneading after each addition for about 6 minutes.
1 1/2 cup spelt flour

Place dough in bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Turn to coat.  Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn into greased loaf pan while shaping dough into the loaf.  Cover and let rise until almost double, about 45 minutes.

Bake in 350F oven 25 minutes.

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