My Walnut and Date Bread lasted only 1 day, so yesterday I went back to baking. There is nothing nicer than the smell of home-made bread when the temperature drops outside and the sky goes dark.
For the “How To” part of this post I used the photos from the walnut bread, as the process is the same and the photos I took yesterday looked a bit lifeless due to lack of sunshine. The photos at the beginning and the end of this post are, however, from the actual bread, so you can see how it looks 🙂
Ingredients (for half a kilo loaf):
250 grs. wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey (or one tablespoon demerara sugar)
150 ml luke warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1.- Mix the yeast with a bit of the luke warm water (approx. 3 tablespoons) and the honey. Let it rest until it begins to froth.
2.- Toast the seeds over a low heat then set aside to cool.
2.- In a large bowl mix together the flour, the seeds and the salt. Make a well in the centre.
3.- Once the yeast is frothy, add into the centre of the well together with the oil and the remaining water. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more water. You will find, in general, that spelt dough require less water and proofing time than regular dough. They are also quite sticky and never as silky as white flour mixtures.
4.- Knead gently until you have a soft and pliable dough. Spelt flour is a little lower in gluten than wheat flour, and its gluten strands are shorter, therefore kneading too much can break the delicate gluten structure which will result in a tough or flat bread.
One way to gently “knead” the dough is the following: Pour it out on a floured surface. Then, if the dough is too sticky, dust it with a bit of flour, otherwise try to handle it as best you can. Now you are going to fold it 4 times: take the first side and fold it onto the middle of the dough. Repeat this for the opposing side, then do the same thing to the top and bottom. Repeat 2 more times. Shape it as a round loaf and place it back in the bowl:
5.- Leave the dough in the bowl covered with film or a plastic bag to double in size.
6.- When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface. Degas and flatten. Then shape into a log or a round loaf.
7.- Put the dough into an oiled 1/2 kg bread tin or on an oiled baking tray or even in a cake tin, as I did. Bear in mind, if you use a tray, that spelt breads tend to spread to the sides rather than rise, so a bread tin will help it keep its shape more than a tray.
9.- Leave to rise for just 30 minutes, then place in a preheated oven at 200 C for 45-45 minutes. It will come out golden and with a lovely crust.
10.- To make sure it’s fully baked tap the bottom of the bread, if it sounds hollow, it’s ready 🙂
Its nutty flavour is best enjoyed toasted and smeared with:
Marmite (my favourite, though I know most people won’t agree ;-))
Home-made Fig Jam
Lightly salted butter or