Baking with spelt flour
Surprise, surprise. It is another spelt-based recipe!
This time, I have created a recipe for vegan spelt bread. Spelt adds such a lovely nutty natural taste to bread, so I recommend using it even if you don’t have problems with high-gluten flours.
I could go on forever about how amazing spelt is. So well, I will…
What is spelt bread?
Spelt bread is bread made using spelt flour, which is an ancient grain lower in gluten than your average plain flour that is used in bread products.
Spelt bread is not so common in supermarkets and bakeries, but you can find the occasional spelt loaf in an artisan bakery. Just look out to see if they’ve mixed the spelt flour with white flour, especially if you are trying to avoid white flour for stomach reasons!
Is spelt bread good for you?
Spelt flour is a much healthier alternative to plain white flour. It is less processed and lower in gluten. This makes it easier for people with slight gluten-intolerances to process the flour.
Is spelt flour harder to bake with?
Spelt is lower in gluten, which means it can be a little bit more tricky to use in bread baking. When you leave the dough to rise you may find that spelt-based doughs take a little longer to grow. Also, when you prove the dough you will want to make sure to use a proving basket or to prove and bake it in a loaf tin, as spelt doughs can often expand sideways rather than upwards due to the low-gluten content.
Despite this, the results are lovely. So I would recommend giving it a go!
Isn't all bread vegan?
The staple ingredients of bread are flour, yeast and water. Meaning, most bread in its simplest form is vegan.
However, there are so many variations of bread which use many different techniques and ingredients to achieve differing results. For instance, some bread like Bagels will use egg for the glaze on top. So this makes most bagels, non-vegan. Although, there are many big brands of bagels who leave out the egg glaze!
In some countries you will find a heavy reliance on dairy products in their bread. Like in Asia. They like their bread to be quite sweet and soft, meaning they use a lot of milk. With the rise of veganism, most Asian countries now have vegan versions!
Baking with hemp seeds
I’m always looking to add healthy nutritious ingredients to my bakes, especially when they add nutrients that may be tricky to get on a vegan diet. That is why I have added hemp into this vegan spelt bread loaf recipe.
What are the health benefits of hemp?
Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and they are also full of omega-6 and omega-3, making them a very healthy addition to your cooking.
What do hemp seeds taste like?
Hemp seeds have a wonderfully earthy and nutty taste. They really compliment the spelt flour. I find they are quite similar to sunflower seeds, which you can sub in their place if you can’t source them.
Vegan spelt bread loaf with hemp seeds recipes
- Toast the hemp seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium to high heat until they smell fragrant and they are golden brown
- Scrape the hemp seeds out into a mortar and pestle and grind until smooth with a few chunks
- Put the flours, yeast, crushed hemp seeds, salt and sugar into a large bowl and mix them together.
- Pour in the water, mix until it well incorporated and then mix in the tbsp of oil
- With your hands mix everything together into a doughy mass.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, in the bowl, on a work surface, or in a standalone mixer with dough hook. Dust lightly with flour if required.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled large mixing bowl and cover with a clean plastic bag and leave it in a warm place for the dough to double in size, which will take about an hour.
- Rub some oil around the inside of a 1kg/2lb loaf tin.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes (by hand or by mixer)
- Shape the dough and put it into your prepared tin.
- Wrap the tin in your clean plastic bag and leave it to rise in a warm place for 35 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200° (fan)
- Remove the plastic bag and bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes. Until golden brown on the top and it makes a hollow sound when you tap it on the bottom of the tin
- Leave to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes
- Turn the loaf out of the tin and leave to cool completely on the wire rack