The other day someone mentioned pasta and how they missed it. Well...I
adore pasta and eat it on a regular basis. Oh, but not pasta made from
flour, not even whole wheat flour. Instead, I use spelt flour and make my
pasta from scratch. Okay, let's go further, I make my own flour from the
spelt berries as well.
Spelt is considerably lower in the gluten that seems to be the buggaboo for
anyone trying to control their weight. I'm not a nutritionist so I won't
even start to brag on the nutritional side of spelt, but both my medical
nutritionist and my vegan advisor seem to love spelt.
Being a very strong believer in the KISS principle (keep it simple, silly) I
use a hand-cranked pasta maker, but an extruder type could be used if you
like the extra work involved.
I'm using spelt for all of my baking needs, including bread. A very simple
What you need:
2 - 4 cups spelt flour
1 Tablespoon dry yeast
14 ounces water at 110 degrees F
1 teaspoon salt
What to do with what you've got:
In a mixer (Mixmaster, whatever) combine 2 cups of flour, the yeast, and the
Slowly add water to make a slurry (watery mixture).
(This is done with a spoon, wooden or othewise)
Turn the mixer on to a slower speed.
Continue adding as much of the remaining flour as needed until a dough
forms. This can be from 3 to 5 minutes. You may need to add more or less
flour depending on the humidity in your area that day.
Tip: Use a metal tablespoon to keep scooping excess flour back into the
When it's pretty much done the dough will be tacky but not sticky.
Flour a bread board or a clean countertop and knead for a few minutes,
adding a bit of flour until there is no more tackiness to the dough.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with either a wet kitchen towel or plastic
wrap and leave alone for about an hour or until the dough has doubled.
There is ZERO need to grease the bowl.
Punch it down. Punching down is exactly that, make a fist and punch the
dough in the middle.
Now you have some choices to make. You can either shape the dough like a
French loaf or just do a country loaf by turning the bowl over and let the
bread rise again in the shape of the bowl.
BEFORE you do that, sprinkle some cornmeal on a stick-free baking pan (I
prefer Baker's Secret [tm]) and let rise in a draft-free place until it
again about doubles in size -- about an hour.
Now comes the easiest part. Place in a 375 F oven for about 45 minutes.
Don't brush water or egg on the dough...spelt makes a pretty good crust by
The bread is done when you hear a hollow sound when you knock on it. Your
nose will tell you it's done before the timer does.
Yes, this is a classic recipe for French bread, it just substitutes spelt in
place of wheat!