After a good solid six months in the new house, I'm really starting to feel settled. It took months to accomplish everything we wanted to. I made curtains or tailored curtains for all the windows, which seemed like an endless task. Pictures have been hung, most things have a home at this point. Spring blooming bulbs have been planted in the yard. It feels like home. We'll always be making improvements as life progresses, but I feel truly settled. I've been gradually getting back into the swing of baking bread. I've got a smaller workspace than I did in our apartment, but I'm learning to make it work. Of course, the book I always find myself turning to when I need to reacquaint myself with flour and yeast is Daniel Stevens Bread Handbook. So here we are again, baking delicious, healthy breads for the family. My new love is spelt ~ delicious, mouthwatering spelt.
I'm truly head over heels for spelt flour at the moment. A sale on flour at one of my local markets had my carry basket feeling wicked heavy. I picked up some organic spelt flour, a gorgeous whole wheat flour, chestnut flour, and my favorite corn meal. It was a windfall, all of it for just under $13.
To my trusty bread handbook I go for the recipe I use as a base, adding a few things, like butter and honey. I've also found that I need a little additional liquid, about 50ml more than the recipe calls for. Combining two flours to creates a flavorful dough that doesn't have that characteristically over dense texture that a purely spelt dough can. I'm really enamored with the flavor of the spelt flour. In Daniel's book he says that spelt benefits from some extra kneading, so I kneaded an additional five minutes. This is one gorgeous dough. It's a beautiful color and it's so lush when you've finished kneading. It's my new favorite dough. I'm even more in love with it than an oatmeal and rye blend, which... oh my, is all I can say for that one. Come to think of it, spelt and rye might be a lovely combination that I think is worth trying in the future - that would make a tops loaf for a cold ham sandwich with a sharp mustard, some cheddar and even some chutney. Yum!
250g strong bread flour, King Arthur's white whole wheat flour works nicely here too
250g spelt flour
5g instant yeast
10g fine salt
350ml milk and water, warm
1 tablepoon butter, softened
2 tabelspoons honey
Combine the ingredients and knead the dough until it is soft and elastic - this will take a good solid 10-15 minutes by hand. More quickly with the mixer. Form the dough into a ball, cover with cling and allow it to rise until doubled in size. Punch it down, form it into a loaf, allow it to rise and bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for a further 40-60 minutes. This could also be made into delicious little rolls to go with soup or a roast dinner.