You Spelt It, You Dealt It!
Whilst we've had quite a bit of experience with regular wheat flours as well as adding rye to some of our bakes, we've yet to branch out and try the various alternative grains that are readily available in most high streets.
Spelt flour comes from an ancient form of wheat first cultivated in approximately 5000 BCE. Common across Europe because of it's adaptability to colder climates, spelt was largely superseded by common bread wheats in the 20th Century.
Whilst the ingredients for a loaf are largely identical to most standard breads (flour, yeast, salt, water +/- a little oil) the method and ratios were a little different. 80% hydration means a very soft, wet dough. We stuck with a machine knead for about 10 minutes before scraping our dough into a prepared 2lb loaf tin. The recipe (from Doves Farm) suggests two 1lb loaves but we had a hunch that out wide 2lb tin would do the trick. After just a 30 minute rise in a warm spot the dough had double in size and was baked for 45 minutes at 180 degrees C fan.
The finished loaf has an open crumb and is very tasty indeed, especially when paired with pastrami, emmental cheese, pickles and English mustard!