9000 year old grain originated in the Fertile Crescent and over the
centuries found its way throughout Europe where it remained a very popular
grain for hundreds of years. To Germans it is their beloved "Dinkel"
and is now found in a wide variety of foods and beverages from bread to
beer. To Italians it is called "Farro" and is found in gourmet
soups, pizza crusts, breads and cakes.
The official name of spelt is Triticum
aestivum var. spelta. Spelt was originally grown in Iran around 5000
to 6000 B.C. Spelt has been grown in Europe for over 300 years, and spelt
has been grown in North America for just over 100 years. Spelt is often
used as a feed grain for animals. However, it has gained popularity as a
dietary grain due to its nutty flavor, high protein and nutrition content.
Not to be confused with oats or wheat,
spelt is a member of the same grain family but is an entirely different
species. It is one of the original seven grains mentioned in the
Spelt has high water solubility, so the
nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. It is also a superb fiber
resource and has large amounts of B-complex vitamins. Total protein
content is from 10 to 25% greater than the common varieties of commercial
Cooking with Spelt flour is similar to
cooking with wheat flour. You can make all the same dishes such as
pancakes and waffles, muffins, cakes, crackers and cookies, pastas and
But because of it's lower gluten content,
you will probably not want to let it rise as high as regular wheat flour
When baking, Spelt flour doesn't require as
much water - if substituting spelt flour for wheat flour in your favorite
recipe, start by using only 3/4ths as much water.
Cheddar Walnut Spelt
- 5 cups Spelt Flour
- 1 cup Regular Rolled Oats
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tb Sea Salt
- 1 Tb Instant Saf-Yeast
- 2 to 3 cups Warm Water
- 1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, rolled oats,
honey, oil, sea salt, yeast and water. Mix on medium until dough comes away
form the bowl and is elastic.
Add the cheese, walnuts. Transfer dough
to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until
doubled in size.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut into equal halves.
Shape halves into two loaves and place into oiled loaf pans. Cover and let
rise 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until loaves sound
hollow when tapped on bottom. Turn out of pans to cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 loaves.