So I made the simple whole wheat bread again, except this time I used whole grain spelt flour and coconut oil (instead of butter). I bought spelt because I had heard very good things about its nutritional quality and am trying to make my homemade bread as nutritious as possible. Well, they didn’t turn out nearly as well as they did last time…check it out…
This poor bread is pathetically the size of half a normal slice!
So I started some spelt research and found some very interesting things…
First, a bit about Spelt. I found here that: Spelt is an ancient grain that traces its heritage back long before many wheat hybrids. Many of its benefits come from this fact: it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its more inbred cousins in the Triticum (wheat) family. Spelt features a host of different nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin B2, a very good source of manganse, and a good source of niacin, thiamin, and copper. This particular combination of nutrients provided by spelt may make it a particularly helpful food for persons with migraine headache, atherosclerosis, or diabetes. Nutrition.about.com says: Spelt contains more protein than wheat, and the protein in spelt is easier to digest.
I found here that spelt flour has an “extremely fragile” gluten content, which is much different from bread flour, because if I understand it correctly, what makes Bread Flour, Bread Flour, is the larger amount of gluten in it than flours such as All Purpose, or Pastry. Also, Spelt does not rise quite as high as wheat flour. “If you look in a mainstream bread book, such as Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Bible, you’ll find references that allow you to substitute spelt for the whole-wheat flour portion of a bread recipe (meaning that you can use a cup of spelt instead of a cup of whole-wheat flour in a recipe that also includes 5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour). But there are no all-spelt bread recipes.” I thought this was interesting that there is no all-spelt recipes, and because of the gluten, it makes sense that it needs to be combined with all-purpose. The site says that many problems can occur every step of the way when using spelt flour. “You must use the correct amount of water. Too much, and the dough is sticky and weak and will not be able to hold the gasses that are produced during the fermentation process.” This is what happened to me! I thought that my dough was not nearly as tough as it was the first time I made it. It fell apart quite easily and was extra sticky…I also noticed problems with it not rising as much (though I think it rose about as much as you can get spelt to rise).
I think I also may need to find a better place for my dough to rise, a warm and draft free place. I found another spelt bread recipe here that I may try out. Otherwise, if I add spelt, I may just add 1 cup to replace my whole wheat, or I may just not use it all together.
If anyone has any other spelt tips let me know, for now…I’ll use up what I have left, and stick to whole wheat. 🙂