A nice fluffy white bread ideal for eating warm, slathered in butter and jam and makes a great lunchtime sandwich bread.
It’s quite trendy at the moment to be wheat intolerant but it’s not much fun if you really are because of all the amazing breads you’re missing out on, however, spelt flour is an excellent alternative due to its lower gluten content and produces some great breads (no beautifully crusty french baguettes or chewy sourdoughs though).
This isn’t a loaf that induces ‘oohs and aahs’ at the table, loaf tin breads rarely do. But once you eat it, the shape doesn’t really matter. It has a light airy texture with a hefty crust and slightly nutty flavour that’s as good as any bread I’ve baked before. Admittedly that’s not many, I’m building up to the more difficult looking one’s in Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake.
The key to this bread, as with any yeast bread, is kneading. I’m sure it’s a doddle if you have a stand mixer, it’s hard work if you don’t but it’s essential to get a lighter texture. It’s also important to bake this in a loaf tin as spelt bread has a tendency to spread while baking.
- 500G Spelt Flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10G Salt
- 10G Instant Yeast
- 30G Butter, softened
- 300ML Tepid Water
- Olive Oil for kneading and oiling the tin
- Add flour to a large bowl, salt on one side and yeast on the other. Add the butter and three-quarters of the water, mixing with your fingers. Continue to add the water until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. Use this mixture to clean the sides of the bowl and continue until you have formed a rough dough.
- Because spelt flour has less gluten the dough must be kneaded for at least 10 minutes by hand.
- When the dough is smooth, put it into a large oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel for at least an hour but 2 or 3 hours is fine as long as it has doubled in size.
- Brush a 1KG loaf tin with olive oil or butter.
- When the dough has rested, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold it inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. I found it myself being extremely firm and almost kneading it again as it took a while to get all the air out. Then make an oblong shape with the smooth side on top and crease on the bottom. Place into the loaf tin smooth side up.
- Place tin in a plastic bag or cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for one hour until the dough has at least doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220C and put a roasting tray in the bottom.
- Dust the proved dough with a little flour and make diagonal slashes across the top. Fill the roasting tray with hot water to create some steam (helps develop the crust). Bake the bread in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Check by tipping out the loaf and tapping the bottom to see if it sounds hollow. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Note: I found that the bottom of the loaf was a little pale without a firm crust so I put the loaf back in the oven for 5 minutes without the tin and it worked a charm.