Spelt Bread Recipe: An Ancient Tradition
There’s a reason why our spiritual nourishment is often referred to as bread of life. Bread has been around almost as long as civilization. In fact, bread made out of the ancient grain of spelt was one of the first breads ever baked. So spelt bread has been around for a very long time. Our Hildegard spelt bread recipe is a modern take on this ancient recipe.
This delicious spelt yeast bread recipe is an easy way to start baking with spelt. For more recipes using spelt flour, see our post: spelt flour recipes.
When you bake this version, you will fill your home with the warm and familiar smell of fresh baked bread, a comforting and enjoyable bonus to the delightful taste and texture of this hearty spelt bread.
Germans call dinner abendbrot. “Abend” means evening, and “brot” means bread. Even today, most Germans eat dinner as Hildegard would have recommended: a modest meal.
After experiencing this hearty and dense bread from Hildegard’s spelt bread recipe, you just might discover how bread alone might actually satisfy as an evening meal. For more about spelt, see our post: What is Spelt?
Hildegard’s Spelt Bread Recipe
This spelt flour bread recipe makes hearty and filling bread in the age-old European style. It serves as a perfect accompaniment to Fennel soup or as a treat on its own.
You might be wondering, is spelt gluten free? Spelt is related to wheat, so it is not technically gluten free. But the gluten in spelt may be easier to digest than the gluten contained in wheat.
The spelt dough in this recipe may also be used for a variation on our spelt pizza dough recipe.
Spelt Bread Recipe Ingredients:
- 3 ½ cups of Spelt flakes (½ cup used for topping)
- 4 ½ cups of spelt flour
- 2 cups of lukewarm water
- 1 cup of lukewarm milk
- 1 tablespoon of sugar (substitute ½ lemon, or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice)
- 2 packages of dry yeast (7 grams each)
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed oil (or, olive oil)
Spelt Bread Recipe Directions:
Combine 3 cups of grain spelt flakes and 4 ½ cups of spelt grain flour in a single mixing bowl. Separately, allow the yeast powder to dissolve in the lukewarm milk (105 to 110 degrees.) Add the milk and yeast combination to the grain spelt flakes and spelt flour and begin mixing. Mix by hand or use a mixer on low speed.
As you mix, gradually add the lukewarm water, lemon juice (or sugar), salt and sunflower oil.
Continue mixing for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and elastic.
Cover the mixture with a kitchen towel and set it aside in a warm (not hot) place. Allow spelt bread dough to rise until it has approximately doubled in size (this takes about 2 hours.)
Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Once the dough has leavened, divide into two separate loaves and knead it again by hand for 2 or 3 minutes.
Place the loaves of spelt bread dough in the pans and run a cut through the center surface of both spelt breads (about ¼ inch deep.) Cover them again, and allow to rise to rise to the top of the pans.
Bake both spelt bread loaves in the oven’s center rack at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 385F for an additional 30 minutes. This helps create a crispy crust.
Remove the loaves and cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the baking tins and continue cooling on a rack. The most difficult part of our spelt bread recipe is letting the bread cool.
Spelt Bread Recipe Options:
If you like a lightly crisped crust, you can brush some milk and melted butter to the surface of the dough prior to baking. Consider adding the remaining ½ cup of grain spelt flakes to the top of each loaf before baking.