Have any of you tried to bake bread with spelt or emmer before? I regularly bake with hard red winter wheat, but bought a bunch of spelt and emmer and would like to try to make bread with it. Anyone know of a recipe? I have looked online and can't find anything.
I make spelt bread - just using a recipe for wholemeal and substituting spelt for the wholemeal flour. It is a denser, moister bread.
When you say denser, do you mean it doesn't rise as high? How about emmer? Anyone have luck with that?
I usually make bread in a boule shape, rather than a tin when I use spelt flour. It doesn't rise anywhere near as much as ordinary wholewheat flour (IME). I don't know about emmer, I've never heard of it!
Spelt and emmer are both quite low in gluten, which is what gives bread the ability to rise when yeast is added, so when you make breads with these flours, it is going to be denser, rise much less, etc., but will still be really tasty.
for low gluten breads (I make Tibetan barley bread this way), rather than a loaf pan, I make a low, round loaf on a baking tin, and end up with slices that resemble bread versions of what biscotti looks like, (biscotti being the baked loaf of a sweeter bread, baked, then sliced, then rebaking the slices until crisp). The slices of the low gluten breads look almost like the biscotti loaves before you slice them to rebake to make biscotti. Confused yet?
Suffice it to say that spelt and emmer make great breads, but they won't rise much. If you are not gluten intolerant, you can mix in some proportion of regular whole wheat flour to improve rising, but most people use spelt or emmer because they want as little gluten as possible, and in those cases, you just have to resign yourself to a heavy, dense, not much risen loaf, although it will still be very tasty.
incidentally, spelt, einkorn and emmer are all ancient variety of wheats, closer to the wild wheats than "ordinary" wheat that we know today. Even our "ordinary" wheat is much higher in gluten than it used to be. Even using organic whole wheat flour, so you know it hasn't been genetically modified, just bred for higher gluten, I find that I only need to knead my bread a fraction of the amount of time I used to, thirty or forty years ago. The gluten content in today's wheat is so much higher.
To me, this higher gluten content, to make bread rise higher and require less kneading, may be why so many people are beginning to find themselves wheat intolerant. Maybe our systems are more adapted to the lower gluten wheats........
Thanks for the replies. I wonder if using a sponge would help?
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