Bread is one of the most beloved food staples. There is nothing like slicing into fresh bread in the morning and smearing it with a hearty layer of almond butter, jam or butter.
The problem with a lot of commercial breads that line grocery store shelves is that they are loaded in preservatives and refined flours. These breads might appear healthy, proclaiming to protect against heart disease and high cholesterol; however, they are riddled with unwanted ingredients.
Pick up your average bread in the grocery store and find words like monoglycerides, calcium propionate, diglycerides and sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate. While all of these ingredients have their specific purpose to leaven, emulsify and liquefy, many of these ingredients can actually wreak havoc in the body. This does not even take into account the commercial breads made with refined flours that have removed any semblance of fiber or micronutrients.
The answer to finding the most delicious, healthful bread is to make your own. This recipe is with spelt, tolerated by those with wheat sensitivities and it is higher in protein, fibre and contains nutrients that’s easier to absorb in the digestive system.
Bread making can be quite challenging and laborious but this recipe is to do. Get ready because your kitchen is about to become the best bakery in town.
Sprouted Spelt Artisan Bread
3 cups of sprouted spelt flour
1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 ½ cups of luke warm water
¼ cup of oats for dusting
- Sift the flour, yeast and sea salt into a large bowl.
- Add the water and mix until shaggy dough forms, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit for 12-18 hours overnight.
- When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 °F. When the oven has reached the desired temperature put a dutch oven into the oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the dough on a floured surface and form into a ball. You do not need to knead the dough, so even though it may be tempting, refrain from doing it! Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest until it’s ready to go into the oven.
- When the oven has been preheated for 30 minutes, take the dutch oven out, sprinkle the bottom of it with a small handful of oats (this prevents the bottom of the dough from immediately sticking and burning).
- Place the dough in the dutch oven, put it back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes covered and then a final 15 minutes uncovered.
- Take it out, let it cool for 10 minutes.
Add different combinations of ingredients for a gourmet loaf that will be a great addition to any entertaining table.
- Olives and rosemary
- Thyme and grapes
- Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and craisins
- Millet, quinoa and oats
- Sundried tomato and garlic
- Asiago and basil
Notes: Visit your local health food stores to find sprouted spelt flour.
Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.