Monday, 10 February 2014

Spelt & Rye Bread

Recently we went out and purchased a few different flours with the intention of making bread. Since spelt was one of them, I looked up recipes and notes about making bread with it, and got some contradictory information. Some people said it needed to be kneaded more than regular wheat flour, and some people said it needed to be kneaded less.

So, once I made my dough, I divided it in half and kneaded one part for 5 minutes and one part for 15 minutes. As you can see, there was definitely a difference! The bad news is that the loaf kneaded for 15 minutes definitely rose much better. Not what I was hoping for, but them's the breaks. Actually, I thought they both rose quite well considering how much rye flour I put in. The gluten flour makes a difference. The ascorbic acid is only necessary if you are using organic flour from smaller mills - the big companies add a lot of dough conditioners to their flour to start with, so you don't need to add more. Ascorbic acid is just vitamin C powder - if you can't find it sold as such, you could grind up a vitamin C tablet.

Still, both loaves turned out quite nicely, moist and chewy with a good flavour. They have stayed surprisingly fresh for 4 days now. Success! I will now probably mix up a few batches and keep the dough in the freezer to bake as wanted.

2 loaves
7 hours - 45 minutes prep time

Spelt & Rye Bread

Proof the Yeast:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons molasses
4 teaspoons yeast

Put the buttermilk, water and molasses in a pot and heat over low heat until just warm. Turn off the stove, and sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. It will likely curdle; that's okay. Let the yeast bubble and ferment while you measure and mix the flours, about 10 minutes.

Spelt & Rye Bread

Finish the Bread:
1 cup gluten flour (100g)
4 cups whole rye flour (400g)
3 3/4 cups whole spelt flour (400g)
1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid
1 tablespoon salt
4 teaspoons caraway seed (optional)
1/4 to 1/3 cup whole spelt flour to knead

Mix all the above dry ingredients, except the last little bit of flour for kneading, in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in centre and slowly stir in the yeast mixture. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, turn it all out onto a clean board or counter top, and knead for 15 minutes. Once all the flour is absorbed into an integrated dough, use the last of the spelt flour to sprinkle the dough and counter whenever the dough feels sticky.

Put the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and turn it to coat it. Cover it with a clean tea towel and put it in a warm spot to rise until double in size; mine took about 3 hours.

Punch the dough down (just push it until it is about the size it started at) and divide it into 2 equal portions. Form them into loaves, and put them in lightly oiled loaf pans. Cover them with the tea towel again, and return them to their warm spot to double in size again (probably about 2 hours this time, although it might be a little longer).

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, until browned and firm. Remove them from their pans to cool on a rack.

Last year at this time I made Three Seed Cake.  With caraway!

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