My love of bread took me to trying a true pure spelt bread. I adore making bread. The process of proofing, shaping and resting the dough and the smell of a bread baking in the oven is just so exciting. But I can never really quite get a home made bread right. Either it is too dense, or too hard, or it has a cake like texture. And all the “healthy” recipes for spelt breads always have some spelt flour added but still manage to contain a majority of white wheat flour, which I am not keen to use. That´s why I got so excited when I found a blog called Green Kitchen Stories and their oven baked, no knead spelt bread! With a total preparation time of almost 20 hours, anticipation runs high but it is really well worth it. I have adapted the recipe slightly, and it produces a heavenly light and very tasty bread.
OVEN BAKED HERB AND SPELT POT BREAD
Makes 1 large bread
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 tsp fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp raw honey
3 cups wholegrain spelt flour
1 3/4 cups light spelt flour
1/2 cup fresh parsley and rosemary.
For planning purposes: the total preparation time for this recipe is around 20 hours.
1. Pour the lukewarm water in a large bowl and stir the yeast into it until it has dissolved completely.
2. Finely chop the parsley and rosemary and add this to the bowl with the salt and honey.
3. Use a sieve over the bowl to add the flour and stir until everything is combined very well. Now the mixture is very thin and messy and not at all like a bread dough. Be reassured: this is just how it is supposed to be.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in room temperature for 12 to 15 hours (overnight).
5. Now the mixture should be very sticky and bubbly and will be difficult to work with. Use some spelt flour to cover the kitchen counter and a clean cloth or kitchen towel.
6. Pour or scoop the dough onto the floured kitchen surface and dust with some flour.
7. Try to fold the mixture four times by folding each side onto the middle of the dough. This is not at all easy but give it your best.
8. Lift the mixture of the kitchen counter and place it with the folded sides down onto the kitchen towel or cloth. Cover the mixture with the kitchen towel and let it rise again for 2 hours at room temperature.
9. Turn on the over to 250 degrees C and place a cast iron pan with the lid on in the middle of the oven.
10. After 45 minutes, the oven should be heated and the cast iron pan will be red hot.
11. Take the cast iron pan out of the oven. Be careful and use gloves!
12. Unwrap the cloth or kitchen towel and drop the (runny) dough into the cast iron pan.
13. Score the dough with a sharp knife.
14. Cover the pan with the lid and put it into the middle of the preheated oven.
15. Bake for 30 minutes.
16. Remove the lid, slightly lower the temperature to 230 degrees C and bake for another 15 minutes.
17. Now remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
18. Now turn the pan upside down, remove the bread and let it cool completely.
19. Enjoy on it´s own, with a lovely bowl of soup or with a tuna salad.