Soon I’ll be having soy in my coffee. Yes, I made spelt bread. But I have a good excuse. I have a tetchy tummy and it has been suggested to me that I may benefit from the low FODMAPS diet put out by Monash University specifically for those of uncertain digestion. I had a look, and it certainly had quite a few foods on its naughty side that I have a lot of problems with. Specifically stone fruit, dairy products and lentils and pulses. You hear a lot of people carrying on about dairy being the root of all evil, but when a dietitian tells you to lay off the lentils I pay attention. Those things are lethal.
It didn’t fit my sensitivities exactly, there’s no way I could eat grapes, beef, mandarins, porridge or bananas without suffering the consequences, but it did suggest substituting spelt bread for wheat bread. I’ve always had a niggly feeling that gluten might be a bit of an issue for me, but it’s such a bandwagon! I’d feel so silly giving up gluten. As it turns out, spelt isn’t gluten free but it’s a different type of gluten that may be tolerated better by guts such as mine. Worth a shot, I thought.
I found a relatively simple recipe on taste.com. You dissolve fifteen grams of fresh yeast (or a seven gram sachet) in a cup and a half of water. Add a cup and a half of white spelt flour and a cup and a half of whole meal spelt flour. Also a tablespoon of olive oil, a couple of grinds of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Knead, but not nearly as much as you would a wheat loaf. I found this combination to be way too wet, so added perhaps a quarter of a cup more of the white flour. It was still quite wet, but I thought it would do. I washed and oiled the bowl and shovelled the mix back in. I covered it with a damp tea towel and took it out for a lie in the sunshine on the trampoline. I wonder why our trampoline has a burn hole in it? After about forty five minutes it had almost doubled in size, so I punched it about and massaged it into a lined loaf tin and left it in the kitchen while I went to Drummoyne.
Drummoyne took a bit longer than I thought it would. I’m planning a new bathroom and got into quite a technical chat with the proprietor of the bathroom shop. Did you know you can get floor tiles that look exactly like wood? And it’s very difficult to get a toilet that is any colour other than white these days, not that I’m terribly attached to our current peach coloured model. So by the time I got back with a sheaf of brochures the loaf had over risen a bit, so I got it straight into the oven. The rising times seem to be less than for wheat. I baked it on 220 degrees for fifteen minutes, then 180 degrees for another twenty and left it in the turned off oven while I went to pick up the Horror from Outer Space from his institution. The crust looks very good, and the thin slice that I’ve tried with a bit of butter was more than acceptable. I thought that because it hasn’t risen as much as a wheat loaf it may be a little dense, but it isn’t.
I think I can comfortably fool myself that this is bread and not some kind of hippie rabbit food. I plan on not telling the man of the house, he’s fairly unused to whole meal bread so will probably not notice. The recipe actually suggests messing about with adding linseed and decorating with flakes of oatmeal, but I didn’t bother with that. I don’t mind a linseed in whole meal bread, but I don’t have any. Maybe next time.