Simple Spelt bread


Simple Spelt Bread, by Donna Hay, on three grey white ceramic Platter, mango wood plates and the yummiest of Camembert, Brittany butter and ripe fresh figs xxx

For most of my life, I've loved cooking... its the time, whether happy or stressed, it ticks all the boxes for me. My time to express myself, to create and the end result, around a table with the people you love to be with. The whole process is heaven!  As a little girl, I would pretend to be hosting a cookery programme, all my cake ingredients were measured in beautiful bowls my mother had, home was all mine, parents and siblings outside, playing and gardening, and my little make believe world came alive!  I don't quite do that now, but sssh... I have been known to measure all my bowls out for a 'complete' look before I start a recipe... oops!

So rather late in the game, I was reading the joys of what was in 'processed' bread, I did say late to the game!  What us children of the 70's would call 'Mothers Pride' sliced bread, does that still exist?  I always knew it wasn't ideal but hadn't really had the time to think, so probably that article and a bit of Bake Off love, homemade bread... yeast, flour, water and we are off!

This spelt bread is delicious.  Its taken from Basics to Brilliance, Donna Hay's latest cookery book, @donna.hay.  To me its a glorious mix of the soda bread my Irish Grandmother and my mother used to make and freshly baked bread.  I love the slight nuttiness of it, the simplicity of it and my harshest critics, three children, adore it... that is a good day! When you have a gaggle of tired, hungry teenagers all diving into freshly made bread and butter, the only question left to be asked... Marmite or apricot jam? xxx

Simple Spelt Bread, Basics to Brilliance, Donna Hay

625 mls Warm water

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon dry yeast

910g white spelt flour

3 teaspoons sea salt flakes (I used Maldon)

125 mls extra virgin olive oil


* Put the water, honey and yeast into a jug, mix to combine and set aside.

* Place the flour and the salt in a mixer, using the dough hook, and on a slow speed, start adding gradually the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Knead for 10 minutes or so until the dough is smooth and combined.

* Transfer the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside in a warm place for  1 and half  to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

* Preheat the oven to the hottest, 250 c/480 F,  mine only goes to 200 degrees C, and that works very well for me.   Heat a medium ovenproof, heavy based saucepan and a tight fitting lid in the oven for 30 minutes.

* Lightly dust the hot pan with flour, as well as a clean surface. Turn the dough out on to the clean board, and shape into a round using floured hands, carefully place the loaf into the hot pan.  Dust the top with flour, and score with a sharp knife. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. 

* Reduce the temperatue to 220 c/425 f, again my oven doesn't go this hot, so I lowered mine to 190C.  Uncover the loaf and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool and serve xxx

Emma Longmore