I’m not going to claim to be a bread baker, but this is our much tried and tested bread recipe and the only one we do. Sometimes I mix it up and add in some sunflower seeds, or use honey instead of molasses but that’s as adventurous as we get! That said, it makes a killer loaf that’s great with eggs, almond butter, soup, avocado… or just freshly sliced with butter when it’s hot right out of the oven! This is not a deeply technical recipe – maybe I’ll do that soon but I had a lot of requests for it so… here you go.
Note: I use a two rise method and I recommend that for the best loaf, but if you want speed, you can skip the cool rise and put it straight in the load pan.
You will need:
3 cups Whole Grain Spelt Flour or a sprouted version if you can find one. (plus extra for kneading)
3 tsps Dry Active Yeast
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Blackstrap Molasses/Raw Honey
1/2 tsp Pink Salt
1 Cup Warm Water + 1/2 Cup (almost hot but not scalding!)
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine, then pour in the wet ingredients but just the first 1 cup of water and mix them together with a spoon. They should start to come together in a rough ball, slowly add in just enough more water to bring it together in a rough wet ball that you can just transfer out onto a floured surface. When it’s turned out, knead it for about 5 minutes until you see it take on an elastic, stretchy texture. Bring it into a ball and place it in a bowl bottom side up, drizzle with some extra oil, rub it over then turn it back over again – this helps when it comes to removing it later. Now cover the bowl with a cloth and stick the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. Yes, in the cold it will still rise and actually give a better rise a lot of the time. Plus it means you can forget about it – and bake it when you’re ready.
You can also just leave it on the counter and it will rise in about 30 minutes.
In the morning (or 30 minutes later when it’s doubled in size), pull out the dough and let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Prep your loaf pan by rubbing oil on it, then tossing in some flour and tapping it around the pan before tapping the excess out onto your kneading surface. Now dig your hands into the dough and give it a shorter second knead on the floured surface. I knead it until it softens and gives me that same elastic easy kneading consistency as before. Finally, form it into a loaf shape (by holding in both hands thumbs on top, fingers underneath, and pulling the top around with your thumbs to give a nice smooth top… yeah that’s a hopeless explanation!) then place it in your flour dusted loaf pan.
This time put it in a warm place to rise, it will need anywhere from about 30 mins to 1-1.5 hours depending on how warm your house it but you want it to rise until it’s about doubled in size and is like a soft sponge to the touch. During the last few minutes of the rise, preheat your oven to 350F. When it’s ready to go, bake is for about 40 minutes. I like to check it close to the end and actually pop it out of the pan and give it the final 10 minutes out of the pan. When it’s fully done you will hear a hollow sound when you ‘knock’ on the bottom of the loaf!
Now grab the butter and crack in! (Alternatively, allow it to cool, slice it and freeze it for single serving portions that stay fresh if you don’t want to eat it all in one sitting – which is very possible, and is why I slice and freeze it!)