Ah, it had seemed like forever since I baked a fresh loaf of bread. My husband had some toast cravings, so I eagerly walked to the store for the necessary supplies. That is when I spotted the spelt flour. I have always loved the taste of whole grains, but something about the light sweetness of spelt always wins me over.
Though we both loved my Hearty German-Style Spelt Bread, I was craving something a bit lighter in taste for this week’s breakfast bread. I opted to adapt the very simple recipe from Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flour, but since I had just purchased a 1 lb bag of good organic cinnnamon ($4 – no joke!), I also decided to spike the loaf with a touch of spice.
Unfortunately, I didn’t pay close attention to the quantity of the recipe from the get-go. This makes an 8 x 4-inch loaf, while I only have 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Now this is something that always baffles me. Why are so many bread recipes written for 8 x 4 loaf pans when 9 x 5 loaf pans are sold everywhere?! I seriously cannot find an 8 x 4 pan in any of the stores around here.
The recipe still came out nicely, but my husband had this look of concern when he saw the freshly baked loaf sitting in the pan on the counter. I toasted two slices for him and with a smile he said, “This is good, not at all hard like I expected.” Because the loaf was so squat, he thought it was going to be uber-dense. He didn’t realize it was just a recipe that was too small for the pan!
I topped his toast with his favorite, nut butter and jelly, and mine with a homemade honey spread – hmmm, maybe I should share that recipe too?
Of course, this is still a “hearty” bread. Not a speck of those white-processed flours within, so do not expect fluffiness. But, it is tasty, and a recipe I will be working with more to really make it my own. For now, here is the recipe for you to enjoy …
Simply Cinnamon Spelt Bread
At present, I still enjoy making all of my bread recipes by hand, but this loaf can also be made in a bread machine. I have included those instructions (from Arrowhead Mills since I haven’t tried it!) also. This recipe is Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and optionally Vegan.
- 2-1/4 Teaspoons or 1 1/4-ounce Package Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Cup Warm Water
- 2 Tablespoons Honey, Agave Nectar, or Sweetener of Choice (I used honey)
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-Light Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Melted Coconut Oil, or Light-Tasting Oil of Choice (I used the olive)
- 3 to 3-1/2 Cups Whole Grain Spelt Flour, divided (I actually used Bob’s Red Mill as the local store didn’t have Arrowhead Mills)
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
Combine the yeast, warm water, sweetener and oil in a large mixing bowl, and let it sit and “proof” for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add 1.5 cups of the flour, plus all of the cinnamon and salt. Mix for a minute (I used a hand mixer) until it is well combined.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the loose dough sit for 30 minutes to an hour in a warm place to rise. It should double in size.
Beat in the flour gradually, and begin kneading it with your hands as the dough gets stiff. The original recipe called for 3-1/2 cups of flour, but I only used 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons, and the dough was a good consistency – smooth, just a touch sticky, but not sticking to my hands and easy to knead (the full amount would have made it too tough). So I suggest adding 1-1/2 cups and then adding in the final 1/2 cup as needed.
Shape the dough into a loaf shape that will fit nicely into a greased loaf pan (preferably 8×4-inch!). Cover it with that damp cloth and let it rise for about an hour in a warm place (I tend to make bread when I am in the kitchen cooking or doing prep anyway, so I place the loaf on top of the oven if it is on – this is a nice warm spot).
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and bake the loaf for 30 to 40 minutes. Once done, the crust will have a nice deep brown hue, but not burnt.
Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing it to cool completely on a wire rack.
BREAD MACHINE INSTRUCTIONS: Add ingredients to machine according to manufacturer’s instructions [since I haven’t tested it, I would suggest using the full 3.5 cups of flour as recommended in the original recipe]. Bake on shortest cycle (NOT quick bread cycle). If loaf falls and craters during baking cylce, decrease water slightly next time.
Yields 1 8×4 loaf or 1 squat 9×5 loaf
Happy Baking AND Eating …