Recently I was invited to the launch of an initiative to raise awareness of bowel cancer. This is a collaborative effort of Bowel Cancer UK and Sharpham Park, a company producing organic spelt flour and various spelt products. I decided to bake something using spelt flour for the launch event and came up with this loaf. It tastes every bit as good as a conventional wheat loaf, is high in fibre and requires less kneading. I’ve used green raisins for interest but golden raisins or sultanas would work just as well.
- 300g white spelt flour
- 200g wholegrain spelt flour
- 10g fresh yeast, or, 1 pkt of dried yeast (7g)
- 10g salt
- 2 tbls of runny honey
- 100g dried cranberries
- 150g green raisins (or use golden raisins if you can’t find green. Or golden sultanas)
- 350 – 360 ml/g water
Soak the raisins in warm water for 30 minutes to plump up. Drain and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Mix the two flours and salt together with a wooden spoon or whisk. Add the dried yeast if using, or rub in the fresh yeast. Add the dried fruit and mix together. Now add the water and mix thoroughly with your hands or wooden spoon to form a softish dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes (do not over-knead as spelt gluten is more fragile than wheat).
Oil a medium-sized bowl and transfer the dough to it, rolling it round in the oiled bowl to give a thin coating of oil to the ball of dough. Cover with Clingfilm and allow to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 200ᵒC/Gas 6 for at least 20 minutes.
Punch down the risen dough to degas it in the bowl. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball with your hands. Flatten slightly and brush with plain yoghurt, fromage frais or egg wash. Scatter some rolled oats over the surface. Now score with a sharp knife e.g. either a triangle as in the photo, or various slashes, or a cross pattern. Transfer to a greased baking tray and allow to rise for 30 minutes, again in a warm place.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes on middle shelf. Tap for hollow sound to ensure that it is baked through. Place on a wire rack to cool.