Monday, 15 April 2013
Chestnut and Spelt Bread
On a recent rummage through my freezer I came across a tub of chestnut puree that had been lingering there since last autumn. Rather than let it dwell in the freezer any longer I thought I had better dig it out and find a use for it. On a further rummage through my cupboard I discovered a packet of spelt flour that I had bought a while back as it is an ingredient I haven’t used in baking before but was keen to try.
Spelt is an ancient relative of modern wheat and is most similar to whole wheat flour. The gluten in spelt flour however breaks down a lot more readily compared with traditional wheat flour so it doesn’t require quite as much kneading or proving time when making bread.
And so I decided to combine these two forgotten ingredients into one lovely recipe and set about making chestnut and spelt bread.
1 tablespoon of molasses
1 tablespoon of malt extract
7g dried yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
300g spelt flour
75g rye flour
Pinch of salt
175g chestnut puree (see here for a method to make your own)
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C / 430°F
Mix the molasses, malt extract, yeast and warm water together in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile sift both of the flours and the salt into a large mixing bowl.
After 10 minutes add the remaining water and the chestnut puree to the yeast mixture and stir until well combined. Once mixed together add to the flour. Then use you hands to bring the wet and dry ingredients together until a firm dough is formed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and slightly springy to the touch.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover with cling film, leave in a warm spot until the dough has
doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto the work surface again and shape into a round loaf and transfer to a baking tray. Leave the dough for another 30 minutes.
Finally slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife before transferring to the oven and baking for 25 minutes until nicely browned and crusty.