I’ve had to hide this in a cupboard because I can’t stop eating it. This spelt and honey tear and share bread is incredibly moreish and a good accompaniment to lots of different autumn meals. Eat it for breakfast or tea, split and spread with butter and honey; dunk it in a bowl of spicy pumpkin soup; or devour it with a good cheese.
Spelt is an ancient grain with a lovely, nutty flavour. I bought mine freshly milled from Suffolk’s Pakenham Watermill, which is well worth a visit if you are in the Bury St Edmunds area. People with milder intolerances sometimes find spelt easier to digest than regular wheat flour because it’s lower in gluten. Having said that, it is still a wheat, so unsuitable for coeliacs.
I’ve mixed it 3:2 here with strong white bread flour to give a better rise. Although you can make this tear and share entirely with spelt please be aware that, like rye, it will produce a denser bread.
The glaze is optional – slightly sticky but delicious. I like it with a pinch of cayenne to play against the sweetness of the honey, but again, that’s a matter of choice.
Spelt and Honey Tear and Share Bread
300g stoneground spelt flour
200g strong white bread flour
7g instant dried yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp runny honey
325ml tepid water
For the glaze:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp runny honey
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Put the flours and yeast in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add water, honey and salt and mix to a dough. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for about 10 minutes by hand or in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5-6 minutes. It will start out sticky but become drier and more stretchy and elastic as you work it.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled in size. Spelt rises faster than regular wheat flour so don’t let it over-prove. Knock it back, divide into eight even portions and form into individual rolls. Place these in a lightly oiled 22cm cake tin – I find a springform tin is easiest.
Prove for a further half hour and set the oven to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6. When risen, bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
While the bread is cooking, melt together the ingredients for the glaze in a small pan on a low heat. When the bread is done, release the sides of the tin and brush the glaze over the bread while it’s still warm.
Move to a wire rack and cool completely before tucking in.