Another ode to bread

[Lemon Rosemary Bread. Bread with spelt always comes out huge.]

I bake bread at least two times a week. I started to bake bread for two collegues of P. One is allergic to wheat so I use more spelt, rye, and other grains. I have a basic bread recipe which I modify a lot, depending on my mood. Bread baking has becaome a good habit, so to speak. The only problem is that I don’t write the recipes down anymore.

Many of the breads I bake are dense rye sourdough breads, but sometimes I have a craving for fluffy white yeast bread. Last week I made two loaves of a spelt and wheat bread and  two loafes of onion bread made from rye and spelt.  The bread made with spelt and wheat was very light, the onion bread a bit denser. I am still amazed by the varieties of flavour combinations which can be acieved by the use of different flours and different leavening.  Even if you have only one bread recipe there are so many possibilities, depending on your additional ingredients like herbs, nuts, spices, and even vegetables.

I don’t remember the details for the onion bread recipe. I think I used half spelt flour and half coarse rye meal and I added fried onions. It might have been like this:

Onion Bread
250 g light spelt flour*
250 g course rye meal (or whole rye flour)
350 g water
10 g fresh yeast (1 t of instant yeast)
10 g salt
170 g chopped onions, fried in one T vegetable oil and cooled to room temperature.

*using a higher amount of spelt or wheat and a smaller amount of rye will make the bread dough easier to handle.

[This bread was placed in a bread basked to ferment. I don’t have regular
bannetons, this is a cheap alternative.]

Wheat and Spelt Bread with Rosemary and Green Peppercorns

200 g spelt meal (or whole spelt flour)
200 g all purpose flour
280 g water
5 g (1 T) dried rosemary
20 g green peppercorns
8 g fresh yeast (or 3 g/1t  instant yeast)
8 g salt

[home milled spelt meal]

Wheat and Spelt Bread with Lemon and Rosemary

200 g spelt meal (or whole spelt flour)
200 g all purpose flour
280 g water
5 g (1 T) dried rosemary
lemon zest from one big organic lemon
8 g salt
8 g fresh yeast (or 1 t instant dry yeast)

The instructions for these breads are the same. Mix the ingredients, knead the dough, let it rise until doubled in size, shape, place on a piece of parchment or in a pan, let rice again until doubled, bake at 220°C/430°F for ten minutes and at 200°C/400°F for 30-40 more minutes. Let cool completely and enjoy.

I also made a bread from the wonderful blog ye olde bread blogge. The author is a fellow German and his recipes are always fantastic. I tried his 60% rye bread with several substitutions. For the soaker I used 150 g unripe smoked spelt kernels (Grünkern), ground into a course meal. Instead of wheat I used spelt.

This bread is made with a lot of rye chops or cracked rye and only a small amount of flour. It calls for a soaker, too. The finished bread is very moist but not too dense, it is aromatic and keeps for a long time. It freezes very well. It is probably best two or three days after baking. I sliced mine immediately after it had cooled and it was still a little bit too moist. Mine doesn’t look as great as the original but it is a fantastic recipe!

24 thoughts on “Another ode to bread

  1. yay thanks for posting these, i’ve been wondering about making bread with spelt for a while but wasn’t sure if it would be as easy as just replacing regular bread flour with spelt!

    1. Spelt behaves a little bit different. It is easily overkneaded, for example. And the bread tends to dry out pretty fast, too. If you mix it with other flours it is easy to handle though.

  2. Mihl,
    you’re always the “Bread Girl”. I would love to eat this confort food. See some pics in my blog from a austrian brazilian city that I went (really hard to get vegan food).
    Have a nice week.

  3. Wow, you have really perfected the artisanale practice of bread baking. The rustic finish you have created on your loaves is impressive. I have been making sourdough loaves for the past couple of years and I’m always trying to achieve that perfect crust. I’m inspired to see that you have mastered the technique. I will push on in my own journey!

  4. I’ve baked bread a couple of times, but it’s never been something I’ve done regularly, but I’d love for it to “become a good habit”, as you say. Thank you for being such a great source of inspiration!

  5. The rye braed looks great, lovely crumb! I find that breads with coarser grinds of rye have a much better aeration and get a better lift in the oven than those made with Type 1050 rye flour, which is so fine, that it might have an almost tightening effect.

  6. As far as I’m concerned, you are THE bread baking goddess! I am so happy to see everything you bake, and sad that I never have much luck at home. I should email you sometime about sourdough actually, I really want to get into sourdough bread baking… Can’t wait to see more!

  7. I hardly know what to say. These are the breads I would make (and used to make) if I hadn’t become so lazy! I used to buy sourdough bread from a German bakery (in Geelong, Australia where we lived for 6 months) that was so incredible I couldn’t get through a day without it. It looked like yours.

  8. Looks delicious – I love homemade bread and spelt flour is one of my favorites to use, because it’s whole grain and less dense than using whole wheat flour. Lemon and rosemary flavors seems like a great combination of flavors! You always seem to make the best breads! Is there no way out of using all purpose flour? I never have all purpose flour available, so I usually use white whole wheat or spelt or oat flour instead, or just all one flour, but then it comes out a little dense.

    1. Sure, you can substitute the all purpose flour with whatever you have on hand. If you use whole wheat flour you might want to add a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten flour, which will make your bread less dense.

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