Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lets Talk about Spelt!

What is Spelt, and why would I want to use it?

I'm assuming that you've heard a bit about spelt already - and you probably already know that it's been cultivated since Roman times and possibly a whole lot earlier - a kind of prototype of modern wheat if you like. If you've done more than a smidgin of research, you'll also know that it's quite possible that spelt is actually a hybrid of wild goat grass and emmer wheat. So it has direct links to native species of grass - it's actually been around since before we figured out how to cultivate things. This makes it old, old, old. Deserves respect, the time of day and all that.

So I thought I would give it the respect it so rightfully deserves, and play with it a little now and again - try to figure out how it fits in to our modern day mashup. I have to tell you that my heart really belongs to wheat, but I'm being won over by spelt. It's got a whole lot going for it on a number of levels. Apart from a mysterious and illustrious history, it's also a very good grain to make bread with. It has a sensational flavour, rises well, keeps well, and is suitable for people who have wheat intolerances. This will make a whole lot of people who have had to eat naturopathic limbo foods very happy indeed, because this spelt stuff really does the trick for diehard wheateaters like my good self. It has a type of protein which is more easily digested than wheat, and yet doesn't hide it's deliciousness at all. Bring it on, I say.

I wanted to get this post out there quickly, because there is a lot to be said about this particular grain. So I'm chunking it down - in coming days, I'll talk about making Sourdough Starter using Spelt, and how to use it in bread recipes. I also want to go into a few different millings commonly available, and what they are best for. I also would like to speak a bit about the downside of the global economy - I'm not joking, this really is a case of we pay more for what happens on the global market.

I've got more about grains on my website at

Until then, happy baking!

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