Wait a Minute: What Did I Do Right?

I have a confession to make: I don’t follow recipes. Oh, I read them thoroughly. I analyze them. And I usually think to myself: “That sounds delicious!”

Then I more or less ignore the recipes and go about improvising. Maybe it’s because I am so fond of jazz.

Also, I’m not what you might call diligent about measuring things. A little of this and a little of that.

The other day, I looked up a recipe for a light wheat bread in my trusty Zojirushi bread maker cookbook. It was quite straightforward. But, you see, I just happened to have 5 pounds of spelt flour calling out to me.

If you’re not familiar with spelt flour, I suggest giving it a try. It is an ancient grain, thought to have been cultivated and even hybridized 7,000 years ago. It has seen a revival this century in artisanal bakeries.

It is low in gluten but higher in protein and minerals compared to standard homogenized wheat used in industrial baking.

Spelt flour, with and without the husk. Photo credit: Ziko

So I decided to improvise on the original recipe and include half spelt. I used the Vitaspelt brand, which you can buy online or at most stores that offer organic products.

Since I knew the flour was low in gluten, I threw in (I think) 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten. I also substituted butter and used canola oil. The end result was a perfect looking (and tasting) loaf.

So, of course, it was at that point I had to reverse engineer my steps and come up with the recipe.

  • 2 cups (450 g) spelt flour
  • 2 cups (450 g) regular white flour
  • 2/3 cup (151 g) of either rye or whole wheat
  • 1.5 cups (375 ml) of water
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of oil
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) of salt
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) of sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons (15 g) of yeast
  • (If making the rye recipe, add 2 teaspoons (12 g) of caraway seeds)
My first attempt at a spelt flour hybrid recipe.

Give it a try. Or, if you’re like me, consider giving it a try and then ignore the recipe altogether!

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