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