spelt bread

Those who were already reading food blogs back in 2006 probably heard about the famous New York Times no-knead bread recipe. Soon after it was published, the recipe inspired dozens of copycat recipes. As most Internet fads do, this recipe slowly faded into the background, but no longer.

A friend of mine began making a spelt no-knead bread shortly after the publication of the original recipe. Spelt is a superfood grain as well as being one of the world’s most ancient grains. It has a delicious, nutty flavor, and, when baked into a bread packed with fruits and nuts, makes for a slice that’s hearty and filling. You really only need one!

The bread recipe itself can be modified as much as you like. I’ve tried it with all sorts of dried fruits and nuts, and it always comes out delicious. The dried fruit makes it sweet enough to have with breakfast, but it’s not so sweet as to deter it from being used for sandwiches. I find the most delicious way to eat it is with a wedge of excellent cheese.

The best way to make this bread is in a heavy, earthenware pot or an enamel pot like a Le Creuset.

Spelt No-Knead Bread

Makes one loaf

Ingredients

3 cups spelt flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/2 cup dried fruit (chopped prunes, craisins, dried apricots, dates)
1/2 cup nuts (chopped walnuts, almonds)

Directions

The night before you want to bake your bread, combine the flour, yeast, salt and water in a bowl. Stir until blended. Add the prunes and walnuts. Cover with a plate and leave out at room temperature (in the winter, if your kitchen gets cold, you can put this in the oven with the light on).

In the morning, turn your dough out onto a floured surface. Cut in half shape into two balls. Cover with a floured kitchen towel and allow to rise for two hours. It should double in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. Place a heavy enamel or ceramic pot with a lid, like a Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats. After half an hour of heating, remove the Dutch oven and carefully place the two pieces of dough inside, one next to the other. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15-20. Allow to cool fully before slicing.

Image: Emily Monaco