Spelt Bread (The Grant Loaf)

Invented accidentally by Doris Grant in 1944, this wholemeal loaf has become famous for its simplicity (no kneading and just one short rise in the tin) and for its moist texture and nutty flavour. Wholemeal flour or spelt flour can be used.

Ingredients & equipment

700g stone-ground spelt wholemeal flour or  (stone-ground wholemeal bread flour)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

15g fresh yeast  or 7g instant yeast

1 rounded teaspoon honey

600ml tepid water

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for sprinkling

A loaf tin, 900g lightly greased with vegetable oil.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200⁰C  Gas 6

Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre.

Crumble the fresh yeast in a small bowl.Add the honey.

Add about 150ml of tepid water. Stir until smooth and creamy. Leave for 10 minutes until frothy.

Pour the yeast liquid and the remaining 450ml tepid water into the well in the flour.The yeast liquid will become very active and bubbly.

Mix vigorously with your hand for 1 – 2 minutes, working from the sides to the centre until the dough feels elastic and slippery, and comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. It will be much wetter than standard bread dough.

Put the dough into the prepared tin and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for about 25 – 30 minutes until the dough rises to within 1 cm of the top of the tin.

Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, then bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

Using a cloth or oven gloves to protect your hands, remove the loaf from the tin and tap it underneath with your knuckles. It should sound hollow when baked  then  transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.

Best eaten within 4 days or toasted. This bread can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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