Sunday, 24 April 2011

No Knead Holiday Spelt Bread with Anise and Olive Oil

This No Knead Holiday Spelt Bread was my contribution to the family Easter dinner. Several members of my family are trying to eat more healthy (and organic whenever possible) so I wanted to bring a healthy bread, but it also had to be delicious. I’ve been really busy with work and trying to get my garden planted this Spring so the bread also had to be fuss-free.

I looked at several recipes but they all seemed to take a little more time than I was willing to devote. I finally decided to go with one of the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes’ breads: Il Bollo, an Italian Challah shaped like a ball. 

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This bread is traditionally served to break the fast for Yom Kippur. I really liked the combination of flavors in this bread; olive oil, anise, vanilla, and lemon, so I decided to adapt it for use with Spelt and create my own holiday bread.


No Knead Holiday Spelt Bread

Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes Il Bollo by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., & Zoe Francois

Makes: Two 1-pound Loaves

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  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain Spelt flour
  • 2 3/4 cups white Spelt flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten 
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I used 3/4 teaspoon of lemon zest granules.)
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with tablespoon of water) for brushing on the loaf



Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, anise seeds, lemon zest granules, and vital wheat gluten in a large bowl or in a lidded food container.

Here are the whole grain spelt and white spelt flours.

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This is the rest of the dry ingredients.

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Add the liquid ingredients and mix together without kneading.  I used a Danish dough whisk to incorporate all of the ingredients.

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Cover and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours.

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Refrigerate the dough in a lidded container and use over the next 5 days. I used it the next day.  This is what the dough looked like after I took it out of the refrigerator.

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On baking day, prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece.  Shape the dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

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Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on the prepared pan for 90 minutes.

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Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., with a rack placed in the center of the oven.  Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the loaf with egg wash, and then sprinkle the crust lightly with additional anise seeds. Slash the loaf with a 1/4-inch-deep slash into the top, using a serrated bread knife. I made a different slash pattern on my loaves.

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Place the cookie sheet on the stone or on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until browned and firm. My loaves were starting to get really dark due to the egg wash so I covered them with aluminum foil and finished baking them. I used an instant read thermometer to test for doneness. It only took about 25 minutes for the loaves to bake.

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Allow the loaves to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.

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At this point, I wrapped the loaves in a towel and transported them to my mom’s house for dinner.

I got a shot of the bread on my mom’s counter. 

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Then I sliced the loaves and served them.  We went through the first loaf right away so I had the cut the other loaf real quick.

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We had about 20 or so people at the family get together and I believe everyone tried at least one slice of the bread.  Several went back for seconds (and thirds). They all liked the combination of the lemon zest, anise seeds, vanilla, olive oil and the spelt flour. Everyone gave it a “thumbs up”.  

I think we have a keeper.  This bread met the criteria I had established when I was looking for a bread to make for the family get together. It’s healthy, delicious, and easy to make. In fact, there were only a couple of slices left for me to bring home. That’s a good thing.


Thanks for joining me in the bread-baking blog. 

Happy Baking!




About the HBinFive Baking Group
The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. For more information on the HBinFive baking group, check out BigBlackDog.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Whole Wheat Bread with no added fat or sweetener

Are you looking for a 100% Whole Wheat Bread that can be made with no added fat or sweetener

I have just the bread for you…

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It’s called Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread and it’s made with Super SproutTM from Lindley Mills.  Super SproutTM is a whole grain organic wheat that has been sprouted using a proprietary method and milled into flour for baking. The wheat flavor of this sprouted flour is deeper, smoother and more well-rounded than plain whole wheat flour.

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I learned about Super SproutTM  at the Asheville Bread Baking Festival during Peter Reinhart’s workshop. He baked some Sprouted whole wheat loaves and Sprouted Whole Wheat focaccia with Cranberries for the demonstration. Both were delicious.


I took the following photo before the room was filled to capacity.  Everyone wanted to see what Peter Reinhart was up too.  We weren’t disappointed.



Here is Peter Reinhart showing us the loaves.  We got to sample them as well.


This is Peter Reinhart demonstrating how to make some artisan loaves with the dough.


I liked this method and the bread so much, I decided to get some of the flour and try it for myself.

The nutritional information on the package states that, “sprouting greatly enhances the nutrition and digestibility of wheat. The body sees sprouted wheat more as vegetable than a grain.  The sprouting process jump-starts digestion and provides a far superior nutritional value for your body.” 


Super Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread

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Makes: 1 loaf

Source: Master Formula from Peter Reinhart’s workshop at the Asheville Bread Baking Festival

The dough is very easy to work with. It does not require a long fermentation time to develop the flavor or structure of the bread.

Due to the sprouting process, the sprouted wheat flour remains soft and tender without the addition of oil or fat which is usually added to 100% whole wheat bread.  The flour is also naturally sweet so it does not require the addition of sweeteners for most breads.  However, if you want to make sweet, enriched dough such as cinnamon buns or brioche, you can add some fat and sweetener.

Another interesting difference with sprouted wheat flour is that sprouting the wheat changes the flour enough so that many of the rules for artisan breads, such as the use of preferments and long, slow rising times, can be accomplished by the flour itself in less time because the enzyme activity provided by the long fermentation times is already accomplished during the sprouting process.



16 oz (454g) sprouted whole wheat flour

0.25 oz (7g) (1 teaspoon) salt

0.16 oz (4.5g) (1 1/2 teaspoons) instant yeast (1/2 oz – if using fresh yeast)

14.5 oz (411g) water (room temperature)



Mix on slow speed with the paddle (not the hook) for one minute.  I used a Danish dough whisk rather than a stand mixer.

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Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then increase to medium speed and mix for two minutes.  I mixed it again with the Danish dough whisk.

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Remove the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and perform one stretch and fold.

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Transfer the dough to an oiled container (or cover the dough on the oiled work surface with a bowl).

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Perform three additional stretch and folds at 5 minute intervals (these intervals can be extended to up to twenty minutes each).

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After the final stretch and fold, place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and ferment for 60 to 90  minutes at room temperature (shorter if using a proof box).

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Shape the dough for either sandwich loaf or hearth baking.  I wanted some whole wheat sandwich bread so I shaped it into a sandwich loaf.  My dough was a little wet so it was a bit tricky to shape.

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Mist the top of the loaf with pan spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap (for hearth baking you can use a couche).  

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Proof for 60 to 80 minutes, or as needed.

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For hearth bread, bake at 450 degrees F/220 degrees C with steam for approximately 30 to 35 minutes.  For sandwich loaf, bake at 375 degrees F/191 degrees C for approximately 45-55 minutes. 

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I baked my sandwich loaf at 350 degrees F until it registered 205 on an instant read thermometer.  It was still a little bit sticky in the middle so I turned the oven off and opened the door but left the loaf in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes more.

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Remove from the oven and let the loaf cool on a wire rack.

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I brushed the top of the loaf with butter, but once I tasted it, I realized it didn’t need the butter on top.  I should’ve left it alone.

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It tasted great plain or with butter or peanut butter.  My boyfriend described it as “total deliciousness!”

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This bread has been YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.

I’m sure you’ll want to try this sprouted wheat flour too; however, you’ll have to wait. It’s coming soon to a store near you. I spoke with the folks at Lindley Mills last week and they’re working on setting up distribution channels. I’ll let you know when I find out any more details. 

By the way, the cost of the flour was very reasonable.  I was able to make this bread for under $2.00 since I didn’t have the extra cost of the fat or sweetener just a little bit of salt and the dried yeast. 


Thanks for joining me in the bread baking blog.  I hope you’ll join me again soon.


Happy Baking!


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Sprouted Emmer Bread

I’m continuing my experiment with ancient grains. This month, I’m working with Emmer.  As you may remember, last month, I decided that to really compare grains to grains, I should use the same or a similar bread recipe.  Sprouted Wheat Bread (with flour) is one of my favorite breads so I decided it would be a good bread to use as the test comparison.  I featured Sprouted Einkorn Bread last month. This month I’m featuring Sprouted Emmer Bread.

As I mentioned in my HBinFive Emmer Bread post, Emmer is an ancient grain that is plumper and longer than modern wheat grains. The grain is lower in gluten than regular wheat but higher in protein and fiber. Emmer has a bold-flavor and usually makes a heavy and dense bread compared to wheat bread. To make a lighter bread, I used a combination of sprouted Emmer grains, Emmer flour and bread flour.

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Sprouted Emmer Bread

Adapted from The Pleasure of Whole-Grain Breads by Beth Hensperger

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Makes: 3 Medium loaves or 2 large loaves


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 packages) active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of ginger
  • 2 cups Emmer flour
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sprouted Emmer berries, chopped
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
  • Wheat germ, for sprinkling
  • Melted butter, for brushing


Step 1: Sprouting the Emmer Berries

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Makes: 2 cups

  • 1/2 cup raw Emmer berries


Place the emmer berries in a bowl and add tepid water to cover by 1 inch.  Let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours. 

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Drain the emmer berries and rinse with fresh water.  Divide between two 1-quart jars.  Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.  I only used 1 jar.

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Place the jars on their sides in a warm, dark place. 

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Twice a day, rinse and drain the emmer berries with tepid water poured through the cheesecloth.  After 2 to 3 days, the emmer berries will sprout.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. I sprouted my berries for about 2 days, then refrigerated them for 3 days until I had time to bake the bread.

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Grind in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Be careful not to over process; the berries should be chunky.

Tip: When you place the quart jars in a cool, dark place such as your cabinet, put them in a container so that the excess water drains into the container instead of your cabinet.

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Step 2: Making the Bread

Pour 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast, sugar, and ginger over the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

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In a large bowl using a whisk or in the bowl of your mixer, combine the emmer flour, milk powder, and salt.  Since emmer is an ancient grain, it seemed more appropriate to mix the dough by hand rather than using a mixer.

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Add the warm water, honey, and 4 tablespoons butter. Mix or beat for 1 minute. I used a Danish dough whisk for this part.

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Add the yeast mixture and beat 1 minute longer. 

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Add all the emmer berries and the bread flour, 1/2 cup a a time, beating on low speed until a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl forms, switching to a wooden spoon when necessary if making by hand.  I used a Danish dough whisk for this part as well.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and spongy, 1 to 2 minutes for a machine mixed dough and 3 to 4 minutes for a hand-mixed dough, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time, just enough as needed to prevent sticking.

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Place in a lightly greased deep container, turn once to coat the top with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. 

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Let rise at room temperature until double in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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Grease three 8-by-4-inch loaf pans and sprinkle the bottom and sides with wheat germ.  Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide into 3 equal portions.  Or, if you want bigger loaves, divide it into 2 equal portions. I opted for the bigger loaves so I divided it into two round balls to begin with.

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Then I flattened each piece out on the counter and pat it portion into a rectangle and rolled into a loaf shape. 

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Press the seam closed with your fingers.

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Place, seam side down, into the prepared pans. 

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Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until level with the rims of the pans, about 1 hour.

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About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven.

I decided to score these loaves.  I don’t normally score loaf breads, but I saw some beautiful scored loaf breads at the Asheville Bread Baking Festival so I decided to give it a shot.

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Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crusty and golden. 

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Remove the loaves from the pans to cool on a rack.

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Brush the tops with melted butter.  Let the loaves cool, then slice and enjoy.

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I put this loaf through my peanut butter test. It passed with flying colors. I enjoyed it with some organic peanut butter and a little homemade orange marmalade.  Delicious!

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This bread has been YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.

Thanks for joining me in the bread-baking blog. 

Happy Baking!