Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Spelt & Rye Loaves with Cranberries & Walnuts

The bread of the month (BOM) for the Artisan Bread Bakers is an adaptation of one of Jeffrey Hammelman’s breads. The BOM version includes raisins and hazelnuts, but I didn’t have any hazelnuts so I used walnuts. I really enjoy cranberries and walnuts together in bread so I also substituted craisins for the raisins.



I’ve made white breads and mixed grain loaves with cranberries and walnuts before, and I really enjoy them but this time, I wanted to change things up a bit. I used all-purpose spelt instead of bread flour and whole grain spelt instead of whole wheat flour. I also added about10% home-milled rye flour to round out the flavor.

For this experiment, I had the opportunity to taste test VitaSpelt Whole Spelt Flour. Purity Foods graciously sent me some samples of their whole grain flour and Spelt Berries to bake with. I already use (and enjoy) their all-purpose white Spelt so I was only to happy to try some of their other products.



Spelt & Rye Loaves with Cranberries & Walnuts

Adapted from: Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hammelman.

Makes: 2 Loaves

Ingredients Weight/Volume Baker’s %
All-Purpose White Spelt Flour 475 g 52%
All-Purpose Whole Grain Spelt Flour 343 g 38%
Whole Grain Rye Flour 90 g 10%
Water, lukewarm 555 g 61%
Salt 17 g (~1 T) 2%
Yeast 4 g
Walnuts, roasted & coarsely chopped 136 g (1 cup) 15%
Craisins 136 g (scant cup) 15%



1. Place the craisins in a glass or bowl and cover them with boiling water (do not discard the water). Soak the craisins for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. In the meantime, roast the walnuts in a pan on top of the stove until golden and fragrant. Roughly chop the nuts.

3. Drain the craisins. Reserve the craisin water for use in the dough. You will need to add more water.

Note: Because I used Spelt, I used less water than the original formula. I ended up with about 110 g of water when I drained the craisins. I reserved this amount in a separate measuring cup.  Then I measured out 471 g of additional water in a different measuring cup.  I used all but about 26 g of the water I had measured for a total of 555 g. You may need more or less water depending on the type of flour used.

4. Add the flours, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine with a dough whisk. 

5. Add the water gradually while mixing on first speed to incorporate the dough.  Mix for three minutes on first speed, then increase to second speed and mix for an additional three minutes.

6. Since Spelt is picky about being over mixed, I incorporated the nuts and raisins by hand.  If you are using bread flour and whole wheat flour, you can use the stand mixer to incorporate the nuts and raisins.

spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_313 spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_315


7. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and allow to ferment for two hours, folding the dough after one hour.

spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_202 spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_205


8. Shape into round or oblong loaves and proof for 70 minutes. I shaped one oval and one round loaf.

spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_206 spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_210

9. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. about 30-45 minutes before you plan to bake the bread. Place a baking stone on the bottom rack and a steam pan underneath or a cast iron skillet on the top shelf while the oven is preheating.

10. Carefully remove the proofed loaves from the bannetons (onto parchment paper or a baking peel). Score the loaves using the pattern of your choice. I used different scoring patterns and lames for each loaf. I used a straight-scoring lame on the round loaf and a curved lame on the oval loaf.

spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_217 spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_220


11. Slide the loaves (on the parchment paper) onto the preheated baking stone.  Add hot water to the steam pan or 3 or 4 ice cubes to the cast iron skillet.  Spritz the walls of the oven with water.  Immediately close the door.

Bake the loaves for about 35 minutes. The breads might darken fast due to the craisin water, so watch them closely and reduce oven temp if necessary.

12. Remove the loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_131 spelt-rye-cranberry-walnut-loaf_603


These loaves are slightly nutty and chewy and very flavorful. The bread tastes great warm with butter or toasted for breakfast or a snack.

I enjoyed baking with the VitaSpelt from Purity Foods. I appreciate the opportunity to test it and look forward to experimenting with it some more. 


Happy Baking!


No comments:

Post a Comment