Spelt bread


A loaf of spelt bread on a cooling rack

Spelt has a lovely nutty flavour and it naturally proves and rises more quickly than wheat flour so it is quicker to make a loaf of bread using spelt flour! This recipe gives consistent results and yet it is very easy, so go on: give it a try! John Duxbury


Recipe summary for spelt bread


• It is important that the water is tepid because if it is too hot it will kill the yeast: the water should be between 35—45°C (95-115°F).
• If you are making the bread by hand, increase the kneading time to 10 minutes.

Spelt bread made with wholemeal spelt flour

• The recipe also works well with wholemeal spelt flour.
• If you don't use a loaf tin in step 9 the dough can sometimes spread out too much. If so, either lightly reshape with your scraper before flouring, scoring and baking, or transfer the dough to a floured 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin, recover and leave to prove for another 10 minutes before flouring, scoring and baking.


300 g spelt flour
200 g strong white flour (bread flour)
7 g "Easy bake" yeast, usually 1 packet
325 g lukewarm water
10 g sea salt (2 tsp)
1 tbsp honey
  flour for dusting

(Given the widespread availability of digital scales we recommend measuring flour and liquid quantities in grams.)


1. Fit a dough hook to a stand mixer, such as a kMix or KitchenAid.

2. Combine the flours and yeast in the mixer's bowl, stirring to ensure that they are evenly mixed.

3. Add 325 g of lukewarm water, 10 g (2 tsp) of sea salt and 1 tbsp of honey to a jug. Stir until the honey and salt are both dissolved.

4. With the motor running on minimum, slowly add the liquid mixture to the flours.

5. When all the liquid has been added, increase the speed to 2 (kMix) or 3 (KitchenAid), for 5 minutes. You should end up with a ball of dough that is still slightly sticky.

6. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball.

Spelt dough in a mixing bowl waiting to prove

7. Clean out the bowl and then lightly flour it. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a shower cap, clingfilm or a cloth and leave to rise in a warm draught-free place for about 1 hour, until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

8. Tip the dough onto the floured surface again and push down on it a couple of times to knock the air out of it.

Wholemeal spelt dough after being shaped

9. Either shape it into a log and plop it into a floured 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin, or shape it into an oval as shown above and then place the loaf on a floured baking sheet.

10. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm draught-free place to prove until it has doubled in size again, which normally takes about 30 minutes.

11. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, Gas 7, Fan 180°C).

12. Place a tray of boiling water at the bottom of the oven. (This helps to keep the bread moist, but take care when opening the oven.)

13. When the dough has doubled in size dust the bread lightly with flour and then make a cut along the length of the bread using a sharp knife*, adding some diagonal cuts it desired. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until it has turned golden or the inner temperature has reached 95ºC (205ºF).

A slice of spelt bread

14. Leave the bread to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

*Ideally the cut, professionals call it a score, should be firm, rapid and decisive. You can make the score with a sharp knife, grignette or lame (pronounced "lahm"). Aim to cut into the bread at about 45º and at a depth of about 3 mm (⅛"), but it is only to make the loaf look more attractive and it doesn't alter the flavour of the bread, so don't worry about it "going wrong".


• Incorporate 115 g (¾ cup) mixed seeds, such as linseed, sesame, pumpkin or sunflower into the dough after step 8.
• Replace the honey with black treacle.
• Make an egg wash by lightly beating 2 tablespoons of water with an egg and instead of dusting with flour in step 13 brush with the egg wash, then sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of mixed seeds and 1 tablespoon of spelt porridge flakes.


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John Duxbury
Editor and Founder