I love grinding my own flour and making bread from scratch. I also like to share my favorite recipes that I've perfected over the years.
Do You Enjoy Spelt?
Do you love the smell of fresh bread as it bakes in the oven on a chilly winter afternoon or even on a hot summer day? Does just thinking about homemade bread make your mouth water? Mine does.
I want to share my new favorite bread recipe with my fellow bread-lovers. And honestly, who isn't a bread-lover? Even though diets say we shouldn't enjoy bread and carbs, whole wheat spelt bread is high in fiber and nutrients and wonderfully healthy. If you know anything about spelt, you know it is easier for your body to digest—it is more water-soluble and jam-packed full of goodness. How could you not enjoy something so good for you?
I always use a Bosch Universal (or Universal Plus) mixer with their patented dough hook attachment. These mixers easily handle large batches of dough that bog down other machines.
- 12 cups whole wheat spelt flour, sifted
- 6 cups hot tap water, not hot enough to burn
- 2/3 cup oil
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1-2 cups flax or bulgar wheat, optional
- Add water, oil, honey, salt, and six cups of flour to your mixer.
- Mix on speed one until smooth. The mixture will be runny.
- Add the yeast. I like to sprinkle it in as it mixes.
- Start adding the remaining flour one cup at a time. I usually add about three cups of flour, then increase to speed two.
- Continue adding flour one cup at a time until the dough starts to clean the edges of the bowl. As the dough becomes more consistent, increase to speed three. Gradually add smaller amounts of flour until the bowl is thoroughly cleaned by the dough.
- Set a timer for five minutes. Spelt has fragile gluten, so you do not want to overwork the dough. Kneading in the mixer for five minutes is long enough.
- Halfway through, turn off the mixer. Tap the bread to test for stickiness. If dough doesn't stick to your fingers, and has a sort of smooth shine to it, it is ready. If your fingers do have dough stuck to them, you will need to add small amounts of flour (1/4 cup at a time) until it passes the sticky test.
- Finish mixing for the remaining time. When your timer rings, your bread dough is finished kneading.
- Spray your countertop with vegetable or canola oil, or your favorite non-stick cooking spray. You can also spray your hands while you are at it.
- Dump the dough from the Bosch bowl onto the counter.
- Separate the dough into five to six equal parts using a sharp knife.
- Shape each part into a loaf.
- Generously spray the bread pans and place a loaf of dough inside each one.
- Line up your bread pans and cover them with a clean, lightweight towel.
- Let the bread dough rise until double in size. (About 45 minutes.)
- Uncover and bake your bread at 350º for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
Spelt Recipe Variations
I must admit, I don't always follow the recipe exactly as prescribed above. Here are some of the variations I like to use.
I have roughly 200 pounds of hard red wheat in my downstairs emergency food storage. Since it needs to be rotated, I usually grind my own and mix my flours. I use about four cups of hard red wheat, four cups of spelt flour, and four cups of white bread flour. Sometimes I only mix two of the three options, it just depends on what I need to use up in my storage. Please note, any variation of this bread is yummy. Sometimes I use only whole wheat flour, and it still turns out great.
White Wheat Flour and Dough Enhancer
A friend of mine uses this recipe, but she uses hard white wheat that she grinds into flour. She adds two tablespoons of dough enhancer. You can use practically any kind of wheat with this recipe and it will turn out amazing. Spelt does have a tendency to be a little heavier when used alone, so the dough enhancer helps to get a better rise.
I have used this spelt bread dough recipe to make pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, and dinner rolls. I'm sure it could be used for other things as well. It's not too sweet, and it's healthy!
Iris on May 09, 2020:
Excellent recipe ! This is my 3rd time making this bread.....i always cut it in half ....i make 2 smaller loaves and a pan of cinnamon buns !
Tracy S on April 28, 2020:
for the flax, is that ground flax seed or whole?
Brandon on April 23, 2020:
Thank you for the ideas! I look forward to giving it a go! One question, can you refrain from using the honey? I ask as my mother is not aloud any sweeteners.
Claudia on September 23, 2019:
Love this spelt bread and have made it a dozen or so times.
Once in while my bread has holes in the center. Do you know what I
Might be doing wrong?
Kelli on January 12, 2018:
Used this recipe today for the first time and the bread is amazing! Thank you for sharing!
Heather on May 15, 2017:
Do you not need Vital Wheat Gluten for your recipes? I have been making homemade bread for years now and if I don't add wheat gluten to my recipes then my loaves fall apart.
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on October 23, 2016:
You have made me hungry for some homemade bread. Your loaves look wonderful. You made me laugh with your confessions -
traderkat64 on October 04, 2015:
I made half the recipe last night, and it turned out to be the best, lightest, fluffiest, Spelt bread I have ever made. I will say though, it took 9 cups of flour. I used all spelt and no white. For the oil, I used grapeseed. My next batch I will try coconut oil. I was surprised that it took 9 cups of flour since the recipe says 12, but it worked perfectly! I kept adding until it was not sticky. Once the ingredients were added, I mixed it on 3 in the Bosch for 4 minutes. I also used three 9x5 pans. They rose to the top and the baking got them slightly taller than the pan, but next time I will try 8x4 pans. I have to say I LOVE the fact that it only rises once. That saves a lot of time. The dough was the smoothest and most perfect looking loaves I have ever made with spelt, and they are not crumbly! Thanks so much for this recipe!!
Erin on January 08, 2015:
What size of loaf pan are you using?
goddhdtvsz on May 11, 2013:
we are using plastic kitchen faucets at home because they are very cheap and you can easily replace them if they broke::
Farzana on December 09, 2012:
Wow, your loaves look great ! I wanted to make one loaf. Would i just be dividing all ingredients by 4? What about the yeast and salt? I am definitely planning to try your recipe and tips as soon as you get back to me ! Cheers :-) Does white spelt allow rise to be a little bigger, or is this not true? I read somewhere online that whole wheat spelt gives a better rise as it has a very slight amount of more gluten.
April on October 28, 2012:
This recipe looks incredible! I have a few quick questions: 1) How many loaves of bread does this make? 2) is the bread flexible, or is it more of a rustic crumbly bread? Thanks so much! :)
voyager-663rd on August 31, 2012:
You know, I have yet to find a spelt recipe that doesn't turn out like batter instead of dough.
I halved yours (easy to do) and ground up 1 1/2 lb of spelt grain. Gave me 6 2/3C flour.
After adding the spelt flour, I still had to add another 1 1/2C white flour (as no more spelt was ground at that point) and it STILL came out like batter, albeit a very glutinous batter.
I ended up using a ladle and spatula to get it into the pans.
Not overly humid today (leastways, not enough to affect this mix).
Unless you might have an idea, I'm moving on.
robby on March 22, 2012:
it ok but it could o with 100mm more water i fort o'well go and try a different one
Darcy on October 01, 2011:
I used this recipe and it was the best spelt bread ever but I don't have the fancy machine so I did by hand and the results were awsome. I used 100% ground whole grain spelt and didn't use fast rising yeast and it still worked great. Thanks for the recipe.
fortheluvofspelt on September 19, 2011:
i have spent about a week, baking loaf after loaf of 100% spelt bread, using my bread machine with different recipes and having varying results. today, i finally got it right, after much research, trial, and error. i found this article/recipe very helpful, especially about how to incorporate enough flour into the dough, and the rising time. i made a sponge starter with 1/2 of the flour and all of the other ingredients because i read that it gives the yeast a chance to ferment and break down some of the carbs in the spelt flour, giving the final product a better cell structure and rise. here is what i did:
For 2 lb bread machine
3 cups whole spelt flour
1 cup white spelt flour + 2-3 extra Tbsp, if needed
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
385 mL warm water
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp buttermilk powder
2 Tbsp soy milk (or non fat dry milk) powder
1/4 tsp ginger (dough enhancer, doesn't add flavor)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or other fat)
In large bowl, combine 2 cups whole spelt flour with the rest of the dry and liquid ingredients. Scrape down sides, cover, and let rest in warm area (oven with light on is ideal) for an hour or two. This is the sponge, and it will be very bubbly and stringy looking.
In stand mixer bowl, place the sponge, along with remaining flour. Use dough hook. Set kitchen timer for 4 minutes. To check if dough has enough flour, test with your finger. It should be shiny, smooth, very slightly tacky, but should not stick to your finger (as described in article above). if it is sticky, add a Tbsp of flour at a time, and recheck after each addition. (if dough is too sticky, it will collapse in the center while baking).
Place finished dough into bread maker pan and smooth top. I have a Zoji, and here are the settings i used: preheat 10 min; knead OFF; 1st rise OFF; 2nd rise 30 min; 3rd rise 20 min; bake 65 min; cool down OFF; keep warm OFF. Invert onto rack, turn right side up, and cool.
Sylvia on September 17, 2011:
Has anyone made this recipe with all spelt? Do you need to let the dough be a little more sticky than when you subsitute white or other flours?
angela senechal on February 25, 2011:
Thanks so much for the recipe....and tid bits of information! I have this recipe rising on top of my oven as I type this. I did have to cut recipe in half as I have a kitchen aid that couldn't handle it all. I will be purchasing a bosch and mill shortly :)
Paula Jensen on January 12, 2011:
Just wondering if there is any trick to making it rise a bit better. It tastes great, but isn't rising very well....I used Red Star active dry yeast, is that the difference? Also where do you get SAF yeast?
Sally on April 02, 2010:
May I ask what type of emergency you are anticipating that would cause you to store that much food?
Sasha on March 25, 2010:
I just love your passion about bread, 200 pounds in emergency reserve hehe.
I am making bread myself for about 5 years now and each time I make another bread depending of my mood. Yesterday I made my first spelt bread and it is veery simple and healthy since I am not using yeast. 800g of spelt flour, 400g of rye flour, 1 spoon of your favourite oil, 4 cups of warm water, 1 spoon of Xantham gum to remain compact. I mix it by my hand and I add flour until it does not stick on my hands. I know this is not the best way but ir reminds me of my grandmom. Oven is preheated to 350 and should be baked for about 65-70 minutes.
Deanna on February 20, 2010:
I don't have a bread mixer. If I knead this by hand, how long do you think I should knead it? Also, how long do you bake rolls? I am wanting to mix it tonight & bake tomorrow, do you have any suggestions about how I can do that, like putting in the fridge or shaping & putting in the freezer?
kaution on November 14, 2009:
I've been grinding my own spelt for a couple of years now and absolutely love it! My bread however looks nothing like yours. It's very dense and falls apart easily but I rather like it that way. I make bread sticks among other things. I will try your recipe tonoght! I love trying new things. Peace.
By the way, monsanto is gearing up to try and genetically modify wheat, just thought you would like to know. check out
if you're against this sort of thing. Peace.
speltfan (author) on August 08, 2009:
Why, thank you. I appreciate the comments and feedback.
Mrs. P on August 07, 2009:
We just made this recipe today. It's wonderful! Thank you so much for posting it.
Joanne on April 06, 2009:
This bread is awesome.... excellent.
Ronda on January 05, 2009:
I Love Spelt!! I can't wait today to make this BREAD...
speltfan (author) on June 16, 2008:
Good luck with the bread thing. maybe there will be a cool day this summer - rainy or whatever, and you could get some baking in? I love the commnets!
Peter on June 14, 2008:
Thanks for the recipe. I bought the book "Spelt Healthy" and gave it to my wife. She looked at me and said "I'm not baking with the oven in Summer"; so now I have to wait until Fall until I get spelt bread. I'll let you know in four months how it goes...
rkat on February 07, 2008:
Spelt is a great alternative for those who have food allergies. It tastes great and its good for you. Thanks for the recipe. Thumps up to you..
sandyh on February 07, 2008:
As an advocate of healthy living, I love spelt! I'm anxious to try your recipe. Thanks for the hub.