The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

No knead spelt bread

no knead spelt breadEvery time Danny goes away on business I make bread.

I suppose it’s because I have more time on my hands and there’s not the rush to rustle up supper the instant that I get in from work. I prefer to eat much later than my paramour and tonight it’s the cottage pie that I made on Saturday. As my fingers fly across the keyboard a baby pie is heating through in the oven along with my first attempt at no knead spelt bread. It’s snug in the kitchen, a warm haven away from the chill of the rest of the cottage. The dogs loll beside the wood burning stove in their baskets. Later we’ll creep under two duvets and warm our toes on a hottie.

My internet pal Pamela sent me a link to a no knead quick spelt bread recipe that she had discovered on the True Food Co- op forum. I tracked down the original article and discovered that that The Daily Telegraph site has quite a few recipes using spelt flour and this article is packed with facts about the grain and several tempting recipes including a spelt soda bread, made with milk and lemon juice rather than buttermilk.

So this evening I pointed Jalopy towards Waitrose (who stock two brands of spelt flour). The cheaper brand was still quite expensive  – £3.95 for Bacheldre stoneground (1.5kg). But compared to a loaf tossed into a trolley from the designer bread shelves in the same store it was almost a steal! I reckon that it works out at about 130p for a loaf including the fuel, quick yeast and seeds. Pamela mixed her flour 50/50 with white plain flour which would bring down the cost significantly.

The flour looked wholesome enough to satisfy the pickiest health nut. The final mixture seemed very gluey and I was tempted to add a bit more flour but decided to see how it baked before I started tweaking the recipe. I didn’t have any sunflower seeds so just added more sesame seeds and linseeds.

The baked loaf resembled the sort of hefty rustic brick that would create great excitement if unearthed on a dull Archaeological dig. It had risen by 50% but still felt weighty enough to smash a window. Although the crust was a bit of a challenge for the bread knife it was satisfyingly crunchy in the mouth. 

This bread is delicious and well worth making. Fairly moist when eaten straight from the oven the bread dried out well as it cooled. The linseeds added extra texture and flavour. Next time I’m going to up the salt and flour. I can’t wait to try the soda bread version but I will go for a 50/50 mix with plain white flour as we do with our brown soda bread.

Tomorrow the loaf will be savoured as goat’s cheddar and spring onion sandwiches for lunch. Having been toasted for breakfast, of course.

  Leave a reply


  1. I 1st bought spelt bread last year from The Common Loaf Bakery at Totnes market. (Fridays, see their website for other markets in West Country) We both loved the bread, however we live in Sheffield so it is not available to us unless we are on holiday! I am a reasonable cook so went about trying to replicate the taste, and I am delighted to say I have! Have tried numerous flours and recipes I can now share this with you!

    By using Sharpham Mill Wholegrain Spelt Flour. It is £3.10 a KG online, with free postage if you spend over £40 but well worth it and they do other flours too.
    I followed their recipe on the website for a bread machine loaf but used wholegrain flour and added 40g of honey. My husband is delighted with the result and enjoyed the testing. All I can say is it is all in the flour!!

  2. I can hardly wait to try this bread. I’ve just been having a re-vamp of my diet – I thought it was healthy until I really looked at it, and made a change two months ago. Since then I’ve felt a lot healthier but have missed the odd sandwich. Will be shopping tomorrow to try my hand at this bread over the weekend. Loved the bit re the archeological find!

  3. Annie

    Oh, so glad I found your blog – interesting on so many counts! But specifically because I am going to make spelt bread for the first time tomorrow and it sounds like I will love it!
    Will be following you and reading more – like your style.

  4. Spelt is wonderful, isn’t it? I love the slightly nutty taste, and often make a loaf in the breadmaker, with half and half spelt flower and white bread flower, and lots of pumpkin and sunflower seeds. It tastes great and is not all that expensive – especially as Tesco sells Dove’s Farm Spelt Flower for £ 1.69 per kilo.

  5. Heather

    I know this isn’t just a bread making blog, but I thought you might find this link useful for bread making generally. It is a US site with lots of useful info and recipes
    By the way,I love this blog.I live in Sydney(Aust)


  6. I’ve been making this loaf occasionally since the recipe appeared in the Telegraph in 2006 … this summer I made it with flour from Gilchesters which I bought when I was in Northumberland … that’s where the recipe originally came from … And it’s fair to say that the Northumbrian spelt was noticeably better than the sort I usually buy in Waitrose – also much more expensive, although that may have been because I bought it in a lovely but chi-chi deli in Tynemouth 😉

    I’ve never let it rise, but I’ll try next time, so thanks for that tip


  7. Your loaf looks exactly like mine did! I hope you didn’t make too big a sandwich for lunch as I suspect you will be finishing it for supper it is so filling. I bought Dove’s Farm wholemeal spelt flour at £2.35 for a kilo. I’m planning a second attempt at this today with the full compliment of seeds – providing the sunflower seeds have arrived at the greengrocers today – but still using the 50/50 flour mix. I was going to make it this morning but having read the Daily Telegraph article that you found I think I’m going to try the slow rise technique and see if it produces a larger loaf. I’m not going to wait to let it rise overnight but will make it shortly and leave it for most of the day. There will be no problem finding a cool place to let it rise as my whole house is a cool place at the moment. I have found a cheaper source of spelt flour (about £1.60/kg) and have ordered 3 kilos from my local bakery. It will be interesting to see how that bakes up as their spelt and honey loaf is very light, both in colour and weight. You should have a look at your whole food co-op as I bet you will find much cheaper flour there. I like the image of the loaf as an archeological find! Personally I think it would make a very satisfying dent in the car that has just soaked you on exiting the bakery on a rainy day!

  8. Diane Epps

    Welcome to the wonderful world of spelt flour. The nutritional value is fabulous in comparison with other flour. I have been adding a proportion of it to most of my loaves for some time. I would be very interested in the soda bread recipe. I must admit that I do use a bread maker most of the time. However, when I can get fresh yeast I like to make it in the traditional way. Tesco usually gives me an ounce of yeast for free but Sainsbury charge for theirs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,237,282 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder