I researched Spelt some more and found out exactly what it is and how to work with it. This is what my favorite grain guy, Chef Brad, says in his cookbook.
A super grain in its own right, nothing can be said bad about spelt except its cost. Because it has to be harvested differently than wheat and the yield is so much smaller, the price is high. For wheat-intolerant people, however, it is well worth the cost. Spelt is a true non-hybrid grain, and spelt flour can be easily substituted for wheat flour in baked goods. Spelt contains the eight essential amino acids. It is about 60% higher in protein than wheat and contains B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. This grain with the deliciously light, nutty flavor has been grown and eaten around the world for the last 5,000 years.
Health Benefits are:
- People with a range of health issues, including digestive problems, arthritis, Lyme’s disease, migraines, behavioral issues, skin irritations, irritable bowel syndrome, and others report that they feel better eating spelt rather than common wheat.
- It is a food that our body recognizes as food, not one that was created for modern conveniences. As we like to say, “Eat spelt, your body will thank you.”
- Spelt’s relatively fragile gluten is easily broken apart during the chewing and mixing action which allows the enzymes and acid secreted during the digestive process to work on the surface of the food. During the digestive process, wheat forms a bolus which remains a ball making it harder to digest.
Upon further research I learned that when using Spelt, to remember that the gluten is more fragile than wheat and so mix it in only half the time that you would if you were using wheat in the recipe. THAT’S why my bread looked like that and fell flat. I mixed the begeezes out of that bread so I broke down the gluten. SO SAD. But, I decided to get brave and make some spelt pizza and it turned out freakin’ awesome!!!!
Here’s my recipe:
1 C. warm water (110 degrees)
1 TBS. honey
2 TBS. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
3 1/4 C. spelt flour, divided.
2 heaping tsp. dry yeast
Mix all ingredients, and half of flour with yeast on top. Mix SLOWLY & gently for about 2 min while adding the rest of the flour. Cover mixing bowl with towel and let rise for 30 min. Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside for 30 min. Roll out pizza on parchment paper and top with sauce, cheese and toppings. Use cutting board (or pizza board if you have one) to transfer pizza to oven. Cook for 10 min. Remove. Let cool 10 min, then enjoy!
The KEY to making pizza is a pizza stone! I found mine for only $7 and it works great. It gets hot enough to make a crispy crust and soft center. With Mr. Engineer here, it kills us to heat the oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes, but it makes a huge difference in the crust! Look at us vegetarians eating pepperoni, gasp! Granted, the kids and husband haven’t had meat in about 2 weeks, so I guess it’s okay:) The cheese is part goat milk mozzarella and part regular cheddar.
I encourage you to try Spelt, we buy ours at Preparing Wisely. For a 50 lb. bag, it’s $55. So about $1/lb. Wheat in bulk costs about 25 cents/lb. So yes, it is more expensive, but OH the taste is wonderful and it is so much easier to digest and so good for you! We are not wheat intolerant in our home, but I feel we get a lot of wheat as it is with bread and really EVERY packaged product has wheat or some form of it. I think really that is why SO many people now have a wheat intolerance. We decided to bring Spelt into our diets to give our bodies more variety and give our bodies a break from digesting so much of the newer (hybrid) wheat.
I have made pancakes and muffins easy, and I was so excited that my dough rose beautifully! I think I may try bread again. I said may. But if you have not had spelt, you HAVE to try it. The taste will switch you over. Wheat tastes so harsh to me now compared with the light nutty flavor of Spelt. Go on, just try it!