Let's get to it and bake!
Spelt & Quinoa Loaf Yum
Yield: 1 loaf
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Time: hands on time about 20 minutes; bake time 35 - 40 minutes; plus proving and cooling time.
Adapted from: Dove's Farm White Spelt Loaf
You will need:
large Mixing Bowl
Pyrex Jug (or similar)
1kg / 2lb Loaf Tin
For the Bread
250g White Spelt Flour
250g Wholemeal Spelt Flour, plus a little extra for preparing the loaf tin and shaping
7g Easy Bake Dried Yeast
300ml Lukewarm Water
1tablespoon Vegetable Oil
40g Raw Quinoa (or 100g ready cooked quinoa)
Little butter / margarine / vegan spread / vegetable oil
How to make it:
1. Make the dough. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a good sized bowl (keeping your salt & yeast separate). With your hand, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre. Add two-thirds of the lukewarm water. Use your hand to combine the dry ingredients with the wet, gradually adding the remainder of the water. Add the vegetable oil. Bring the dough together, using it to 'clean' the bowl.
2. Knead the dough. Place the dough onto a clean work surface and knead it for about 4 minutes until it is smooth and pliable.
3. Prove the dough. Place the dough into a large clean bowl and cover. Like all breads, it will develop more flavour by proving it slowly. Leave for at least an hour until it has doubled in size.
4. Prepare the quinoa. If using raw quinoa (rather than ready cooked), rinse the seeds under cold water for a couple of minutes. Cook as directed by the packet instructions, but for half the time. Once par-cooked strain the quinoa through a sieve and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Use the sieve to shake off as much excess water as you can from the quinoa. Tip the quinoa onto a few sheets of kitchen roll and dab them to remove even more moisture. Repeat with some more kitchen roll sheets. Set aside.
5. Prepare the loaf tin. Thoroughly grease the tin with a spread / oil suitable for your diet. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of wholemeal spelt flour to the tin. Move the tin around to ensure all of the greased surfaces are coated in flour. Tip out any excess flour.
6. Knead again. Uncover the dough and tip it onto a clean surface. Knead the dough again for a further 5 or 6 minutes.
7. Add the quinoa. Set aside a small handful of seeds which will be scattered on the top of the loaf. Flatten out the dough and tip the dried quinoa seeds into the middle. Carefully bring the dough back into a ball and knead again to help distribute the quinoa. Add a little more flour if you feel that the dough has become too soft.
8. Shape the dough. Liberally dust the work surface with spelt flour. Flatten the dough into an oblong or square the same length as the prepared loaf tin. Roll the dough up and place it into the tin, seam side down. Don't worry if it goes into the tin a little messy (see notes below).
9. Prove the dough for a second time. Place the tin into a clean plastic bag and set aside in a warm place for about for about 25 - 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 220 / 200Fan / Gas 7.
11. Decorate. Remove the loaf from the plastic bag and scatter the reserved quinoa seeds over the top.
12. Bake. Place on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, turning the loaf around half way through.
13. Test the loaf for a thorough bake. Remove the loaf from the oven and the tin. Tap the loaf on the underside. If it sounds hollow the bread is ready; place on a cooling tray. Otherwise place it directly back in the oven, without the tin, for a few more minutes.
a) Allow the dough to prove more slowly in step 3, if possible, by leaving it in a cooler place. This helps more flavour to develop.
b) If cooking the quinoa yourself aim to get the seed as dry as possible.
c) Ideally use wholemeal spelt flour when preparing the loaf tin. I tend to find the cooked loaf has a pale shadow where it sat against the flour if I use white.
d) The dough can be difficult to shape as spelt flour has a tendency to spread outward due to its lower gluten content. If this happens with you, as it does with me, simply let the dough flow from your hands into the loaf tin. It will soon spread out filling the area available. Use your finger to try to smooth the top a little.
e) The top of the loaf is likely to look rustic, but this is part of its charm and certainly wont affect its taste.