Spelt is a type of grain, which has been gaining popularity in recent years.
It’s high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.
Many people associate spelt with health food stores or organic supermarkets.
While these options can be great for those who want healthier options, they aren’t always available everywhere.
If you don’t see spelt on your grocery store shelves, then you might have to look online.
What Is The Difference Between Spelt And Regular Bread?
The main difference between spelt and traditional white bread is that it contains more nutrients per unit volume than other types of flour.
As such, most nutritionists recommend eating at least six slices of whole-grain bread each day.
Whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, folic acid, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin E, and omega 3 fatty acids.
When you eat whole wheat or spelt, you get all of this nutritional goodness without any added sugars or preservatives.
However, there are still some differences when comparing spelt to regular bread.
- Whole wheat bread tends to contain more gluten compared to spelt or rye bread. Gluten is what gives bread its structure. The higher amount of gluten found in whole wheat bread means that it will hold together better during baking.
- Because whole wheat bread contains more gluten, it typically requires longer rising times before it can be baked into an edible loaf. This is because the gluten needs time to develop enough strength so that the dough doesn’t fall apart as soon as it comes out of the oven. Also, the heat from the oven causes the gluten to set up further, causing the bread to take even longer to rise. The extra effort required to bake a large whole wheat bread versus a small one makes it less convenient overall.
- As previously mentioned, whole wheat bread also takes much longer to cook because it uses more energy while it bakes. Because of this, it often costs more to bake.
- Whole wheat bread is usually heavier than spelt or rye bread, making it harder to slice and handle. Spelt and rye bread tend to be lighter, since they have lower amounts of gluten.
- While both whole wheat and spelt/rye bread are considered “healthy,” their nutrient content varies quite significantly. Whole wheat bread is richer in nutrients but often very dense in texture, whereas spelt and rye breads are low in density but higher in nutrients.
Health benefits of spelt
There are many reasons why spelt should become part of your diet.
Here are just a few things you may not know about this popular alternative to white bread:
- It’s a good source of dietary fiber (4 grams per serving) and helps keep blood sugar levels steady by slowing down absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Fiber also helps maintain normal bowel function.
- Like other whole grains, it’s packed full of phytonutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants help fight off free radicals, which cause damage to cells throughout our bodies.
- One cup of cooked spelt provides over half the recommended daily allowance of potassium, which plays a key role in regulating heart rate and maintaining fluid balance in the body. Potassium deficiency can lead to irregular heartbeat and muscle cramps.
- Spelt is a good source of folate, a water soluble vitamin that supports DNA synthesis and repair, cell growth, and prevents nerve disorders.
- Compared to white bread, spelt is higher in selenium, a mineral that protects against cancer and keeps bones strong. Selenium is especially important for women during pregnancy and lactation.
How Do You Make Spelt Bread?
Making spelt bread isn’t difficult, but it does require some preparation before making the actual dough.
You will need to soak the grains overnight so that they sprout and become more digestible.
The soaking process also helps them absorb water better, which makes them softer and chewier when baked into bread.
The next step is to grind the soaked grains using an electric coffee grinder.
Grinding whole grains like wheat berries requires extra care because grinding too much can damage their nutritional value.
Once ground, you can use the flour as part of any basic bread recipe.
However, if you want to get creative, try adding other ingredients such as herbs, spices, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and even chocolate chips!
If you want to learn how to bake a loaf of homemade bread from scratch, check out our guide here.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Spelt Bread?
There are many reasons why spelt is better than other types of wheat flour.
For example, it contains more nutrients than regular white flour, including B-vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, biotin, and lysine.
It also has less gluten (a substance that causes digestive issues) than most grains.
The reason behind this is that it’s made from softer spring wheat rather than hard winter wheat.
In addition to being nutritious, spelt bread makes for an excellent alternative to standard white bread because it tastes different and doesn’t contain refined sugars and preservatives.
You can find whole-grain spelt bread recipes here at HowStuffWorks.com.
While we often think of baking as the best way to enjoy homemade bread, making bread isn’t necessarily time consuming.
There are many ways to bake delicious bread without spending hours in the kitchen.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when trying out new bread recipes.
- Make sure to use fresh ingredients.
- Use the right size pan or bowl so that your dough rises evenly.
- Don’t overwork your dough.
- Let the dough rise slowly until doubled in volume.
- Mixing flour into the wet dough will help prevent dry spots.
- Bake your loaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes before lowering the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
7 Reasons Why Spelt Bread Is Better Than White Bread
Here are seven reasons why spelt bread is better than white bread:
1. It’s lower in sugar and fat
White bread is loaded with both sugar and fats.
Not only does it taste sweet but it also has empty calories.
Sugar gives the body energy while fats cause weight gain.
2. It’s higher in fiber
Fiber is good for our bodies because it helps us digest foods properly.
Fiber can improve digestion by increasing stomach acid production, reducing cholesterol levels, and preventing constipation.
As a result, it reduces the risk of heart disease.
3. It’s high in protein
White bread is low in protein.
Protein is important for building muscle mass and helping repair damaged tissue in the body.
When you eat too much sugar, carbohydrates, and fat, your body breaks down proteins for quick energy, causing inflammation.
4. It’s high in omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are found primarily in fish oil.
They play a role in brain development and improving memory function.
Omega 3’s are also beneficial for joint health and may reduce signs of depression.
5. It’s rich in calcium
Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth.
Calcium deficiency leads to osteoporosis, which weakens bone structure and increases the risk of fractures.
6. It’s high in Vitamin B12
Vitamin B 12 aids in DNA replication and cell division.
It plays a vital role in maintaining nerve cells, red blood cells, and immune system functions.
7. It’s high in potassium
Potassium works alongside sodium to regulate fluid balance in the body.
Potassium also lowers blood pressure and maintains normal heartbeat.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Eating Spelt Bread?
As we mentioned above, spelt is an excellent source of nutrition.
However, it also comes with some downsides that could prevent consumers from buying spelt products.
If you’re looking to buy spelt flour at your local supermarket, but you haven’t seen it yet, keep reading to find out why this may not be such a good idea.
Why do most brands of spelt flour contain gluten?
Most companies sell their spelt flours as gluten-free products.
They often use wheat starch instead of whole wheat flour when making their product.
The reason behind this is because many customers prefer to eat foods without gluten.
The problem with this method of producing spelt flour is that it still contains some trace amounts of gluten.
Because of this, many people avoid purchasing spelt flour altogether due to possible reactions in their bodies.
Is spelt just another name for einkorn wheat?
No, spelt isn’t simply a variation of einkorn wheat.
Einkorn is actually a very old form of wheat, dating back thousands of years.
Spelt was introduced into Europe around 1000 AD by German farmers to increase crop yields.
It wasn’t until 2000 that scientists discovered how much similarity there was between spelt and einkorn wheat.
Since then, spelt has become more popular than ever before.
Can spelt be used interchangeably with whole wheat flour?
Yes, spelt can be used interchangeably with whole wheat flour in baking recipes.
Just remember that whole wheat flour will produce a denser loaf with less air space compared to using regular white flour.
How Does Spelt Bread Compare To Other Types Of Bread?
There are two main types of bread that we eat every day – white and whole wheat.
Both of these varieties contain the same amount of calories as each other (about 150).
However, one major difference between them is their nutritional value.
- Whole Wheat Bread: Whole wheat bread contains all three parts of the grain kernel – endosperm, germ, and bran.
- White Bread: White bread only includes the starchy part of the grain kernel known as the endosperm. The endosperm makes up about 75% of the entire grain, so it’s where most of the carbohydrates and nutrients are located.
- Gluten-Free Bread: Gluten-free breads are made from gluten-free grains such as rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, almond meal, millet flour, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, oat flour, cornstarch, sorghum flour, teff flour, etc.
Nutritional Value of Spelt Bread
The nutritional benefits of spelt depend largely on how much of the spelt grain content goes into making the final product.
If you buy 100 percent ground spelt, then you will receive the following nutrition values per serving:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 8 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 28 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
On the other hand, if you use just 50 percent ground spelt, you will get the following nutrition values per serving:
- Calories: 90
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 22 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
So, even though both versions of this bread contain the same number of calories, the higher percentage version provides less fat, fewer carbs, more fiber, and more protein than the lower percentage version.
Is Spelt Bread More Nutritious Than Regular Bread?
There are some benefits that come along with eating spelt.
For starters, it contains dietary fibers, including beta-glucan and arabinoxylan.
These fibers help improve digestion and boost satiety levels.
Additionally, spelt grains contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and promote heart health.
Another benefit of spelt is its ability to lower blood sugar.
Spelt also helps manage weight by suppressing appetite.
However, it should not replace whole wheat flour when making baked goods because it doesn’t produce as much gluten.
In fact, it only produces around 1/10th of the amount produced by refined white flour.
While there isn’t any evidence to suggest that spelt bread will cause cancer, studies do show that it may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
According to one study, the consumption of refined carbohydrates (like corn syrup) leads to increased insulin resistance, which increases the chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
What Is The Taste Of Spelt Bread?
If you are looking for a good tasting gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat, then you should consider making spelt bread instead.
Spelt flour contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need to stay healthy.
The reason why this particular variety of grain became popular is because it tastes like whole grain bread but is less dense and doesn’t contain as much starch.
It also offers many nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, copper, B vitamins (including folate), vitamin E, omega 3 fats, and antioxidants.
In addition, spelt bread isn’t only used as an alternative to traditional white bread recipes – it’s also served at weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations.
It’s also eaten during religious ceremonies and holidays around the world.
The benefits of eating spelt
Although spelt bread may not be as common as its cousin, rye, there are plenty of reasons why we should start adding it into our diets.
Here are some of the best things about spelt:
- It offers a wide range of nutrition including essential fatty acids, vitamin A, D, B12, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamine, and folic acid.
- It provides a source of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron.
- It helps lower cholesterol levels by lowering LDL while increasing HDL.
- It reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
- It boosts energy levels.
- It improves digestive health.
- It promotes weight loss.
- It supports bone health.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It protects against diabetes and cancer.
- It increases brain power.
Why do people eat spelt bread?
There are several reasons why people choose to buy spelt bread over regular bread, especially if they prefer healthier alternatives.
- Eating spelt bread is better for diabetics since it doesn’t contain any sugar.
- Some people avoid spelt bread due to allergies.
- Those who suffer from celiac disease won’t be able to tolerate spelt bread.
- People who are sensitive to wheat will find spelt bread easier to digest.
- Some people cannot digest wheat products so they opt for spelt bread instead.
How Long Does It Take To Make Spelt Bread?
There isn’t one specific time frame to how long it takes to bake spelt bread because there are so many factors involved when baking bread.
The amount of water used will vary depending on what kind of flour you choose to use.
There are also different ways to mix your dough and let it rise as well as how much yeast you add into the recipe.
The general guideline is to allow an hour before checking if the dough needs to rest longer.
For example, if you decide to use all whole wheat flour, then your dough may need to sit overnight.
If you plan ahead by using all-purpose flour, then you could probably get away with letting it sit for about 45 minutes after mixing up the ingredients together.
You can even cut down this time by adding more water than usual, but make sure you keep an eye out to avoid overmixing the dough.
As long as you follow the instructions given in each recipe, then you should end up with delicious baked goods.
Even though there isn’t a set length of time to wait before checking on your loaf of spelt bread, most people recommend waiting at least two hours before cutting into the finished product.
Tips for making spelt bread
- When kneading any dough, start from the center and work towards the edges until the entire surface is covered in small bubbles. Overworking the dough too early will result in tough crusts and dry loaves.
- After placing your dough into the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in a warm area (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first half hour. Afterward, move it to room temperature for another 30 minutes. Your dough will double in size during this time.
- While rising, check the dough every 20 minutes. When it reaches 1/4 inch above the edge of the bowl, stop monitoring and continue proofing. Check again once it starts growing larger than the original size. At this point, remove it from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.
What Are Some Popular Recipes That Use Spelt Bread?
If you like the idea of using this unique flour in baking but haven’t found a specific recipe yet, here are some ideas to get started:
- Baked goods such as bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, etc.
- Breakfast foods such as oatmeal, granola bars, breakfast sandwiches, toast, cereal, yogurt cups, smoothies, etc.
- Desserts such as pies, cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts, bars, ice cream, etc.
- Main dishes such as meatloaf, chili, chicken casserole, lasagna, soups, stews, salads, etc.
- Side dishes such as mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, pasta, couscous, vegetables, fruit salad, etc.
1. Spelt Bagel Recipe
This classic bagel recipe uses spelt flour instead of traditional flours.
The result is an authentic-looking bagel that will delight both gluten-free and non-gluten free bakers alike.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 6 tablespoons honey (plus more if needed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups all purpose white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2. Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
For those looking to bake without gluten, try this lemony loaf made from 100% spelt flour.
In addition to being low carb, this is also vegan, paleo, ketogenic, and vegetarian friendly.
It contains no refined sugar, so it’s perfect for diabetics too.
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
3. Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls
These cinnamon rolls are made with 100% spelt flour and contain less than half the calories and carbohydrates of regular ones.
They also taste better because there’s not much fat added to them.
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
- 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
4. Coconut Flour Pancakes
You may already know about the benefits of coconut flour when used as a substitute for other flours.
But did you know that it can also be used to create delicious pancakes?
These fluffy beauties are just one example of how versatile coconut flour is.
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted over medium heat
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine salt
- Cooking spray
- Milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar to serve
Can You Freeze Spelt Bread?
You probably won’t find any frozen versions of spelt bread at the supermarket either.
For this reason, if you really want to enjoy spelt bread but only have access to fresh ingredients, then it may not be practical to make it yourself.
However, there are ways around this problem.
- Buy pre-made whole wheat bread instead of making your own.
- Make a loaf from scratch using a mix of flour rather than buying premade mixes.
- Look into different types of baked goods that include spelt as an ingredient.
There are also plenty of websites out there where you can buy premade spelt bread.
These sites will usually sell sliced loaves of spelt bread.
You can then take them home and slice up what you need when you’re ready to eat.
- 1 Bowl
- 60 ml warm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 250 ml milk
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 500 grams whole sprouted spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- In a sizable basin or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water and honey. Ten minutes later, sprinkle the yeast over top and set aside. Ten minutes later, it ought to be foamy. Throw away the ingredients if it doesn’t foam; you need fresh yeast.
- Add the salt, 2 cups (300g) of the flour, the milk, and the olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a loose dough comes together.
- When a smooth, springy dough develops, add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, kneading in between each addition. It ought should take 6 to 8 minutes. It ought to be reasonably smooth and not very sticky. Use the dough attachment on a stand mixer if you’re doing this.
- The dough should be placed in a sizable greased basin that is covered with a tea towel or a large plate. It should rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size, in a warm, draft-free environment. It’s known as proofreading.
- When the dough has risen, carefully press it down and place it into a standard-size** loaf pan that has been lined with parchment paper or generously greased, tucking any messy ends underneath. Place the loaf in a warm location, cover with a tea towel, and allow it to rise for a further 30 minutes. Heat your oven to 180°C (350°F) while it is rising.
- The bread should be baked for roughly 45 minutes, or until golden and hollow to the touch. Before cutting, remove from the pan and let cool for ten minutes on a rack.
- The bread can be frozen for up to a month or kept in a sealed container for up to three days.