Spelt – Hemp Seed Bread
This is the first time I have baked with hemp seeds, but it won’t be the last. Toasted, these are hands-down the crunchiest seeds I have ever eaten. Crunchy seeds that stay crunchy in the bread. A bowl of Rice Krispies has nothing on a slice of this bread.
And did I say delicious? So much so that since running out of the bread I’ve been eating the seeds plain, by the handful (don’t try this in the library, though). The seeds pack a nutritional punch, too, with all eight essential amino acids and high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Industrial hemp is grown for its fibers, which are used in textiles, and for its seeds (and derivative oil), which are used for human and animal food, cosmetics, cleaning products, and industrial lubricants. The plant is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa, of which marjuana is a different subspecies. However, industrial hemp contains only a miniscule fraction of the psychoactive compound THC that marijuana has. It is legal to sell these hemp products in the US; however, DEA regulations do not permit it to be grown here. Most of the hemp seeds sold in the US are grown in Canada and Europe, which accounts for their unfortunately high price.
When I shared this bread with some of my co-workers, the hypothetical question came up: could eating hemp seeds could cause one to fail a drug test? According to my reading of consumer-oriented websites as well as available medical literature, probably not; the THC concentration in the seeds is too low. However, please do your own research and come to your own conclusion if you are likely to be in this situation any time soon. In any event, it’s probably best not to buy your hemp seeds off the back of a truck.
I made some of the dough into 250-gram boules, and used their hollowed-out shells as bowls for the Andalucían-style gazpacho I made with Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s recipe from The Splendid Table. This type of gazpacho calls for bread as an ingredient, so the scooped-out bread didn’t go to waste.
Spelt – Hemp Seed Bread
Yield: 1500 g
- Ferment spelt levain and soak soaker: 8 hours
- Mix/autolyse final dough: 35 minutes
- First fermentation : 3 hours with folds at 1 and 2 hours
- Preshape, rest, and shape: 25 minutes
- Proof: about 2 hours
- Bake: abut 40 minutes
Spelt Levain Ingredients:
- 115 g whole spelt flour
- 92 g water
- 23 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
- 58 g whole spelt grains
- 58 g water
Final Dough Ingredients:
- 404 g flour
- 230 g whole spelt flour
- 432 g water
- 15.2 g (2.5 t.) salt
- All of the spelt levain
- All of the soaked spelt grains, drained
- 173 g toasted hemp seeds
- Combine the spelt levain ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until just combined. Cover and ferment overnight (about 8 hours).
- At the same time combine the soaker ingredients. Cover and soak overnight, then drain the grains of excess water.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the final dough flour, spelt flour, water, and spelt levain on low speed until just combined. Cover and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
- Add the salt and continue mixing on low or medium speed until the dough reaches a medium level of gluten development.
- Add the drained spelt grains and the hemp seeds and mix in low speed just until they are evenly incorporated.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment for 3 hours, with folds after the first and second hours.
Vegan Spelt Bread with Hemp Seeds
It’s another spelt-based recipe! Surprise, suprise.
This time, we have a recipe for vegan spelt bread. Spelt adds such a lovely nutty natural taste to bread, so I recommend using it even if you don’t have problems with high-gluten flours.
I could go on forever about how amazing spelt is. So well, I will…
Is all bread vegan?
The staple ingredients of bread are flour, yeast and water. Meaning, most bread in its simplest form is vegan.
However, there are so many variations of bread which use many different techniques and ingredients to achieve differing results.
For instance, some bread like Bagels will use egg for the glaze on top. So this makes most bagels, non-vegan.
Although, there are many big brands of bagels who leave out the egg glaze!
In some countries you will find a heavy reliance on dairy products in their bread. Like in Asia. They like their bread to be quite sweet and soft, meaning they use a lot of milk. With the rise of veganism, most Asian countries now have vegan versions! Just check out this awesome vegan bakery in Taipei, Taiwan.
What is spelt bread?
Spelt bread is bread made using spelt flour, which is an ancient grain lower in gluten than your average plain flour that is used in bread products.
Spelt bread is not so common in supermarkets and bakeries, but you can find the occasional spelt loaf in an artisan bakery. Just look out to see if they’ve mixed the spelt flour with white flour, especially if you are trying to avoid white flour for stomach reasons!
Is spelt bread good for you?
Spelt flour is a much healthier alternative to plain white flour. It is less processed and lower in gluten.
This makes it easier for people with slight gluten-intolerances to process the flour.
What are the health benefits of hemp?
Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and they are also full of omega-6 and omega-3, making them a very healthy addition to your cooking.
Where can I buy spelt and hemp?
Nowadays, spelt and hemp can be bought in most supermarkets and stores. If you are struggling to find them, try looking in a natural whole foods shop.
Is spelt more difficult to bake with?
Spelt is lower in gluten, which means it can be a little bit more tricky to use in bread baking. When you leave the dough to rise you may find that spelt-based doughs take a little longer to grow. Also, when you prove the dough you will want to make sure to use a proving basket or to prove and bake it in a loaf tin, as spelt doughs can often expand sideways rather than upwards due to the low-gluten content.
Don’t bake bread regularly?
I recommend just trusting in the process and practicing, a lot! Bread can be tricky, and spelt bread is even trickier! But it is such fun to play around with bread dough. And it is such an amazing feeling when you see your creation come out of the oven!
If you have a standalone mixer with a dough hook and you feel a bit nervous around bread dough then try using it for all the kneading work.
However, it is still good to get your hands sticky once in a while!
Baking in a Dutch Oven
Are you after the perfect crust, with a fluffy inside? Well, then you should be baking in a dutch oven.
A dutch oven is a cast iron pot with a lid. You can you use them for all types of cooking. By using a dutch oven for baking, you will create steam to bake the bread in, allowing the inside to cook before crisping up on the outside.