I am completely a “carb” girl. When I was told I could no longer eat wheat I knew there had to be a better way. I tried many different wheat substitutes, and they all fell short. Then I was introduced to spelt. Spelt is an ancient grain widely recognized for its health benefits. It is a cousin of modern wheat, but is hardier and more nutritious. Many people with wheat intolerances can handle spelt. Please know that spelt is not gluten-free, but wheat-free. It is much easier to digest than modern wheat and, fortunately, has a 1:1 swap ratio with wheat. This makes baking really easy in switching from whole wheat to whole spelt. Spelt baked goods tend to be a bit more dense, but are still delightful.
Now, I have chosen, for health benefits, to take it to the next level. I exclusively use sprouted whole grain spelt. I heard about sprouted grains several years ago and set out to better understand their benefits. Here is what I found out in a nutshell……There are three edible parts of a whole grain – the germ, endosperm and bran. All three of these are vital to forming a new plant. When all the environmental factors line up, the grain begins to sprout. At this point, the grains are taken and produced into sprouted flours. This important time between seed and new plant is what gives sprouted grains all their nutritional goodness and digestibility. I hope you enjoy this yummy bread. You do not have to use sprouted spelt, whole grain spelt gives great results. Please let me know how yours turns out.
Sprouted Spelt Focaccia with Rosemary & Flax
2 3/4 sprouted spelt flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1 TBSP ground flax seeds
3 TBSP oil (I use canola for this recipe)
1 cup warm water
1 TBSP dried rosemary
1/2 TBSP sea salt
2 TBSP olive oil
I use an upright mixer for this recipe. Combine all dry ingredients into mixer bowl. Add oil and water. Using the knead attachment, knead for 2 minutes and ensure ingredients are well incorporated. Coat the dough with a bit of olive oil. Spelt dough can be sticky and coating with oil will help. Place dough back in mixer bowl and cover with a damp warm towel. Place the bowl in a warm area and let the dough rise for atleast 2 hours. It should double in size.
After the first rise, coat your baking pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Knead the dough by hand for approximately 1 minute. Place the dough into the prepared baking pan. Cover with damp warm towel and let it rise again for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 375.
After the second rise, using your index finger, make indentations in the dough. Brush the rosemary topping all over the dough. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.