Seeded Oat Spelt Bread


My husband and I have been on a diet.  I suppose we finally noticed ourselves in the double-mirrored closet doors we pass frequently in daily comings and goings, stopping long enough on one recent occasion to wonder, “Who are they, and what happened to us?”  Or perhaps it was that as well as the stereotypical question one considers when the last child leaves the house and the next 50 years of one’s life stretch ahead:  Now what will we do? Goodness knows the possibilities are nearly limitless, but considering engaging in new adventures sporting matching muffin tops isn’t an attractive option.  Hence, the diet.

Eat less, exercise more.  Watch portions, no seconds.  Eat whole grains, dark greens, and brightly colored vegetables and fruit.  Cut back on the Coke (him) and the wine (me).  Not exactly rocket science, I know, but I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t feel like cooking.   It’s easier to slice cucumbers and dip them into a two tablespoon ration of roasted garlic hummus I purchase instead of making it myself.  I know.  Make my own hummus.  I have before.  Does that count?

I have been fairly diligent about baking whole grain bread the two of us chew on throughout the week, on mornings toasted and smeared with a bit of apple butter, or at lunch with an ounce of cheese.  No cooking involved outside of the initial bake, and it has been fun experimenting.

With the toothsome texture of this loaf made primarily of spelt, at least I’ll know we’ll have thin cheeks.

Seeded Oat Spelt Loaf

4 c.+ 3 T spelt  flour

4 T raw sunflower seeds

4 T flaxseeds

1 T coarse sea salt

1-1/4 c. warm water

1-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 c. grapeseed oil

2 T rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)

2 T pressed barley

Find the directions here.

Recipe Notes

  • Some of you know I’ve been engrossed in planning for a trip to the UK in October (which is only two weeks away!) and so I’ve been online quite a bit, getting to know the areas we’ll be driving through and staying in.  In my “travels” I came across the Hobbs House Bakery, several of which are in Gloucestershire.  I had to do a bit of investigation, of course, and found this Really Slow Food article on Hobbs House Bakery.  I’ve adapted my recipe from their “Large Combine Harvester Recipe” which the bakery describes as “a wonderfully seedy, oaty, spelt loaf.”  Sadly, our travels won’t quite take us near enough to one of their bakerys, so I’m glad to have tried one of recipes myself.
  • Spelt is an ancient grain related to wheat which has excellent nutritional value, and is supposed to cause fewer problems for those sensitive to wheat.  You can read more about it here.
  • I like barley, pressed or otherwise.  It looks a lot like rolled oats, but has a more nutty flavor to it.  I like to eat it plain with milk and a bit of honey once in a while at breakfast.  It’s chewy, so it keeps me busy.  I purchase it locally at the Asian market, Ranch 99.
  • The original recipe calls for rapeseed oil, which is another name for canola oil.  I used grapeseed oil which is very high in antioxidant vitamin E.  Grapeseed oil is relatively tasteless, and has a higher smoking point than olive oil or canola oil.  It’s great used in salad dressings. La Tourangelle and Spectrum Organics are popular labels.
  • I use a kitchen scale when making recipes written with weights, but converted it using the amounts written in the recipe above.
  • I used organic whole grain spelt flour from Arrowhead Mills which can be purchased locally at Henry’s Markets or Whole Foods.
  • We’ve enjoyed this dense, nutty, flavorful bread slice by toasted slice.  It’s filling, and quite sturdy.  Kept on the counter in a well-sealed plastic bag, it’s gotten us through an entire week.