No Knead Dutch Oven Spelt Bread

No Knead, Dutch Oven, Spelt Bread

You’d never know it now, but baking didn’t use to be my thing. I loved to eat the delicious creations coming out of my Mother and Grandmother’s kitchen, but wasn’t interested in making my own until my early twenties when my Naturopath tested me for food allergies and wheat came up with a big red flag. My Mom and I scoured the local grocery stores for any kind of wheat free bread that didn’t look or taste like a doorstop, however, there simply wasn’t anything out there.

It didn’t take long until my Mom found out about spelt flour and tinkered around to create our very first spelt flour no knead bread. This bread is one I have continued to make to this day, although it has gone through many revisions to become what it is now: a super simple bread to make with an open, soft crumb on the inside, a thin and crunchy crust on the outside, and lots of flavor from a long fermentation time.

Benefits of Ancient Grains

At first I chose ancient grains because of my Naturopath’s recommendation to cut wheat out of my diet, but I continue to choose ancient grains simply because I feel better. I can eat as much spelt and other ancient grain products without any tummy troubles or allergic reactions. Beyond that, ancient grains are high in vitamins and minerals and generally have a more brittle gluten structure which can make them more digestible.

Here are a few of the many benefits of ancient grains:

  • Spelt is rich in protein and minerals and contains carbohydrates called “mucopolysaccharides” that are credited with strengthening the body’s immune system.
  • Einkorn is also a good source of protein and contains a high amount of “lutein”, a powerful antioxidant.
  • Khorasan (also known as Kamut) is rich in nutrients essential for good health including fiber, manganese, magnesium and niacin.

There are many more ancient grains than those listed above including emmer, rye, teff, millet, barley, buckwheat and more.

No Knead, Dutch Oven Spelt Bread

Where to Buy Ancient Grain Flour

Ancient grain flours can be tricky to find, but many are available at small and large organic and natural grocery stores. If you live on the West Coast of Canada, the best, and my favorite place to purchase ancient grain flours is Anita’s Organic Mill. They sell directly to consumers from their retail location in Chilliwack in everything from 1lb all the way up to 10lb bags for some flours. I buy spelt flour in 10lb bags which makes it quite economical! I have also had luck special ordering products through local grocery stores that carry their products. Other sources of ancient grain flours include Bob’s Red Mill (online and in-store) as well as Everland Natural Foods (online from Amazon and in-store).

Weight versus Cup Measurements

Baking bread is a very precise dance between a few simple ingredients. Even small changes in one of the ingredients can change the outcome of your bread. Even if you fluffed, scooped and leveled off one cup of flour I can guarantee you that it will be a different weight every time. This is why you will see most of the ingredients in the recipe below listed in gram weights. I would highly recommend getting a basic kitchen scale (mine was no more than $20) to ensure that your bread is going to be delicious every single time you make it. Compared to cooking, baking really is a science.

Don’t feel intimidated by the number of steps in this recipe, it really is very simple. I have provided lots of details so there is no guessing and so your bread turns out delicious from the first time you make and every time you make it. I hope this bread becomes a staple in your house as it has become in mine.

Enjoy!

How to Make No Knead Dutch Oven Spelt Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g organic whole spelt flour (fine grind if available)
  • 300g organic all purpose, unbleached spelt flour (also called white spelt flour)
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 300ml room temperature water
  • 1 tbsp local, organic honey

Equipment

  • Cast iron Dutch oven (round or oval) or clay baker
  • Large spatula or pastry scraper
  • Medium bowl
  • Small bowl or glass measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. In another bowl or measuring cup, mix together the water and honey until combined. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until the dough comes together then use your hands to gently mix the dough until it is completely incorporated and it sticks to your fingers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is 1 1/2 to 2 times in size (this will take 7-8 hours depending on your room temperature).
  2. When the first rise is complete, place your cast iron pot or clay baker with lid into the oven and pre-heat the oven and the pot to 500 degrees F. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. The pot need to pre-heat for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula, scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Lightly moistened your hands with water and gently pat the dough into a rectangle shape. With your dough spatula (or a large spatula) fold one short side of the dough into the middle and then fold the other short side on top. Then fold the dough in half the other direction. Dust lightly with flour, cover with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes. While you are waiting, line a clean medium sized bowl with parchment paper, using your fist to push the paper down into the bowl and your other hand to crease the paper around the inside and top edge of the bowl.
  4. Repeat the folding process outlined above a second time, let the dough rest for 5 minutes and the repeat the folding process a third time. After the third fold, use lightly moistened hands to lift the dough and place it into the parchment lined bowl seam side down. Cover with plastic and place on the counter next to the stove for 20 minutes for the second rise. To test if the dough is ready, press, do not poke, the tip of one floured finger quickly and lightly, about half an inch, slightly off center, into the crown of the dough (area of maximum expansion). If the indentation remains but springs back slightly, the dough is ready for the oven. If the dent fills in, give the dough another 5 minutes to rise and re-test.
  5. Remove the plastic covering from your bread dough. Using heat resistant pot holders, carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Using both hands, lift the dough out of the bowl by holding corners of the parchment paper and lower it into the pot. The edges of the parchment paper will brown, but will be just fine in the hot oven.
  6. Working quickly dust the top of the bread with flour using a small sieve (optional). Use a sharp pair of scissors to make 3-4 shallow cuts at a 45 degree angle along the center line of the dough to assist in “oven spring”. Cover the pot with the lid and put it back into the oven. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and place a large baking sheet or tin foil on the rack underneath the pot and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the bread is a lovely chestnut color but not burnt. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the hot pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly. If you have an instant read thermometer, the bread is done when the internal temperature is 190-200 degrees F.No Knead Dutch Oven Spelt Bread

Tips

  1. 300ml of water is the same as 300g of water so you can be even more precise by weighing your water too!
  2. Unless you will consume the bread within 1-2 days, cut it in half after it has cooled and put one half in the freezer. When you are ready for another half loaf, run it under water to moisten the outside crust and place in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven. Bake for 8 minutes or until the crust is hard to the touch, remove and let it finish thawing in the center. It will taste like freshly baked bread!

Variations

  • Sunflower and Flax Seed Spelt Bread: Soak 56g of whole flax seeds in hot water, stir and set aside to cool. Toast 56g of sunflower seeds and set aside to cool. Add the flax seeds to the water and honey and the sunflower seeds to the dry ingredients before mixing the dough together. Fold the dough only twice with 10 minutes in between folds.
  • Cinnamon Raisin Spelt Bread: Add ¾ cup of dark raisins to the flour before mixing the dough. Mix 1 tbsp of organic sugar and ½ tbsp of ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Before the first fold, but after you’ve patted the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture onto the dough leaving a ½ inch border. Roll the dough up from short end to short end and fold in half. Repeat 2nd fold as directed. This dough only needs to be folded twice with 10 minutes in between folds.

Printable Recipe

No Knead Dutch Oven Spelt Bread
 
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Author:
Ingredients
  • 100g organic whole spelt flour (fine grind if available)
  • 300g organic all purpose, unbleached spelt flour (also called white spelt flour)
  • 1¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 300ml room temperature water
  • 1 tbsp local, organic honey
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. In another bowl or measuring cup, mix together the water and honey until combined. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until the dough comes together then use your hands to gently mix the dough until it is completely incorporated and it sticks to your fingers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is 1½ to 2 times in size (this will take 7-8 hours depending on your room temperature).
  2. When the first rise is complete, place your cast iron pot or clay baker with lid into the oven and pre-heat the oven and the pot to 500 degrees F. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. The pot need to pre-heat for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula, scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Lightly moistened your hands with water and gently pat the dough into a rectangle shape. With your dough spatula (or a large spatula) fold one short side of the dough into the middle and then fold the other short side on top. Then fold the dough in half the other direction. Dust lightly with flour, cover with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes. While you are waiting, line a clean medium sized bowl with parchment paper, using your fist to push the paper down into the bowl and your other hand to crease the paper around the inside and top edge of the bowl.
  4. Repeat the folding process outlined above a second time, let the dough rest for 5 minutes and the repeat the folding process a third time. After the third fold, use lightly moistened hands to lift the dough and place it into the parchment lined bowl seam side down. Cover with plastic and place on the counter next to the stove for 20 minutes for the second rise. To test if the dough is ready, press, do not poke, the tip of one floured finger quickly and lightly, about half an inch, slightly off center, into the crown of the dough (area of maximum expansion). If the indentation remains but springs back slightly, the dough is ready for the oven. If the dent fills in, give the dough another 5 minutes to rise and re-test.
  5. Remove the plastic covering from your bread dough. Using heat resistant pot holders, carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Using both hands, lift the dough out of the bowl by holding corners of the parchment paper and lower it into the pot. The edges of the parchment paper will brown, but will be just fine in the hot oven.
  6. Working quickly dust the top of the bread with flour using a small sieve (optional). Use a sharp pair of scissors to make 3-4 shallow cuts at a 45 degree angle along the center line of the dough to assist in "oven spring". Cover the pot with the lid and put it back into the oven. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and place a large baking sheet or tin foil on the rack underneath the pot and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the bread is a lovely chestnut color but not burnt. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the hot pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly. If you have an instant read thermometer, the bread is done when the internal temperature is 190-200 degrees F.
Notes
Tips:

300ml of water is the same as 300g of water so you can be even more precise by weighing your water too!
Unless you will consume the bread within 1-2 days, cut it in half after it has cooled and put one half in the freezer. When you are ready for another half loaf, run it under water to moisten the outside crust and place in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven. Bake for 8 minutes or until the crust is hard to the touch, remove and let it finish thawing in the center. It will taste like freshly baked bread!

Variations:

Sunflower and Flax Seed Spelt Bread: Soak 56g of whole flax seeds in hot water, stir and set aside to cool. Toast 56g of sunflower seeds and set aside to cool. Add the flax seeds to the water and honey and the sunflower seeds to the dry ingredients before mixing the dough together. Fold the dough only twice with 10 minutes in between folds.

Cinnamon Raisin Spelt Bread: Add ¾ cup of dark raisins to the flour before mixing the dough. Mix 1 tbsp of organic sugar and ½ tbsp of ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Before the first fold, but after you’ve patted the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture onto the dough leaving a ½ inch border. Roll the dough up from short end to short end and fold in half. Repeat 2nd fold as directed. This dough only needs to be folded twice with 10 minutes in between folds.

 

About Sophie, the Accidental Artisan

Sophie is a social media consultant by day, baker by night, nature adventurer, yogi and animal lover in between. She has a passion for baking which prompted her to start her food blog, Accidental Artisan, to explore her creativity with ancient grains.

 

Try More Recipes from the Accidental Artisan! If you liked this recipe you are going to love these:

Seedy Spelt Bread

Bavarian Walnut Spelt Stollen

Blueberry Lemon Spelt Scones

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only promote products that uphold to Modern Hippie Health and Wellness’s values.

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