Returning from a work trip mid-week, I discovered that pretty much all of our bread stash (fresh and frozen) had been eaten. Noooo! I had to act quickly and this white spelt flour bread recipe was just perfect. If you need a bread-fix quickly, use this simple recipe for a basic white sandwich loaf to help you get by.
White spelt flour bread recipe (using yeast)
This recipe uses white spelt flour which I prefer using over plain wheat flour, but it will work with any plain white flour you have at home.
What you’ll need to make the white spelt flour loaf –
500g white spelt flour
280ml lukewarm water
7g sachet of dried yeast
How to make the white spelt loaf –
Add all ingredients above into a medium bowl and combine well.
Knead the dough thoroughly and patiently for about 10 minutes (this is the fun part!). The result should be a silky, smooth, elastic dough.
Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a lid for about an hour or longer until well risen.
Once risen, take the dough out of the bowl and reduce its size again by ‘knocking it back’ (kneading it firmly but briefly to knock the air out).
Shape into a boule and leave on the worktop for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
Place the dough into a baking tin and cover with a polythene bag to prevent it from drying out.
Let the dough prove at room temperature until it’s doubled in size. This may take an hour in a warm room but longer in a colder room.
Preheat the oven to 220°C about half an hour before baking.
Bake the loaf for 45 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack or wrap in a clean dishtowel if you like a softer crust.
The result –
A great looking white spelt bread loaf – beautiful with butter and strawberry or raspberry jam in the morning. Great also for soaking up the juices from this amazing autumnal casserole dish.
White spelt flour bread recipe (using sourdough)
If you have more time, I would recommend baking the loaf with sourdough instead of yeast. Replace some of the white flour with wholemeal flour, infuse the dough with nigella seeds and you’ll have an entirely new loaf.
Here’s how to make it.
Ingredients for a spelt sourdough loaf –
50g sourdough starter
250g white spelt flour
250g wholemeal spelt flour
280ml lukewarm water
1 tbsp nigella seeds
How to make spelt sourdough bread –
Combine the sourdough starter with 100g white spelt flour, 100g wholemeal spelt flour and 200g water. Mix well and cover with a lid. Keep at room temperature for 16 to 24 hours.
Take 50g of sourdough out of the bowl to put back into the fridge for future sourdough baking before adding the remaining 150g white spelt flour, 150g wholemeal spelt flour, 80g water and 7g salt into the bowl. Follow steps 2 to 10 below but beware that sourdough may take longer to rise. Just before step 6, sprinkle the nigella seeds into the baking tin before placing the dough on top.
My friend Felix from Munich frequently impresses guests with his delicious Flammkuchen, a type of German flatbread with a delicious sour cream, bacon and onion topping. He provided all his Flammkuchen baking insight to me yesterday, so what better way to finish a long week than unwinding with a freshly baked Flammkuchen and a nice glass of Austrian Weißburgunder, watching a movie on the couch wrapped in a cosy blanket. Here is his Flammkuchen recipe for all of you to enjoy!
What is Flammkuchen?
Flammkuchen (or Tarte Flambée in French) is an Alsatian dish – it’s easy to make and you’ll only need a few ingredients. The traditional Flammkuchen toppings are sour cream (Felix recommends crème fraiche as it’s thicker), onions and bacon. I’m planning to experiment with different toppings, but to start with, I go all traditional on this recipe.
Before I jump into the Flammkuchen recipe instructions, a few additional notes on what Flammkuchen is and what it’s not.
Flammkuchen is often referred to as ‘German pizza’, so I just wanted to set the record straight on this one.
Flammkuchen and pizza use the same base dough. The key difference is that Flammkuchen uses a base of sour cream or crème fraiche while pizza comes with tomato sauce. Flammkuchen is also not to be confused with white pizza which is pizza with a cheese base. Cheese is not traditionally used as a topping for Flammkuchen and the bread dough crust is generally thinner when compared to pizza. And… the Flammkuchen shape is usually rectangular or oval rather than round as it is for pizza.
This delicious Flammkuchen recipe is easy to prepare and rewards your work with delicious flavours. The quantities below are for 4 portions.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 2hours30minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Dough resting time 2hours
Total Time 2hours45minutes
Flammkuchen dough recipe
500gflourI used 400g strong white flour and 100g wholemeal flour; however if you can get your hands on strong 00 flour this will work even better
7g dried yeast
A little olive oil
Flammkuchen sauce and toppings
12 strips of baconcut into small squares or cubes
2onionsfinely sliced into rings
250gcrème fraicheor sour cream
230gnatural Greek Yoghurt
Freshly ground black pepper
How to make Flammkuchen
Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic, stretchy and velvety dough.
Place the dough back into your bowl and cover with a lid.
Leave to rest for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge).
Preheat the oven and a baking tray to 250°C (the highest temperature possible) 30 minutes before the bake. If you have a pizza stone, preheat the oven and the pizza stone 1 hour before.
Divide the dough into 4 parts (8 parts for smaller sized Flammkuchen). I use a dough scraper to do this.
Shape each part into a ball and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Combine the crème fraiche and yoghurt in a small bowl, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well.
Roll out the dough pieces (2-3 mm) and transfer to sheets of baking paper.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
Fry the bacon strips briefly until almost cooked, don't let them get crispy.
Fry the onion rings in the same pan until slightly browned.
If you are making all 4 (or 8 small) Flammkuchen but baking only one, two (or a few) at a time, don't add the topping to all of them at once. One by one works better as the topping doesn't melt into the dough that way.
Evenly and generously spread the cream mixture onto the dough (you want a really thick coating in order for the finished product not to be too dry), leave a small border around the edge (this will turn golden-brown and crispy).
Scatter the onion rings and bacon on top and sprinkle with thyme.
Slide the sheet of baking paper with the prepared Flammkuchen onto the preheated baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned and the bottom is crisp. Repeat until all Flammkuchen are baked.
If you have leftover dough, you can refrigerate this in cling film and bake more Flammkuchen the next day.
If baking the next day is not an option, you can freeze it too. Roll out the dough into a base and par-bake (for about 3 mins). It needs to be fully cooled before you freeze it. When you feel like a cheeky Flammkuchen, simply take out the base, add the topping and bake again.
Hope you enjoy this Flammkuchen recipe as much as I do, it’s perfect for a night in!
I found our bread basket empty this Sunday morning. Not good! Traditional Irish white soda bread is the perfect loaf for situations like this. It’s very easy to put together, only five basic ingredients are needed and fresh bread will be on your breakfast table in just over an hour.
Quick White Soda Bread Recipe
This quick white soda bread recipe will reward your taste buds and will also fill your kitchen with the most amazing smell of fresh baking. Great things happen when fragrant flour, tangy buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda come together. Bicarbonate of soda is the raising ingredient used in soda bread recipes. As an alkali, it needs an acid to perform its magic – in this case buttermilk, yoghurt or the lemon-milk mix.
White soda bread ingredients
400g plain flour
100g wholemeal wheat flour
15g bicarbonate of soda
400g buttermilk – Both real or cultured buttermilk work. If you can’t get buttermilk, you can also work with yoghurt or souring milk with lemon juice or white wine vinegar. As always when replacing ingredients, you may need to adjust the dough’s hydration to get the desired texture.
Where can I buy real buttermilk in the UK & Ireland?
Real buttermilk is the thick, acidic by-product of butter churning. Cultured buttermilk, as sold in many supermarkets and shops, is made by adding lactic cultures to ordinary milk. Buy real buttermilk in the UK from Longley Farm and in Ireland from Cuinneog.
How to make white soda bread
Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6). Don’t ignore this step, it’s important that the oven is fully preheated by the time the dough is ready.
Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix well. The sifting is important, particularly for the bicarb of soda, as the lumps do not dissolve in the liquid.
Make sure the dry ingredients are mixed evenly, then add the buttermilk. Mix well but minimally i.e. don’t over-mix. Make sure everything is happening swiftly as the bicarbonate of soda will begin to react with the acid buttermilk as soon as they make contact. Working quickly helps you take advantage of all the carbon dioxide produced to lift the dough.
The soda bread dough will be quite soft but that’s just perfect. Shape into a round loaf and flour lightly.
Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Now make the trademark soda bread cross to divide the loaf into four sections. Cut the dough with a knife to make a deep cross; cut almost fully through the dough (about 80%).
Bake for approx. 45 minutes at 200°C on the top shelf. The loaf is ready when it has a nice brown colour, has risen well and sounds hollow when tapped. Cover with tin foil after 30 minutes if the bread browns too quickly.
Wrap the soda bread loaf in a tea towel while it cools to soften the crust or cool on a wire rack if you like your crust to be crisper.
Best served fresh and eaten on the same day – what a Sunday morning treat!
You can store the soda bread at room temperature for about two to three days. I usually freeze half a loaf and defrost again later in the week. It doesn’t otherwise keep that well. Freshen the defrosted bread by placing it in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
Also try this delicious brown soda bread recipe which is a much more wholesome version of the above basic white soda bread.
Any visit to my husband’s grandmother’s house would see the obligatory cup of Barry’s Tea accompanied by a slice of brown soda bread topped with generous amounts of Kerry Gold butter and raspberry jam. Happy memories!