I put the spelt loaf in your handbag darling…have a nice day at the office!
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I wasn’t always a keen consumer of breakfast. But that was many moons ago. With the discovery of homemade toasted muesli and things like porridge with apple and cinnamon I now go to sleep at night, looking forward to my morning munch moment.
So I like to wake up slowly and make my breakfast in a relaxed way, not in a hurry. But sometimes you look at the clock and you know you have to fly and you know you’re off to a bad start. ‘Grabbing something along the way’ usually results in horrible food choices at gas stations!
That’s one of the reasons I came up with this bread recipe. If I can’t have my muesli moment at home I will put it in a loaf and take it with me! It’s my special pleasure to think of a combination that’s equally great in texture and color as it is in taste, aiming to please all the senses. That’s also why I chose the cherries and pistachios for the filling, but you can concoct your own filling of course. The fruit, nuts, seeds, flakes and yogurt, together with the whole spelt this makes for a happy healthy bread on the move.
And did I mention the ‘no need to knead’ part? A bit of stirring, a bit of fridge time and a bit of folding and shaping, that’s it. A satisfying result for both bakers and eaters I hope. Our ‘bread testers’ (men, women and children) told me they loved the taste and texture. Let me know what you think!
Ingredients for the Loaves
makes two loaves of about 500 g each
250 g wheat flour (bread flour) or white (fine) spelt flour
250 g whole grain spelt flour
325 ml water
150 ml full fat yogurt
‘Muesli mix’ of about 125 grams in total of dried cherries, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins and rolled spelt flakes in equal quantities
8 g sea salt
6 g instant yeast
Making the loaves
This recipe is easy and quick and requires no kneading. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon or a spatula for about 1 minute. Of course you can be creative and add your own muesli mix of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and make it your own favorite loaf. The amount of moisture in this recipe makes for a rather sticky dough. It’s meant that way but if you want it less sticky I suggest you put in a little less water (25-50 ml less). Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put it in the fridge until the following day.
Preheat your oven at 220ºC / 430ºF. Take the dough out of the fridge and turn it out onto your floured work surface. We are now going to give the dough one or two stretch and folds (see pictures and also our bread movies on the subject) to develop it a little further. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape them as you like. I quickly and very roughly make oval shaped loaves, I fold it to give the loaf some tension and then roll it carefully with both hands to get the required shape.
Slash the top of the loaves with a lame or bread scoring knife. To get a nice crust, try to create some steam in your oven by putting a small metal baking tray on your oven floor when you preheat the oven and pouring a half cup of hot water immediately after putting the bread in the oven. Release some steam by setting your oven door ajar (perhaps with the help of a wooden spoon or oven mitt) 5 minutes before the bread is ready. If you are going to create steam with a baking tray, you maybe also want to turn your oven temperature a bit higher, because you are going to lose some heat in the process. Bake the bread for 35 to 37 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack. These loaves keep well in the freezer. You can slice them before you put them in, grab a few slices in the morning and take your ‘breakfast in a bread’ with you.
The recipe will give you two loaves of about 500 grams each. Of course you can make one big loaf or 4 handbag size ones of 250 grams each, but make sure to adjust your baking time accordingly. Alternatively you can skip the whole stretching and folding, shaping and resting part of this recipe and immediately bake the bread after you get the dough out of the fridge. Just cut the dough into four pieces and whack it in the oven and bake for 27 minutes. This way you will end up with a much flatter bread, but it will be a very quick way to make bread and equally tasty. For more inspiration on easy bread also visit the virtuous bread website.