I love bread! There, I said it. Who doesn’t? When you try to live a healthy lifestyle you can’t really eat many breads because they all have so many preservatives in them, as well as other nasty ingredients. As you all know from my previous few posts, I’ve started weaning my baby, and although I am spoon feeding him some food, I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible – or as much as he tells me he is comfortable with… So I’m looking for as many options as possible of foods that he can hold and feed himself. Toast is a great breakfast option but store-bought breads are so full of rubbish that I really don’t want him to have them.
I saw one of Paul Hollywood’s baking shows and he was making classic soda bread. It looked so simple and I thought, I must be able to substitute the white and wholemeal flours for spelt flour, so I gave it a go and also added some other ingredients to suit my own taste.
It turned out delicious – perfect actually, if I do say so myself!
Although spelt is ‘classified’ as wheat, it’s actually not wheat at all. It’s an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years and has nothing man-made in it and although it technically has gluten in it, the molecular make-up of the gluten in spelt flour is very different to that of normal wheat flour. it is more soluble and therefore more easily digested and less likely to cause an intolerance. And from gluten to dairy… It’s not often I eat dairy but if I can get a nice cheese from a farmer’s market I’m a happy bunny and this bread is perfect with a lovely bit of cheese on top, (there is also dairy in the recipe) and let’s add to that a glass of organic wine, seeing as we’re already being naughty! Alternatively, a good dollop of almond butter will taste amazing too.
2 cups (a normal mug is fine to measure a cup)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
284ml carton of organic buttermilk
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200c and line a loaf tin with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil.
Sift the spelt flour through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the tiny bits of brown left over in the sieve. Add the salt, bicarb and cinnamon and mix well.
Now add the buttermilk and agave, mix it in with the spoon by folding, then use your hands to really knead it all together. You’ll have to do this fairly quickly as the buttermilk will start reacting with the bicarbonate of soda. You could sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and knead it there instead of the bowl. I find this makes it easier.
Once it’s thoroughly mixed in, shape it into the loaf tin with your hands.
Take a knife and cut a fairly deep cross into the top, then sprinkle with some more flour and put in the oven for 30 minutes. When ready the base should make a hollow sound when you tap it.
It should fall easily out of the loaf tin, then place it on a wire rack to cool a little, but you can cut into it while it’s still warm – and you’re going to want to!