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Apple Spelt Bread

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Harvest-ready Apple Spelt Bread

Apple Spelt Bread

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed on 9/15/2011 to About.com
Spelt, raised in prehistoric times in Scandinavia and recently reintroduced into cultivation, has become as popular a grain as rye. And it's no wonder why - this subtle "miracle" flour provides all of the health benefits of wheat without dominating baked goods with an overpowering aftertaste. While the texture of spelt breads will be better if you combine the spelt with all-purpose flour, it's possible to use spelt only to make GI-friendly treats. Here, a yeasted spelt batter is lightly spiced with cardamom and topped with local apples to produce a raised flatbread that's perfect with one's first cup of coffee.

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 12 slices of Apple Spelt Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk, heated just until lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon (to proof yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 6 baking apples

Preparation:

Place the warm water in the bottom of your mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) and stir in the yeast. Allow to sit 10 minutes to proof the yeast, until the mixture begins to foam (baking as Chemistry 101, only you can eat the results!).

Beat in the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, melted butter, 1 of the eggs, and 1 tsp. cardamom.

Add the flours, in 1/2 cup increments, to form a very soft dough. Replace your mixer paddle with the dough hook and beat at high speed (9 or 10) for 8 minutes, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and has acquired a glossy sheen (Alternative: if mixing by hand, scrape the sticky dough on a lightly floured surface. Flour your hands and knead for 10 or so minutes, until the dough is smooth and shiny). The dough should have the consistency of pizza dough.

Oil and place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and transfer it to your floured work surface. Roll it out to a 12" x 15" rectangle and transfer to a cookie sheet that's been either oiled or lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Whisk together the remaining egg, 1 teaspoon cardamom, and milk to make an egg wash, then brush the surfaces and sides of the bread well. Cover with the towel and return to a warm placed to rise (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled).

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel, cored, and thinly slice the apples, then place them in even rows across the entire surface of the risen bread. Brush again with remaining egg wash and place in the oven.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove, allow the bread to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a large rack to cool entirely.

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