Based on a 300-acre organic estate the Somerset countryside, Sharpham Park produces a range of spelt products, including breakfast cereals, spelt grain, flour and risotto blends. Here, they offer up their recipe for a Spelt Farmhouse Loaf for you to try at home...
Sharpham Park's Spelt Farmhouse Loaf
Makes two 450g loaves
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus two-and-a-half hours rising
Cooking time: 50 minutes
- 10g fresh yeast, crumbled, or 4g fast-action dried yeast
- A little oil for greasing
- 470g white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp clear honey
- 2 tsp spelt porridge flakes (optional)
- Lightly oil a large bowl and two 450g loaf tins. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 290ml plus two tablespoons lukewarm water. Put the flour and salt in another large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, butter and honey and mix together, using a wooden spoon, to a rough dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and kneadfor five-to-eight minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and springs back when poked. Transfer the kneaded dough to the prepared bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knock the air out of the dough by punching it with your fist and expel the gas by pressing down onto the dough, then folding it back on itself like an envelope. Return the dough to the bowl, cover again, and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size again and no longer springs back when poked.
- On a floured work surface, divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a ball. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rest for a further ten minutes.
- Shape the dough into blocks and put in the prepared loaf tins. Cover again and leave in a warm place for 50-to-60 minutes until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C/410°F/Gas 6-7. Dust the loaves with a little spelt flour or spelt porridge flakes, if using. Turn the oven down to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and bake for 40-to-50 minutes until golden on top and hollow-sounding when tapped. If you prefer a crustier loaf, bake for 35 minutes, take the loaves out of the tins, then return them to the oven for the last ten-to-15 minutes of the baking time, sitting them directly on the middle oven shelf. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Warm proving is fine and will produce a good result, but for a greater depth of flavour, you could try cold proving. For example, you could make a dough in the morning, leave it in a cool place all day, then finish and bake it in the evening, allowing a cold prove of some six-to-eight hours. Artisan bread making is usually done over two-to-three days of 'fermentation', especially with sourdough.
About Sharpham Park
Sharpham Park Farm is a 300-acre organic estate set deep in the Somerset countryside. The Estate is owned by Roger Saul, the founder of British designer label Mulberry, who takes pride in adopting sustainable and organic farming techniques. Visit the Sharpham Park website to shop their range of spelt products.
About the Recipe
Extracted from Spelt by Roger Saul © Roger Saul 2015
Published by Nourish Books, London
Commissioned photography by Lara Holmes and Neil White