In the culinary world, there are few things more satisfying than making your own bread, and my No-Knead Spelt Bread Loaf is truly delicious. It is a simple recipe that could not be easier to make as it requires no more than 10 minutes of hands-on time. As well, it contains just 6 ingredients, including water. That is all you require to make this hearty, full of flavour bread.
Why we love this recipe:
One of the great advantages of using spelt flour is that it doesn’t like to be handled too much. The gluten in spelt flour is more fragile, so it is important to take care to not over-work or over-mix the dough. Bread making does not get easier than this!
We love this easy Spelt Bread Loaf because:
- Spelt is an ancient grain. According to Wikipedia, it has been cultivated since approximately 5,000 BC and has not been genetically modified.
- It is suitable for vegans.
- The bread has a lovely flavour.
- It is delicious toasted.
- Just basic ingredients, all readily available in the supermarket, is all it contains.
- The long fermentation helps develop flavour in the bread.
- We do not pre-heat the oven. We place the dough directly into a cold oven.
- It is a basic, rustic loaf, ideal for beginner bread bakers.
- Although our Spelt Bread does contain gluten, many find it much easier to break down and digest than wheat gluten. It is not suitable for coeliacs.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
White Spelt Flour – As with wheat flour, spelt comes in two forms, white and wholegrain. I have used organic white spelt flour which is similar in appearance and texture to regular plain/all-purpose flour and has a mild flavour.
Instant dry yeast – You can add this yeast directly to the dry ingredients. You do not need to activate it first.
Water – I use filtered water as it is believed that chlorinated water may slow the growth of yeast or even stop it from working altogether.
Sugar – A small amount helps activate the yeast.
Olive oil – Helps keep the dough moist and adds to the texture as well as the flavour.
Salt – Without salt, the bread will be bland. I use coarse sea salt in the dough, not table salt, which is finer and stronger.
Step by step instructions:
Line a loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Add the spelt flour to a medium-sized bowl. Add the yeast, sugar, olive oil and salt to the flour.
- Make a well in the centre and slowly pour in the water, stirring as you pour. Continue to mix for a minute or two, until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Turn the dough into the prepared loaf tin. Using a dampened spatula, gently smooth the top of the bread.
- Upturn a large bowl to cover the loaf tin and set aside to proof. Alternatively, tent a large plastic bag above the tin, ensuring that it will not touch the dough as it rises.
- After about 5 hours, the dough will have doubled in size and be bubbly and soft.
- Transfer the loaf tin to a cold oven. Turn the oven to 200 degrees C (400 F) and cook the loaf for 40 minutes.
- Turn the bread out of the tin onto a cooling rack. Tap the base and if it sounds hollow the bread is cooked. Leave to cool on the wire rack.
Tips for success and FAQs:
Spelt bread tends to dry out more than wheat bread, so to compensate, the dough contains more moisture than bread dough which is kneaded. As the dough is very soft, it does not hold its shape. To compensate, it is necessary to bake the bread in a tin to provide structure.
Unless you are certain that your baking tin is non-stick, I strongly recommend you line it with non-stick baking paper. Leaving some overhanging also helps to remove the bread from the tin.
There has been some confusion as to whether spelt flour contains gluten. A few misleading articles have caused some people to believe it does not. However, this is not correct; spelt flour does contain gluten. It is easier to digest than wheat and is sometimes suggested as an alternative for some people who have a mild sensitivity. However, I must emphasise that it is not suitable for people with coeliac disease or many people with gluten intolerance.
Yes, you can do this. If you add all your ingredients at the same time and immediately start mixing, the salt will not have time to interfere with the growth of the yeast. I still like to keep them separate when I add them to the bowl. However, you don’t want to add salt to the top of the yeast and set it aside for a while or it may kill the yeast.
Yes, you can. However, you will need to activate it first. To do this, dissolve the yeast and the sugar in a little warm water. It must not be hot, or it may destroy the yeast. Set it aside for 10 minutes, or until it bubbles. Then, add it to the flour with the remaining ingredients and follow the rest of the recipe as listed. If it does not bubble, this means the yeast is dead and you will need to start with a new packet.
Yes, you can. I have tried it, but I personally prefer the milder flavour of the white flour. As well, using the combination of flours made the bread less crusty. If you decide to use both, you may need to add a small amount of additional water as wholemeal flour absorbs more moisture than white.
As with most homemade bread, it is at its best the day it is made. Store it, well covered, in a plastic bag or airtight container for up to 4 days. If the weather is humid, store it in the fridge to prevent the growth of mould. To freeze the bread, when the loaf is cool, cut it into slices and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Like our Spelt Focaccia, our Spelt Bread Loaf is delicious with many things. Here are some of our favourites:
- Mediterranean Bread Dipping Oil
- Herbed Bread Dipping Oil
- Marinated Olives or Roasted Olives
- Prosciutto and Melon
- Marinated Feta, Parmesan or Mozzarella Balls
Treat yourself and your loved ones to an easily prepared, homemade, loaf of bread. It is a simple loaf with great flavour and is ideal for family meals. Enjoy it freshly baked with some good quality butter or extra virgin olive oil. As well, it makes lovely toast, perfect to serve for breakfast or to accompany a bowl of homemade soup. The bread made from this ancient grain is certain to become a regular at your table.
Spelt Bread Loaf (No-Knead)
- 3 cups (450 g) white spelt flour See Note 1
- 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast See Note 2
- 1 teaspoon sugar See Note 3
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse kitchen salt See Note 4
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil See Note 5
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) water – at room temperature
For accuracy, when weights are provided, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Prepare a loaf tin. I used one that is 24cm x 13cm x 6.5cm (9 ½ x 5 x 2 ½ inches.)
- I have used a non-stick loaf tin and used a strip of non-stick baking paper to just cover the base, leaving some overhang to make it easy to remove the bread. If your loaf tin is not non-stick, you will need to line the sides and the base. The easiest way to do this is to slightly dampen the baking paper, wring it out thoroughly, and press it into the tin.
- Add all your dry ingredients to a medium-large bowl. Give them a stir, then make a well in the centre and add the olive oil. Slowly pour in the water, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Continue to stir for a minute or two, just until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined and no flour remains around the edges of your bowl.
- Tip the dough into your prepared loaf tin and smooth with a dampened spatula.
- Upturn a large bowl to cover the loaf tin and set aside for 5 hours to proof. Alternatively, tent a large plastic bag above the tin, ensuring that it will not touch the dough as it rises.
- After 5 hours, the dough will have doubled in size and be bubbly and soft. See Note 5.
- Transfer the loaf tin to a cold oven. Turn the oven to 200 degrees C (390 F) and bake the bread for 40 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the oven and, using the baking paper to help remove the bread, transfer it to a cooling rack. Tap the base and if it sounds hollow the bread is cooked. Otherwise, return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Test again.
- Once the bread is cooked, leave it to cool on the wire rack. Cool completely, or serve whilst slightly warm with olive oil or butter.
- My preference is to use organic spelt flour.
- Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients without proofing first. If you are using active dry yeast, you will need to activate it first. To do this, dissolve the yeast and the sugar in a little warm water. It must not be hot, or it may destroy the yeast. Set it aside for 10 minutes, or until it bubbles. Then, add it to the flour with the remaining ingredients and follow the rest of the recipe as listed. Be sure to deduct the amount of water you use from the amount specified in the recipe. If it does not bubble, this means the yeast is dead and you will need to start with a new packet.
- You can use honey if you prefer.
- Table salt is not suitable. It is stronger and may make your bread too salty.
- In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurement if necessary.
- You can use a shorter proofing time if you prefer. Set the dough aside for 1 -3 hours until it has doubled in size and is bubbly on top. I use a longer proofing time as it gives the bread extra flavour. If you prefer, you can proof the dough overnight. Put the dough, in the bowl, covered, overnight in the fridge. In the morning, bring it to room temperature for about a half-hour. Gently tip the dough into the prepared tin, smooth with a damp spatula and then bake as per the recipe.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.