The number one thing most of us miss when switching to gluten-free or spelt products is sandwich bread. Meat and cheese sandwiches, toast, French toast, PB&J, BLT, all of these tend to be less satisfying with the commercial breads available. This sandwich bread will hit the spot, with a light, chewy texture and less crumbling than you’d expect thanks to the addition of eggs. I usually use my KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook to knead my breads, but you can also do this one by hand. Just be careful not to overdo it, as spelt can “break” very easily.
- 1121 g spelt flour
- 4 tsp salt
- 2 cup milk
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- rounded 1/3 cup honey
- 1 1/2 T yeast
- 2 eggs
Set your oven to 200 degrees F before you start. This helps provide a sheltered, warm environment for the initial rise, helping to give the dough a good texture.
Melt the butter in a measuring cup, then add milk, water, and honey and heat to 110-120 degrees F. This takes about 95 seconds on high in my microwave, but you can also scald it on the stove and let it cool. Stir to combine thoroughly, then add it all to your mixing bowl. Add salt, yeast, eggs, and spelt, and mix on low with the dough hook just until the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. Oil thoroughly with your choice of oil, then cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Turn off the oven, place the bowl in the warm oven, and let rise until doubled.
Turn the dough out onto well floured surface and let rest while you oil two regular loaf pans. Separate the dough into two equal parts. With each part, flatten into a rectangle with a width equal to the length of your loaf pan, then roll the rectangle up to form a loaf shape. Tuck the ends under, place the dough into a loaf pan, and pat it evenly to fill the corners. Oil the top, cover, and let rise again until the dough peeks over the top of the pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F this time. Fill a small pan with boiling water and place on the bottom rack. The steam from the water will help keep the crust softer. Bake your bread for about 35 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
Slicing bread is an art, but not a tough one. It just takes some practice. Make sure you use a long, serrated bread knife that is very sharp, and use a gentle sawing motion with very little downward pressure, letting the weight and sharpness of the blade do you work for you. Wait until your bread is completely cool to make it easier to slice.