Spelt was common in Biblical times and is included in the list of ingredients in the bread of Ezekiel . Ezekiel 4:9, “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt. Put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” What a great example for us of mixing grains, rotating them, and making a complete protein. Spelt is more easily digested than wheat. Spelt was used primarily in Germany. In the 15th Century, a natural healer, Hidegarde was assigned to care for the sick. She was distressed to find that many patients died. So she prayed for the sick and while at prayer, she claimed to have a vision in which she was told to feed her patients spelt that they might get well. After she obtained the spelt and began serving it to her patients, many who were terminally ill recovered their health. Others began to flock to her for care.
In the 1930’s, Hitler outlawed spelt because it was not a cash crop. Later, it crept back into the stores and has become a very popular grain in Europe, where the Swiss, Germans and Austrian’s gladly pay three times the price of wheat for this delicate grain.
I felt it was difficult to make a pretty loaf, though it always tasted good. Then I spoke to the Directory of Purity Foods. He advised me to knead the dough for only 2-3 minutes and to increase the amount of flour. I will often add 3-4 eggs. This has worked. Also using potato water makes wonderful bread. Otherwise, I use it exactly as I would use wheat in pancakes, cookies, muffins, etc.
To cook: Place 1 cup of spelt in 3 ½ cups water with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 40 minutes until all the moisture is absorbed and kernels are plump.
Spelt or Kamut Bread
Place 4 cups of water (or potato water) in the Bosch
½ cup oil
½ cup honey or maple syrup
3 Tbsp. yeast
1 T. salt
1 T. dough enhancer
Add enough spelt flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead 3 minutes. Form into 4 bread pans. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake approximately 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.
Because of those who are allergic to wheat and love bread, we are so thankful for spelt and kamut. They both have high enough gluten content, enabling them to be substituted for wheat. They make delicious breads, pastas, muffins, etc.