I haven’t been baking much bread lately. We don’t seem to eat as much in summer as we do in winter but, the other day, I noticed Maus hogging into some white commercial bread I bought for the stuffing of our Christmas turkey. The sight made me feel guilty so I resolved to make some bread for her. Out came the starters.
Spelt is an ancient grain related to common bread wheat. It fell from favour as a grain for cultivation in the 19th century but is enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to its value as a food source and its ability to be tolerated by many people with wheat sensitivities.
Spelt contains gluten and is, therefore, not suitable for people with coeliac disease but it is low in FODMAPS so can be enjoyed by those who have trouble absorbing fructans. The Monash University low FODMAP diet specifically recommends both sourdough spelt bread and quinoa. Therefore, if you are on a low FODMAP diet, this bread is perfect for you. It has the added bonus of tasting great and has no added weird things, which is more than you can say for most commercial gluten-free bread.
The recipe is from Wild Sourdough by Yoke Mardewi. Yoke notes that the quinoa increases the protein and fibre content of the bread and lowers the glycaemic index. Clearly, it ticks all the boxes.
For those who are interested, the spelt flour I use is Schapfen Feinstes Dinkelmehl Spelt wheat flour, type 630 from Germany. I bought it from Kakulas Sister in Nollamara. It certainly makes a lovely loaf of bread.
This quantity makes three small loaves (my tins are 17.5cm x 10.5cm) or two medium loaves (24cm x 10.5cm tins) or two free-form loaves.
- 200g 100% hydration sourdough starter. I used wheat but rye or, better still if you are on a low FODMAP diet, spelt starter would be perfect. If your starter is a different hydration, adjust the water accordingly.
- 500g water (See below: hold back, at least, 100g)
- 250g soaked and cooked quinoa (cooled)
- 750g spelt flour (the recipe said 350g white and 400g wholemeal but I went for all white)
- 4tsp (20g) salt
I used this technique.
I am not sure how much raw quinoa is equivalent to 250g of cooked. I checked a few sites and most say cooked quinoa is three to four times the weight of raw quinoa but I used 125g of raw quinoa and ended up with 750g of cooked! (Two little containers are now in the freezer for the next baking session.) Soak your quinoa overnight. The next morning, cook it in double by volume of water – very similar to cooking rice by the absorption method. It is cooked when all the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. I then sat the quinoa in a sieve to let excess water drain away.
My dough was extremely wet. I had no hope of shaping it. I just plonked the dough into my tins. I took the precaution of lining the bottom of the tins just in case it stuck but all went well. Anyway, hold back on some of the water and see how you go. The amount you need will depend on the flour you use and how wet your quinoa is.