Yes I am intolerant, but enough about me.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read about food “intolerance”. What does it really mean? Is it the GP’s way of saying “I have no idea, don’t eat wheat, you’ll be fine”? Is is even real? There seems to be a lot of intolerance when it comes to wheat based things and therefore bread, and the fabulous Richard Bertinet (of “Dough” and “Crust” fame) suggests that part of the issue with bread could well be due to the amount of preservatives in supermarket bread, the fact its undercooked, and that it doesn’t have a proper crust to chew  (which stimulates production of saliva therefore helping digestion).

My mate Andy (who has Crohns disease) always has issues with bread, and whilst some other flours such as spelt are not technically wheat free, anecdotally they don’t seem to cause the same kind of issues that full wheat type flour can cause. It should be noted that if you have a medical condition, make your own decisions about what passes your lips. Spelt is not suitable for a gluten-free diet as it contains gluten.  It’s a sub-species of wheat by the way – try it. It’s delicious.

So, this ones for you Andy – it might stop your moaning!

Spelt and Rye loaf (makes two loaves)

600 grams of spelt four
200 grams of  rice flour
200 grams of rye flour
600 grams of water
2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
500 grams of leaven

In a big bowl place your 500 grams of leaven, then add the water and mix well.  In a seperate bowl, mix your flours together along with the salt, then add your flour/salt mix to the leaven/water mix.  Stir it and mix thoroughly and once the flours and water are combined, cover it with a cloth and leave it for 10 minutes

Give your dough a ten second knead, replace the cover and go and watch a bit of “Spa of embarrassing illnesses” (don’t deny that you watch it).

after ten more minutes, give it another knead then:

rest for ten minutes, knead again
rest for 30 minutes, knead again
rest for an hour, knead again

By now your dough should be looking and feeling quite silky. Cut it into two with sharp knife (use a one way drawing/cutting motion, dont saw, and dont press, make the knife do the work)

Fold each piece into a tight ball, and place them in a (well floured) linen cloth-lined bowl, seam side up. Make sure you use plenty of spelt flour on the cloth, you don’t want them to stick.  Flour the tops and cover with cloths

How long you leave them to prove is dependent on your leaven, the heat and humidity in your kitchen, and the weather in general.  Hot, humid day? about 3 hours.  cold and dry? 4 possibly even 5.  Remember it’s better to under-prove rather than over-prove.

Make sure your oven is at 230c, mist the inside with your water sprayer, tip your dough gently onto a piece of floured or semolina dusted cardboard (a peel), slash the tops in a cross shape, spray with water and whoosh them into the oven.

They’ll need about 15 mins at 230, then turn down to 200 for about 25-35 mins.  Tap the bottom, it should sound hollow.

I chucked in a big handful of poppy seeds to the one below, but there’s no need if you can’t be bothered.  You could throw in pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, mixed seeds, anything you want really.  It’s a good way to get chidren to eat seeds by putting them in bread.  So stop feeding them Frankie and Bennys and start baking

Oh no, I’ve been at the wine again

eta – I love how the ads which appear on this page are for alcohol related problems.  Perhaps the advertisers are trying to tell me something? Cheeky gits.


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