Last updated on August 18th, 2022 at 09:31 am
I have been dreaming about this homemade spelt loaf for the longest time. With comforting rosemary paired perfectly with salty olives, this loaf is aromatic, flavoursome and so addictive.
We have a lovely bakery here in the Hills that was recently sold. With the old owners went their fabulous olive and rosemary sourdough loaf. Sigh. It was so good, aromatic rosemary combined with the saltiness of olives.
I could boo-boo in to my belly button or come up with something to match the flavours. However as I want my loaf today, I'm making a spelt version rather and a sourdough. I love sourdough but don't love the idea of starters and all that hullaballoo.
Spelt flour is a busy girl's best friend. It requires less kneading than regular flour and is nutritionally more dense than regular wheat flour. My olive and rosemary spelt loaf is tickling all my fancies. Aromatic and salty? Check. Healthier than regular bread? Check. Quick? Check.
In my bid to create this olive and rosemary spelt loaf, I tried many recipes. I loved the idea of a no-knead loaf but all information pointed to letting the dough rest for 14 hours. I have trouble remembering whether I brushed my teeth in the morning, don't worry I always do I just don't remember doing it.
I decided it is too much to ask of this little black duck to remember the proofing bread sitting under a tea towel in my kitchen. If it's going to hide from me, it is going to get forgotten.
What is spelt? (Triticum spelta)
Spelt is an ancient grain - believed to have been first used some 8,000 years ago -that is a subspecies of wheat. Spelt and wheat are similar in terms of appearance, but spelt has a stronger husk and different nutritional content. Spelt can be used instead of wheat in most recipes - it's always good to test - and it gives foods a nuttier flavour than traditional wheat flour.
Source: Medical News Today
Why use spelt flour?
After experimenting with this recipe I have become a spelt flour devotee. Spelt flour has a nuttier flavour than regular wheat flour and may I re-iterate the splendidness of not needing as much kneading. A little research also dug up some digestive and health benefits. Spelt is:
- packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals
- able to regulate metabolism
- good at lowering blood sugar levels
- able to boost digestive function
But, we are all about the flavours here. The romance and familiarity of fresh rosemary, salty olives, fresh warm yeasty bread and sea salt combined in delicious bite. Olive and Rosemary Spelt loaf; does it get any better? Enjoy.
Spelt Loaf with Olives & Rosemary
- 1 Stand mixer optional
- 1 large bowl if preparing bread by hand
- 1 large spoon if preparing bread by hand
- 1½ cups lukewarm water 39°C is ideal
- 1½ teaspoon instant active yeast
- 1 teaspoon coconut or unrefined sugar
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups white spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt + more for sprinkling on top
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped + more for sprinkling on top
- ½ cup kalamata olives pitted and roughly chopped
- Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a jug and set aside for 7-10 minutes to "bloom". The mixture should become frothy - if it doesn't froth, you need fresh yeast.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook) combine the flour, salt and chopped rosemary.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix (using a large spoon if you're working by hand or turning your stand mixer on to low) until the dough comes together. Add the olives now and work them in.
- If you are working by hand, tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Continue mixing with the dough hook on your machine if you're using a stand mixer.
- For a lighter, fuller loaf, shape the dough in to a ball and transfer it to a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean damp towel and leave it to proof (rise) in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. No rise time will give you a denser, crumblier loaf.
- Grease a medium bread loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and place it into the loaf pan, tucking the ends underneath. Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it to rise again for 25 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees C
- Score the top of the loaf with a small sharp knife (carefully) and dress with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh rosemary. This is optional but pretty 🙂
- Bake at 220° C (430° F) for 20 minutes before lowering the heat to 200°C (390°F) bake for another 15-20minutes.
- Gently turn out the bread and tap on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it's done. Cool on a cooling rack before slicing to serve