Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Spelt Focaccia

Santhi from Me and My Kitchen is this month's host of Jihva for Ingredients and the theme chosen was Flour.

It's certainly a theme that is widely encompassing and after a bit of thought I settled upon a less common flour to make a traditional Italian bread. The flour I've chosen is Spelt Flour.

spelt flour ©

Spelt is an ancient species of wheat - it has a harder shell that protects the kernel resulting in a more delicate and softer flour. One of the benefits in using spelt when making bread is that it needs less water and less kneading. It's the perfect flour to make wonderful Focaccia. This recipe is incredibly easy and the biggest key to it's success is that you don't overwork the dough. You'll notice that there's hardly any kneading involved and this utilises the grains natural characteristics. It's that simple you'll wonder why you still buy Focaccia rather then make it yourself.

spelt focaccia©

Spelt Focaccia

300 grams Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh rosemary, optional

To make the Rosemary Topping:
Strip the rosemary from the stalk and place in a small bowl with some extra virgin olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper.

To make the Focaccia:
In a large bowl, sift in the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Make a little well in the centre and slowly incorporate the water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You want the mixture to come together and lose most of it's stickiness. Transfer to a board and knead very briefly (10-20 seconds at most) to form a smooth ball. Place this in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap - leave in a warm place to double in size.

When doubled, place on baking paper and using your hands push the dough to form a rough oblong shape. Put this on a tray, dimple the surface with your fingertips then dot the top with the rosemary topping. Place this in a warm place to rise again for about 30-45 minutes.

risen bread ©

Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F - sprinkle the bread with a little salt and cook for 25 minutes or until the bread is golden and feels cooked through.

spelt foccaccia©

Cool on a wire rack.

spelt foccaccia©

One of the differences you'll notice is that the bread itself has a more natural look - it's an almost beige interior. The taste and the scents filling your home will have you coming back for more.

19 comments:

  1. I had a spelt loaf in England last year and I absolutely loved it. Then I tried the ones in SF and they weren't so good, *sigh*. Yours looks delicious!

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  2. I have not heard of spelt flour before and this is one of the reasons i totally LOVE food blogging..
    so much learn out there from fellow bloggers..

    Thank you for this entry Haalo..

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  3. Thanks Sam - that's a shame that they haven't been good, spelt gives bread a lot of character - the hard part was trying not to eat it all when it's still warm!

    Thanks Santhi - it should be a great round up - there's so many flours out there, you picked a fabulous theme!

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  4. Your foccacia looks great! I made one a little while ago, which I detailed on my blog (please do check it out: http://brilynnf.spaces.live.com). Mine did NOT turn out as nicely as yours... :(

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  5. Thanks Brilynn - such a shame you forgot the yeast, I think we've all done things like that, next time I'm sure it will turn out!

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  6. One of these days, I'd like to make foccacia. I've never used spelt before. Interesting post, thanks!

    Paz

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  7. Thanks Paz - this is probably the easiest bread I know to make, it's pretty forgiving and using spelt gives the bread a bit more character - there's a lovely texture to the dough.

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  8. Great bread - I love using spelt and you've summed up all the reasons why!

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  9. Great recipe I have never had this before, and was pleasantly suprised. I have to admit I never really heard of this before. Thanks

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  10. Thanks Anon.

    Thanks Pitty - glad you enjoyed it!

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  11. This was so delicious! I've made this twice now, once exactly as written and last night with amended toppings and made flatter for sandwiches. Both times, fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe. I'm in turn passing it on in my blog with all due credit to you. :-)

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  12. Thanks Erndog - happy to see this bread was enjoyed and you did a fabulous job!

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  13. I used to live in Italy and this recipe brought back great memories. I'm going to try it out. Thank you.

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  14. Thanks Jane - hope you enjoy it

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  15. would you please let us know how many cups 300 grams of spelt flour is? thanks!

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  16. Which cup do you mean - the US, the UK or the Australia - they all are sized differently so it is impossible to give you a cup equivalent. I suggest you use a set of scales and this will eliminate any issues in the future.

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  17. Delicious!
    Thank you!
    Came out great!

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  18. Brilliant recipe, i much prefer it to a regular white focaccia....super easy too thanks! :) working on my second loaf now!

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  19. Love making homemade focaccia. Such an easy bread to make. Can't wait to try spelt flour

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