Patty cake, patty cake, baker's girl...

Wednesday, February 12th, 2003

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as such, but this winter I did kind of decide that one of my goals for 2003 should be to learn how to bake bread.

I’m no great baker. I can make a decent pizza dough and pie crust, and I’ve even managed some banana bread in the past. But actual, normal bread - that’s a different thing altogether. All the “letting rise” and “punching down” and kneading, all the different kinds of flour you can use, all the variables involved (temperature, humidity, the alignment of the planets) seem to make bread baking an arcane art that I could never master.

The thing is that 1) I love the idea of being able to make my own bread, and 2) it can be pretty difficult to buy decent bread here in England. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been pretty spoiled in the bread department. Germany is the land of amazing bread, and Jeremy worked in an excellent bakery for most of his time in Freiburg, which meant that I had access to as much delicious bread as I could possibly eat.

I can deal with the squishy sandwich bread that is ubiquitous in England because that’s basically what I grew up with in America. But I did get quite accustomed to having an endless supply of organic brown bread at my fingertips in Germany. In fact, I fell in love with one particular kind of loaf from Jeremy’s bakery: Dinkel fein, a fine, moist bread made from the spelt flour that is so popular in southern Germany (and practically unheard of in the rest of the world).

I have pined for this bread for two years now, so when I saw organic spelt flour being sold in a shop near here, I resolved to quit my complaining and just learn how to make the bread for myself. The flour sat around in my kitchen until yesterday, when I plucked up the courage to get down to baking.

Below, you can see a picture of the results of my first attempt at making spelt bread. The loaf rose beautifully and developed a lovely brown crust. The inside was moist and fine, with not a trace of the dry crumbliness I feared. My only complaint would be that it tastes a bit yeastier than I would like - but that didn’t stop Jeremy and me from consuming half the loaf with dinner last night.

I figure it was probably just beginner’s luck. But luck or no, I’m bursting with a pride that I just had to share with the rest of the world. That is one fine loaf of bread.

Spelt bread.



I think that you could give The Breadbasket some competition! Aren’t you just the most talented young woman…your bread looks to be a masterpiece!!

Posted by A Fellow German Bread Lover...


Congratulations! Mine never seems to make it past the height of three inches LOL no matter how I try to beat it into submission and then beg it to rise up again in defiance of my pushing it down …

Bread so the house may never know hunger and wine for laughter (sorry Mr Capra for my paraphrase)

Posted by Michael


Yeah, I was expecting about three inches of height on the thing (if even that - I’ve made some cornbreads that were barely an inch high)! I was fully expecting to pull a flat, heavy little inedible brick of "bread" out of the oven, so I’m actually just surprised and relieved as much as anything else!

Man shall not live by bread alone - unless it’s Dinkel fein…


please,can I have your recepie?

Posted by Maria


i would love your receipe too!


Posted by marissa


Can I please have your receipe - we have been on the "Live right 4 your type" eating plan and spelt is an acceptable grain - wheat and all those yummy breads are a no no - I got a loaf of gluten and wheat free bread from the healt food shop and it is like eating cake - a loaf of bread that feels like bread would be lovely Many thanks

Posted by Marina Ebert


It’s not tough to make spelt bread in a bread machine if you use the right setting. Spelt should not be kneaded for a long time unlike traditional wheat dough. I found the best results by using the quick bread setting which knead the ingredients for about 10 minutes, has a long rise time and then bakes it (in my opinion it could use an even longer time.) Here’s the recipe: 1 c. water, 1/4 c. sweetener (honey or apple juice concentrate), 3/4 t. salt, 1 T olive oil, 3 c. whole spelt flour, 3 t. xanthum gum, 2 1/4 t. yeast

-check out the VitaSpelt website for more interesting spelt information.

Posted by julie


Your bread looks amazing! I tried Spelt bread in a bread maker and it was like rock bread! Please can I have your recipe.

Posted by shelley peat


I would like your receipe too! Betty

Posted by Betty


I would love to have your spelt bread receipe please. I have been trying to make a loaf in my bread machine, but it tasts terrible and doesn’t rise past 3 inches. I have tried many receipes and so far all have tasted terrible. I just recently found out that I am allergic to wheat bread, therefore I would like a tasty receipe for spelt flour. Thanks, Sue

Posted by Sue Martin


My little boy is wheat sensitive, so we’ve been making spelt bread in a breadmaker. I only have a recipe for white spelt in a breadmaker. It comes out beautifully, but I would love a wholemeal recipe. Congrats on your success!!

Thanks. Kathy

Posted by Kathy Reilly

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