spelt

Spelt and Sesame Bagels

Spelt and Sesame Bagel

If you never made your own bagels- you really should sometime. They are easy to make, and fun, too. In case you didn’t know, the secret to the chewy texture of bagels in that they are boiled in water before being baked.

There are so many variations. You can swap out the type of flour or add herbs, seeds, onions, garlic or even fruit.

I decided to make my bagels with spelt flour. Spelt is closely related to wheat. It contains gluten, like wheat. Whole grain spelt flour has a lighter texture than whole wheat flour, though. It has all the fiber of a whole grain, but the texture of a white flour. It worked out so well in the bagels.  The sesame seeds added even more flavor and texture.

Bagels began in Austria when a baker in Vienna in 1683 wanted to honor the visiting president of Poland. He created a roll that was round, or shaped like the stirrup on the King’s saddle. The new creation was called beugel, which was a variation of the German word for stirrup. Over time the word evolved into bagel. Because they were made with white flour, everyone, other than the rich considered bagels a special treat for special occasions. Today bagels are found in almost every grocery store throughout the country.

 

Spelt and Sesame Bagels

2 c. bread flour
2 ½- 3 c. spelt flour*
3 T. sugar
1 T. salt
2 pkgs. Yeast
1 ½ c. Water
1 T. oil
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1 egg white

Mix 1½ cups flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Heat water with oil and add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add remaining ½ cup of bread flour and beat 1 minute. Stir in enough spelt flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Set in greased bowl and turn to grease top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place 1 hour. Punch dough down cover and let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces and form into smooth balls. Cover with towel and let rest 10 minutes. In large skillet heat 1 inch of water to a simmer. Add remaining sugar and salt to water. With floured finger poke a hole in the center of three of the dough balls. Drop into simmering water cooking 3 minutes. Turn over and cook 2 minutes. Turn to first side and simmer 1 more minute. Remove to greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Mix egg white with 1 tablespoon of water and brush tops of bagels. Sprinkle with seeds if desired. Bake in a 375 –degree oven for 20 –25 minutes. Makes 12.
* Spelt flour is closely related to wheat. It is used like whole wheat flour in baking, but has a lighter texture while still being a whole grain. If you can’t find spelt flour you can use whole wheat flour in its place in this recipe.

 

Boiling the bagels

Boiling the bagels

Ready to be split and toasted

Ready to be split and toasted

With cream cheese, lox, sweet onion and capers.

With cream cheese, lox, sweet onion and capers.

Spelt Biscotti with Walnuts

Spelt and Walnut Biscotti

These biscotti are made with spelt flour. Spelt is an ancient grain that is very closely related to wheat. It does contain gluten, so not an option for people with wheat allergies or Celiac, but a nice way to add a whole grain to your menu if you do eat wheat. Unlike whole wheat flour, which tends to be heavy in baking, spelt has a lighter texture and acts more like white flour. I used it to make these  biscotti and they are crisp, light and very tasty.

Biscotti are so easy to make. I don’t know why more people don’t bake their own. They are always nice to have with coffee, tea or a cold glass of milk. These aren’t too sweet, so biscotti make a nice breakfast. They also stay crisp for a long time, if stored in an air tight container.

Biscotti are twice baked. First in a loaf shape, then they are sliced and baked again. Most recipes will tell you to bake the slices half way, then turn them over to finish baking. A little time saving trick- just place a cooling rack on the baking sheet, then place the sliced biscotti on the rack. That way, they get crisp on both sides at once and there is no need to turn them.

Spelt Biscotti – with Walnuts

 1 ¼ c. spelt flour*

⅓ c. sugar

1 t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

½ c. walnuts

¼ c. golden raisins- I often use dried cranberries or other dried fruit

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients with nuts and raisins in medium mixing bowl. In small bowl combine eggs and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Stir together to make a slightly sticky dough. With oiled hands shape into loaf (2”x11”) on oiled sheet. Bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Slice the loaf thin using a serrated knife and place slices on a rack on a baking sheet then return to oven, reduce heat to 300-degrees bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container to retain crunch. Makes about 16.

* If you can’t find spelt flour you can use 3/4 c. all purpose flour and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour instead or substitute the entire amount of flour with whole wheat pastry flour.

Spelt Biscotti

Spelt Biscotti

Spelt Biscotti

Biscotti are so easy to make. I like having them around for when company is over. Always nice to have with coffee or even a cold glass of milk. A lot less expensive than buying them, too. Biscotti are twice baked. First in a loaf, then sliced and baked again. Most recipes will tell you to bake the slices half way then turn them over to finish. A little time saving trick- just place a cooling rack on the baking sheet then place the sliced biscotti on the rack. That way they get crisp on both sides at once and there is no need to turn them. These are made with spelt flour. Spelt  is an ancient grain that is very closely related to wheat. It does contain gluten, so not an option for people with wheat allergies or Celiac but a nice way to add a whole grain to your menu if you eat wheat. Unlike whole wheat flour which tends to be heavy in baking, spelt has a lighter texture and acts more like white flour. I used it to make these  biscotti and they are crisp, light and very tasty.

 

Spelt Biscotti

 1 ¼ c. spelt flour*

⅓ c. sugar

1 t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

½ c. walnuts

¼ c. golden raisins- I often use dried cranberries or other dried fruit

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients with nuts and raisins in medium mixing bowl. In small bowl combine eggs and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Stir together to make a slightly sticky dough. With oiled hands shape into loaf (2”x11”) on oiled sheet. Bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Slice the loaf thin using a serrated knife and place slices on a rack on a baking sheet then return to oven, reduce heat to 300-degrees bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container to retain crunch. Makes about 16. 

* If you can’t find spelt flour you can use 3/4 c. all purpose flour and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour instead or substitute the entire amount of flour with whole wheat pastry flour.

 

Spelt Biscotti

Spelt Biscotti

Spelt Biscotti

If you haven’t cooked with spelt flour before you might want to give it a try. Spelt gives you the fiber and nutrition of the whole grain that it is but with a texture like white flour. You can use it in cookies, muffins, waffles and more and get the softness you desire with the extra benefit of cooking with whole grain. Spelt also  works great in yeast breads with little kneading.  It might be tricky to find in your area, but it is turning up in more stores as demand increases.

Spelt Biscotti

 1 ¼ c. spelt flour

⅓ c. sugar

1 t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

½ c. walnuts

¼ c. golden raisins

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients with nuts and raisins in medium mixing bowl. In small bowl combine eggs and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Stir together to make a slightly sticky dough. With oiled hands shape into loaf (2”x11”) on oiled sheet. Bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Slice the loaf thin using a serrated knife and place slices on a rack on a baking sheet then return to oven, reduce heat to 300-degrees bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container to retain crunch. Makes about 16. 

 

Spelt Bread

Spelt Bread

Spelt Bread

If you haven’t baked with spelt flour before you might want to try it out. Its a whole grain but you end up with a product that is softer than whole wheat and requires less kneading. You can also replace white flour in pretty much any recipe with a similar texture to white flour- but with the nutrition of wholegrain. I really love working with spelt flour. I hope you will, too. Spelt flour is available in some grocery stores, specialty stores and health food stores.

Spelt Bread

 3 ¼ c. whole spelt flour

1 pkt. Active dry yeast

1 c. water

1/3 c. honey

¼ c. oil

1 t. salt

1 egg

Place 2 c. flour, yeast and salt in a medium bowl. Heat together water, honey and oil until warm (120-130 degrees) Add water mixture to spelt mixture and beat on low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds, or until moistened. Add egg and beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in enough spelt to make a soft dough. Cover bowl with towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and use a rubber scraper to transfer dough into prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, another hour. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Cover top with foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf. I like this bread so much I often double the recipe so I have a loaf to freeze for later or give as a gift.