Lemon Spelt Bread

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Most of the time you will find dark danish rye bread in our home, but sometimes we bake breads like this. Light on the inside, hard on the outside and with the most wonderful scent and taste of lemon. We use spelt flakes and spelt flour which contains more proteins and less calories than ordinary wheat flour. Spelt also has a little nuttier taste. But the greatest thing with this recipe is that we dissolve the yeast in cold water instead of lukewarm water. And this is great because every time a recipe calls for lukewarm water the two of us disagree on the temperature: “It’s too hot!” “no no no, it’s too cold!”.

Imagine how it sounds like when we try to give Elsa a bath …

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Lemon Spelt Bread (Adapted from a recipe by danish chef Oscar Umahro)
Makes 2 big breads

1 cup (2,5 dl) spelt flakes
2 medium size organic lemons (juice and zest)
3 cups (7,5 dl) ice cold water
1 tbsp sea salt
1 oz (30 g) fresh yeast
2-3 tbsp olive oil
7 cups (1 kg) spelt flour (whole or light or both)

Mix the spelt flakes with lemon zest and juice and let it set for 30 minutes.
Whisk together water, salt, yeast and olive oil in a large bowl. Add half of the spelt flour and stir it together to a lose mixture. Add the lemon marinated spelt flakes and the rest of the flour (a little at the time). Knead it for about five minutes (not too long since spelt has a fragile gluten), it should feel light, elastic and a little bit moist. Split it in half and form two loaves that you put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let it rise until twice the size (about 2 hours). Preheat the oven to 425°F/200°C about 20 minutes before the loaves are done rising, put a broiler pan in the bottom rack. Wait 20 minutes, then put the loaves in the oven and pour 1 cup of tap water into the broiler pan, quickly shut the oven door to keep the steam inside. Bake for 25-30 minutes.


  • ABOUT THE YEAST: For those who can't get it, 4-4.5 tsp dry active yeast should do the trick. 2 plus a little more tsp if you are only making one loaf. ABOUT THE BREAD: It is so beautiful and lovely. I sprinkled poppy seeds and flour on the top (oh by the way, I found that it's best not to use all the flour it calls for. And go heavy on the lemon! But of course, I was cutting the recipe in half so ...) I couldn't find spelt flakes anywhere! I wanted to use quinoa flakes, but was timid because they tend to soak up a lot more water, and this being my first time trying the recipe out I was decided to play it safe. Maybe I'll do it next time instead of regular oats and let you know how it goes. Pairs well with kalamata olives--like super well.
  • Dagny
    Hi, I was just wondering if I could use dried yeast instead of fresh yeast? If so, how much? Thank you for your time. Your blog is beautiful by the way:)
  • Inez
    My hubby and I made this today and it was lovely. Thank you for a great recipe. We especially loved the texture - so light with a crunchy crust - and was wondering if the lemon juice had anything to do with that? I am hoping to make it again without the lemon but with some herbs instead so was hoping that the omission of the lemon won't alter the texture... Love the blog too - we've just found it as we embark on a sugar-free 8 week experiment!
  • carmen
    i recently discovered your blog and it was the perfect time! my parents are much older and life has become quite hectic making sure they are ok, eat well, etc. your blog reconnected me to all the years i was vegetarian (i eat fish now) and recommitted me to whole food cooking and eating. thank you for sharing your beautiful, clean lifestyle and wonderful recipes with us (i am in california!) i feel so very blessed to have found your blog, and i have been cooking some very healthy dishes for my little old folks, too. i wish your family much continued health, happiness and peace. :)
  • molla
    Are the spelt flakes necessary for this recipe? Can I substitute with perhaps spelt flour instead?
    • Hi Molla, I guess you can bake the bread without flakes, but if you have old fashioned rolled oats that will work great too. Happy baking Luise
  • Nishma
    We dont get fresh yeast here - can we replace with dried yeast and what quantity?
  • Dee
    This looks great, but do you put all the zest in or just as much as desired? Thank you!

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