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Jekka's Herb Spelt Bread

by Alistair McVicar |

Adaped from Ursula Ferrigno's receipe. I had the pleasure of meeting Ursula during my time at Leiths School of Food and Wine. Her demonstration was one of the best; mainly for the passion and love she had for food. She demonstrated this bread then and it has been a firm favourite ever since. The picture is of canapes made using the spelt bread served with crème fraîche with Borago pygmaea (prostrate borage) and Hyssopus officinalis subsp. aristatus (rock hyssop) flowers. They were made for a private event on the farm.

Ingredients:

  • 500g wholegrain spelt flour, plus extra for sprinkling and kneading
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 3tsp of chopped herbs either rosemary, winter savory or tarragon
  • 2tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1tbsp fragrant honey, such as acacia or rosemary honey
  • 7g fresh yeast or 1tbsp dried/active yeast
  • 400ml water at body temperature (you will need to adjust the quantity if using white spelt)

Steps

  1. In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, chopped herbs and black pepper and mix well.
  2. Make a reservoir in the middle of the flour, add the oil and honey and then the yeast and water. If using dried yeast, it is best to pre-mix the yeast with the honey and a little bit of water, roughly 1 tbsp.
  3. Mix well and turn out of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary. The dough should be strong, soft and silky.
  4. Ursula recommends kneading for approximately 8 mins.
  5. Shape into two baguettes and place on a baking tray lined with parchment, side by side, pinch the ends for a rustic look. Cover and leave for 40 mins.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C.
  7. Once proved, score the loaves and scatter with some flour. Bake until they are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the underside. Cool on a wire rack.

If you love the sounds of this recipe and herb-based cooking check out our Master Classes.