Posts Tagged ‘wholemeal cookies’

Spelt is one of the so called “ancient grains”, grown in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times. It’s related to modern day wheat, but with a noticeably different flavour and some purported health benefits.  These include a broader nutritional profile, and a more easily digestible protein structure, which makes spelt accessible to some people with wheat intolerances.  However, it does contain gluten, which means it’s not suitable for coeliacs.

Spelt flour is very expensive – a kilo costs six times as much as regular bakers’ flour, and twice as much as organic bakers’ flour.  Having said that, it makes little difference when you compare the cost of using it at home to the price of purchasing ready made – an organic spelt loaf might cost $2.50 in raw materials, but a loaf of sourdough (made with regular bakers flour) from a reputable bakery could set you back $8 or more.

As we were delighted with the results of our 100% white spelt loaves, I thought it might be fun to experiment with organic wholemeal spelt.

The 100% spelt sourdough loaves I made were slow to prove, and despite a surprising amount of oven spring, the wholemeal crumb didn’t display the huge holes of the white spelt.  That didn’t detract from the bread though, which was deliciously nutty and, as Pete put it, wholesome.  The rising dough and  baking loaves exuded the most gorgeous aromas and our sons, who don’t usually like anything other than white bread, ate an entire loaf between them for lunch, smothered in peanut butter and jam.  The spelt baguettes formed the backbone of a vegetarian dinner we had on the weekend, and went perfectly with Pete’s beetroot dip and guacamole.

Emboldened by this success, I tried using the wholemeal spelt in Dan Lepard’s Guardian cookie recipe.  I substituted cranberries for the dried blueberries (which are prohibitively expensive here) and omitted the almond essence.  Dan’s recipe was written for regular wholemeal flour, and the essence was included in part to mask any bitterness in the flour.  As the spelt has a nutty, sweet flavour, I didn’t think it was necessary here.

The end result were these chewy, moreish treats, reminiscent of old-fashioned oatmeal cookies. I’ve already eaten two this morning!

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