Honey Spelt Bread

I wrote a little haiku poem, and I’d like to share it with all of you today.

It’s about something that’s very near and dear to my heart, especially during this frosty time of year.

It’s called, “Bread.” I hope you like it. Ahem:

So doughy and soft,
Can I eat you all the time?
Oh, my love for thee.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

There is nothing truer than this poem, friends. I LOVE bread. Give me a nice, chewy loaf of carbohydrates and I’m set!

We go through bread in our apartment like it’s the only thing we have to eat (but actually, sometimes it’s all we WANT to eat) because we all adore it. Usually we get a whole grain sandwich bread from the supermarket or splurge every once in a while on a sourdough boule from the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

But when it was Tuesday, and we were already out of bread for the week, I realized something. Why are we buying bread? We don’t need to be buying bread. I know how to yeast. I can make bread. (Yes, I just made yeast into a verb & guess what iloveit.)

And if I can make bread, so can you. Promise.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

I mean, the benefits waaaay outweigh the effort. In under 3 hours you have a delicious, fresh loaf of bread perfect for all bread-y occasions and an aroma you just can’t beat. If that seems like a long time, let me just point out that 80 percent will be spent letting the yeast do the heavy lifting, and then baking the bread in the oven. It basically makes itself!

Best of all, you only need five ingredients. Yeast aside, you probably already have the rest of the ingredients in your house RIGHT NOW. Yes, you!

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

The loaf pictured here is made with whole spelt flour, but I tried it with whole wheat flour, and it worked just as well.

If you have any hesitations about using yeast, fear not! I’m going to walk you through the tricky parts. The important thing to remember is that yeast is just super picky and spoiled, nothing to be afraid of. It takes some practice to really get comfortable with it, and sometimes your blueberry sweet rolls might rise over the sides of the pan like mine did. But once you get into a rhythm, working with yeast will become one of the most fun and rewarding kitchen activities you do!

Step 1: Activating the yeast

My bread recipe uses active dry yeast, which is different than instant yeast. Active dry yeast, though it says in the name that it’s active, needs to be dissolved in warm water before it can be used in a recipe. Instant yeast has a smaller particle size, so it can be mixed in directly with the dry ingredients.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

So I mentioned that yeast is picky, right? Well, water temperature is one of the things it’s picky about. The water has to be hot enough to dissolve the yeast, but not so hot that it kills it. (What a diva…) You want to aim for about 110° F, or about the temperature you would make a bath for a baby.

Here’s a tip: if you can’t keep your finger comfortably in the water for 10 seconds, then it’s too hot!

Once your water is the right temperature, sprinkle in the yeast and stir briefly until it has all dissolved. Just let it sit while you mix the dry ingredients together, and then add it like you would any other liquid in a recipe.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

Step 2: Kneading the dough

This part seems to scare people the most, but I find it really therapeutic now that I’ve got the hang of it.

Kneading develops the gluten in dough, which gives it that nice, chewy, texture. You want the dough to be a little sticky when you start, so don’t add too much flour although I know it’s tempting.

Flour a clean surface and place the ball of dough down, flipping it so the outside is all coated in flour. Then hold the bottom edge of the dough in place with your left hand. Grab the top of the dough in your right hand and use the heal of your right hand to gently stretch the dough away from you, then fold it back on top of itself. Turn the whole dough ball a quarter to the right. Repeat this process for 5-6 minutes, and THAT’S IT! Pull, fold, turn.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

Keep the surface coated in flour, adding more as needed. When the dough is not super sticky and springs back when you poke it, you’re DONE! YAY!

Here’s a tip: if you’re a more visual person, YouTube has some great videos that show you how to knead. That’s how I learned, actually. This is the video I watched. Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to watch the whole thing. The kneading part is at the beginning. Here’s another one I like.

Step 3: Letting it rise

This part is a piece of cake. The hardest part is waiting, but we’ve talked about that.

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

All you do for the first rise is flour the bowl you prepared the dough in, place the dough in a ball shape in the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and wait!

Here’s a tip: yeast rises best in warm environments, so what I do is preheat the oven to 200° F while I’m prepping the dough. When the dough is ready to rise, I turn the oven off and place the whole bowl in the oven for an hour. Works every time, thanks Sally’s Baking Addiction!

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

 

I find that the oven is still warm enough by the time of the second rise, so I don’t bother preheating it again. Just place the whole loaf pan in the off oven like you did with the bowl.

If you’d like to print a copy of these steps to keep in your kitchen for easy reference, you can do that by clicking print below.

Print Break-Making Tips

Honey Spelt Bread | memo2munch

 

I’m almost on break for Thanksgiving. One more class! I hope you have a wonderful time with your friends and family. (And if you’re looking for something impressive to bring to your Thanksgiving meal, I highly suggest fresh-baked bread. Everyone will love you.) Okay, byyye!

Honey Spelt Bread
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 4 1/2 cups whole spelt flour, plus more for dusting*
  2. 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  3. 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  4. 1 3/4 c. warm water, about 110 degees F/43 degrees C
  5. 2 tbsp. local honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F/90 degrees C.** Pour the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Whisk until dissolved.
  2. In a separate, large bowl, combine 4 cups of the flour with the sea salt.
  3. Add the yeast and water mixture and the honey to the dry ingredients. Add only enough of the remaining 1/2 c. flour so that the dough begins to gently pull away from the sides of the bowl. It should still be slightly sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until no longer sticky and dough springs back when poked. (Details in post)
  5. Turn the oven off. Flour the bowl you prepared the dough in. Shape the dough into a ball, and set in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the oven, or another warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  6. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Gently punch the dough down, and invert onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten it slightly, and roll it into a log. Tuck the ends under, and place in the greased loaf pan, seam-side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the oven again until doubled in bulk, about 30-40 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/230 degrees C. Dust the dough lightly with flour. Use a sharp knife to make a shallow, lengthwise gash down the center of the loaf. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then tip it out onto a rack to cool completely before enjoying.
Notes
  1. *You may also use whole wheat flour, or sub up to one cup all purpose flour if you don't want quite as hearty a loaf.
  2. **Only do this if you are using the oven trick for helping the dough rise that I mentioned in the post.
Adapted from Food and Wine
Adapted from Food and Wine
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins

Normally I’m a pretty patient person. I’m trying to think of specific examples right now, but none are coming to me, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

That wasn’t very patient of me, was it?

Oh! Like waiting for bread dough to rise. I will do that happily. Mostly because I can distract myself by reading other food blogs or watching Youtube videos to waste pass the time, (VlogBrothers, anyone?) or by doing homework, of course… heh. But also because I’m patient!

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

However, sometimes I have streaks of impatience. (Don’t we all?)

For example, when I get a craving for banana bread, I wanna make banana bread THAT DAY. The only thing is, for deeeeelish banana bread, you just have to use really ripe bananas, as in so-ripe-the-peels-are-almost-all-brown bananas, because the flavor comes out much deeper and richer.

Well, that means you have to wait for them to ripen. Which takes a day or two, even using the handy brown bag trick.

So that means I won’t get my banana bread for at least another 24 HOURZ. Or will I?

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

One of my favorite ladies, Lindsay, over at Pinch of Yum has basically rescued me from ripe-banana peril now and forever.

Her recipe for banana bread muffins uses caramelized bananas to add a decadent layer of sweetness. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?!

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

But here’s the best part: caramelizing the bananas cuts out the whole waiting for the bananas to become overripe step because they need to be fairly sturdy to caramelize well. Hello, yellow bananas sitting on the counter, you are perfect!

SO we get impeccable banana flavor without the wait, and caramelizing the bananas brings out such a rich, sweet taste that we can cut down on the sugar too. YAY!

Plus you get to call them caramelized banana muffins. Look at you, being all fancy and talented. Oh, yes.

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the bits of crunchy granola on top? And I though muffin tops couldn’t get any better.

Lindsay used oat flour in her muffins (aka grinding up oats in a food processor), but I used almond flour instead. The substitution worked great, although I strongly suggest waiting until the muffins have cooled quite a bit before eating them so that they can set properly. Otherwise the texture will be kind of mealy. I know you wanna eat ’em piping hot, but it’s a lot better than waiting for bananas to ripen, amiright?

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Since these muffins are predominantly almond flour with just a little whole spelt flour, they should be fine for you if you just have a gluten sensitivity. Spelt still has gluten in it, though, so they are not good people with Celiac. (Read more about why spelt is okay for people with gluten intolerance here, near the end) You might be able to make them truly gluten free by experimenting with some other GF flours, although I have not tried it yet. YOU SHOULD DO IT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS.

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins
Yields 12
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For the muffins
  1. 4 bananas, peeled and sliced (NOT overly ripe)
  2. 1 cup almond flour
  3. 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. whole spelt flour (can sub whole wheat)
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  7. 3/4 c. plain almond milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 5 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  10. 2-3 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
  11. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping
  1. 1/3 c. oats
  2. 1 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  3. 1 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray generously with a nonstick cooking spray. (The oil is necessary for the caramelization) Slice the bananas into rounds and place them flat on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping once and removing from the oven when the bananas are a deep, golden brown on the outside. Transfer to a bowl and mash the bananas with a wooden spoon.
  2. Toss the almond flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, melted Earth Balance, vanilla, and honey until combined and smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.
  4. Stir gently until batter is just barely combined. Fold the bananas into the mixture, stirring just 5 more times.
  5. Transfer the batter to a greased 12 cup muffin tin. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the muffins are puffed slightly and spring back when you touch the tops. Let cool completely before enjoying, or the consistency will be mealy.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins

Hey guess what?

I’ve come up with a way to send my food to you through the computer? Ha, nope, but I wish!! How great would that be?!

It’s something super random, so I’ll just tell ya. I’ve come up with a new, much-more-interactive way of categorizing food. Make sure you read that “interack-teeve.” We must sound pompous yet refined, friends, when we discuss such serious matters.

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins | memo2munch spelt rye

I’ll explain how I divide food up using the categories, and you see if you agree with me!

Okay, so the categories are:

1. Foods I just can’t eat gracefully. This includes tricky things like salad without using a knife, oranges (tell me you have also squirted yourself in the eyeball while peeling one before, PLZ), whole apples, sunny side up eggs, and any kind of long stringy pasta. Oh, and also tomato sauce. Always, ALWAYS spill that stuff on myself! Although I guess that’s mostly my fault…

2. Foods I CAN eat gracefully. This category is kind of small. Like, just pretzels and blueberries small. I know. I’m impressed about the blueberries, too.

3. And finally, we have the foods that I choose NOT to eat gracefully, i.e. when I decide to try and eat grapes with a fork, and muffins. Now, muffins might seem a tad random to you, but just wait until I tell you how I like to eat them.

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins | memo2munch

My faaaaave part of every muffin is the top. Duh. So, I turn my muffins upside down, and I break off pieces and eat from the bottom up until all that’s left is the muffin top. Then I eat that like a cookie.

IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

What foods do you choose to eat like a weirdo?

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins | memo2munch

I want you to try my method of muffin eating, cuz it’s awesome and you will love it, so I am forcing this DELICIOUS MUFFIN RECIPE UPON YOU. With lotsa chocolate and lotsa cherries, guys. Oh yes. 🙂

But you know what there’s not lots of? Yucky, refined, white flour and yucky, processed sugars. In fact, there’s NONE.

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins | memo2munch

These muffins are made with a combo of whole grain spelt flour and rye flour, and are sweetened with maple syrup. They’re low-fat, good to your tummy, and DEEEELICIOUS! Inspired by one of the best food blogs out there, Green Kitchen Stories. Their PHOTOGRAPHY.

Seriously, you won’t miss the processed stuff at all with these babies. Bursting with chunks of juicy cherries and over-flowing with rich, chocolate flavor, these muffins are bound to be a hit with all ages!

PS look at this unintentional muffin face:

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins | memo2munch

Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins
Yields 12
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Dry ingredients
  1. 1 scant cup (150g) whole grain rye flour
  2. 1 cup (125g) spelt flour
  3. 6 tbsp. cacao powder
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1 tsp. baking soda
  6. 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
Wet ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 cup (240 mL) almond milk
  3. 2/3 cup (160 mL) maple syrup
  4. 2/3 cup (160 mL) olive oil
  5. 3/4-1 cup halved and pitted cherries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and toss briefly.
  3. Crack the eggs in a separate bowl and beat for about a minute until doubled in volume and frothy. Then add almond milk, maple syrup, and olive oil, stirring constantly. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently fold in the cherries. Divide the batter into muffin tins and bake for about 18 minutes.
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/