Spelt began life in the 1700s as a bakery, so it seems only right that we bring you some top tips on making perfect bread.
During the current Coronavirus restrictions, lots of people are trying their hand at baking bread. If you can get the ingredients from the supermarket or your local store, why not give it a go?
Use the correct yeast and store it properly
Most recipes will use either fresh, fast-acting dried or active dried yeast, so ensure you have the correct type that your recipe mentions.
Prior to making your bread, you should ensure the yeast is stored correctly. Dried yeast can be kept for a few months. Fresh yeast should be kept in the fridge and will last a week or two. It can also be frozen for up to three months.
Give it time
To get the best bread, you need to allow it a sufficient amount of time to rise. It can be tempting to start baking before it’s ready, so while it rises you can be getting on with other things, but keep an eye on it.
The time is takes dough to rise depends on the recipe and room temperature. On average it will take one to one and a half hours. Be careful not to over prove as the dough will sink back again.
Soda bread is one bread that doesn’t need to rise, so it is perfect if you don’t have much time. It’s also a great starter bread if you’ve never baked before.
Use good quality flour
Extra-strong or Canadian flours are naturally higher in gluten, so may give you a better rise than your standard flours.
Measure ingredients carefully
Again, it’s tempting to power through and think ‘that will do’ when it comes to using yeast, water or salt. It’s important to measure your ingredients carefully, as they can have a big effect on your finished loaf.
Don’t leave the bread to rise somewhere that’s too hot, as the temperature will kill the yeast. Use warm water rather than hot. Ensure you measure your salt properly too, as too much is bad for you and doesn’t taste good either.
Practice makes perfect
As with anything you make, practice makes perfect. The more you knead and shape dough, the more you can get a feel for it and learn about elasticity. You’ll know what to do when the dough isn’t looking or feeling right. You’ll also learn to spot when it’s ready to be baked.