I have a confession, I make ugly bread. It tastes good and I have been making spelt bread on and off for a few years now but have struggled to produce a nice looking loaf in a loaf tin. It was never going to win a prize, unless the prize was least attractive loaf so I recently took the plunge and bought a bannetone (proving basket) in an attempt to make more professional looking loaves. I picked mine up on eBay for around £10. Bannetones are made from cane or wicker and allow air to circulate around the dough to form a skin which keeps the structure of a loaf when its turned out before baking.
The following recipe is from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake and Mr Hollywood would disapprove as my second confession is that I don’t knead my bread by hand. I recruit my Kenwood and its dough hook to do all the hard work for me. Timings are the same whether you do the hard work yourself or allow a stand mixer to take the strain.
Makes 1 large loaf Ingredients 300g white spelt flour 200g wholegrain spelt flour 300ml tepid water 30g butter or olive oil 7g Yeast 10g salt
Weigh out the flours into a large mixing or stand mixer bowl and then add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the butter or olive oil and then the water. Mix to combine all the ingredients. Once it has come together into a dough knead for 10 mins by hand or using the dough hook of the mixer on the lowest speed.
Place the dough in a oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Prove in a warm place for 1 to 2 hrs until doubled in size.
Knead again to knock the dough back and shape the dough as required depending on your tin. If you are using a loaf tin shape into a sausage and make sure the seam is underneath so that it becomes the bottom of the loaf. If you are using a bannetone, you want the seam to be face up as you prove the loaf upside down before carefully turning out onto a baking tray after the second prove.
Prove again in a greased and floured 2lb loaf tin or well floured bannetone for 1hr. Preheat the oven to 200c or gas mark 6.
Bannetone proved dough should be carefully turned out onto a baking sheet before placing on the middle shelf of the oven. If using a loaf tin, place this directly on the shelf. Throw a few ice cubes into the oven or pour some water into a roaster at the bottom of the oven to create steam which will help produce a nice crust.
Bake for 30 mins or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.