Spelt Black Bread

Traditionally the idea of Black Bread is a Rye/ Wheat mix but i have done a bit of switching and swapping to adapt it to my own preference. As this was a first attempt of a recipe of this sort i had no idea what to expect from the outcome. (except that the Bread would most probably be Black)
I originally thought that the grating of Carrots was a bit of a faff and not worth the hassle, but i’m glad I persevered. It kept the loaf soft, moist and as springy as a trampoline.
This is a recipe that has been cheekily swiped and adapted from Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks. It is a full flavoured Bread, a perfect vehicle for your Smorgas – topped with melting Goats Cheese or Gruyere or a mature Cheddar. My preference is smothered in Butter, with Marmite and a scattering of wafer thin Cucumber slices.I didn’t include any Nuts but in future would definitely not be adverse to the addition of 50g roughly chopped Walnuts thrown into the mix for some extra crunch.
pondering the toppings…
  • 400g White Spelt Flour
  • 175g Wholemeal Strong Bread Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried Yeast
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbs Brown Sugar
  • 60g Molasses or Black Treacle
  • 2 tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 50g Butter
  • 150g grated Carrots

Add the yeast and sugar to a bowl with 350ml warm water (set aside for 20 minuted or so for the yeast to activate)

In a saucepan heat melt the butter with the molasses, add the cocoa and mix well, leave to cool to room temperature. Add the two types of flour to another bowl with the grated carrots and salt. Add the warm water with the yeast to the molasses mixture and mix – you will have a very questionable looking black watery liquid.

Create a well in the centre of the flour and grated carrots and pour the molasses liquid in, use a wooden spoon to bring the mixture together. Once fully mixed the dough should be elastic but not sticky. If it is too sticky add a little extra flour – if it is too dry add a dash more water.

Turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted surface and knead for 5 minutes with the heal of your hand. Then put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling-film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise, it should roughly double in size.

Once it has done this gently knock the dough back, shaping it in a circle, tucking in the bottom of the dough so it looks nice and round for baking, or as i did – evenly spreading it in a loaf tinpre-heat your oven to 220 degrees celsius – leave it for 15 mins to warm up. Dust the dough with flour and put it into the oven to cook for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further 20-25 mins. You will know the bread is cooked when you tap on the bottom and it sounds hollow

Leave to cool for 15 mins before eating to avoid burnt tongues.

Heap on the wood!
The wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.Sir Walter Scott
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