Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Baking with Spelt

I'm loving it. I bought a 25 lb bag of spelt when Ronia was born and of course I just had it ground at the Burwell Morgan Mill the last week of October.

Spelt is an ancient grain, more ancient than wheat and the Burwell Morgan Mill the oldest mill still operating in Virginia and entirely water powered. I've been using my sourghdough yeast (also since the baby was born) and cooking in the bread in big Cast iron pots from my mother-in-law. I joked to Ben that if he makes me a wood powered outdoor oven we will have gone to great lengths to eat bread that probably hasn't been eaten on a regular basis for centuries.

But it is worth it for the flavor alone. Spelt is nutty and a little mild and when it was freshly ground it had a really earthy aroma. It also works well in pancakes and cookies so the versatility factor is nice. Down side is that it is a bit pricier. Only thing I haven't tried it yet in is pizza.

Gotta get more coffee. BYe!


Kelly said...

I actually just purhased some spelt the other day, but I have yet to grind it. I don't know that we have any super cool water powered mills around where I live, though. :) I was curious about your sourdough yeast, is that just a starter you made? Or do you have something like a dry yeast?

Ben Hatke said...

I got my sourdough starter from a friend and it is from a culture originally mail ordered from San Francisco. I get it out of the fridge the day before I bake and feed it in the morning and then mix up my dough that night. It is wet and I keep it in a jam jar. I love the flavor!

Don't know about Washington but I know in California there was a wooden mill about thirty minutes from my parents house. Just ask around and you might find something!



Kelly said...

That sounds so great. I actually made my own starter last year and was baking sour dough bread and crackers with that, but Dan and the boys weren't big fans. Lately, we've been buying some sourdough bread from a local bakery (we're actually in Oregon now, by the way - and you guys thought you were gypsies) so I think I need to try it again. Do you know, is there some benefit to getting my starter from someone else? Or is making my own just as good? I actually have a grain mill. It's electric, not cool, water-powered, stone-ground. Please don't tell me that my grain mill destroys all the nutrition in the grain. Ok, tell me, does it?