This easy no knead maple oat spelt bread tastes as good as it looks. This loaf is large, rustic, slightly sweet and has a crumb that is soft and spongy. This bread comes together quickly for a fresh loaf in a little as 4 hours.
When someone asks me what home is, it's the aroma of fresh baked bread. What is it about cooking dough that is so intoxicating? Whatever it is, I don't want to know for fear it would ruin the luster surrounding that warm, dreamy loaf ready to butter up and melt with.
My journey with bread baking at home...and "the doorstop" loaf
My first experiences with making bread was more like adventuring in fabricating culinary doorstops- hard rock like rounds of flour and water. I quickly learned the power of fresh active yeast and why it's best not to use a half opened package you find in the back of cupboard from 5 years ago. *Sigh* memories.
Homemade bread is easy
It's always been a deep belief of mine that we teach young people (and adults) how to bake and cook for themselves. It's an everyday skill, an art form and a survival tactic if it ever came down to it. Bread being the most basic of foods.
I started just like everyone else; no experience or knowledge about bread making and many failed attempts. And yet, here I am making fresh bread at home for my family and friends on a regular basis.
It really is easy to do!
Keys to making the best homemade spelt bread
Anyway, back to the matter at hand: how to make a loaf of bread and avoid "the doorstop" loaf. Hopefully, you've already learned from my first mistake.
Aside from having fresh yeast, there really isn't that much more to it other than time and patience. You need some good flour (all purpose, bread flour, whole wheat or spelt), a big bowl, a wooden spoon and time.
The best part about this recipe is you don't even need to know how to knead dough. If you're interested, there's plenty of tutorials out there. This one from America's Test Kitchen of my favorites.
A Dutch Oven for making bread
A dutch oven is my preferred vessel for baking bread, however, you can make bread in loaf pans. I share some directions for how to do that below.
If using a dutch oven, make sure that all parts of it (including the lid knob) are oven safe up to 500'F.
Why I love no knead maple oat spelt bread
This loaf is large, rustic, slightly sweet and has a crumb that is soft and spongy...it's one of my favourite loaves to make and eat. Best of all, it comes together in 4 hours. There's no overnight proofing time required.
Spelt flour is fairly similar to whole wheat flour in taste and texture, however, it is much more nutrient dense compared to wheat based flours; I prefer it for that characteristic alone.
This loaf has a soft crumb and a beautiful golden crust topped with rolled oats. It's slightly sweet with the addition of maple syrup, but not enough that it can't be used for savory fixings.
Can I make this recipe into smaller loaves?
If you don't have a dutch oven, you can use two 9x5" loaf pans. You'll want to line them with parchment paper and grease them well to ensure the bread releases from the pan.
You'll need to divide the dough into half after the first proofing. Then, roll each half in oats, form them into a rough oval shape and place them in the pans to proof, covered with a lint free towel.
Bake at the same temperature uncovered, although you may need to watch them closely to ensure they don't over brown or burn. If need be, place a piece of aluminum foil over the top to prevent burning.
On spelt flour and oats
Spelt flour, along with whole oats adds plenty of fiber which surprisingly adds to the lovely soft texture of the crumb; it's fantastic.
Spelt flour also contains less gluten than regular wheat flour, which means it has a slightly different crumb texture than wheat flour breads. However, I prefer the crumb texture and digestibility of spelt flour bread.
Spelt flour is not gluten-free
Spelt is not a gluten-free flour so if you are looking for a non-glutenous flour alternative, don't use it. Perhaps there is some confusion out there that if it isn't wheat based, it's gluten free, which isn't always the case.
I hope this recipe turns you into your own 'breadventurer' [bread-adventurer]. Once you know the basics, you can alter ingredients and flavours to make something truly your own and something you can be proud of...proof (pun intended) that making bread is really not complicated at all.
Want more bread baking inspiration?
If you love my maple oat spelt bread, check out some of my popular recipes below!
And don't forget about the butter. Don't miss my classic recipe for
No Knead Maple Oat Spelt Bread
Anyone can make bread at home using the no knead method. This no knead maple oat spelt bread is baked in a dutch oven and comes together in less than 4 hours. This large 14" rustic loaf with a soft crumb and golden crust. [Note that 1 cup of flour is equal to 150g of flour].
- 2 cups (16 oz) warm filtered water ~110'f
- 1-¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1-½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 300 grams (2 cups) spelt flour or whole wheat flour
- 300 grams (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose bread flour
- 50-75 grams (½-3/4) cup rolled oats
Warm a large heat proof bowl by placing it in the oven and turning the temperature to 200' F. Leave it in the oven for a few minutes until it is warm, but not hot to the touch. Alternatively, you can use a microwave safe bowl and place it in the microwave for approx. 1 minute. This step makes for a faster proofing time.
To the warmed bowl, add the water, yeast, and maple syrup. Give it a quick stir to combine. Gently add in the spelt flour (or whole wheat), bread flour and salt and combine until all the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the flour has been incorporated into the dough. You should now have a rough looking ball that is ready to proof.
Cover the bowl with a lid or lint free towel and place it in a warm area to proof for 1-½ to 2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size.
Once the dough has finished it's first proof, remove the lid and punch down the dough by pressing the air out with your hands or a spoon. Form the dough into a smooth ball in the bowl and sprinkle the oats on top turning the dough to coat all sides.
Scrape the dough ball out onto a large piece of parchment paper (large enough to cover the bottom and up the sides of the dutch oven) and place the dough and parchment paper into a 5 quart dutch oven with a lid. Cover and let proof for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size again.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400'F. Once the dough is proofed, place the covered dutch oven containing the dough into the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid (watch out for steam) and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the crust.
Once baked, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven and then carefully lift the fully baked loaf out using the sides of the parchment paper (watch out because it's hot). Alternatively, you can leave the loaf to cool in the dutch oven if you cant safely take it out. Remove the parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. The loaf will last several days stored in an airtight container or bread bag and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Whole wheat flour can be used in exchange for spelt flour in a 1:1 ratio. All-purpose flour can be used in exchange for bread flour in a 1:1 ratio.