Spelt and Oats No-knead Bread (pane con avena e farro)

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The benefits of oats and spelt have been glorified by the health conscious and seem to be living a new renaissance these days. How lovely to think that these have been staple ingredients in the Italian diet since time immemorial, proving once more that our traditional cuisine boasts health recipes to suit most dietary requirements. Naturally such perks are complemented by one other fundamental asset: the both impart a warm, nutty flavour to bread, making them you best allay in the kitchen. So, if you are trying to stay away from refined white bread, this recipe might be just what the doctor ordered.

INGREDIENTS, makes 1 loaf

300 gr (2-3/4 cups) of spelt flour

200 gr (1- 2/3 cups) of unbleached baker’s flour or all purpose flour

380 ml (1- 2/3 cups) of lukewarm water

1 teaspoon of dry yeast

1 teaspoon of honey

2 teaspoons of salt

1-2 handfuls of rolled oats for dusting on top

HOW TO

1. Mix the flours in a large bowl, add the yeast, honey and water and mix until combined.

2. Add the salt and mix through using a wooden spoon or a spatula. The mixture will be rather sticky and will not require kneading as such. Just mix until all the ingredients are amalgamated. If you think the dough is a little dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.

3. Leave the dough to prove in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel for 8-12 hours or until it has more than doubled in size.

4. Dust a working bench with flour, tip the risen dough onto it and fold it into three. Roll it back into a ball using floured hands (the dough will be very sticky, don’t be alarmed!) and place in on top of an oven tray lined with baking paper to prove for 1-2 hours at room temperature, covered with a tea towel.

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5. Heat up your oven to 220 C/430 F. Place an empty metal bowl or skillet on the bottom tray to heat up.

6. When the dough has risen for the second time, dust it with oats and slide the tray in the oven. Fill the hot bowl or skillet with cold water to create steam and close the oven door to block the heat from escaping. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 200 C/390 F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

7. Cool at room temperature on a wire rack. Allow to cool down to 1 hour before slicing.

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18 thoughts on “Spelt and Oats No-knead Bread (pane con avena e farro)

  1. What beautiful bread! And healthy too. I love that you don’t have to knead the bread and can just let it sit out for the day and bake it in the evening. Wonderful recipe!

  2. Hi Silvia,
    I just found your food blog and am so excited because your approach to Italian food is exactly the way people should think about Italian food. Also, I love this bread recipe. However, even tho I come from an Italian family, I never heard of spelt before. What tastes similar to it? I am a little afraid I won’t like the taste, but I want to make this bread!!

    Tooling around looking at Italian food blogs, I found yours and it is so wonderful that I am trying not to feel scared that my newly started blog won’t ever function as flawlessly as yours. Anyway, I love your design – it’s simple, lovely, and interesting. I plan to visit often.

    If you have a moment, I would be thrilled if you would visit my blog, jeannetteskitchen.com. and leave a comment.
    Your new friend,
    Joan DiMenna Dahlen

  3. Can I use (some or all) unbleached white whole wheat flour in place of the white flour called for in the recipe.. Or do I need the white flour to make it work well. Grazie Silvia!!

    • If you use a bit of white flour you will have a softer bread with a higher bloom, but if you’d rather go 100% wholemeal, you will get bags of flavour to compensate for a denser texture. Win win!

  4. I am so excited to have found your blog, especially all your bread recipes, we’ve just returned from living in Abruzzo and my little boy won’t eat bread in the UK, but I don’t have loads of time to make bread either… this one looks the perfect solution!

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