Bread, bread, bread! Sandwich bread, hamburger buns, etc. That has been what you guys have been emailing me about for months. A lot of you just wanted a healthy vegan bread, a few of you wanted a gluten-free bread, but all of you wanted oil-free. Well, today is the day folks. I'm sharing the easiest recipe ever to make some amazing Vegan Whole Grain Spelt Sandwich Bread. Now, this is not gluten-free, it is whole grain. 95% of what I post on this blog is gluten-free, however, as I mentioned in these Fluffy Spelt Bluberry Pancakes post, the only gluten flour I really use, is spelt. I love the earthy flavor of it and it's soft texture. For those who needed gluten-free, don't worry, that is coming on the next bread post soon!
This bread has a wonderful crusty exterior and a soft, chewy center...just as a sandwich bread should be. Perfect for sandwiches or my favorite, toast! I love bread that is toasted the most, always have. It is so good with some almond butter, or hummus, or even some melted coconut butter. My favorite though is always avocado toast. YUM.
I've tried a billion breads out there from the stores. Some are good, most aren't that great. A lot of them have so many nasty preservatives, chemicals and dough conditioners to keep them soft. So, while homemade bread goes stale quicker, at least you get that fresh homemade taste and can actually feel good about eating homemade bread. I have made many loaves to stock up and now keep a lot of them in my freezer (pre-sliced) so they last longer. I just grab a piece and toast them up when I want a snack. SO GOOD.
I mean, come on, look at that perfect texture. Seriously stoked about this bread. And can you believe that this vegan spelt bread is only 5 ingredients (+ salt & water). How freaking simple is that??
Since spelt can taste rather earthy or even slightly bitter, it is necessary to use a good touch of maple syrup here, more than you would for regular white flour.
The smell of homemade bread is just so amazing and addicting. I remember my Mom making it a lot when I was in high school, but she used a bread machine that my Dad had bought her. The taste was delicious and so fresh. I love to knead the dough though...I love every part of baking, every step....well, except for cleaning up all the dang dishes.
Making homemade bread can be very easy, but it intimidates some people too. This one should not at all. You literally dump everything into a bowl, give it a good stir and knead for a few minutes and then let it rise. Then you just form it into a loaf shape and let it rise one more time and then bake. Super easy. Most of it is not hands-on time, so it's very easy. The key is following the directions. Every flour performs differently, and this recipe I wrote based on the nature of spelt flour alone. Spelt doesn't perform the same way as wheat or all-purpose flour, so you can't just sub and expect the same results. There is less gluten in spelt, so it is more tender and requires less kneading, yet enough to make it elastic. It also holds a bit more moisture. It took me a few tries to get it right, but I was determined to use spelt and not any other flour.
Can we all just get a load of that glorious rise on that bread?? After my first couple of trials failed, I was dancing around the kitchen with joy with how this one turned out. This loaf surprisingly only took me 3 trials to nail the final perfect loaf. 3rd time was in fact, a charm. I have never made a loaf before with spelt, only regular all-purpose flour, so it was a bit more challenging.
I learned really quickly what errors I made. My first loaf I simply added too much water, so the dough rose so high (because of so much moisture) because the yeast reacts off of the moisture and it basically exploded and deflated in my oven, lol. This is what can happen if you have too much water or let it rise too much...deflated city...
Not very pretty, huh? It was still edible though. Wasn't a waste. I just toasted it up and voila. I ultimately found success though with the perfect loaf, as you can see.
VEGAN SPELT BREAD TUTORIAL
So, to make things as simple for you as possible, I'm including pics as well for the steps. This helped many of you successfully make my Apple Hand Pies, so I figured this was important for the bread. These are just brief pics and details, see the FULL directions below on the print-out and follow them.
Add all of your ingredients to a bowl (see full directions in print-out below). Stir and press the dough using the spatula until all the flour is mixed in, a couple of minutes. It will look really chunky like this as first. Once, all the flour is mixed in, knead a bit inside the bowl with your hands. If it it too sticky to handle, sprinkle another tablespoon of flour or so on the top and flip the dough over and knead a bit more with the spatula, pressing and gathering over several times. Only add as little as needed, as you don't want to dry out the dough and end up with dry bread. If for some reason after continually mixing it seems too dry and is not becoming cohesive, add just a tiny bit of water, starting with a teaspoon just so it comes together. You don't want it too dry to where it's not holding together.
Form a ball, using the spatula if necessary to help. It should be elastic and a bit stretchy after 5 minutes and slightly sticky. Test it by pressing down with your spatula/spoon and dragging the dough a bit...you should see it stretch and slowly return back to it's position. Then it's done.
Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray (to prevent the dough sticking as it rises to the wrap) and place the sprayed side down over the bowl. Secure it tightly. Use 2 pieces if necessary. This is important to retain moisture, otherwise your dough will get dry and affect the rise.
Let the dough rise in a warm (non-drafty) place until it has basically doubled, 45 mins to an hour. I highly recommend the oven with just the light turned on. It gives the most consistent results. Mine took exactly 1 hour. But yours may be faster or longer, watch it, don't just rely on a timer.
Look at the difference!
Sprinkle a small bit of flour onto a clean work surface large enough for the dough (I used my granite countertops). Before you scrape the dough out, punch the dough all over to let the gas escape, this is important, otherwise your bread can deflate in the oven. If it is still a bit sticky, just use your silicone spatula to punch it a bit. Scrape your dough out of the bowl and plop it onto the floured work surface. It will be slightly sticking to the bowl (this is normal) so I found that using that silicone spatula, it was very easy to scrape out. Only knead and turn it over just a few times, it doesn't really much more kneading at this point, as you don't want to overknead spelt. Add a tiny bit of flour if needed to the top to get it going. The dough should be very easy to handle at this stage (and not sticky like when you first mixed it).
Form a loaf shape. Tuck in and fold over the sides and flip it over, seam side down into the greased loaf pan.
It's ready for the 2nd rise. See how it's holding it's curved edges and shape? And the messy seams are underneath, so your top will be beautiful. That is what will give it a nice shape as it rises and bakes. Once again, place a sprayed side down large piece of plastic wrap over the pan and secure it. It should be secure, but not so tight that it messes with your rise once the dough touches the plastic, because it will touch it! Set back in the oven with the light on to rise again to about 1 1/2 inches above the pan, from the center peak. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so. Mine took around 45 minutes. Again, keep checking and don't forget. As soon as it is about 1 1/2 inches, remove from the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees. Peel the plastic off carefully, being gentle as to not mess with the rise.
Look at that beautiful rise! One thing that to learn about bread baking, that is crucial, is the rising part. Simply setting a timer and returning when that timer is not always going to work. Every environment is different...some are warmer and more moist than others, which will cause your dough to rise much faster from the yeast working.
Bake your bread for 25-30 minutes, until it's golden brown on the top and it sounds hollow when you thump the top of it. I removed mine at 28 minutes. If you are unsure of what hollow sounds like, you will know once you thump it...it straight up sounds hollow. If you are too paranoid about this, get an instant read thermometer for more accuracy. Let cool completely and admire your beautiful loaf.
Follow the thorough print-out directions below! Enjoy your yummy bread on the most amazing avocado toast ever...soo much better than storebought!
Whew, it is so much work doing these tutorials...but I do it to help you out as much as I can. I know photos can be very helpful, especially with bread. So, as always, let me know your feedback below! I hope you have success the first time making this Vegan Whole Grain Sandwich Spelt Bread. It takes a little practice sometimes to get the bread-making and kneading down, but this is one of the easiest bread recipes out there because there is such little kneading time. Leave me feedback below after you make it!
Other than the waiting for rise times, this bread is SO easy to make. Don't let the long directions fool you, this is an incredibly easy and very minimal hands-on work...I'm just being very detailed, as always, to ensure and help you out, especially if you are new to bread-making!
If you make this recipe, please do not repost it in full on your site, please link to me instead giving proper credit. I work very hard to create my recipes and share them for free to be posted HERE, so please be respectful and link properly INSTEAD of just copying my recipe to your site. If you are inspired by this recipe, again, please give proper credit and do not simply post it on your site.