Learn step-by-step how to make this Vegan Whole Grain Spelt Sandwich bread. It is just 5 ingredients, oil-free, healthy and so fresh and delicious!
VEGAN WHOLE GRAIN SPELT SANDWICH BREAD
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, I really love to use spelt. I love the earthy flavor of it and it’s soft texture.
This homemade spelt sandwich 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. 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 IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK
Making this vegan whole grain spelt sandwich bread is much easier than it looks. I understand how bread making can intimidate people. This step-by-step tutorial will make it easy for you. 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. While it took me a few tries to get it right, 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.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE VEGAN SPELT SANDWICH BREAD
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
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!
GENTLY KNEAD THE DOUGH
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.
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 over knead 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.
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.
IT RISES BEAUTIFULLY
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 Spelt Sandwich 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!
Vegan Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
- 3 1/2 cups 480 g + more for dusting whole grain spelt flour, do not use sprouted, I used Arrowhead Mills (highly suggest a scale for best results!)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons 5 g instant rapid rise yeast (I used Fleischmann's)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons 27 g fresh squeezed orange juice (or apple juice, don't recommend lemon)
- 1 cup 250 ml warm filtered water or sub half with plant milk for a richer flavor (microwaved for 30 secs was perfect for me, you don't want hot water!)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons 44 g unsweetened applesauce
- Note: Keep in mind this is 100% whole grain flour it does not have the same taste as white bread, it is much more earthy, which I love, but if you've never tried spelt, keep that in mind. Bread making can go great or it can go horribly. Trust me, I've been on both sides. Every single flour performs differently, and spelt performs differently than wheat flour. I have written this recipe based on spelt flour only, therefore I cannot vouch for any results if you change the recipe, I wouldn't recommend it. Stick to the recipe for best results and no, subbing for gluten-free flours will not work in this recipe.
- For bread success, use a scale! Read through my post and follow the pics for reference and follow these directions. It's SO EASY, but I've written very detailed instructions to help you. You'll need a 9x5 metal loaf pan for this. Other materials bake up differently, so use metal, the loaf will bake up the best that way.
- Get a very large bowl with tall sides to allow for rising. Add your spelt flour, instant yeast, salt and give it a good whisk to ensure it's evenly mixed.
- Add your juice (1 1/2 tbsp) and water (1 cup) to a glass and warm up for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stick your finger in it, it should feel warm, but not so hot that you can't keep your finger in there. Too hot of water will kill the yeast. Add the syrup and applesauce to the water and stir.
- Pour over the flour slowly as you are stirring the dough. Use a sturdy rubber or silicone spatula/spoon, as this will help it not stick to the utensil. Stir and press the dough using the spatula until all the flour has is mixed in, a couple of minutes. Knead a bit inside the bowl with your hands. If it it too sticky to handle, sprinkle another tablespoon of flour or so and flip the dough over and knead a bit more, using the spatula/spoon to assist. Add only a tiny bit as needed for it to come together, too much flour and you'll 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. Do this for about 5 minutes, no more. It should become elastic/stretchy and slightly sticky. Test it by pressing down and dragging the spatula/spoon. If it stretches and then gently falls back into position, stretchy like a rubber band, stop. Don't over-knead spelt or it'll make tough bread.
- 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 well. Use 2 pieces if necessary. Let the dough rise in a warm (non-drafty) place until it has basically doubled (see pics), 45 mins to an hour. I highly recommend the oven with just the light turned on. It has consistently given me accurate results. Mine took a full hour, but use your eyes as well, not just a timer. It should be risen and puffed up. Yours may even take a little longer, just roughly it should be about twice the size. But don't forget about it, as over-rising can cause a deflated loaf!
- 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 use that silicone spatula and it will be very easy to scrape out. Only knead and turn it over a few times, it doesn't really much more kneading at this point. Add a tiny bit of flour if needed to the top to get it going. The dough should be easy to handle now (and not sticky like when you first mixed it). Form a loaf shape. Tuck in and fold the dough over the sides and flip it over, seam side down. Now grab your loaf pan and spray it well with nonstick spray, don't forget the sides. Place the dough seam side down into the greased loaf pan. Again, place a sprayed large piece of plastic wrap over the pan and secure it, but not too tight, as the dough will eventually touch the plastic.
- 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, 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.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it's golden brown on top and when you thump the top it sounds hollow. Trust me, you will know if it sounds hollow. I removed mine at 28 minutes, but yours may be done at 25. Otherwise test it with an instant read thermometer and it should be between 200-210 degrees.
- Important, let the bread sit in the pan for only 10 minutes. This will settle it a bit, but the bread is still cooking and all the heat and steam will need to escape so the inside doesn't get gummy, so as soon as the 10 mins are up, carefully flip out your bread onto a cooling rack to cool for 1 1/2 hours. No choice, you must wait so the bread will finish cooking! The loaf should slide right out if you greased your pan well, but if it is a little snug, loosen the edges gently with a butter knife and flip it out.
- After it has completely cooled, use a serrated bread knife. If you try and just use a sharp smooth knife, it's not going to cut well and it will squish down your bread. Use a bread knife and cut thin sandwich slices going back and forth in a sawing motion. Eat soft as is with a sandwich, or my favorite, toast it up and have avocado toast or almond butter. So amazing toasted! As soon as it's cooled, wrap it up to prevent drying. Wrap it tightly a couple of times with saran wrap and then place it in a ziplock bag and store at room temp, not the fridge. It will be good for a few days. Keep in mind homemade bread dries out and goes stale SO much faster than commercial, because there is no dough conditioners or preservatives. Otherwise, if you want to freeze some, slice all your slices and then wrap tightly and seal and freeze. Remove and thaw or put straight into the toaster.
- See notes below.
Total prep time is about 2 hours and 30 minutes, most of that is not hands-on time, but rise time. There is very little actual hands-on.
Cook time is 25-30 minutes.
Troubleshooting: Now, if this is your first time ever making homemade bread with yeast, it may take you a couple of tries to figure out the kneading part, but I shared photos to try to help as best I could. The bread should turn out like the photos if you followed it precisely, but some variations can happen due to different environments or kneading issues. If your bread comes out perfect, great! If it is a tad on the dry side, cook it a few minutes shorter the next time or add just a tiny bit extra water when mixing the dough. If it is a tad under-cooked or gummy in the center, then increase the baking time by just a few minutes. Your bread should slice well and hold together perfectly, but if it is not, then you likely didn't need it long enough to make it elastic enough. It's important to knead it so it's smooth and appears a bit stretchy when pressing/dragging a spoon across the dough. Let me know of any questions you have!
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