I decided to bake some bread to go alongside our vegetable bake dinner today (any excuse) and came up with a honey and olive oil spelt bread, another foray into creating bread recipes for me and that can’t be bad at all.
I used predominately white spelt flour but added a small percentage of brown malthouse flour (from Shipton Mill). Malthouse flour is a delicious blend of three malts and wheat flour carefully chosen to give texture, flavour and colour to the bread’ whole crisp golden malted wheat flakes provide a delicious texture; a malted barley gives a soft rich malty flavour; and the dark malted rye gives a nutty flavour and dark colour. As spelt flour is fairly nutty and rich in flavour only a small amount of malthouse is needed, mostly for texture.
Adding honey to bread sweetened it slightly but mostly just enhanced the nuttiness of the flours. I used a thyme scented honey too, to replicate the flavour used in the vegetable bake but use a honey of your choice.
Adding oil to bread gives a lovely softness and resilience, resulting in a bread with not only a wonderful flavour but a great texture too. This loaf has a tight crumb but a definite springy, light texture to it with a lovely crisp crust, making it perfect for serving along side a main meal for mopping up sauces, to dunk into soup, lovely filling sandwiches or even great toast – an all round good loaf.
As for the type of olive oil, again your bread = your olive oil preference, the only rule is that it must be a good quality extra virgin one as the flavour really does come through into the final bread. I used an Umbrian olive oil from Assisi which had a light grassy taste with peppery undertones.