The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

"Spelt Flour"

jowilchek's picture

"Spelt Flour"

I have a recipe I would like to try, calls for "spelt flour" and I have just recently heard of this (on this and other sites). But have not seen it in any of my grocery stores. We have Kroger, Ingles, Food Lion, and Food Depot also Publix.
What if anything can I use as a substitute and still reach the same taste and quality of the recipe???

berryblondeboys's picture

It's hard to know without knowing your recipe how the bread is composed. In grocery stores, you would find it in the health food area in small clear packages, most likely. Or if your flour/sugar aisle has a special area for specialty flours or mixes, look there. I can find spelt flour at ally local groceries.

arlo's picture

It may be hard to find a replacement to achieve the slightly sweet and nuttiness of whole spelt flour, but if you can not find it at any of your local stores, try and use whole wheat flour instead. As long as the recipe does not call for lots of spelt flour I believe it will be ok.

fethiye's picture

You may be able to find it in a health food store, or a store (like Winco) that sells flour in bulk.

Btw, can you share the recipe with us?

jowilchek's picture

Be glad to, I will look for it I just copied it and didn't save to to my computer bread file so it may take a while.
Thanks for your help...
Well here it is....I got it from
Spelt bread recipe
(will need to go through and change in order to use in my KA Mixer)

1. The night before, add these ingredients to your Bosch Kitchen Mixer:
4 c. whole wheat flour (I grind it in my Nutrimill from “hard” wheat, don’t use pastry flour or “soft” wheat for bread)
1 1/2 c. spelt (or you can just use more whole wheat, but adding in alternative grains to your diet here & there is a good idea)
3/4 c. buttermilk (I make it from our raw milk – it’s so easy! Read how to make buttermilk) – you could also use whole milk yogurt, or kefir. (NT says if you have milk allergies to use an equal amount of water + 1 T. lemon juice, whey or vinegar, but I haven’t tried this.) I thought the buttermilk was easiest to make, it keeps a long time, and it is economical. According to Susan, a reader who has been experimenting with me, it also works as a dough enhancer.
2 c. very warm water
2. Mix just until all the flour is wet. Put the lid on the Bosch, and let set at least 7 hours, but 12 or more is even better and you may even have a nice sourdough taste. (Once I didn’t know we were having hamburgers until that morning, so I only soaked it 4 hours – I figured it was better than nothing, and much better than buying them at the store.)
3. The next day, or whenever you’re ready to finish your bread, here’s what to do next:
Add 1 egg to the Bosch
Add 3 c. Bob’s Red Mill white unbleached flour (there’s no phytic acid in white flour)
Measure a 1/4 c. hot water in a measuring cup…don’t put it in yet…

Add to the hot water (so it melts) 1/4 c. refined or unrefined coconut oil (depends on whether or not you don’t mind a little coconut flavor in your bread – I use the refined with no taste or smell) – if it’s warm in your kitchen and the oil is already melted just add these two ingredients to the Bosch. (Normally you’d never put hot water anywhere near yeast, as it will kill it. But by the time the oil melts and you mix it in, the water will be only warm.)
Once it’s melted, add it in, and start mixing on the lowest speed
Add 2 1/2 T. yeast, keep mixing on lowest speed
Add 1/2 c. local raw honey
1 T. sea salt (always add salt last after the yeast is mixed into the dough well – the flour protects the yeast and keeps the salt from killing it.
(11/08 NOTE: I increased the amounts of salt & yeast to the amounts above and liked how it turned out better.)
4. When the dough has cleaned up the sides and middle of the bowl, check how the dough feels and see if you need a bit more water or flour (you’ll know if it feels too dry or too wet), and then set the timer for 14 minutes and continue mixing on the lowest speed.
5. Meanwhile, butter your bread pans. (Butter up and over the lip of the bread pan, so it will come out easily after baking.) When the dough is done, use buttered hands to split it into 3 equal pieces (some weigh it out, but I just guess), shape them into a loaf, and press into the pans. Be careful not to fold it over itself and leave big air pockets. (I’ve done this now and then – my family frowns on big 1″ holes in the middle of their bread for some reason.)
VARIATION FOR FREEZING THE DOUGH: at this point you could shape the dough to fit your pan (or shape into buns to use in the future), then freeze before letting it rise. When it’s frozen, transfer it to a freezer baggie (to free up your pan). Now you have homemade bread all ready to thaw, rise and bake some day when you feel like fresh-baked heaven right from the oven. Or keep reading if you plan to bake them all at once and then freeze…that works, too! (See the following links for info on these variations, and also where to get a good price on stainless steel bread pans, cookie sheets, etc.)
The time depends on the temp in your kitchen – usually 2-3 hours. The first time I made this I was shocked that it only took ONE rise, other homemade breads I’ve made in the past took 2-3 rises and it was an all day affair. This is so much faster and easier! Shauna explained that only one rise is necessary with a Bosch, because it mixes and develops the gluten so efficiently. (This is also why it comes out so soft!)
When it’s the height you want (don’t wait too long or it will fall), carefully place the bread pans into a cool oven, and set it for 350*. Bake 25 minutes. (This is for an electric oven, for a gas oven, preheat to 350*, then bake for 20 minutes.)
When you take it out of the oven, immediately (carefully) take it out of the pan and cool on a wire rack, otherwise condensation builds up in the pan and makes the bread soggy.

subfuscpersona's picture

Do any of the stores you mention carry products from  Bob's Red Mill? I checked their site and they sell spelt flour.

You could substitute kamut flour if you cannot find spelt flour. Bob's Red Mill also distributes kamut flour.

Both spelt and kamut are genetic relatives of wheat. They should perform similarly in a bread recipe.

You could just use whole wheat flour in place of the spelt, if you can't find either spelt or kamut.


shallots's picture

subfuscpersona is right.

From your list of grocery stores, I think we live in the same distribution area and I bought Red Mill Spelt from Food City yesterday.  I've also found a good selection of flours at my (not very local) Ingal's. 

Red Mill generally occupies an area about four feet wide from top to bottom of one side of an isle, so it may not be immediately adjacent to the flour and cornmeals.

msbreadbaker's picture

Also, King Arthur carries it, whole spelt flour and white spelt flour. Both are organic.

Jean P.

GENE FOSTER's picture

Our local Krogers carry spelt flour in the whole foods/organic food section.  Our local Kroger carries Arrowhead Mills Organic Spelt Flour in a 2 lb. bag.  Can't remember what I paid for it - but I guess less than on-line ordering plus FRT.


Susan Lynn's picture
Susan Lynn

Spelt and Kamut are both unhybridized "ancient" forms of wheat ... but spelt is on the red wheat side of the family and Kamut (it's a registered trade name) on the durum side ... to put it simplistically. Kamut is yellow ... almost like cornflour and doesn't rise as readily as spelt, which iitself doesn't make a fluffy loaf. I made both 100 per cent spelt and 100 per cent Kamut sourdough wholesale for five years using 100 per cent starters of each. I found the loaves, while dense, were not as crumbly as when using yeast. We also made spelt muffins, using any recipe and subbing spelt flour. It usually takes more flour than the recipe calls for. In Vancouver (British Columbia), there is a bakery called The Spelt Bakery, which makes everything from bread to French pastry using whole-grain and white spelt flours.