The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spelt vs. regular wheat

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hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Spelt vs. regular wheat

One of my local stores is going to start carrying spelt flour.  I thought I would try it but wasn't sure if it was worth it because it is a lot more expensive than the wheat flour.  Is there a nutritional advantage, other than the gluten difference?  My family doesn't need to worry about the gluten in regular wheat.  Is there any differences in baking sandwich bread with spelt flour?  Just curious about these things.

MBaadsgaard's picture
MBaadsgaard

It will be denser and it soaks a good bit more water than bread flour. There is some flavor to it, but personally I wouldn't say it's much of a difference.A lot of people here in Denmark are hooked on how healthy it is, but couldn't find anything about higher fiber content or anything like that. I am pretty sure it's a fad.

It is fun to try out, you might like the flavor and its compact structure. Goes best with some wheat flour too, though. I did some with 50/50 for sandwichbread.

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Thanks.  I was wondering because where I live coconut flour is a really big thing now.  I tried baking something with it the other day.  What I had baked fell apart and gave me serious gastric issues.  After a bit of research, I learned that what I had eaten was basically just a big plate of sawdust.  I'm still trying to figure out why it is being marketed so much as a health food.

MBaadsgaard's picture
MBaadsgaard

Very likely because it is high in fat and fibre and low in carbohydrates. Carbs are now the enemy, haven't you heard? ;)

People seem to really want to hate the base ingredients of a good bread: gluten and starch, probably because it is so sinfully good!

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Why would a grain with such a long history be a fad? It is older than regular wheat, and was once widely used, and only replaced by wheat, because it needs an extra step at milling, and is, therefore, more expensive to process.

I think it has a better taste than regular wheat, a bit nutty.

Karin

MBaadsgaard's picture
MBaadsgaard

By it being a fad, I mean the whole craze of how healthy it is.

It's a nice grain, for the taste, but it is none more healthy than wheat, but still you can buy organic spelt biscuits and things like that, with emphasis on "spelt". And THAT is a fad.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

I discovered that spelt flour can be much more prone to spreading than regular flour, but if you are baking in a pan that probably wouldn't be a problem.

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Thankyou for everyone's opinions so far.  Because the reason I posted this is because the spelt flour that I will be able to buy is a lot more expensive, it is around 10x the cost of the wheat.  So I didn't know if there was any advantages to buying it over regular wheat.  I am still going to try baking a loaf or two with it, but didn't know if it is something I should consider switching to.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

and be happy with wheat. Spelt is just a variance of soft wheat, not even remotely worth 10x the price. As far as I'm concerned I wouldn't mind if it were eradicated worldwide.

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Why is that?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

and technlogically unfit.  It's just weed sold as gold. Taste? what taste?

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

what do you mean by technologically unfit?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

flour require a lot of attentions and special care to prevent the dough from flattening completely (or even liquifying). Spelt gluten is too extensible. Those breads don't rise nearly as much as wheat breads. You need dozens of folds to get something decent out of that flour, maybe even some vitamin C to strengthen the structure.

Considering the very bland taste of spelt all those efforts are not worth the trouble, in my opinion.

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Oh boy.  I was able to find a cheaper source by buying it in bulk, but if it is harder to work with, I don't see the point.  There doesn't seem to be much of a nutritional advantage if any at all.  I think I'll stick with wheat for now.  Thanks so much for your opinion.  

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

In my local store it's 1.5x the cost of regular whole wheat

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

Prices and availability of more exotic grains depend largely on location -- if spelt is not grown at all in a country and wheat is, spelt will naturally be more expensive. For example, I can buy a kilo of good quality wheat flour for about 2 LTL, while spelt would cost 7 LTL. And spelt is grown where I live!

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

The kind I have available is organic and it isn't really a high demand product yet, so you are paying premium prices for it.  There are a lot of other choices of flours that are cheaper.  So I was curious if it was worth the extra cost from a nutritional point of view.  The regular wheat is cheap and makes such a great sandwich bread, I didn't know if spelt could or would give the same results.

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

just using the information on both packages. Alternatively, just use a site that allows side-to-side nutritional comparisons, though there is bound to be some small variation due to the exact type of spelt that you have. Link to an example of this:

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/nutritionfacts/nutrition-comparison.php?o=20071&t=20072&h=20140&s=&e=&r=

Note that this is for uncooked whole grains.

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

That was a bit of an eye-opener...thanks for that link MisterTT.

twcinnh's picture
twcinnh

I have very much enjoyed the flavor of spelt, and so has my family.  I usually combine it with whole wheat, but the flavor is something we look forward to.  Oh well.

Regards,

Tom C

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Actually since I started this thread I have been able to find a cheaper source, and in bulk so I don't have to buy a large bag of it.  So what I might try is mixing it with the wheat flour, just for variety if the flavour is nice.  My main issue was spending a lot of money on a big bag of it and not being able to make it into a decent sandwich bread.  So thanks everyone for your opinions on it.  It helped me out a lot.