Spelt: The Other White Wheat

I remember hearing about spelt flour from a friend of mine that was experiencing stomach issues. I actually felt bad for her because she had to give up whole wheat flour for some strange sounding bread. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that my husband complained of stomach pain. It went away the following evening, so we assumed that it was just a stomach bug. However, the following week the stomach pain returned. I was annoyed because I wanted him to take out the kids so I could take a much needed nap. However, when it is Shabbos (our day of rest) my husband is with us all day. The kids love it. I love it. He loves getting up with the kids and taking them out to the park, which he usually does. So, why was he complaining about a stomach issue, again?

We played detective in order to decipher the cause of the stomach issue. Was it the meat? No, we eat meat during the week without issues. Was it the dairy? No, we also have dairy during the week without a problem. What about whole wheat? Wait, yes, that must be it. We only eat whole wheat challah on Shabbos, and that’s when he had been sick. What, we have to give up whole wheat, but it is so delicious!!! Wait; there is a solution, that flour that rhymes with gelt. Oh, yeah, spelt. I thought to myself, is it easy to knead and braid? The only thing to do at this point was give it a try.

I went to our local health food store and found a 5 lb. bag of spelt flour calling out my name. So, I went home and substituted spelt flour in my favorite challah recipe from The Kosher Palette: Easy and Elegant Modern Kosher Cooking (Spiral-bound) by Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (Author), http://www.thekosherpalette.org. The preparation process went better than expected. Kneading the spelt dough was so much easier, what a relief. The texture was so smooth and easy to maneuver. Next stop, dough rising. Fantastic. Now, it was time to braid the challah. Easy as 1-2-3. Put it in the oven and after several minutes, the aroma flooded the air. If one could describe the aroma, it would be sweet and fluffy. I anxiously awaited the final test, the taste.

All I can say is that it was love at first bite. The texture was as delightful as the aroma and we were hooked. The kids ate it up and so did we. We thought of all the possibilities that were ahead of us; spelt banana bread, spelt pancakes, spelt pizza, spelt muffins, and much more.

My entire family is so in love with the physical and mental affects of spelt. I can finally pass by the local pizza shop and bagel stop without looking back. I feel bad that my husband had dealt with stomach issues in order for us to try spelt (sorry honey, I now know it wasn’t an excuse). I now know that my friend who ate spelt actually had the better end of the deal. That spelt challah is just what the doctor ordered (literally), and we have never felt better.

Have you had to change a favorite food in your diet? Were you surprised by the taste? I’d love to hear about it, please leave a comment.

One thought on “Spelt: The Other White Wheat

  1. I agree that it’s initially hard to get rid of wheat. but like all things in life, once you’ve found an alternative, it does not matter so much any more. I actually made a spelt-walnut-rosemary bread yesterday that turned out really great. that said, I was not so much surprised about the taste, as it’s used a lot in germany, even in conventional bakeries. glad you had success with it!

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