How to Use Spelt Flour

Two Methods:Learn to Cook Differently with SpeltUnderstand the Main Nutritional Differences

Sometimes it can be difficult to find an appropriate alternative to wheat flour, as many other substitutes just don’t seem to hold up to its properties. Spelt flour, however, has been used for centuries and its origins of being used in flour form can be traced as far back as biblical times in the Mesopotamian regions of the Middle East. Spelt flour has very similar properties to wheat, as it is in the wheat family, but it has more nutrients and has no fillers. The biggest difference between spelt flour and wheat flour is that spelt flour has a harder outer shell on the actual crop. Taking these difference into account will help you understand how to use spelt flour in your cooking.

Method 1
Learn to Cook Differently with Spelt

Tailor your recipes to account for the subtle differences. If you were to take a close look at a single grain of spelt, you would find that the seed’s housing is much thicker and harder, essentially protecting the inside from bugs, pesticides, disease, water, and other problems. This translates to the spelt having a much more nutty and sweeter taste.

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    Make sure you calculate proper ratios when using spelt flour as a substitute in recipes. Spelt flour has very fragile gluten, as compared to wheat flour. This means that you will want to treat your mixture differently than you would when using wheat flour.
    • Start out using only 1/2 of the ingredients that are called for in a wheat flour recipe. Remember, since spelt is different from wheat, it will require either less or more of what is usually in the recipe. One reason why you are only adding half is because spelt flour has a higher concentration of complex carbohydrates. This means that the bread itself will be lighter, fluffier, and have a softer crust. If you are making sponge dough, for example, spelt flour has a higher volume of rise.
    • A recipe that calls for one cup of wheat flour, 3 eggs and 2 cups of milk may change completely when spelt flour is substituted. To make sure that you do not overdo it on the other ingredients, it is always a good idea to start with half of the other ingredients and work up from there. Start with one egg and 1 cup of milk, and add more as needed.
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    Check the Internet for specific spelt flour recipes, rather than using spelt as a substitute. Not all recipes are the same, so it may be a long, drawn out process to have to develop a conversion for all of them. Your best bet is to find new recipes that are designed specifically for spelt flour.
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    Begin kneading the dough. While kneading, pay careful attention to the consistency of the dough. The general rule of thumb for spelt flour is to only add 3/4 of what you would normally add with wheat flour. When adding water, it is best to keep an eye on the mixture, and only use approximately 3/4 for what the recipe calls. You can always add more in small amounts as necessary.
    • If it is sticky and too wet, add more spelt flour to create a more dough-like texture.
    • If it is too dry and not sticking together, slowly add more of the liquid ingredients until a solid but pliable ball of dough forms.

Method 2
Understand the Main Nutritional Differences

Because of its hard outer shell, spelt flour has a tendency to be loaded with far more vitamins and minerals than its wheat counterpart.

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    Plan your diet to account for the nutritional differences between wheat and spelt. In addition to fiber, spelt also includes manganese, niacin, copper, phosphorous, protein and vitamin B2.
    • Spelt is available in two different forms. You can either come by white spelt, or whole spelt. The only real difference is that the white spelt mix has removed the germ and bran from the grain. This might make the bread taste better and increase its sweet flavoring, but it will also remove some of the many health benefits included in the germ and bran in the spelt flour.


  • If you are sensitive to gluten, spelt may be an excellent alternative for you. We mentioned above that the gluten in spelt is much weaker than that of the wheat. The reason for this is that there is less gluten in it altogether.


  • It is very important to note that, while spelt is not considered “wheat”, it still has gluten. This is considered a low gluten product, making it a good choice for those looking to decrease gluten in their diet. *Individuals who have a gluten allergy or Celiac Disease will need to choose a flour that is 100% gluten-free to avoid allergic reactions and negative side effects.

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Categories: Baking