Little green shoots and buds are FINALLY starting to appear around these parts and with it a renewed sense of inspiration within me to give my blog some love.
This carrot juice, currant and walnut no knead spelt bread is one I’ve had in my roster of recipes for some time now, but until recently I haven’t felt the slightest bit of energy to write a new blog post. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been tinkering and baking away in my kitchen pretty much every week (and started my spelt sourdough mother!). I think the resurgence of inspiration might also have something to do with the fact that I’ve picked up running again…
Yes, I know, “what the heck does running have to do with blogging or baking?” but hear me out. When I run I feel like my life continues to move forward. Places where I feel stuck, physically, emotionally, and energetically seem to be able to move again. It’s like the physical act of forward motion allows everything else in and around me to continue moving forward… including writing. I haven’t been running for at least a month now since I injured myself (which is essentially the same time frame since I last posted), just picked it back up again last week and lo and behold I’m writing a blog post! 😀
Ok so onto this bread… this delicious, yellow hued bread. This recipe is my basic Spelt Flour No Knead Bread recipe (if you look closely, almost all my bread recipes are based off of it), but I’ve added some tasty additions like dried currants, walnuts and just enough carrot juice to give the bread a little extra sweetness and an absolutely gorgeous colour. I’ve eaten this bread with both sweet (peanut butter is my favourite) and savoury (a sharp cheese will do nicely) toppings and neither will disappoint!
Tip about the walnuts: Did you know you don’t have to chop walnuts with a knife? Generally they are soft enough to simply crack and crumble with your fingers. This was a total revelation for me a few weeks ago.
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
Carrot Juice, Currant and Walnut No Knead Spelt Bread
- 100 g organic whole spelt flour fine grind if available
- 300 g organic unbleached, all purpose spelt flour (also called white spelt flour)
- 50 g walnuts chopped
- 60 g dried currants
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 125 mL room temperature water
- 175 mL carrot juice
- 1 tbsp honey
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, chopped walnuts and currants. In another bowl or measuring cup, mix together the water, carrot juice and honey until combined. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until the dough comes together then use your hands to gently mix the dough until completely incorporated and it sticks to your fingers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is 1 1/2 to 2 times in size (7-8 hours depending on your room temperature).
When the first rise is complete, place your heavy cast iron pot with lid into the oven and pre-heat the oven and the pot to 475 degrees F. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. The pots need to pre-heat for at least 30 minutes.
Generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands gently pat the dough out into a rectangle. With your dough spatula (or a large flipper) fold one short side of the dough into the middle and then fold the other short side on top. Then fold the dough in half the other direction. Dust lightly with flour, cover with plastic and let rest for 10 minutes. While you are waiting, line a medium sized bowl with parchment paper, using your fist to push the paper down into the bowl and your other hand to crease the paper around the inside and top edge of the bowl.
Repeat the folding process outlined above a second time. With lightly floured hands, lift the dough and place into the parchment lined bowl seam side down. Cover with plastic and place on the counter next to the stove for 20 minutes for the second rise. To test if the dough is ready, press, do not poke, the tip of one floured finger quickly and lightly, about half an inch, slightly off center, into the crown of the dough (area of maximum expansion). If the indentation remains but springs back slightly, the dough is ready for the oven. If the dent fills in, give the dough another 5-10 minutes to rise and re-test.
Remove the plastic covering from your bread dough. Using heat resistant pot holders, carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Using both hands, lift the dough out of the bowl by holding all corners of the parchment paper and lower it into the pot. The edges of the parchment paper will brown, but will be just fine in the hot oven.
Working quickly dust the top of the bread with flour using a small sieve (optional). Use a sharp pair of scissors to make 3-4 shallow cuts at a 45 degree angle along the center line of the dough to assist in "oven spring". Cover the pot with the lid and put it back into the oven. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and place a large baking sheet or tin foil on the rack underneath the pot and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the bread is a lovely chestnut color but not burnt. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the hot pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly. If you have an instant read thermometer, the bread is done when the internal temperature is 190-200 degrees F.
1. Use a kitchen scale to measure the flour, additions and water instead of cup measurements, it is far more accurate!
2. Unless you will consume all the bread within 2-3 days, cut it in half after it has cooled. Keep one half at room temperature and put the other half in the freezer. When you are ready for another half loaf, run it quickly under water to moisten the outside crust and place in pre-heated 350 degree F oven. Bake for 8 minutes or until the crust is hard to the touch, remove and let it finish thawing in the center. It will taste like freshly baked bread!