This is much faster and easier than making bread from yeast, but is very delicious! Total time for preparation and baking is about 35 minutes if you are using buttermilk. This is a moist, tender bread rather than the crusty bread that I usually make. This is wonderful for sandwiches, but also makes good toast.
If you desire sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or caraway seeds on the bread, that is an option. If you want to add 1 cup of raisins or cranberries, you can do that too! This is very versatile!
I like to brush the top of my loaf with one of these choices: egg wash (makes a crustier bread), butter or milk. These will help make the crust a pretty brown. However, it is totally up to you whether you do this or not!
- 2 cups flour light spelt or all-purpose
- 1/2 tsp. salt pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder (opt.)
- 1/2 tsp. guar gum or xanthan gum if using spelt or gluten free flour
- 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk and 1 tsp. vinegar
- 1 T. honey or sugar (opt.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are not using buttermilk: In a cup or small bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until curdled.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Stir in the buttermilk and honey until smooth.
- Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface, and shape into a disc. Place the disc into a cast iron skillet. (Mine is 9 1/2" and was plenty big enough for a batch and a half.) Lightly cut a cross in the top of the loaf. Brush top of loaf with egg wash, milk, or butter (opt.) Now would be the time to add sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, etc.
- Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the crust feels firm to the touch.
Although spelt is actually a type of wheat flour, most people with wheat allergies can digest spelt flour with no problem. Obviously, you should not eat spelt if it is a problem for you.
The first instruction image was my first attempt at this bread. It tasted great, but was pretty ugly because I did not brush the crust with any milk, butter or egg. The other images were my second attempt. I made a batch and a half and baked it for 30 minutes. I forgot to cut the cross in the top of the loaf, but brushed it with butter before baking and shaped it better with my hands. It is a much prettier loaf.
I made a double batch, used the same medium sized cast iron skillet and baked it for 35 minutes. It was perfectly done!