Adventures in Bulk Foods: Spelt Flour

For today’s Adventures in Bulk Foods post, I decided to do a little baking! Now my WinCo sells an array of flours, not just your plain ol’ bleached or unbleached variety (which, incidentally both sell for $0.38/lb at the moment).

So I decided to try something a little different. You know, to keep in line with the “adventure” theme! I chose spelt flour.

Now I had never cooked with – or even heard of for that matter – spelt flour. So I decided to do a little Wikipedia-ing. Turns out that spelt is a form of wheat (so sorry, my gluten-free friends, this does contain gluten). Spelt had been wisely used in Europe through medieval times and made its way to the United States during the 1890′s. Because it requires fewer fertilizers and given its nutrition, it’s piqued the interest of health nuts and those who enjoy organic foods.

At WinCo Foods, I found spelt flour priced at $1.40/lb, and was able to buy a bag big enough for today’s recipe for just $0.87 total. Plus, I even had some left over! (Have I convinced you to check out bulk foods yet?) I decided to see how this compared to the shelf price, but guess what? I couldn’t even find it on the shelf! So sometimes you might be able to find unique and specialty ingredients in bulk.

For my first go at using spelt flour I chose this AllRecipes.com Spelt Biscuits recipe because it looked easy, required few ingredients, and was rated very well.

Start by mixing 2 cups of spelt flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt together. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter until its crumbly.

Add 2/3 cup milk and work the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a floured surface, and roll out.

Next, make your biscuits! Here’s a tip if you don’t have a round cookie cutter: use a measuring cup!

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden.

I enjoyed one hot out of the oven with some local raw honey from Tacoma Foods Co-Op. It was really quite good! All told, this recipe cost me VERY little money. I know it can be easy to use coupons to buy refrigerated biscuits on sale, but price-wise? I bet I spent right around $1 for these bad boys and they have got to be more delicious (and nutritious for you!).

I just so happened to have made these right before my 5-year old son came home from school. I decided to serve them as an afternoon snack. He needed no prodding and downed two of these! Please note that my kids aren’t always drawn to the healthiest of foods (*cough*), so finding a recipe that gets some good things in them is a win in my book!

Do you ever bake with spelt flour? Other thoughts on the nutrition value of this ingredient or how to bake with it? Other less-used flours out there that you like to cook with?


Comments

  1. Carol says

    A friend of mine wrote a children’s book about the medieval saint/scientist/genius/diplomat/composer/chef Hildegard of Bingen. And she threw a big party for the book with Hildegard’s music and we served medieval cookies a la Hildegard – made with spelt flour! The cookies were really good and disappeared immediately, like hundreds of them.

    • Bruce says

      Even though Spelt is not gluten free, I have found it to be more tolerated by my system than regular flour. But for those that are truly gluten intolerant, but love baked goods, I have found a less expensive per serving source, though you have to buy in large quantities. Cash&Carry is now stocking big bags (25lb) for $35 ($1.40/lb) which is much cheaper per pound than the normal 1.5 lb bag for $4.95 ($3.30/lb). But where Cash&Carry really shines is if you have to do something like fruit salad for a potluck, you can get a 10lb can of fruit for about $5, instead of the same amount for $15 or more.

      • Bruce says

        Oops, I did not say large bags of what – Red Mill GF baking mix.Even though Spelt is not gluten free, I have found it to be more tolerated by my system than regular flour. But for those that are truly gluten intolerant, but love baked goods, I have found a less expensive per serving source, though you have to buy in large quantities. Cash&Carry is now stocking big bags (25lb) of Red Mill gf baking mix for $35 ($1.40/lb) which is much cheaper per pound than the normal 1.5 lb bag for $4.95 ($3.30/lb). But where Cash&Carry really shines is if you have to do something like fruit salad for a potluck, you can get a 10lb can of fruit for about $5, instead of the same amount for $15 or more.

  2. Julie says

    Not long after someone gave me a bag of spelt flour, I discovered this recipe for honey whole wheat sandwhich bread http://momsneedtoknow.com/whole-wheat-sandwich-bread/?doing_wp_cron. It uses honey, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, and regular flour. I think the original recipe has changed to include directions for soaking — I’ve never tried that.
    We’re big fans of homemade bread around here, but this is the only recipe I’ve tried that results in sandwich-style slices. It is a little salty for my taste, so I reduce the salt a bit.

  3. Tami says

    This is not related to just splet and might be a dumb question, but: When buying bulk spelt, flour, pancake mix, brownie mix, etc. Do you estimate the amount you need or do actually bring something to measure it in. At WinCo, they have lots of recipes for their bulk goods which call for a measured amount (ex: 1 cup). I am pretty good at eyeballing, but have run 1/4 cup or short or long for a recipe. It’s not a problem if it is nuts, dried fruit, etc. But when it a dry ingredient or mix, it makes a difference. I hate to go back for more and I hate to throw out the extra. Any ideas?

  4. Ginean says

    I have some Bob Red Mill Spelt flour… best way I have used is in pancakes. Many recipes on line, just review and find what works for you. My family enjoyed them and it was nice to have a healthy version of pancakes!
    Also I was told to keep my grains and flours in the fridge or freezer, helps keep them fresher. Works for me since I do not use Spelt and other flours to often.

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