for the bread machine
This is a nice sandwich and toasting bread, particularly good with cheese. If you don’t have spelt flour on hand, you can substitute whole wheat flour for the spelt.
This bread uses a sponge starter, so it’s quite flavorful and economical—and simple to put together!
1 cup water, room temperature
1 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp yeast (instant, or “for bread machines”)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp unsulphured molasses
1/3 cup plain low-fat yoghurt
1 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat)
2 cups bread flour
1 & 3/4 tsp salt
Stir together one cup bread flour, one cup water, and 1/4 tsp yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Cover loosely with a dish towel or plastic wrap. Allow to stand undisturbed at room temperature ten to twelve hours. At the end of that time, the sponge should be bubbly and smell pleasantly yeasty.
Put the sponge in the bottom of the bread machine’s pan. Add the other ingredients in the order listed. (Be sure to add the salt last for this bread, rather than first as you would with a straight yeast dough, since you don’t want to kill the yeast in the sponge with too strongly concentrated salt.)
Set your bread machine on the Whole Wheat or French Bread setting for a 2 lb loaf, light crust. After about 8 to 10 minutes, check the dough to see whether it needs scraping down from the corners of the pan, using a soft spatula. It takes longer for a dough made from a sponge to come together, so wait at least ten minutes before checking to see whether it needs a bit more water or flour.
Remove from the bread pan five minutes after it’s finished baking. Allow to cool at least an hour before slicing for the best texture. (If you slice into it when it’s still hot, the steam escapes; the steam actually continues to condition the bread as it cools. It’s also just easier to slice a cooled loaf.)
About Measurements: Measurements are all U.S. standard. There are charts available on the web that convert U.S., Imperial, and metric measures. The Imperial measures often use the same terms for different amounts. The difference between teaspoons is small, usually negligible for a recipe, but the difference is greater for a tablespoon, and even more so when using two tablespoons, and greater still between quarts, so the measures are not precisely interchangeable.
There are many more bread machine recipes in my cookbook, Favorites from Amelia’s Kitchen, available in Kindle format from Amazon.com. DRM-free for easy use.