While spelt flour – or dinkel, as I prefer to think of it, since that name is more common to me – may seem daunting or intimidating, I am here to promise you that it is not! Spelt is totally approachable and suitable for any and all levels of cooking.
In terms of any other kind of flour you could be using, spelt performs most similarly to regular degular wheat flour, though it contributes much more in the flavor department. This makes it a great option for painlessly and easily mixing things up in the kitchen and trying out ingredients. It is also a fantastic introduction to using other wheats, if this is something that is new to you and you would like to incorporate more variation into your favorite dishes.
Spelt does contain gluten, so people who are gluten sensitive should avoid baked goods and other products baked with this type of flour. However, this also means that this flour is suitable for making all sorts of yeasted goodies, so that’s dope. Spelt is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and a number of the B vitamins. It also contains niacin, manganese, and phosphorus.
You can use spelt flour the way you would use almost any other flour. My personal recommendation, as ever, is to try adding a few tablespoons at first, if you’re wary, and working your way up from there. Try incorporating some small percentage of spelt flour into your pizza dough or cinnamon rolls for starters, or use it in cupcakes or scones. Pancakes and cookies and crumbs and muffins are also delicious with a bit of added spelt. Basically, what I am trying to say is that spelt is great and you can use it anywhere and everywhere!
If you are looking to replace all purpose wheat flour, you can use a direct 1-to-1 replacement in any baked good that does not need to rise. If you are making anything yeasted, such as dinner rolls or pretzels, I recommend starting with 25% spelt (if you’re not inching your way up tablespoon by tablespoon) and going up to 50%, since the amount of gluten is lower than with wheat flour.
This is a great introductory ‘alternative’ flour and I think you are absolutely going to knock whatever you make out of the park! Just follow your favorite recipe and sub in a small amount of spelt and see how you like the flavor and visual differences. You are gonna nail it! I believe in you so much! You’re gonna make Julia Childs and Gordon Ramsay proud, and me too of course! And don’t forget, I am always here if you need some help or encouragement! Just drop a line in the comments or privately per message or email! I want you to succeed so much and I truly know that you can!
General caveats that I feel compelled to add:
I am *NOT* a nutritionist. I am just someone who is deeply interested in and profoundly committed to eating delicious food only. In seeking to reach this goal, I am often trying out random new ingredients that I come across. These ingredients are ones I may not know anything about, and so I am simply sharing my notes with you. I will be updating these as I go along and learn more. I will also link to more recipes that use these ingredients, so that you can try them yourself. If you have any allergies or intolerances, please consult with an actual doctor who can guarantee you accurate information.