Here in Colorado it’s been quite cold, and I’ve turned to the wisdom of St. Hildegard again and again to nourish my body and my soul this winter in this midst of the pandemic. In the mid 12th century, she shared about the many health benefits of plants that were supportive for natural healing and healthy living. Many of the seeds that she planted back then have flourished today in the field of holistic health and wellness.
Today, we know that spelt is one of the super grains, an ancient cereal grain. It has been grown and eaten around the world for at least 5,000 years. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and is typically easier to digest than wheat given it contains low gluten content. It’s also higher in protein than wheat and rich with many nutrients such as B vitamins, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. It’s even beneficial for lowering blood cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels.
St. Hildegard shared about the benefits of spelt long ago and often used it in recipes. She said, “Spelt is the very best grain. It creates a healthy body, good blood and a cheerful disposition.”
What a perfect food to use to warm my kitchen and my body on a cold winter’s day!
In the past, I’ve made St. Hildegard’s Joy Cookies with spelt flour often, but recently I wanted to make a nourishing bread to accompany some soup for dinner so, I decided to venture into baking spelt bread.
Oh, so many choices of recipes there are! But, given the limited time I had that day, I decided on a quick and easy spelt bread without yeast. I adapted the recipe I found to my liking and was very pleased with the results! Delicious!
This bread is a no-rise bread made with baking soda, not yeast. It has a crunchy crust and a soft inside with that slight nutty flavor of spelt, perfect as an accompaniment to soup. Any left-overs can also be toasted for breakfast the next day.
Here’s the recipe I used:
Quick Rustic Spelt Bread
3 cups organic light spelt flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons honey
2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the honey, oil, and water.
3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl.
4. Mix just until a smooth dough forms.
5. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the bread about 3 minutes.
6. Form the dough into a round loaf about 6 inches in diameter.
7. Place it on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, score the top creating a straight line or X shape.
8. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.
9. Let the bread cool for approximately 45 minutes before cutting.
Adapted from a recipe found here.
I hope you have a chance to warm your kitchen and your body one day this winter by baking some nutritious, spelt bread! Enjoy!
If you’re interested in discovering more about the wisdom of St. Hildegard for our modern times, I’ll be offering a course online, Master Your Creativity. I’d love to have you join me. It begins in May and includes 5 modules, one each month. Find out more here.
I was born in London, England, educated in Switzerland, and am fluent in English, German, Spanish, and French. I hold a Doctorate in Ministry Degree and Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Education. Also, I am an accomplished artist and educator. I use all of this and much more when helping others heal their souls.