what about spelt?Posted: May 15, 2010
one of the most common food allergens is gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. we’re seeing a lot more gluten-free goods on supermarket shelves and finding “gf” next to menu items in restaurants. but i have somehow managed to escape it on my intolerance list. i do feel a difference in my body when i eat gluten as opposed to avoiding it, but it certainly doesn’t affect me in the way the other three allergens do. yet i’ve come across so many people who have cut it out of their diet, including my own mother!
why it has affected her and not me, i’ll never really understand. but something i do know is that spelt flour is far gentler on my stomach than regular flour. if you’ve read through some of my recent baking recipes, you may have noticed that i have mostly been using spelt flour. this is great because it is easily substituted for regular flour – it acts in the same way. but, a word of warning: spelt is NOT gluten-free. this is why i have a “wheat-free” tag but not a gluten-free one. the wheat-free tagged posts on this blog either contain spelt or no flour at all. i have attempted to bake with gluten-free flour mixes, but it is very difficult and requires quite a few extra ingredients and tweaks to create a good consistency. i admire the gluten-free bakers in this world!
but something i tend to cheat with is my pizza. i just cannot be bothered to make my own pizza crust – it requires warm, soft hands (i don’t have those) and making sure the measurements are just right. this is why i love biona’s spelt pizza crusts. (sidenote: i promise they have not paid me to say this! i just genuinely love them!)
whenever phil and i make pizza at home, i always try and pick these up. they come in handy packs of two – that’s perfect for two individually sized pizzas. but while the crust might not be homemade, the sauce always is. evens it out a bit, i like to think!
last night, we did very simple cheese and tomato pizzas – using spelt bizza bases of course – with a homemade tomato sauce, a few sun-dried tomatoes, basil and spinach leaves, a couple of chopped black olives, and some generous slices of cheese (goat’s for me, mozzarella for him).
i also put anchovies on mine, an ingredient i used to be repulsed by until recently. this seems to be the case for a few other foods too: fennel, anything spicy, artichokes, olives. anyone else noticed their taste buds maturing recently?
but i digress.
if you’re based in the uk and don’t have a health food store nearby, goodness direct is brilliant and sells all kinds of stuff, including my beloved spelt pizza bases. if you find yourself feeling slightly iffy after eating something containing flour, give spelt a try. it may be just the change you’re after!