Spelt is an ancient grain and is mentioned in the bible and old Roman texts. It was one of the first grains to be used in making bread. It was widely grown in the Middle East and Europe. In the 1800s it was grown in the United States. It is a species of wheat. As the current variations of wheat were developed, it lost it popularity with the farmers. The current wheat crops are easier to grow and process. This is partly due to spelt having a harder husk.
This harder husk results in spelt having more nutrients and being resistant to pests and diseases. Spelt therefore requires less fertilizer and pesticides to make it grow
Unlike its more inbred cousins in the wheat family, where the nutritional bran and germ are usually removed during milling, the vital substances of spelt are found in the inner kernel of the grain. Spelt contains about 57.9 percent carbohydrates(excluding 9.2 percent fiber), 17.0 percent protein and 3.0 percent fat, as well as dietary minerals and vitamins.
As the genetic makeup of spelt is different from wheat, many people who are sensitive or allergic to wheat can use it. Spelt does contain gluten but studies have shown that it can be tolerated by many people who are normally gluten-intolerant.
Spelt is suitable for bread making and can be substituted for wheat in most recipes. Spelt makes a really light, highly nutritious loaf with an appealing nutty flavor. Remember to use less water when substituting spelt flour for wheat flour. Spelt requires less water to make a soft pliable loaf of bread.
We have been using rolled spelt for our morning cereal. You cook and use it like oatmeal. It has a better taste and is more nutritious. Unfortunately, spelt is more expensive than wheat, although as it becomes more popular the price has been dropping slightly.
Spelt has similar storage characteristics to wheat and is a good long-term storage food. In an end of the world situation it would be a great seed to have on hand due to its disease resistance it requires no pesticides and less fertilizer.
My mother has been making bread out of it for some time. I will get her recipe and post it.