zoom Spelt, olive & pumpkin seed loaf

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    Spelt, olive & pumpkin seed loaf

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    Spelt, olive & pumpkin seed loaf

    • Vegetarian
    • Vegan
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes + making the overnight starter, proving and cooling
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 60 minutes + making the overnight starter, proving and cooling

    Makes: 1 loaf (12 slices)


    500g white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
    7g sachet dried active or quick yeast
    25g pumpkin seeds, toasted
    75g pitted green olives, chopped
    1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    Oil, for greasing 


    1. The night before you bake, in a bowl, mix together 100g of the flour with 100ml warm water and cover with a tea towel, then leave overnight.

    2. The next day, in another bowl, mix the yeast with 20ml warm water and leave to fizz and froth, about 10 minutes. Add the overnight dough along with 225ml warm water, and stir together.

    3. Put the remaining flour, pumpkin seeds and chopped olives in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt on one side of the flour, then add the yeast mixture to the opposite side (salt can kill yeast). Mix until the dough starts to come together. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes, then tip out onto a lightly floured or oiled surface.

    4. Using wet hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes. It will be delicate and elastic – you might find it easier to lift it up and slap it on the surface, stretching, folding it in half each time. (Or use a kitchen mixer with a dough hook attachment.) Bring the dough into a ball and rest in a lightly oiled bowl, covered, in a warm place for 1 hour.

    5. Knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Put back in the bowl and leave to rest for another hour, until almost doubled in size.

    6. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold in the corners. Turn it over so you have a neat round. Rest the dough for 20 minutes.

    7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8, and put a 2-litre lidded casserole dish in to heat up. When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the loaf with flour and score a line through the dough with a sharp knife. Using oven gloves, remove the casserole from the oven, take off the lid and lift in the dough – be careful, the dish will be hot.

    8. Replace the lid and return to the oven, turning down the heat to 200°C, gas mark 6. Bake for 35 minutes, removing the lid halfway through. Cool the bread in the casserole for a short while before lifting it out onto a cooling rack.

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