Hockley Healthy Bread

Adapted by Nicola Ross from the Rustic White Bread recipe in High Plains: The Joy of Alberta Cuisine, by Cinda Chavich (Fifth House, 2oo1)

May 27, 2012 | | Breads | Food | Recipes

Adapted by Nicola Ross from the Rustic White Bread recipe in High Plains: The Joy of Alberta Cuisine, by Cinda Chavich (Fifth House, 2oo1)

Hockley Healthy Bread


Makes 2 large loaves



Spelt flour is low in gluten, which makes it tolerable for some people who have difficulty with wheat flour. It doesn’t rise as well as wheat flour, however, and your bread will be quite dense. Feel free to add other ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, cheese or rosemary.


Sponge starter

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp Hockley Valley Honey Farm honey
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup Steen’s Dairy milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup Hockley Valley Natural, Light Spelt All Purpose Flour*


  • 1/2 cup room temperature water, divided
  • 1/2 cup Hockley Valley Stout, room temperature
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 – 5 cups Hockley Valley Natural, Light Spelt All Purpose Flour*
  • 1/2 tbsp salt


  1. For sponge starter, stir yeast and honey into 1/2 cup warm water and let stand about 1o minutes to proof. When yeast begins to foam, stir in milk and flour and beat until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until bubbly – at least 5-6 hours. When the mixture has risen up in the bowl, then fallen, it is ready.
  2. For dough, proof remaining yeast in a 1/4 cup of the room-temperature water. Add this combination to the sponge starter with the remaining 1/4 cup of room-temperature water and the 1/2 cup of room-temperature Stout. Mix well in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flour and salt and add, 1 cup at a time, to the starter mixture, beating with a wooden spoon very well between each addition. When it’s too stiff to mix by hand, turn out onto a well-floured surface and let rest 5 minutes. Knead in more flour until dough is smooth and satiny. This will take about 5-1o minutes of kneading.
  4. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat ball of dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch it down.
  5. Cut dough in half and shape each piece into a large round or oblong loaf. Place loaves on a heavy baking sheet, lined with parchment. Lightly sprinkle flour over loaves and let them rise, covered, for 1 hour, until doubled again.
  6. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, slash loaves across the top in the shape of an “H” to signify Hockley. Bake in pre-heated oven at 4oo°F (2oo°C) for 45 minutes, until they are gold and sound hollow when tapped on bottom.
  7. Cool loaves on wire racks.


*Hockley Valley Flour originated locally in the Hockley Valley, but is now based in Alberta.

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