This quick and easy German dinkel bread, also known as Dinkelbrot in German, is made with 100% whole grain spelt flour for maximum flavor and health benefits. You can enjoy a delicious, nutty sandwich bread that’s packed with seeds and walnuts in 3 hours. Bread maker instructions are included in the recipe if you’re looking for an even more convenient way to enjoy homemade spelt bread.
Growing-up in Germany, Dinkel bread has been a firm staple in my diet for years. I missed the distinct flavor spelt baked goods provide when I moved abroad and started making a variety of spelt recipes at home. This wholesome spelt bread is our everyday sandwich and toast bread.
What is spelt flour?
Spelt is a type of wheat (Triticum spelta), and wholegrain spelt flour is a type of whole wheat flour made from the whole grain including bran, endosperm, and germ.
Find out more about dinkel including its history, health benefits, and ways to use it in this comprehensive guide about spelt flour.
Is spelt flour gluten free?
No, spelt flour is not gluten-free. Although a lower amount than other wheat varieties, spelt does contain gluten, which can cause issues for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
This 100% whole grain dinkel bread includes only eight ingredients.
- Whole grain spelt flour – I started to mill spelt berries at home for maximum freshness but you can also buy wholegrain spelt flour at specialist retailers. Make sure it has recently been milled as the whole grain flour doesn’t have a long shelf-life and can get easily rancid. The wholegrain spelt flour can also be fully substituted with all-purpose spelt flour.
- Yeast – Active dried yeast as well as fresh yeast work well for this recipe.
- Sugar – Castor sugar activates the yeast nicely but you can also use honey or maple syrup.
- Water – Chlorine in tap water can slow down the yeast. Filtered, lukewarm water however nicely activates it.
- Salt – I use sea salt for bread making but you can also opt for table salt if needed.
- Nuts and seeds – Walnut pieces, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds not only add great texture to this spelt bread, they also boost this sandwich loaf with extra nutrients. The nuts and seeds can easily be omitted or substituted to suit dietary requirements.
- Make sure the yeast is fully activated before you add it to the remaining ingredients.
- Don’t knead the dough more than 4 minutes as spelt flour has a weaker gluten structure than wheat.
- Check out this video by the San Diego Artisan Bread School on how to shape the dough for a sandwich loaf tin.
German dinkel bread in the breadmaker
Yes, you can. Simply activate the yeast as per the instructions and add all ingredients to the bowl. Place it in the bread maker and select a 3 hour program that doesn’t include a lot of kneading.
I select program 5 and loaf size L on my Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker SD-2501 for a rapid 3 hour loaf. Alternatively, you can use the timer to have delicious, warm dinkel bread in the morning.
White and whole grain spelt bread – Use 2 cups white spelt and 2 cups whole grain spelt flour for a lighter and spelt sandwich bread.
Plain spelt bread – Omit the nuts and seeds for a plain dinkel bread. Simply reduce the water by 1/4 of a cup.
Spelt rye bread – Substitute 1 cup of whole grain spelt flour with whole grain rye flour for richer, earthier taste and darker color.
Check out my ancient grains list for other flour alternatives.
This wholemeal bread will easily store in a bread bin for up to 3 days. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge if the temperature is very high in your kitchen. Sliced or as a whole loaf, the spelt bread stores up to 3 months in a container or freezer-proof bag in the freezer.
Spelt boasts a high protein content of approximately 14%, making it a rich source of protein when compared to whole wheat (13%) and whole rye ( 8%). It has even more protein than white wheat, which has about 10%.
German Dinkel Bread
- 4 cups whole-grain spelt flour
- 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm filtered water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- To activate the yeast, add 1 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast to 1 1/2 cups warm filtered water. Mix well until the yeast is dissolved and bubbles are starting to form.1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 1 1/2 cups warm filtered water
- In a large bowl, mix 4 cups whole-grain spelt flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup walnut pieces, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds. Add the activated yeast and roughly combine everything.4 cups whole-grain spelt flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 4 minutes by hand. Add it back to the bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Let it rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 356F/180C. Line a loaf pan with baking paper.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a loaf. Add the shaped loaf to the loaf tin and bake it for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let it fully cool on a rack before slicing. Enjoy!