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A perfect introduction to Spelt flour

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I regret the years that I walked past Spelt flour in the supermarkets, because once I tried it I found the very best pastry flour that money can buy. Fortunately for us it is now available from Arrowhead Mills in a larger size than any other company that I know of, but Bob's Red Mill also offers it. Spelt flour has a buttery richness that would make a perfect pound cake, as well as breakfast muffins. So to give yourself an introduction to this very high-end flour with a humble pedigree, try this classic Pound Cake from Better Homes & Gardens.

Look for Spelt flour in any health-oriented store in Tucson, such as Sprouts and Whole Foods. If you want a sample, get the smaller package and make one thing, like this pound cake, before you make up your mind if you want to make it a permanent part of your pantry.

This recipe uses the classic baking method: whisk together the dry ingredients and set them aside. Then you use another mixing bowl to beat together the wet ingredients (other than sugar) and combine the two. Then you get out your Bundt pan and turn out a cake that will put all the complicated spices and expensive chocolate to shame with its very simplicity. Talk about elegance! Pound Cake is in a class by itself.

BH&G POUND CAKE

Ingredients:

2 cups Spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 large organic eggs at room temperature
1 cup organic blonde sugar
2 sticks organic butter at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, or if the design is not too complicated, butter the inside of the pan. If you are worried about sticking, you can also sprinkle the inside with flour and then tap it out to leave a light coating inside the pan over the butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmet in a mixing bowl. Set this aside.

Beat together the sugar and butter until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until you cannot see streaks in the batter.

Lower the mixer speed to Fold, Number 1 or its lowest speed. Fold the dry ingredients into the mixture quickly but thoroughly.

Turn the batter into the Bundt pan and bake it until the top is golden and does not take an indentation when you touch it lightly.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan. When it is room temperature, turn it out to a serving plate to be sliced.

Pound cake is sometimes used as a base for Strawberry Shortcake. Try it sometime, for a twist on the plain biscuits (not that there is anything wrong with a good biscuit).

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