How to cook spelt
Heat a pot over medium heat. Add spelt and toast until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add in big pinch of salt and enough water to cover the spelt by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the emmer is tender but chewy: 60 minutes or more. Add more water if needed. The longer the cook time, the more tender the spelt will be.
How to use spelt
Whole spelt berries are excellent for grain bowls, soups, and risotto. Spelt can also be cracked and used in risottos or creamy porridges. The flour is nice for baked goods but especially pancakes and waffles.
How to store spelt
Spelt, whether the whole grain or flour, is best stored in airtight containers in a cool place. Whole spelt can be stored up to a year in the freezer or 6 months in the pantry. Spelt flour is best stored in the freezer and will last up to 6 months. If the grains or flour have a rancid smell when you open the bag, toss and buy fresh.
Spelt, the largest grain of the farro class of wheat berries, has a delightful nutty flavor. Also known as dinkel wheat, the berry has a chewy texture and a warm, just-sweet flavor when worked. This profile works well when paired with vegetables, cheeses, and legumes.
While they’re in the same class of wheat berries, swapping spelt for emmer doesn’t always produce the desired results. Spelt takes a much longer time to cook and is usually less tender. Spelt berries have a unique shape: the end comes to a point (a good way to identify if you forgot to label your grains from the bulk bins). The rolled flakes can be used in a similar fashion to oatmeal: perfect for morning porridge or granola.
Flour: Spelt can also be ground to use as a flour, sold as a regular and white spelt flour. Try to buy regular spelt flour, as it has retained the nutrients of the spelt berries. Or try your hand at grinding your own!