*This post was sponsored by Hockley Valley Spelt Flour
It was about 6 months ago that I set out to find a better, more pure wheat flour. I had been using the popular big brands since I was a child, but over the years I noticed new “may contain” warnings for ingredients that I am allergic to, like soy, on packages of flour that were formerly my go-to’s. Admittedly, I took my chances with these brands for years but as I had an itchy mouth or hives here and there, I began to eliminate them from my shopping list. Alternative flours, such as chickpea and garbanzo, have become more popular given our current diet and lifestyle culture. Unfortunately for me, they fall outside the “top 8” in Canada, making it incredibly difficult for me to access cross-contact information from producers. Because of these complexities, I wasn’t able to find a safe wheat flour for months! I felt extremely frustrated, and I desperately craved homemade bread.
To top it off, I was never fully satisfied with the taste of flour. The problem was that it didn’t really taste like anything at all. I began questioning what had happened to our wheat production in Canada. How was it so difficult for me to find a pure, simple, wheat flour that also tasted like real wheat? Through lots of deep searching I came to find a listing of Canadian companies producing wheat flour. I emailed every single one; it took all night. When the people at Hockley Valley responded letting me know that they only produce spelt flour, and have been making it the same way for 25 years, I was elated to say the least. The only ingredient in their flour - spelt! Immediately I rushed out and bought a bag from my local Loblaws so I could play around in the kitchen.
Before developing my recipes I did some research about spelt flour and its qualities. Prior to this introduction, I thought it was a high protein flour, but it turns out I had it all backwards! Spelt flour is a low protein flour, meaning it has less gluten than regular wheat flour. In case you’re confused, spelt is actually an ancient grain that is related to wheat. Hockley Valley’s Light Spelt Flour is non-GMO and unbleached. If that isn’t just the icing on the cake!
One of the most satisfying things about baking with spelt flour is the earthy, deep flavor. This flour doesn’t go unnoticed, is never bland, and adds such a lovely texture to baked goods. Brandon noticed immediately that it was a more flavorful flour. I was so pleased. He’s not usually one for muffins or quick breads (like carrot cake and banana bread) but he downed a strawberry breakfast muffin and asked for another; he noticed it tasted different, and he liked it. I’m always happy to welcome a more wholesome and delicious ingredient into our kitchen.
The first recipe I want to share with you is this fabulous strawberry galette with chocolate shavings. A galette is kind of like a flatter, more casual and free-spirited pie. I much prefer making galette over traditional pie because it looks so rustic and cozy, and there’s no pressure to get those crimped edges just right!
Free from: peanuts, nuts, dairy, soy, egg, fish, shellfish
Be sure to always read the labels of every ingredient you use, prior to baking, to ensure it is safe your your allergies.
1 1/2 cups Hockley Valley Light Spelt Flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup lard
2 tbsp. olive oil
up to 1/4 cup cold water
3.5 cups quartered strawberries
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. shaved or chopped allergen-free chocolate (such as Enjoy Life, Camino, Giddy Yoyo, Pascha, or MadeGood)
Add the flour, salt, and 1 tbsp. of the sugar to a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the olive oil and lard, and cut the fats into the flour so that they form small pea-sized bits throughout the mixture. Pour the water in slowly, stirring well to bring the ingredients together into a dough. It should hold together quite well and shouldn’t feel wet. You may not need all of the water.
When the dough can come together into a ball, scoop it up and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper dusted with half of the powdered sugar. Fold the dough over 10 times (alternating directions) to knead. Form it into a disc, then wrap up in the paper and refrigerate for an hour.
Cut the strawberries into quarters, unless they are really large in which case cut them into smaller pieces. The cores should be removed. Toss the berries with about 1 tbsp. of the regular sugar.
Dust the chilled dough with the remaining powdered sugar. Roll it out on the parchment paper to a 10.5 x 10.5 inch circle. Pile the berries up in the center and fold the dough up over the sides, making sure it is nice and taught and in place. Avoid leaving any air bubbles, gaps, or looseness in the pastry. Sprinkle some of the remaining sugar around the edges of the pastry. Transfer the whole galette on the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
Place into a pre-heated 375F oven for 50 minutes, then turn up to 400F and bake for for 8 - 10 minutes
After taking it out of the oven, sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the galette once it has had a chance to come down in temperature. Serve it while still nice and warm so that the syrupy berries, melted chocolate, and flaky pastry can co-mingle together.
Makes 1 galette, approx 6 pieces.