I have been over the last couple of days getting into using spelt flour as an alternative to wheat flour. With so many food intolerance's out there today as chef's the field of knowledge that we have to know has widen tremendously in the last few decades.
Spelt is making a huge revival in the organic whole foods revolution. The earliest archaeological evidence of spelt dates way back to the fifth millennium BC in Iran. It then appeared through out Europe over the centuries where it became a common stable in Great Britain in 500 BC.
Spelt flour comes in white (unbleached) and wholemeal varieties, it is readily available now in supermarkets in the speciality section or health food section. Spelt is suitable for wheat intolerant diets but it is not gluten free. Spelt is more easily digested by the body than normal wheat due to having a far lower gluten content than regular wheat flour. Spelt is particularly high in nutrients of manganese, zinc, copper as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
Note: Spelt does contain gluten so is unsuitable for people with coeliac disease http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease.
Spelt has a wonderful nutty flavour to it and enhances the flavour of many baked goods such as cake, biscuits, breads, pastry etc. Spelt flour is an ancient relation of common wheat we use today and fortunately acts much the same in cooking. So today I made Macadamia Pecan Nut Chews I simply substituted the white wheat flour for white spelt flour and had great success.
I just found this recipe to make a spelt bread and will try and give it ago tomorrow this could (if turns out well) be a great alternatives for bread if you find yourself with a wheat intolerant person on board or in your crew.