Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a member of the grass family of grains.
It is thought to have originated in the Fertile Crescent, where it was first harvested over 9000 years ago. That was some 3000 years before the grain that led to modern wheat made its appearance. In both the Middle East and Europe spelt was the staff of life for many centuries. It fell into disfavor during the Industrial Revolution. As more people moved into cities, the burden of food production fell more heavily on the shoulders of the remaining farmers. Spelt is a husked grain. This means that the kernel is tightly shrouded in a hull, which has to be removed mechanically. The hull protects the kernel from mechanical damage and loss of nutrients. Because wheat does not have such a hull, it can be taken directly form the harvest fields to the flour mill. This convenience saved time and labour. So, with its high yield and lower costs, wheat replaced spelt.
Spelt and modern wheat belong to the same family of grains but there are some important differences between them. Compared to modern wheat spelt is a good source of protein and it also contains more energy. There has always been many believes about spelt and its benefits. It is f.e. said that the power and success of the Roman army based on spelt. Perhaps nowhere has spelt been so appreciated as at the Hildegard clinical practise in Constance, Germany. Built on the teachings of St. Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth-century Benectine abbess, the clinic follows many of St. Hildegard´s dictums, but in particular her belief that body must be detoxified before it can be healed; her almost 2000 remedies and health suggestions; and her strong recommendations for the inclusion of spelt in the diet. Modern research has indicated that spelt protein is easily digested and that spelt is a better source of protein than not only wheat, but also oats and rye. The strength of spelt is different from the strength of wheat and that has to be taken into consideration when baking and making the dough: use a little less flour than normally. Spelt pastries have a beautiful brown colour and a nutty taste.
Spelt flour from Birkkala are milled in a stone mill that mills the grain gently, so that the vitamins and minerals are not damaged. There are no preservatives in the products of Birkkala farm.