We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Spelt Grain?

By Rebecca Cartwright
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Spelt grain is a type of wheat closely related to modern bread wheat. Evidence of its use as long ago as possibly 6,000 BC has been found in the Near East as well as the Balkan region. It spread across Europe during the Bronze age and is still grown in several parts of the world. Spelt closely resembles bread wheat in flavor, but its flavor is usually described as nuttier and sweeter. It also has a slightly different balance of proteins, which affects its performance when used as flour in baking.

The genetic makeup of spelt grain may be accounted for in two possible ways. Some experts see it as a possible cross between emmer, another wheat relative, and goat grass. Alternately, some describe this grain as a cross between emmer and bread wheat. These genetic combinations may have occurred in several different times and locations.

Regardless of origin, spelt was a popular grain in Europe for many centuries. It was brought to the US in the late 1800s by European immigrants and widely used, especially among immigrant communities, until the 1920s. Although its popularity waned in later years, it continued to be grown and harvested both in North America and Europe. In the early 21st century its popularity increased, especially as a wheat alternative for those sensitive to regular wheat. Commercially, spelt grain is usually sold as flour, pasta, or as whole grains used for cooking and sprouting.

Spelt grain fell out of favor in modern agriculture because it has a tougher, thicker husk surrounding the grain than that of bread wheat. This makes the husk harder to remove from the kernel than that of modern varieties of wheat. It also has a lower yield per acre than the newer varieties. Spelt does have agricultural advantages, however, as it can be grown on poor soil with bad drainage or on sandy soils, and usually requires less fertilizer than other wheat types.

Flour made from spelt grain is very like standard wheat flour but baking with it requires greater care. It is more soluble in liquids so spelt dough works best if given a resting period for the flour and liquid to stabilize. The gluten structure is also different, making spelt dough and batter stickier and less likely to rise well. Baked goods made with spelt flour have a denser, heavier texture then those made with standard wheat flour.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.