Bread Making For Dummies
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Many breads taste amazing with just a dip of olive oil or a smear of butter. You can also elevate your favorite toasted bread or sandwich with sauces or spreads. An absolute favorite — the Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Seed Spread — may shock your taste buds.

spelt baguettes Spelt Baguettes with Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, Olive and Pine Nut Spread, and Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Seed Spread.

Most dips and sauces can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for at least five days. Perfect for party planning and prepping in advance — and the best way to compliment your delicious breads!

Spelt Baguettes

Prep time: 20 minutes plus 11 hours for rising

Bake time: 30 minutes

Yield: 9 servings


50 grams (1/4 cup) sourdough starter

360 grams(1-1/2 cups) room-temperature water

400 grams (4 cups) whole spelt flour

50 grams (1/3 cup) bread flour

12 grams (2-1/2 teaspoons) fine sea salt


  1. In a large glass bowl, mix together the sourdough starter and water, stirring to dissolve the starter. Add in the whole spelt flour and bread flour, and stir to combine until it’s a shaggy dough. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough. Stretch and fold the dough 4 times. Cover the dough bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes.
  3. Stretch and fold the dough 4 times. Cover the dough bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes.
  4. Stretch and fold the dough 4 times. Cover the dough bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes.
  5. Stretch and fold the dough 4 times. Allow the covered dough to rest an additional 6 to 8 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Dust a flat surface with flour. Transfer the risen dough to the floured surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, setting aside 2 pieces.
  7. Keep in mind the elongated shape of a baguette while shaping the dough: With the first piece, flatten it gently and then focus on lengthening the dough. Fold the side closest to you over the center and press down. Turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat, folding the dough over the center and flattening with your hand (see the following figure). Using two hands and starting at the left side, fold with your right hand in toward the center and press with your left palm to stick the dough. Coat your hands with flour, as needed. Turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat on the other side. Turn the elongated piece of dough over with the seam side down on the flat surface. Pinch the seam closed. Starting from the center, use your fingers to rock the dough back and forth from the center to the ends, elongating the dough as you go. This is a gentle process to roll the dough out to create a long baguette shape, about 15 to 20 inches in length.
  8. Set the baguette aside and repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough.
  9. Place a piece of parchment paper on a heavy baking sheet and place the baguettes about 4 inches apart on the baking sheet. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  10. Set the oven rack to the middle position of the oven, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  11. After the oven is preheated, score the top of each baguette with 3 angled slices, about 1/2-inch deep, to allow steam to escape.
  12. Place the baguettes into the oven and reduce the temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 180 to 190 degrees F and the crust is golden in color.
  13. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.
Per serving: Calories 184 (From Fat 11); Fat 1g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 521mg; Carbohydrate 38g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 8g.

After cooling, wrap in a tea towel and store up to two days in a bread box or brown paper bag at room temperature.

Vary it! If you can’t find spelt flour, you can use bread flour instead.

flatten the dough Flip the dough 180 degrees and fold and press with the heel of your hand to seal the side closest to you.

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yield: 16 servings


14 grams (1/4 cup) sun-dried tomatoes, canned in oil

One 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

61 grams (1/4 cup) garbanzo bean liquid from the can

10 grams (2 teaspoons) tahini

14 grams (1 tablespoon) lemon juice

3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt

75 grams (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor.
  2. Pulse the tomatoes for about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the garbanzo beans, the liquid from the can, the tahini, the lemon juice, and the salt.
  4. Pulse until mixed.
  5. While running the food processor, drizzle in the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached.
Per serving: Calories 84 (From Fat 52); Fat 6g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 161mg; Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Saving the water from the garbanzo bean can is a great way to thin out hummus without it becoming too oily.

Serve with your favorite crackers, sandwiches, or smeared onto crusty bread.

Vary it! Hummus has many variations -- you can add almost any addition, from olive to beets. Get creative and have fun with combinations like pumpkin seeds or artichokes.

Olive and Pine Nut Spread

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


67 grams (1/2 cup) pine nuts

90 grams (1/2 cup) canned black or green olives (pitted)

60 grams (1 cup) fresh parsley leaves

1 garlic clove

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

43 grams (3 tablespoons) olive oil


  1. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the pine nuts to a food processor.
  3. Add the olives, parsley, garlic, and red pepper.
  4. Pulse a few times to roughly chop.
  5. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, while pulsing, until the desired consistency is reached.
Per serving: Calories 118 (From Fat 108); Fat 12g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 104mg; Carbohydrate 3g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you prefer a smooth consistency, process for 2 minutes. For a chunkier consistency, pulse for 30 seconds.

Stir into olive oil and vinegar for a quick vinaigrette, add on top of pizza for a salty addition, or spread onto your favorite Greek- or Italian-inspired sandwich.

Vary it! If you’re looking for a tapenade, add anchovies and capers to this mix. It’s a fun twist on an Italian classic!

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Seed Spread

Prep time: 55 minutes

Yield: 12 servings


2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed

73 grams (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) sea salt

3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder

1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) onion powder

60 grams (1/2 cup) hulled pumpkin seeds, divided

43 grams (3 tablespoons) fresh lime juice

1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) ground cumin


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the salt, the garlic powder, and the onion powder.
  4. Transfer to the parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and soft.
  5. Let the sweet potatoes cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  6. Place 6 tablespoons of the pumpkin seeds into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until a coarse texture is reached.
  7. Add in the sweet potatoes, lime juice, and cumin.
  8. Pulse while slowly adding the remaining olive oil until the desired consistency is reached.
  9. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds for serving.
Per serving: Calories 376 (From Fat 354); Fat 39g (Saturated 21g); Cholesterol 81mg; Sodium 245mg; Carbohydrate 5g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Serve this savory sweet potato dip on toast with fresh arugula and goat cheese on top, or dip your favorite crackers into the savory spread.

Vary it! Make this spread Spanish-style, using paprika and lemon juice instead of cumin and lime juice.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Meri Raffetto, RDN, founded Real Living Nutrition Services (, which pro- vides one of the only interactive online weight-loss and wellness programs.

Wendy Jo Peterson MS, RDN, enhances the nutrition of clients ranging from elite athletes to pediatric patients, and is currently a culinary instructor at Mesa College.

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