Spelt is closely related to wheat and is often referred to as “proto-wheat.” Spelt flour (type 630) is mainly used for rolls, baguettes, and pastries and in most recipes can be used as a substitute for wheat.
From Wikipedia: “Spelt (Triticum spelta; Triticum dicoccum), also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated since approximately 5000 BC.
Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (Triticum aestivum), in which case its botanical name is considered to be Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta. It is a hexaploid wheat, which means it has six sets of chromosomes. Over the years 2004 to 2014, spelt gained widespread popularity as a wheat substitute for making artisan breads, pasta and cereals.”
“Spelt flour is becoming more easily available. Spelt bread is sold in health food shops and some bakeries in an increasing variety of types of loaf, similar in colour to light rye breads but usually with a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. Biscuits, crackers, and pretzels are also produced, but are more likely to be found in a specialty bakery or health food store than in a regular grocer's shop. In Germany and Austria, spelt loaves and rolls (Dinkelbrot) are widely available in bakeries as is spelt flour in supermarkets. The unripe spelt grains are dried and eaten as Grünkern ("green grain").
Dutch Jenever makers distill with spelt. Beer brewed from spelt is sometimes seen in Bavaria and Belgium and spelt is distilled to make vodka in Poland.”
“In a 100 gram serving, uncooked spelt provides 338 calories and is an excellent source ... of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals ... Richest nutrient contents include manganese ..., phosphorus ... and niacin ... Cooking substantially reduces many nutrient contents. Spelt contains about 70% total carbohydrates, including 11% as dietary fiber, and is low in fat ...
Spelt contains a moderate amount of gluten, and is therefore suitable for baking, but this component also makes it unsuitable for people with gluten-related disorders, such as celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. In comparison to hard red winter wheat, spelt has a more soluble protein matrix characterized by a higher gliadin:glutenin ratio.”
“Spelt is currently a specialty crop, but its popularity in the past as a peasants' staple food has been attested in literature. Although today's Russian-speaking children perhaps do not know exactly what polba (spelt) looks or tastes like, they may recognize the word as something that can be made into porridge, having heard Pushkin's well-rhymed story in which the poor workman Balda asks his employer the priest "to feed me boiled spelt" ("есть же мне давай варёную полбу"). In Horace's Satire 2.6 (late 31–30 BC), which ends with the story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse, the country mouse eats spelt at dinner while serving his city guest finer foods.
In The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Pietro della Vigna appears as a suicide in Circle VII, ring ii, Canto XIII of the "Infer..". Pietro describes the fate awaiting souls guilty of suicide to Dante the Pilgrim and Virgil. According to Pietro, the soul of the suicide grows into a wild tree and is tormented by harpies that feast upon its leaves. Pietro likens the initial "growing" and transformation of the soul of the suicide to the germination of a grain of spelt ("Infer.." XIII, 94–102).
Spelt is also mentioned in the Bible. The seventh plague in Egypt in Exodus, did not damage the harvest of wheat and spelt, as these were "late crops". Ezekiel 4:9 says: "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof ...", though as noted above this is presumably a mistranslation and should be "emmer". It is mentioned again in Isaiah 28:25: "...and put in the wheat in rows and the barley in the appointed place and the spelt in the border thereof?”