Wholemeal spelt and black rice loaf

After the excess of Christmas (and Boxing Day, and the day after, and Saturday) it is good to get back to a healthy wholemeal spelt loaf. We do sometimes get a bit tired of dense, chewy sourdough though, so this time I have made a yeasted loaf with the added flavour of black rice.

Black rice, cooked and cooled, adds flavour and colour to the finished loaf
Black rice, cooked and cooled, adds flavour and colour to the finished loaf

Extra flavour also comes from the use of a wholemeal spelt poolish, made four hours before putting the dough together. As I said in the last post, the poolish is a way of encouraging a longer period of activity in the yeast, so that more starch is converted to sugar.

Wholemeal Spelt and Black Rice Loaf

Poolish

  • 225g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1tsp/3g instant yeast
  • 225g water

Dough

  • All of the poolish
  • 115g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 5g salt
  • 1/2 tsp/2g instant yeast
  • 30g honey
  • 90g cooked and cooled black rice (about 2 tbsp uncooked rice)
  1. Mix the ingredients for the poolish in a mixing bowl and leave, covered, for about 4 hours at room temperature. The poolish will bubble, rise, and fall slightly.
  2. Combine the poolish with the remaining dough ingredients, tip onto a work surface, and knead for 15 minutes.
  3. Bulk ferment (first rise) in a lightly oiled bowl for about 90 minutes, until doubled.

    The fairly slack dough will be supported in a loaf tin after the first rise
    The fairly slack dough will be supported in a loaf tin after the first rise, but may cause problems if not handled carefully!
  4. Tip out and shape for a loaf: stretch the dough into a rough rectangle, fold the ends in to make a rough loaf shape, pinch the seam together and turn over. Place seam side down into an oiled loaf tin. The dough should fill about 2/3 of the way up.
  5. Cover loosely with cling film and proof at room temperature for about 60-90 minutes, until the dough has crested the edge of the tin by about a centimetre.

    Dough proofing in a loaf tin
    Dough proofing in a loaf tin
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, then turn and bake for a further 25-35 minutes, until the dough sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

Unfortunately this time around the bread did not rise as much as I would have liked – always a worry with a 100% wholemeal loaf, particularly with a fairly slack dough (didn’t help that I got cling film stuck to the top of it…). Despite the disappointing rise, however, the loaf still tastes fantastic and is an incredible colour thanks both to the spelt and the black rice. It is also surprisingly light in texture given the wholemeal and the collapsed top. Next time, I’ll let it proof for a little longer and make sure that nothing sticks to the dough!

A slightly deflated look, but dramatic colour and open crumb texture nonetheless
A slightly deflated look, but dramatic colour and open crumb texture nonetheless
Good colour and texture in the crust, with little bits of black rice peppered through the whole loaf
Good colour and texture in the crust, with little bits of black rice peppered through the whole loaf

 

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