Spelt Sourdough

Now that I’ve started to get into a comfortable rhythm of selling bread at work each Monday, my standard recipe is becoming very smooth and well practised. So, to mix things up a bit and keep them interesting, I have been using our own bread as an experiment.

 

The finished loaf, coated in rye flakes
 
This week, I decided that following on from the high hydration sunflower and pumpkin seed loaf, I would push the hydration even further and try spelt flour again. I have made spelt sourdough before, but never with a dough this wet – 80% hydration.

  
Initially, the dough was very slack- a result of both the high hydration and the different quality of spelt. On the second day, whilst shaping, the dough did hold briefly but quickly spread out. When it came out of the banneton, it practically poured out, resulting in a fold in the dough that trapped some flour inside. Ultimately, however, the dough sprang up fantastically in the oven, and came out beautifully.

Excellent oven spring, despite the accidental dough-folding

Spelt sourdough – makes one loaf

  • 500g organic spelt flour
  • 400g water
  • 45g starter 
  • 10g salt
  • spelt or rye flakes to coat
  1. Mix together all of the ingredients. Autolyse for 15 minutes. Do a stretch/fold, rest for 15 minutes, and repeat. Repeat this process until you have kneaded 5 times.
  2. Oil a bowl and shape the dough into a rough ball. Roll the dough around in the oil, and bulk ferment overnight at room temperature in the bowl, covered with cling film. 
  3. In the morning, tip the dough out onto the bench and shape. Take a third of the dough, stretch it and fold it into the middle, and then rotate 90 degrees. Repeat this four times (for pictures, see this previous post). Using two cupped hands, turn the dough and shape into a ball. Rest for 15 minutes, then repeat the ball shaping.
  4. Mist the dough with water if it is a little dry, and roll in the spelt flakes. Place into floured bannetons and proof for 3-4 hours until risen.
  5. Preheat oven to 230C with a Dutch oven on the middle shelf. Turn out the dough onto a floured peel, score, and bake on the Dutch oven for 15 minutes with the lid on, 15 minutes lid off.
  6. Cool on a wire rack for one hour before slicing.

Sourdough baking on a work night: the complete method

Earlier in the week I wrote three separate posts following the process of making sourdough on a weeknight, from mixing the dough on day one to shaping and bakin on day two. This post brings all three steps together with the recipe.

   
 Weekday light rye – makes two loaves 

  • 800g strong white flour
  • 200g rye flour
  • 650g water
  • 50g white sourdough starter
  • 20g salt

Day one – the dough

  • 6pm: mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Rest for 15 minutes.
  • 6:15pm: stretch/fold the dough several times. Rest for another 15 minutes and repeat. Do this another 3 times, making 5 stretch/folds in total. 
  • 7:15pm: after the final stretch/fold, oil the bowl, form the dough into a ball, and place back into the bowl. Cover with cling film and rest at room temperature overnight.

Day two: morning – shaping

  • 7am: divide the dough and shape into two boules. I have used the shaping method explained in my bulk sourdough post. Rest for 15 minutes.
  • 7:15am: reshape the dough, rest for another 15 minutes, then reshape a final time and place seam side up into a floured banneton.
  • 7:30am: place the shaped loaves in bannetons into plastic bags, and place in the fridge.

Day two: evening – baking

  • 5:30pm: Preheat oven to 230C with two cast iron lidded pots (Dutch ovens) on the middle shelf.
  • 5:30pm: Remove the loaves from the fridge whilst the oven preheats.
  • 6pm: Turn the loaves out onto a floured peel, score, and place into the pots.
  • 6pm-6:30pm: Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid for a further 15 minutes.
  • 6:30pm: Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing

Live sourdough: baking on a work night pt. 3

This is the final part of a three part post following the step by step process of baking sourdough during the week.

  
The first part of the post contains the recipe for a light rye sourdough, but the method can be applied to many recipes. The first steps involved mixing and several stretch/folds of the dough, followed by a long overnight bulk ferment at room temperature.

The second part of the post was written this morning, after dividing and shaping the dough, placing into bannetons, and proofing in the fridge.

  
This final part deals with the baking of the loaf, designed to fit easily into a work-night schedule. The timings given are what I used, but the dough can happily sit in the fridge for longer.

Method part three

  1. 5:30pm: Preheat oven to 230C with two cast iron lidded pots (Dutch ovens) on the middle shelf.
  2. 5:30pm: Remove the loaves from the fridge whilst the oven preheats.
  3. 6pm: Turn the loaves out onto a floured peel, score, and place into the pots.
  4. 6pm-6:30pm: Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid for a further 15 minutes.
  5. 6:30pm: Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

This bread will keep for several days and also freezes well, presliced, for several months.

I hope that this method works for you, if it does, let me know via Twitter by messaging @breadbarnone