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Home > Recipes > Simple spelt sourdough bread recipe

Simple spelt sourdough bread recipe

Sourdough bread has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique flavour and potential health benefits. Contrary to its name, sourdough is not always sour but can exhibit a mild tanginess depending on the care given to the starter and the baking process.

In addition to its delightful taste, sourdough’s slow fermentation process makes it more digestible and suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities.

Compared to wheat flour, spelt contains more nutrients, providing more fibre and essential nutrients, such as niacin, copper , vitamin B2, manganese and thiamin. It also contains less gluten which further contributes to easier digestibility. Spelt bread has a nutty, slightly sweet flavour that adds complexity to the taste.

 

When baking with spelt flour you may need to adjust the hydration as it attracts and absorbs water easily. However it can quickly become sticky and overhydrated because of weaker gluten structure. It is necessary to add water gradually.

Whether you are a sourdough beginner or already have some experience behind you, you can’t go wrong with this simple spelt sourdough bread recipe.

For this recipe you will need:

Levain:

  • 30g spelt flour
  • 30ml water
  • 10g sourdough starter

Dough:

  • 300g wheat flour
  • 200g whole spelt flour
  • 380ml water
  • 10g salt

Make levain

Combine 10g of sourdough starter, 30ml water and 30g of flour in the Sourdough Fermenter glass jar. Make sure you stir it thoroughly. Let it ferment at room temperature until it doubles in size, which would take 7 to 10 hours. This step is needed to prepare the sourdough starter with the type of flour you want to bake with.

Autolysis

In a large kneading bowl combine 350ml lukewarm water and 300g of wheat and 200g of whole spelt flour. Mix well with a larger spoon and finish by hand until a rough dough forms. Leave for about an hour to rest. In this time autolysis happens.
During autolysis, water is added to the flour, triggering the activation of enzymes in the flour. These enzymes kickstart the process of gluten development by stimulating the proteins present in the flour. At the same time, another set of enzymes works to break down the starches in the flour into simple sugars. These sugars serve as essential nutrients that nourish the yeast during the bulk proofing stage of bread fermentation.
Add levain: After autolysis mix in the levain and 10g of salt. When salt is added to the dough, the gluten network tightens, making it harder to stretch the dough during kneading. Mix all well, first by dipping fingers into a dough and later by pushing your hands in and twisting the dough.

Bulk fermentation, Stretch & Fold

Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size. This will take 6-8 hours at room temperature 21-23°C.
About 30 minutes into bulk fermentation, stretch and fold the dough. This technique helps the gluten in dough to develop. To do a fold, dip one hand in water to prevent sticking. Grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out and fold it back over itself. Rotate the bowl and stretch and fold more of the dough. Do this – rotate, stretch and fold – three or four times every 30 minutes. You should do this gently, not to lose the volume of the dough.
Repeat this technique every 45 minutes, about 3 sets during bulk fermentation.

Shaping and final proofing

After the final stretch and fold, form the bread with your hands into a round shape and let it rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle a proofing basket with flour (rice flour or wholewheat flour works best). Gently place the bread on a floured surface and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten the shape. Place it into a proofing basket and cover the dough with a damp towel.
Final proofing: This process can be done at room temperature for 3-4 hours or in the refrigerator for slower fermentation and taste development, overnight. The dough should double in size.

Scoring and Baking

Take the bread out of the proofing basket and place it in a preheated pan (dutch oven). Cut it with a scoring knife before baking. Scoring is crucial because the bread will rise in the oven and the cuts will prevent breaking of the crust. Bake the bread covered for 45 minutes at 240°C and then 15 minutes uncovered at 220°C. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
This bread will stay fresh for at least 2 days, stored at room temperature in a paper bag. You can freeze it for longer storage for up to 3 months.

Spelt sourdough bread gains popularity due to its unique flavour and potential health benefits. Despite the fact that baking with spelt flour is more demanding than baking with wheat, with this recipe and the detailed steps, you will surely succeed in making delicious bread that will become one of your favourites.

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2 Comments

  1. I recently emailed you about the bread making lessons that I paid for when I backed your product on Kickstarter. As stated then, I will be unable to access the lessons as I will be away all September.
    Could you please advise me if there will be other opportunities to view the classes, will they be recorded?
    I am sure I am not the only person in this situation.
    I look forward to your reply.

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