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Spelt Sourdough Bread – no starter wasted

100% spelt sourdough loaves

100% spelt sourdough loaves

I have a frugal nature. As I can claim neither Scottish nor Jewish heritage I’ll thank my maternal Grandmother who survived a poverty stricken childhood, the Great Depression and rationing that came with two world wars. My dear Grandma lived to the ripe old age of 98yrs, well into my adulthood and she imbued in me the sense that wasting food was just like putting money in the garbage bin.

In this age of reckless consumerism I find myself bristling with self righteousness when I read of the quantities of food that are discarded, not just by householders, but also my producers and retailers. While I applaud initiatives like Oz Harvest and Second Bite who collect unwanted food and distribute it to the needy, they are not interested in the small amounts from my kitchen, that’s up to me.

Not once have I activated my sourdough starter and ended up with the precise quantity needed to bake a loaf. It gets worse if I plan to make two loaves and feed my starter extra quantities of flour and water. I know there are numerous recipes that make pancakes and pizza bases using the extra, but it’s bread that’s in demand in our household so I started messing with my basic recipe and recalculating the flour water and salt based on the weight of starter I actually had remaining after storing a quantity for the next bake.

My muddled thinking and inaccurate calculations seemed to have little outcome on the loaves.

When my partner in life, my total opposite announced he’d like to have a go at baking bread I was shocked. He doesn’t cook. 

After lovingly and generously tending the feeder for the day, when it came to mixing the dough he took one look at my messy recipe page with multiple pencil calculation and offered to make me the swanky table you see below.

Together we made a large batch of 100% spelt bread dough.

His inaugural loaf, made with his half was a huge success.  The Fig, Walnut and Cinnamon loaf I made with the rest was delicious too, worthy of a stand alone post, soon.

I’ll never discard sourdough starter again.

SOURDOUGH LOAF CALCULATIONS - NO STARTER WASTE

SOURDOUGH LOAF CALCULATIONS – NO STARTER WASTE

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Spelt Sourdough Bread – no starter wasted

  1. Tracy Waddington
    June 27, 2016

    It sounds like we make our sourdough quite differently. We have it in a preserving jar in the fridge wth the lid on loosely. When we want to bake we bring it to room temperature, give it a feed with equal parts water and flour, usually a cup, then once its done its bubble up thing we take out what we need to bake. The recipe we use is 500g of starter, 650g flour, 350ml water and 1 tsp salt. It makes two loaves. We give what is left another feed, half a cup of flour and water, pop it back in the jar and stick it back in the fridge until next time. We’ve had this one going for nearly 7 years now.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 27, 2016

      I think there are as many recipes and methods for sourdough as there are bakers. I like to have some flexibility with the size and number of loaves I bake, rarely the same twice, so this works for me.

      Like

  2. Gretchen
    June 14, 2016

    What a useful chart. Luckily I have three boys who don’t mind having sourdough pancakes if I have leftover starter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: revised overnight sourdough, and the trouble with no bubbles | ardysez

  4. Gather and Graze
    June 8, 2016

    Wow, both of those loaves look amazing Sandra! Well done both of you… and totally admirable to find ways of reducing food waste.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 8, 2016

      Never dreamt in a million years that Mal and I would spend time in the kitchen cooking together. It remains to be seen if it begins and ends with bread…

      Like

  5. M. L. Kappa
    June 8, 2016

    Well done him!

    Like

  6. Lisa @ cheergerm
    June 7, 2016

    You will be able to have sourdough ‘cook-offs’! Waste not, want not. I am a big believer in using up scraps of everything as well. Nice one.

    Like

  7. katechiconi
    June 7, 2016

    Sigh…. I really miss good bread. I haven’t yet found a good GF flour mix for regular yeasted breads, let alone one that will behave with sourdough starter. And as for making that starter… Oh well, it’s probably just as well, as if I had access to good bread I’d probably be the size of a house.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 7, 2016

      Are you gluten intolerant? Being able to bake slow fermented 100% spelt sourdough totally upended my love/hate relationship with bread. Even GF made me sick.

      Like

      • katechiconi
        June 8, 2016

        Not intolerant, full blown coeliac, so I can’t eat spelt or any other wheat variant at all, or barley, oats or rye.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        June 8, 2016

        My issues are minor in comparison to coeliac disease Kate, although there are lots more food I have to avoid.

        Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 7, 2016

      I can provide dried sourdough starter if you find a way…..

      Like

      • katechiconi
        June 8, 2016

        It would need to be started on a GF flour base…. 😦
        I know it’s *possible*, but the GF ingredients tend to be cranky, expensive and variable in their results. Also, I’m lactose intolerant too, so without milk powder it’s hard to get additional protein into the bread without using heaps of soy flour, which ruins the flavour to my palate. I used to make bread a lot before the lactose issue raised its head, but no more…

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandidureice
        June 18, 2016

        Hi Sandra, Would it be possible for you to provide your recipe for the starter please? I have never cooked with spelt either so I will be learning heaps in one go.

        Katechiconi – are you able to eat finely milled nuts in cooking? To a recipe for two medium loaves of bread I add 125 grams of milled pecans or walnuts, whizzed down fine in the food processor. Makes the bread extra nutritious and moist.

        Sandi

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      • ladyredspecs
        June 18, 2016

        I converted a wheat starter that was gifted to me dried. It came from another blogger. I’d be happy to send you some dried spelt starter Sandy, let me know.

        Like

      • sandidureice
        June 18, 2016

        Thankyou Sandra, that would be great. I would just need to know what to do with it. I’ve only ever used yeast for breadmaking. But I love to try new ways. I’ll email my address…at Wandin East 🙂 And bring you up-to-date with some of my children’s history there, which is in answer to one of your comments a long time ago. Thankyou so much for your generosity. And I found the website you gave to Katechiconi – Cultures for Health, and downloaded the bread, baking and yogurt ebooks. My daughter-in-law will be very interested in this site too. Much appreciated.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        June 18, 2016

        Send me an email Sandy, I have starter drying as we speak, should be ready to go mid week. I have instruction sheets ready to accompany the starter, I’ve gifted it to a few others who are having amazing results. Being able to bake sourdough as good as any artisan bakery in Melbourne is truly wondrous and surprisingly easy.

        Like

      • sandidureice
        June 18, 2016

        Thankyou very much. I’ll send off the email tomorrow. I’m looking forward to this new experience with breadmaking.

        Like

  8. ardysez
    June 7, 2016

    Thank God. I have NO aptitude for calculating and I’ve been clinging desperately to my quantities that I know work, even though I can see that I would benefit from changing them. Thank your ‘opposite’ for me, please! Both of your breads look yummy!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 7, 2016

      My thoughts exactly re the calculating. Just shows how important it is to the world that we all different..

      Like

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2016 by in Baking, bread, FODMAP diet, Food, sourdough bread and tagged , , , , , .
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