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Seeds and Grains Spelt Loaf


Seeds and Multigrain Spelt Loaf

Seeds and Multigrain Spelt Loaf

Since joining the Facebook (FB) Group Sourdough Baking Australia and New Zealand a while ago my understanding of the sourdough bread baking process has grown enormously. There’s a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent in the group so questions are always answered clearly and intelligently.

My decision to only use spelt flour to make bread was based on the affects that slow fermentation has on the grain and the benefits to digestability. I’ve since learned that wheat undergoes the same changes, one day I’ll put it to the test.

I’d never come across another baker who made 100% spelt flour bread until I was given a helping by a fellow blogger.  After a disastrous experience a few years earlier, I was so determined to succeed that I followed her every instruction slavishly. Buoyed by my success, but with disaster still fresh in my mind, my love of that bread kept me devoted for 18 months, adapting and developing the recipe to make different flavoured loaves.

What set that particular bread recipe apart was the high proportion of active starter to the weight of flour. It’s much higher than any other sourdough bread recipe I’ve seen but I was curious. Could spelt flour still rise, still make delicious bread with a more conventional quantity of starter.

Recent posts on the FB forum discussed using a 1:2:3 formula, one part active starter, 2 parts water and  3 parts flour with 2g of salt per 100g of flour. Did that just apply to wheat flour loaves or would spelt respond in the same way? One way to find out….

My 1:2:3 loaves not only looked good, they still tasted great and the crusts were deliciously crisp. The big benefit seems to be that the bread stayed fresh much longer than before. Dough made to this formula is much easier to handle too, it just seems happier.

This bread recipe is a copycat loaf, my effort to reproduce the “Vital” loaf baked by AG Bakery in Melbourne, bread that tastes so good I used to travel across town to buy it. Although the Vital loaf is a combo of wheat and rye I stuck to using spelt flour. I’m grateful they listed the added grain and seed ingredients on their website.

Multigrain & Seed Loaf – to make 3 loaves

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup multigrain mix for bread

2 tablespoon linseeds

1 cup boiling water

300g active sourdough starter

300g wholemeal spelt flour

600g white spelt flour

18g salt

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

600mls water


for the crust :  2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons poppyseed

Combine the multigrain mix, linseeds and oats in a small bowl.

Pour over 1 cup of boiling water and allow to the grains to soak and swell until they cool.

Weigh the starter, flour, salt and water into a large bowl then add the soaked grains and sunflower seeds.

Mix to a shaggy dough, cover*  and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

Flour the bench, tip the dough onto the flour and lightly knead until the boule feels smooth and elastic.

Wash the bowl and lightly oil the inside surface.

Put the dough into the oiled bowl, cover and set aside for 45 minutes.

Tip the dough onto a unfloured bench, then gently stretch the dough as thinly as possible.

Fold the edges of the dough into the centre and keep folding in this manner to make a boule.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover and put into the fridge to prove for 14-16 hours.

Prepare three banettons by dusting with rice flour or line with linen liners.

Tip the dough onto the bench and divide into three.

Stretch each piece of dough to it’s fullest extent without tearing, then fold and roll to make a loaf.

Place seam side up in a prepared banetton.

Cover and set aside to prove. When the dough passes the poke** test, preheat the oven to 225C.

Tip the dough onto a sheet of baking paper, spray with a mist of water, sprinkle with seeds then slash the top surface.

Lift the dough into a covered roasting tin, place the lid on top and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the roasting tin lid, reduce the oven temp to 200C then continue baking the bread for a further 25 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling wire.

* I use plastic shower caps to cover my mixing bowls and banettons.

** The “Poke” test determines if the dough has proven sufficiently. If, when poked, the dough springs back and fills the finger indentation it needs longer. If the hole just partially refills the dough is ready to bake.



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

18 comments on “Seeds and Grains Spelt Loaf

  1. dunelight
    September 20, 2017

    This looks tasty..nice bubbles, crusty. I tried to make my own starter with spelt…I will try again this winter.


    • ladyredspecs
      September 21, 2017

      I started with a wheat starter and converted it to spelt. It’s very energetic now…

      Liked by 1 person

      • dunelight
        September 22, 2017

        I should try that. I bought some green spelt, it was going like a house afire…but when I stuck to the regular starter recipe…something something pouring so much off and adding water..I killed it.


      • ladyredspecs
        September 22, 2017

        I’d tried many times to get a starter going without success. You can buy dried granules of wheat starter online. Once it’s activated, go with the usual process but use spelt flour instead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dunelight
        September 27, 2017

        I had a favorite ‘artisinal’ baker in Apalachicola. She was going to give me a start but the morning we left she had a crisis in the family and was closed.

        I was so truly concerned about keeping a start alive during the two day car trip home (because I’d killed the other) and wagon train pioneers of the American West kept starter alive for months on end. I should just buy dried granules online like you said, but I like the image of serving to friends and saying “Oh yes, it’s spelt, and I got the start from a charming little bake shop…”

        I just realized I don’t bake during sailing season. Huh. Reheating pizza doesn’t count.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Duffin
    September 15, 2017

    That looks fantastic, Sandra.A perfect loaf. Lx


  3. creativeshare
    September 14, 2017

    LRS, you are killing me, I can only get bread flour and All purpose here. With Celia’s offspring, I turn out a mean bread but nothing like this. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      September 14, 2017

      Any SD baked with Celia’s offspring is wonderful, much better than anything sold in a shop

      Liked by 1 person

  4. fergie51
    September 14, 2017

    Glad the page is being of value Sandra. I love seeing and sharing ideas from everyone. Trying to encourage it to be more than just a photo display group and more focused on support and I think its getting there. Nice to mix it all together and your spelt looks gorgeous!


  5. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    September 14, 2017

    This bread looks fabulous. When you posted the 1:2:3 ratio on FB, I was intrigued. Not coming from Australia or NZ, I follow the comments, but feel odd posting my own on the page. It is really a great community of bread makers and I have something to learn from you all. I’ve been making my bread simply by feel and sight rather than measuring – the way my grandmother did it. I really should try this ratio. I am itching to get back to my kitchen in Athens to try out some rye flour I found in Macedonia. I think the further north you go in this country, the more variety of flours I’ve been able to find. I also found barley flour which I am fond of for pancakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      September 14, 2017

      Thanks Debi. I think SD baking is a journey. I’m gearing up to broaden my flour choices. Hoping for a happy tum from my experiments. I’ve never tried pancakes made with barley flour, now on my list!

      Liked by 2 people

    • fergie51
      September 14, 2017

      Debi, have you looked at Ella’s everyday sourdough site? She is so down to earth and not bogged down with “formulas”. She is also ridiculously tidy and I just can’t manage that!


  6. katechiconi
    September 14, 2017

    That looks absolutely wonderful, substantial, chewy and with a great crust. I can only imagine how good it tastes!


    • ladyredspecs
      September 14, 2017

      Thanks it’s great bread, very happy. Why don’t you ask to join the FB group, I think you’ll find guidance there a to make GF sourdough.


      • katechiconi
        September 14, 2017

        I’m not on FB: I find the blog enough, but thanks for the suggestion 🙂


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