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100% Spelt Sourdough Seed Bread

100% spelt sourdough seed bread

100% spelt sourdough seed bread

The most frequently viewed post on Please Pass The Recipe in the last couple of months has been a piece I wrote in February 2016. It documented my long, frustrating spelt sourdough bread baking journey. In 100% Sourdough Spelt Bread Made Simple, I rounded out the post by sharing my successful recipe and method. Working toward further improvement and greater reliability hasn’t all been smooth sailing though.

Those who have tried sourdough bread baking know that it’s a rollercoaster ride influenced by climate, flour, even the cook’s hands. Despite all this, my love of the process has continued. I’ve dabbled with recipes for flatbread, bagels and buns but I still choose every week to make 100% spelt loaves for everyday consumption. My bread has been variable, but each disappointment has lead to a giant leap forward and greater consistency. 

The major influence on the amendments I’ve made to both the recipe and method recently has been the  Facebook group Sourdough Baking Australia. Facilitated by sourdough baker extraordinaire Maree Tink, the group’s willingness to share skills and experience in the true sense of community has raised the bread baking bar several notches in my expectation. In search of higher oven spring, more open crumb, longer shelf life and a bread baking routine that better fits  into my rhythm of life, I’ve experimented, tested and tweaked.  Some changes never got past the test phase, others I have adopted into my regular bread baking routine.

Re-reading that 2 1/2 year old post, I acknowledge it was a good starting point, but now believe it’s time I shared my updated recipe, method and routine because like my bread, it has continued to improve.

I was drawn to sourdough because of the well documented improvement to the digestibility of bread that is goes through slow fermentation, and while that’s still important to me, my goal always is to bake delicious bread.

Activate your stored starter on the morning you intend to mix your dough. 

100% spelt sourdough seed bread

100% spelt sourdough seed bread

First thing, around 8am, remove the starter from the fridge, pour off any hooch then stir in 1/4 cup each of white spelt flour and filtered water. Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place for 3-4 hours by which time it will have begun to bubble. Add another 1/4 cup each of white spelt flour and filtered water, return the starter to it’s resting warm place. After 2 hours the starter should have doubled in size and be good to go.

Prepare the grains

125g mixed grains and seeds* oats, linseeds, sesame, kibbled wheat

250g boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the grains, stir to combine then set aside until cool.

100% Spelt Sourdough Seed Bread ( high hydration ) for 2 medium loaves or 3 small loaves

150g active sourdough starter

400g white spelt flour

600g wholemeal spelt flour

20g salt

700mls filtered water

Weight the starter into a large bowl.

Add the flours, soaked grains, salt and water

Stir the ingredients into a shaggy dough with a spatula. At this stage the dough id quite wet.

Cover the bowl with a plastic shower cap and set the bowl aside for 20 minutes.

Generously dust your bench with flour then tip the dough onto the flour.

Wash and dry the bowl then generously oil the inside surface with olive oil.

With oily hands knead the dough, it will be sticky, into a smooth soft boule then return the dough to the bowl, cover and set aside.

After 45 minutes, uncover the bowl the using both hands lift the dough upward but not out of the bowl, so it stretches as far as it will give, then fold in over. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the stretch and fold 2-3 times.

Cover the bowl and set aside for 4-6 hours, repeating the stretch and fold process another 2-3 times during that period.

Prepare your bannettons by either dusting with rice flour or lining with a clean linen tea towel.

Tip the dough onto the bench and divide it into the number of loaves you intend to bake.

Do another stretch and fold on each piece then shape the dough and place it seam side up into the prepared bannettons.

Cover the bannettons loosely with a shower cap then place into the refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to bake the next day, preheat the oven to 225C.

Tip the dough onto a piece of baking paper and slash the surface.

Transfer the dough to a cold roasting pan, cover and bake for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 200C, remove the cover and bake for a further 25 minutes.

Remove from loaf from the oven and transfer to a cooling wire.

Increase the oven temperature and repeat the baking process with the remaining loaf.

*I buy bakers grains from my local bulk store and add extra linseeds and oats to increase the volume of the mix by 50%

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

21 comments on “100% Spelt Sourdough Seed Bread

  1. Lili
    July 24, 2018

    Great loaves and post Sandra! I’d love to try incorporating seeds like you have (once I’ve improved my general bread technique). Love spelt flour too. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 25, 2018

      Thanks Lili. Becoming confident and comfortable with the process takes time, in my case 2+ years but I just love the quality of the bread I make and will never turn back

      Like

  2. chef mimi
    July 24, 2018

    Too much work for me, but I love that you’re pursuing this endeavor so passionately!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 25, 2018

      Thanks Mimi. Really, sourdough bread almost makes itself, it just requires patience

      Like

  3. Sherry Mackay
    July 22, 2018

    i really admire your stamina and determination in sticking with the bread baking. i just don’t have it 🙂 overnight bread in the fridge is the most i ever get around to… cheers S

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 23, 2018

      I love the challenge of baking sourdough bread and pushing the boundaries has had some interesting results. It’s an amazing process that always keeps you guessing. Maybe one day I will fully understand. Hope you’re improving

      Like

  4. Ron
    July 20, 2018

    The crumb of your opening image looks fantastic. As we have a rather small European refrigerator, I might give it a go making half the recipe. Thanks for your diligent dedication to bread baking and most of all for sharing your knowledge.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2018

      You’re welcome Ron. The dough works equally well in small batches, I hope you like it..

      Like

  5. cookingwithshy
    July 20, 2018

    This looks great!! Love baking with spelt flour…

    Like

  6. katechiconi
    July 20, 2018

    When I emerge from the other side of the low-FODMAP elimination, I’m hoping sourdough bread will still be part of my life. I’ve bookmarked this in the hope and expectation that it will 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2018

      Fingers crossed Kate, it made such a difference to me being able to eat really good bread. It made those foods I had to eliminate totally seem far less significant.

      Like

      • katechiconi
        July 21, 2018

        For me, the drama is onion and garlic. I use the infused oil, but so many things contain them in hidden forms. Good bread would be a bonus when I find out if I can do the fructans 🙂

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        July 21, 2018

        Onion and garlic are tricky for me too and it’s especially difficult when eating out as both are usually not stated on a menu. Japanese cuisine offers some good options usually.

        Like

      • katechiconi
        July 21, 2018

        Agreed! Sushi, sashimi… I really miss good Italian food, and curry I haven’t made myself! And I’ve found one place that’ll do GF pizza bases and the tomato sauce is just passata, so that works.

        Like

  7. Francesca
    July 20, 2018

    Speedy recovery Sandra. This method looks familiar and one I use for most of my breads. I usually walk around with a timer in my apron for the stretch and folding, timed 30 mins apart by 6. I’m now measuring off my old starter before refreshing, and also find using an overnight levain, made of wholemeal, quite a lively thing.
    Nice to add the seeds too Sandra. Healthy and life giving bread.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2018

      Thanks Francesca. There seem to be no hard and fast rules when it comes to sourdough, just a matter of finding what works for you. Glad you told me you stretch and fold X6, I wondered if there was a point that was too much..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Debi @ An Evolving Life
    July 20, 2018

    Blogging mojo back! Love the update on bread baking. I do the same to restart the starter, do the stretch and fold, but some of your tweaks are new to me – plus I really should learn to incorporate seeds with the dough.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 20, 2018

      Thanks Debi, no excuse really as I’ve time to kill with my feet up recovering from varicose vein op. No great skill required with seeds. I sometimes add a handful of sunflowers seeds and some toasted pumpkin seeds as well.

      Like

      • Debi @ An Evolving Life
        July 20, 2018

        Hope the recovery is speedy! I’ll give those seeds a try. Who knows, perhaps it may generate a post.

        Like

  9. Pingback: 100% Sourdough Spelt Bread made simple | Please Pass the Recipe

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