The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine Basic Country Loaf - and Spelt Flour

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Tartine Basic Country Loaf - and Spelt Flour

I've made about 8 or so country loafs, following the recipe in Chad's book.  Yesterday, I decided to try and use Spelt Flour.  Instead of 100 grams of whole wheat (I have been using white whole wheat), I used 200 grams of spelt flour.

The dough was so much easier to handle, because the spelt flour absorbed more water.  I was actually unafraid to get my hands in there.

Which told me I needed more water. I added two tablespoons of water to the dough and it promptly turned into the terrible sticky mess that I am used to.  Satisfied, I proceeded to mix the dough, let it rest and continued on my merry way. 

After baking, I froze the two loaves the following morning as I still have half a loaf to go through this week.

While I am curious how the bread would have come out had I not added the extra water, I'm not yet adventuresome enough to find out.

The other things I did "differently" was to use several day old starter right out of the fridge to build my levain. I did not even bother with the float test the following morning because I could see my levain had become quite inflated and would obviously float.

Obviously, I won't know whether the taste difference is due to the older starter or the spelt flour, but it is good to know I can still get a healthy rise without having to remember to feed my starter within hours or even a day of building the levain. In the photos below, you can see I used a bit too much rice flour in my proofing bowl/towel. That was due to the fact that my prior loaf would not detach from the towel. :)

dabrownman's picture

Sometimes we use 4 week old, stiff, rye starter right put of the fridge to build the levain  - just makes for a more sour loaf. A few days to 4 weeks - no worries.  Happy  Baking

Darwin's picture

They look great and I am happy to read about your spelt experiment.  Now on my list to do.