The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

looking for advice on first wholemeal spelt bread

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

looking for advice on first wholemeal spelt bread

hi there - just looking for some constructive criticism...or what you all basically think. This is my first multigrain spelt bread made with 30% wholemeal spelt, 15% wholemeal wheat and 55% bread flour. I also added in a tablespoon (4%) of honey - not enough to make it sweet but i think it cuts through - although not sure really.

Anyway i think i may have slightly overproofed but i cant be sure - in a nutshell i read alot about spelt and its extensibility, fragile gluten structure and quick fermentation so i was on alert the whole way through. I use a microwave as a proofer and my final proof was for 1 hour 40 minutes @ approximately 74F. I poked it and jiggled it - there was a spring in the oven - not much but i figure thats from the whole grains and it is light. my blade did catch a little on the dough when i was scoring but im not sure if that was from overproofing or blunt blade.....either way are you better off erring on the side of caution in final rise or letting it go to the edge...?

Bakers on this site always have very irregular crumbs - i like my flavours but my crumb is a little more regular is that a photography thing or simply the fact that im using more and more wholegrains....heres a picture...thanks for the help

Lechem's picture
Lechem

That's a lovely crumb. I'd be very happy with that. And from what I can see a great! crust.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

thanks Lechem - really appreciate that - as for crust iapparently spelt always delivers a good crust. I think im nearly there with getting proofing times absolutely right. I know i was overproofing last month and then i deliberately underproofed to see the difference and now im creeping the time back up....

I think this time round the increase of spelt in the bread made me nervous as i wasnt sure how it would behave - up until now ive only ever used 10% spelt in bread. This was 30%. And the most wholegrain ive used in a bread up until now was 25% and this was 45%. A different ballgame. Anyway it tastes great. I had a look at your lemon poppy seed bread - looks great but i do have a question....i love lemons and zest them into food all the time but have never done with bread...does it impart a very sour note to the bread or is it only a slight zing - and im guessing that a little honey in the bread would be good....another nice variation if you like Mediterranean flavours is rosemary, raisins and rye.  

Lechem's picture
Lechem

is not mine. I've never been that adventurous. I have done a tomato and rosemary bread which is very nice indeed.

Remember that spelt proofs quicker than ordinary wheat so the higher the percentage the quicker it'll proof.

Once did the recipe on the back of Dove's Farm Whole Spelt Flour and it was with figs and orange juice. You soak the figs in orange juice and add that to the dough. Very nice idea.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

thats what made me nervous about the spelt - was the quicker times. In the end it was about an hour shorter in the bulk fermentation and 15 minutes less in proof (i do it all in one day and dont retard my dough). thats partly why i got nervous. I also got distracted and started second guessing myself.....anyway i think experience will count in the end and i know im nearly there. I use Dove farm too - you in the UK? im across the water in Ireland -  oh i love figs and make a nice fermented fig butter that uses orange juice....really nice. heres the link @ https://nourishingjoy.com/fig-newton-butter/      

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

crust and crumb, the best advice that I can give is to try not to overwhelm the delicate nutty flavour of all that wonderful spelt, and pair it with something mellow and light (maybe some brie or gouda, and lightly roasted pears with a touch of your fig butter on the side for a snack...)

In all seriousness, it does look perfectly proofed, with a really nice lightness and airiness to the crumb for a loaf with that high percentage of wholemeal.  I personally find that even so little as a single Tbsp of sweetener will dramatically shorten fermentation and rising times (and the amount of larger gas bubbles throughout the dough), even more so than what you would expect with using spelt vs a different wheat strain, so you did well in watching the dough and not the clock. 

Personally, the evenly balanced but still light crumb that you achieved is what I always strive for.  For me, it gives the ideal mouth-feel, chew, and ability to hold up to toppings and sandwich condiments -- as well as enough density of the chosen flours for me to really enjoy the full flavour of those flours in every bite.  The big holes and irregular crumb is great for those that want that, but that requires different flours / hydration / skills than what I prefer.

Honestly, all I can say is Well Done!

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

youve made me smile Icedemeter thanks so much for that -yep one thing i have learnt is that its all about the dough not the time having said that i keep a careful bread diary so i can check off control points - it helps alot especially when i make mistakes or forget the time, etc.....i to think that people get overly obsessed with holey bread but as someone who has worked in professional kitchens ive often had to cast aside bread that has large holes as it cant hold toppings...i must say the taste of lots of wholegrains in the bread is really a revelation.....

many thanks again 

Elsasquerino's picture
Elsasquerino

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Hi Elsasquerino

I forgot to get onto you about the spelt - in the end i didnt do a mix i figured i might as well go the whole hog and do wholemeal all the way as i have never done a 45% wholemeal loaf. And man is it worth it....the flavour is fantastic i dont think i want to go back to my 10% wholemeal for a bit of depth.....:) my next job is to start sprouting grains and fermenting oats..so much to try...

Elsasquerino's picture
Elsasquerino

So much to try so little time to bake! I drive my girlfriend crazy with the bread obsession. Keep it up mate that's an awesome looking loaf!

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

me too. totally obsessed. The only reason my wife is still talking to me is that i make something she can eat :)