The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

spelt flour

isand66's picture

I just returned from a couple of days vacation visiting Newport Rhode Island.  We had a great time visiting the shops, historic mansions and sailing the harbor.

I wanted to make some rolls/buns that we could use for hamburgers for today's lunch and I didn't have time to refresh my starters so I used some instant yeast for the first time in a long time.

Since these were going to be used for hamburger buns I wanted to make sure to use enough fat in the recipe to make sure they were nice and soft.  I also wanted to try using some polenta in this recipe after reading about several other bakers trying it with great results.  I decided to also use potatoes to give it some extra softness and for extra flavor I left them nice and chunky with the skin on.

I used an overnight retardation of the dough to build extra flavor as well.  The end result was one of the best rolls I have made to date.  They were nice and soft and moist inside and out and tasted good enough to eat by themselves.  I am sure the polenta, potato combo along with the heavy cream I used contributed to the nice soft and moist crumb and crust.  Next time I will try these with Wild Yeast Water instead to see how that impacts the crumb



550 grams Bread Flour (King Arthur Flour)

100 grams Whole Spelt Flour (Bob's Red Mill)

150 grams Whole Egg (3 large eggs slightly beaten)

1 Egg Beaten with Water for the Egg Wash

180 grams Polenta (cooked, and cooled)

160 grams Mashed Potatoes with Skins (I boiled a few potatoes and saved the water for the dough)

50 grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil

127 grams Potato Water at 85 - 90 degrees F.

142 grams Heavy Cream at 85 - 90 degrees F.

7 grams Instant Yeast

14 grams Seas Salt or Table Salt

40 grams Honey



Prepare the polenta according to your recipe.  I followed the simple directions on the package and only made half the recipe which still was 4 times the amount I needed.  I added some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and butter at the end and also threw in some toasted dried onions for extra flavor.  Left overs will be grilled later this weekend with some olive oil and more cheese on top.

Final Dough

Mix flours with yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients keeping about 30 grams of water back.  Mix on low-speed or by hand for 1 minute and let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes to absorb the flour.

Add the balance of the water if needed and mix for another 4 minutes.  The dough should come together and be scraping the side of the mixing bowl and be nice and fairly smooth but still tacky.

Remove the dough to your work surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.  Do about 3-4 stretch and folds and put in a well oiled bowl or container with a cover.  Put it in your refrigerator immediately.

You can keep it in your refrigerator for about 24 to 36 hours.  I ended up baking it in the morning so it was only in my refrigerator for around 14 -15 hours.   The dough should double while in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake the rolls or bread, take it out of the refrigerator and immediately weigh out your pieces or loaves and shape as desired.  I made simple round rolls and let them rise for 1 hour on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

After 45 minutes turn your oven up to 350 degrees F. and prepare your rolls as desired.  I beat 1 whole egg mixed with a little water and put an egg wash on each roll.  I also added some toasted onions to some and some dried cheese mix on some as well.  At the 1 hour or so mark pop them in the oven with steam and turn once after about 15 minutes.  These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.

Let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.

Please feel free to visit my other blog at for more recipes.

Below are some photos of my Summer Cottage at New Port :) as well as some other interesting sites.

The Breakers....owned originally by Cornelius Vanderbilt II
The Breakers
Animal Topiary Gardens
More Animal Topiary Gardens
Jacky Kennedy's Childhood Summer House
Playhouse for Jacky Kennedy when Child. Note: I think it is bigger than my current house!
Oldest Tavern in USA originally built in 1642.

jefklak's picture

I've been trying to achieve more sourness into my sourdough breads because while I did create nice and airy crumbs, I did fail at effectively making it taste tangy. I know a lot of people don't like it that way (my girlfriend for example, haha) but since I've baked a rye bread I don't want to go back. I've tried 2 different miche recipes so far (Hamelman & Reinhart) and now that I have the "local breads" book, I tought it would be a nice opportunity for me to learn some more!

I did these things differently:

  1. Use a rye starter instead of a white levain, but I did convert it into a rather stiff one
  2. Bulk ferment a lot longer (4 hours) with 3x stretch&folding at room temp, 23-24°C 
  3. retard for 12 hours at 5°C in the fridge. 
  4. Knead a bit longer than usual (I always knead using french fold)

With the longer kneading, I wanted to achieve a more evenly spread hole crumb structure as seen in most "miches". I've bought one at "le pain quotidien" here in Belgium (difficult to find sourdough here...) and it looks more or less the same, except mine is better! hah!

The flour I've used is simply amazing, it's locally stone-ground organic very fine wholewheat (yes indeed, no stupid T85). The final build consists of 400gr wholewheat and 100gr spelt flour (white). I wish you could smell and taste it, I'm so happy with it!

  • The crumb I was aiming at has been realized
  • The taste I was aiming at has been realized (I did not expect this, as I tried other things to get a "tang")
  • The boule held it's shape well and was baked cold - I'm upping the scales next time!

To see more pictures and the whole recipe, check out

joyfulbaker's picture

Spelt flour in challah

June 5, 2011 - 1:21pm -- joyfulbaker

Although I've been making challah for a long time and have tried various recipes, lately it has seemed bland.  Maybe it's because I've gotten so used to multigrain sourdough hearth breads for the balance of the week.  However, somewhere I heard or read that adding spelt flour to challah dough gives it a sweet, nutty flavor.  Has anyone tried it, and, if so, what proportion of spelt flour have you used?  I'd love your recipe!

korish's picture


This was first posted on my blog Healthy Living @

Not to long ago Grand Central Bakery in Portland OR sold raisin panini, but according to my brother in law who drove out to the bakery regularly just to pick them up, they stopped making them, so with that said I decided to create my own version of panini. In the process of my last bake I took 2 kg of the dough that was made for bread and convert it to panini dough. Since I was going for a healthier version of panini I used spelt based sourdough.

Dough recipe.

400 gr 150% hydration rye starter.
800 gr Organic whole Spelt flour.
200 gr Organic dark rye flour.
600 gr Organic white flour.
30 gr Salt.
2 handful of raisins (reason I don't measure these is that you can never have to much raisins and same goes for walnut).
1 handful of walnut.

Soak your raisins in water for about an hour, then pat them dry with a paper towel, the reason for doing this is that they will have lots of water and it will make your dough to moist.

Mix your starter with water, add flour and salt mix, for 3 minutes.

Rest the dough for about 20 minutes in a bowl.

Knead for 5 minutes.

Rest again for 30 minutes.

Take your dough and dump it on a counter add your raisins and walnut to it and knead for about 10 minutes you will have to adjust the dough by adding more flour to it, the best way to do this is by taking your hands and sticking them in to the flour and mixing the dough, this way the flour will be absorbed evenly, you might have to repeat this for few times until your dough is nice and elastic.

Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for 4 to 6 hours or until almost double.

Divide the dough into small rolls, just smaller than tennis ball size and let it proof for 1 to 2 hours. The best way to check if it's ready is if you use a finger press test.

Place in your wood fired oven, spray some water above it to create steam, close the door and let them bake for about 15 minutes. Don't forget that they are smaller and will bake faster than your bread so check on them after 10 or so minutes.

Let them cool and enjoy as a healthy desert, they are perfect with some cream cheese or some jam.


You can see more images on my blog.

korish's picture

Yesterdays recap.

11 hours since I started my bake n blog day, I finally completed my bake. At first the dough was giving me some trouble, by being stubborn and not wanting to double fast enough, luckily my wife came up with a great solution, I took it into our baby room where we keep it warmer, and with in two hours it popped wright up.

I divided the dough into 1.5lb loaves and let it rise free formed on my granite counter. Last week I tried using tea towel but all my loaves got stuck to it and the bread fell flat as I was removing it from them. All together I had 16 loaves of bread and 20 paninis. As with my previous bake I still had trouble mastering the slashing, I will need to practice more with that.


One of the accomplishments is that I was able to place the bread in the wood fired oven in such a way that I baked all of them in just to bakes, so that is great, It means that I can bake more bread with out having to fire the oven again.

On the Pain au Levain I added extra steam to the oven about 7 minutes after placing the bread in, that resulted in a much crustier crust which I liked.

The spelt bread is the best variation that I have tried so far, it's definitely going to be one of the breads that I will bake regularly. One of the main thing I learned in this bake is to just relax during the whole process and don't try to rush things, sometimes the little beasts in the starter like to work on there own schedule and we just cant do much about it. It was lots of fun and I know that my family and many of my friends will enjoy the bread for the week to come.


Please visit my site to see more pictures from the bake.


Healthy living.


korish's picture

My last bake yielded 10 beautiful loves of bread, that turned out great with a soft crust and a nice mild flavor. This is the first bake that I did with spelt flour, but I got to tell you I absolutely loved the bread. As a meter of fact the next day I went out and bought myself 25lb of organic spelt flour. Back to the bread, this bread was baked in my WFO all 10 loaves at one time. Here is how I made this and I plan to make some other variation of this bread.It takes about 9 hours to bake this bread, meaning 20 minutes for the bake and the rest for kneading and resting the dough.


Ingredients for baking 10 small breads 1.5Lb each.

1kg (1000gram) rye starter 150% hydration.
3kg (3000gram) organic spelt flour.
1kg (1000gram) organic white flour.
2.5kg (2500gram) water, room temp.
75gram sea salt ground.

I start by doubling my starter a night before the bake from 500 gram to 1100 grams, since I will start mixing all the ingredients at about 5 am I figured that I need to mix my starter at about 9:00pm the night before, that way it will have 8 hours to double and become very active.

On the morning of the bake I take all the starter except 100 gram, which I will use to get my new starter for next bake, add it to with all my ingredients and hand mix it for about 3 minutes.

Rest the dough for 20 minutes this will allow the flour to fully absorb the water.

I believe that one of the secrets to having great bread is to make sure that the dough is well kneaded, so after 20 minute rest I knead the bread for about 15 minutes, (you also get a great work out in the morning if you do that).

Rest the dough again for 30 minutes, the dough should feel soft and elastic with a slight stick to it.

Final kneading, again mixing it for about 20 minutes.

First rice will take about 4-6 hours and that can vary, your dough should almost double in size before you will shape it in to breads.

When the dough almost doubled divide into individual breads, you can free form it, or use form. After forming let it rest for the second time, rising until it almost doubled in size, this will take about 2 hours. Cover the breads with a towel and you can spray a light mist of water to prevent it from drying.

Make sure your bread oven is nice and hot, test the floor of the oven by sprinkling some flour on it. After the bread has almost doubled place in the oven close the door and bake for about 20 minutes.

If you are baking this in you home oven you will need to preheat your oven to 455 F, bake for about 30-40 minutes.

This bread will be darker in color because of the spelt flour and the rye starter. You can also use light spelt and spelt starter, adjust the spelt starter to 100% hydration.

What do you think of this bread??


mishchuk spelt sourdough

ummyahya's picture


December 18, 2009 - 6:37am -- ummyahya


I'm new to bread baking. So far i have only  tried making sandwich bread. Unfortunately I havent been very successful with it.

i would appreciate any help with ideas and recipes suggestions. I'm really new to this and dont know much bout baking breads.



ques2008's picture

spelt flour to start a starter

December 3, 2009 - 8:41am -- ques2008

has anyone ever used spelt flour to make a starter?  i read somewhere that whole wheat and organic flours are usually best.  i have some left over spelt and would like to use it before it expires.  i am starting my sourdough education next year, so just wanted to know if spelt flour is recommended or is a big NO, or "it don't really matter what flour you use"?


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