The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

spelt sourdough

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

When some friends invited us to the beach at West Wittering (near Chichester, England) last week, they asked me to bring some spelt bread, as they try to stay away from wheat.

Based on my previous experiments with spelt I came up with two very delicious.

Not even the fine sand on Wittering Beach (which gets just about everywhere) could do harm to the culinary experience (on the way home it was mentioned that we passed the food test ;-) )

== UPDATE ==

Several commentators inspired my to go fluffy with spelt - Today I made a small 100% Spelt Pugliese (light spelt flour),

the formula and photos are at the end of this post.


Here are some pictures:

The 100% Wholegrain Spelt (with a hint of honey and malt):

The same loaf, cut:

This loaf has a deep flavor. The rye malt and honey palance the spelt flavor very nicely without dominating it.

The other loaf was a 40% rye / 60% light spelt mixed bread:

Here the crumb:

With a lot of rye present, this dough is quite a sticky mess. Try to handle it with a very light hand, taking care not to deflate it when shaping.

The formulas are on Google Docs:

Spelt and Rye Sourdough

== Update 30/05  6.19 GMT ==

Corrected the worksheet to read "Spelt Flour" instead of "Rye Flour"

This one is really 100% Wholegrain Spelt


100% Wholegrain Spelt Sourdough

You can download / export the spreadsheets as Excel files (or other formats). The formulas are preserved, and you can adjust yield and other fields (marked yellow) to your liking.

Happy Baking,



Here comes the Spelt Pugliese:

Here the crumb - nicely open and light:

And here the formula:

I used light stoneground spelt flour from Sharpham Park

Bulk fermentation: 2 hours at 26dC, final rest 40 minutes

The formula is again on Google Docs:

Happy Baking,









Doughtagnan's picture

After watching the UK TV programme In Search of the Perfect Loaf, following the progress of baker Tom Herbert who goes on an epic quest for the perfect loaf, and so the Shepherds Loaf was born. Tom’s journey helps him to come up with an enormous, two kilo, white, spelt, sourdough loaf made using his family’s 55 year old sourdough, organic spelt flour from Somerset, Cornish sea salt and Cotswold water from a local spring.

Well, I thought it would be fun (as you do) to create a smaller offering at home with my 18 month old rye starter, filtered tap water and hardly any salt. I did source the same reassuringly expensive white spelt, Sharpham Park (£3.50 a kilo!) so my 1st attempt is a 4-500 gram boule just to see if it works okay as I am not in the habit of using such expensive flour! test bake will be later today and I will post a pic of the crumb etc tomorrow and the basic recipe........ see also the links to Tom's bakery and the Sharpham Park websites.

Well..... the loaf turned out fine, 




As this was a test bake I only used 275grams of the Refined Sharpham Park White Spelt,  about 52% water to flour weight and a couple of tablespoons of rye starter. I mixed 125 grams of the flour with all the water and starter, left overnight and added the rest plus a little salt the next day, I did not leave to mature in the fridge overnight as I have been doing lately but it still came out fine and i'm tempted to try mixing the refined flour with some wholegrain spelt next time. 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you some spelt sourdough batards that I baked last night.  I'll post the recipe a little later.  Enjoy!


Total Recipe
500g Organic Spelt Berries (500%)
350g BF (35%)
150g AP (15%)
588g Water (58.8%)
20g Kosher Salt (2%) (I will probably do 1.8% salt next time)
60g Firm Sourdough Starter (60% Hydr) (6% of total flour, or 20% of levain flour)
1668g Total Dough
Makes 2 batards at approx 690g after bake

Spelt Levain (preferment 30% of total flour at 58% hydration)
150g Organic Spelt Berries (freshly ground)
150g AP
174g Water
60g Firm Sourdough Starter (60% Hydr)
534g Total

Final Dough
350g Organic Spelt Berries (freshly ground)
350g BF
414g Water
20g Kosher Salt
534g Spelt Levain
1668g Total

Evening before baking: Grind spelt berries for levain, cover and refrigerate.  This is just for convenience so I didn't have to grind in the morning.

Bake day:
8:30am - Mix spelt levain, cover and let rest on counter for 8-12 hours, go to work.
6:30pm - Measure out final dough ingredients, grind spelt berries.
7:00pm - Mix all ingredients for final dough in large mixing bowl by hand with wooden spoon until combined, then knead by hand in bown for 3 minutes.  Do not add any extra flour.  If dough sticks to your hand, scrape off with plastic scraper, dip hands into water and continue kneading.  Cover, let rest for 30 minutes.
7:30pm - Knead for 1 minute, cover and let rest.
8:05pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.
10:00pm - Dough is ready when it has expanded, and when you poke it with a wet finger, the impression remains.  Divide into 2 equal pieces, shape into batards, proof seam side up on very lightly floured couche, cover with plastic bag so they don't dry out.
10:45pm - Arrange baking stone, stones in oven along with steam pan.  Preheat to 550F with convection.
11:30pm - Turn batards onto peel, slash as desired, place into oven directly on stone.  When they are all loaded, place 1 cup of water into steam pan, close oven door, turn down to 450F no convection.  Bake for 45 minutes, rotating half way through bake.  Cool completely before cutting.

Notes: I am using a hand crank grain mill.  This tends to grind the bran a little coarse.  Also, make sure that your grain mill is well lubicated with a food safe lubricant.  I am just using mineral oil, the kind you use to oil wooden cutting boards.
Mixing: My technique is a follows.  In a large mixing bowl, put the water in first, cut up the stiff levain in pieces, place that in next, then add the flours, and salt.  Mix with wooden spoon until combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and spoon, then knead by hand using wet hands.  Do not add any extra flour.
Autolyse: Just place the entire bowl in a large plastic bag.
Turning: I turn in the same bowl so I don't have to add any extra flour.  You can either stretch and fold, or just knead a few strokes and turn the dough ball seam side down.

Submitted to Yeastspotting

droidman's picture

spelt question

February 27, 2010 - 3:44pm -- droidman

I made a spelt sourdough this weekend.

The formula was at approximately 75% hydration. For flour, I used 50% whole spelt and 50% VitaSpelt.

I mixed it up, then did a series of 4 stretches and folds spaced around 20 minutes apart.

Let it rise for four hours, then retarded in fridge.

This morning, put it on the counter to wake up. After a couple hours, formed the sticky dough into boules and put in 2 lb bannetons.

When I turned the bannetons onto my peel, the dough flattened out almost instantaneously.

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