The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


breadforfun's picture

If you haven't tried David Snyder's SF Sourdough bread technique yet, you really should.  It is a crusty, tasty bread that is very forgiving to make.  I have made it a number of times, and have been making some small adjustments to fit my schedule and my tastes.  In the last two weeks, I baked it twice and thought I would share some photos.

I like adding a small amount of whole spelt flour (about 10%) because of the flavor it imparts.  This loaf used David's 50% hydration starter that I made with 5% spelt in place of the rye that he lists.  I also wanted to try to shape it into a fendu, which I have never tried before.  The loaf was shaped and retarded overnight (about 18 hours) directly in a floured banneton.  In the morning it was proofed an hour at 85˚F and two additional hours at room temperature, about 68˚.  The results were quite good.

Sorry, I don't have a crumb picture because I took the bread for a dinner party and didn't have a chance to take one.  There is a very strong sour flavor to this bread, and it has a crispy-chewy crust and creamy crumb.

I baked a second set of batards the following week.  Again I used 10% whole spelt, but instead of the 50% hydration starter, I used a 75% hydration starter to try to reduce the acidity.  There have been some discussions on whether the starter hydration affects acidity recently, and I wanted to see what happens to my loaves.

The technique was mostly the same.  The main difference was that I proofed the loaf in linen lined baskets for 90 minutes after shaping and then retarded them overnight.  In the morning I finished proofing at 85˚ for an hour, then another 45 minutes at room temperature.  To my taste, the second bake (75%H starter) seemed less tart than the first (50%H starter), but of course it is highly subjective.  Both bakes gain acidity after sitting for a day or two.

Thanks again David for a great bread formula.


breaducation's picture

I love a good country bread as I think most people do. It is one of the most fun, beautiful and often times challenging styles of bread to make. However, I find myself becoming bored of the standard 10% whole wheat flour in the formula. In an attempt to changes things up I will often raise or lower the percentage of whole wheat in the dough. As little as a 10% change can have drastic effect of flavor. I've also tried putting all the whole wheat in the starter, something that adds quite a bit of sourness to final flavor.

Lately, I've  been playing around with different flours to accent the flavor. In my latest effort I have used spelt flour in place of the whole wheat. The result is quite nice! It has a subtle nutty flavor that is quite pleasing. I think in my next bake I'll try upping the spelt to 20% and see if I like it as much.

Here are the spelt results:


isand66's picture

I figured it was time to make some Rye bread so I converted my whole wheat Desem starter to a Rye sour starter using a 3 step build.  I ended up making way more starter than I needed, but I rather have some extra than run out like I did the last time I made a rye sourdough bread.

I also wanted to use some fresh coffee in place of the water as I have done in the past with some good success so I decided to use some Kahlua flavored coffee. I don't even like to drink coffee unless it is iced coffee, but I do have to say this variety of coffee smelled awesome.

I like the taste spelt flour adds to bread and I thought it would make a good addition to a rye bread so I used a small amount in this bake and also use First Clear flour which is a standard ingredient in Jewish style rye.  You can use bread flour if you don't have any First Clear and it will come out fine.

This bread includes a simple soaker using cracked wheat and bulgur which makes for an interesting flavor profile.

I have to say the final bread came out excellent with a nice fairly open crumb, dark crisp crust and fairly moist and flavorful crumb.  If you decide to try this one I don't think you will be disappointed.

Starter Build 1 (Note: this makes a lot of extra starter so you can reduce the quantities if  desired)

79 grams Whole Wheat Starter (Mine is 65% Hydration Starter)

113 grams White Rye Flour

143 grams Medium Rye Flour

258 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

Mix seed with water to break up for a few seconds and then mix in flour until the starter form a smooth dough consistency.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours.  The starter should double in volume.  Put the starter in the refrigerator for up to 1 day or go to step 2 immediately.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 10 hours and either go to step 3 or put in refrigerator for up to 1 day.

143 grams Medium Rye Flour

84 grams Water

Build 3

Add ingredients below and mix.  The starter will now be much firmer and should be pretty dry since it is now a 65% hydration starter.  Let it sit at room temperature covered for at least 10 hours and then refrigerate or use immediately.

143 grams Medium Rye Flour

28 grams Water


50 grams Bulgur Wheat

50 grams Cracked Wheat

200 grams Boiling water

Mix ingredients with water and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour or overnight if preferred covered with plastic wrap.  Before using in final dough, drain water and reserve for use in final dough.

Final Dough

425 grams Rye Starter from above (If you already have your own rye starter refreshed you can skip building process above)

400 grams First Clear  Flour

130 grams Spelt Flour

35 grams Wheat Germ

125 grams Water (80 - 90 degrees F.)

255 grams Kahlua coffee (80 - 90 degrees)

18 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)

8 grams Walnut Oil


Mix the starter with the coffee and stir to break it up.  Next mix in the soaker and the flours together with the water and mix for 1 minute.    Let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes to an hour in your bowl covered with a cloth or plastic wrap.  Next add in the salt and oil and mix on speed #2 for 4 minutes.  The dough should have come together in a ball and be tacky but not too sticky.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours.  After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours.  Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.  It should take around 20 - 30 minutes to bake  until both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an hour or so before eating as desired.

jschoell's picture

Make a soaker with whole wheat flour and spelt berries. Let it sit at room temp, covered. A day later, mix yeast with warm water and honey. After 5 minutes, add the foaming yeast to the soaker, along with some salt and enough whole wheat flour to make a sticky dough. Knead for 5 minutes, form a ball and transfer to a bowl coated with good EVOO. Let rise until doubled.

Pour out dough and slice off chunks that will form 3 inch diameter balls. Wrap balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. 

After a day of chilling, preheat oven to 500 F, with a heavy cast iron pan on the middle rack. Pour 1/4 cup of poppy seeds on a work surface. Take the dough ball from the fridge, unwrap it, and flatten it on top of the poppy seed mound. Flip the dough over and smash it into the seeds again, sweeping the seeds into a pile as needed. Continue until the dough disc is black on both sides with poppy seeds. Slide it onto the preheated pan and bake until puffy, about 5-6 minutes. 

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,









isand66's picture

I had some leftover sweet potatoes from dinner the other night and after refreshing my starter I decided it was time to concoct something new and different.

I figured I would throw in some dried roasted garlic and what better than maple syrup to go with sweet potatoes. Naturally I had to be different and use some raspberry flavored maple syrup that we had picked up in Vermont a while ago. I love the nutty flavor spelt flour adds to bread along with roasted wheat germ and cracked wheat.

Including the water and syrup the total hydration for this dough is 73% and it definitely a wet style dough. If you are not comfortable working with wet dough you can certainly add some additional flour or decrease the amount of water a bit.

The final bread came out with a wonderful complex nutty flavor. You can taste the toasted garlic for sure, but the raspberry maple syrup is not noticeable at all. It has certainly added to the dark appearance of the bread, but the flavor is hard to notice. The sweet potatoes contribute to the rich flavor and dark color of the bread and were a great addition to the overall formula. The crust is nice and dark and crunchy with a moist and flavorful slightly chewy interior. I had a few slices with some cream cheese for breakfast a few minutes ago and it was very tasty. I'm sure this is going to make great toast and would be ideal for a steak sandwich.

Starter Ingredients

227 grams AP Flour

71 grams Starter (65% Hydration White Starter)

151.5 grams Water

Final Dough Ingredients

425 grams 65% Hydration Starter (All of Starter Above)

230 grams Bread Flour (I used KAF)

200 grams Spelt Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)

70 grams Cracked Wheat

40 grams Roasted Wheat Germ

17 grams Dried Roasted Garlic (you can roast your own garlic and use that instead)

8 grams Raspberry Maple Syrup

160 grams Roasted Sweet Potatoes

400 grams Water (90 degrees F.)

18 grams Seas Salt or Table Salt



Prepare the starter the night before and let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 hours. After 10 hours it should be doubled or more in volume. Deflate the starter and put in your refrigerator for up to 2 days or use it immediately.

Final Dough

Take the starter out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about 20-30 minutes. Break it up into 5-10 pieces and put it in your stand mixer or work bowl. Add the cracked wheat to the water and let it soften for about 5 minutes. Next add the water with the cracked wheat with the starter and mix on low for 30 seconds to break up the starter. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to break up the starter. Now add all of the flours, sweet potatoes (mash them slightly before adding), maple syrup and roasted garlic. Mix on low for 2 minutes. Let the dough sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Next sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix on medium for 4 minutes. The dough will still be fairly wet and loose at this point which is fine. Resist the temptation to add too much additional flour. If the dough is like soup then you should add some more flour until it starts to come together.

Remove the dough to your work surface and using a dough scraper stretch and fold the wet dough for a couple of minutes and form it into a ball. Let it sit uncovered for 15 minutes.

Do another stretch and fold several times and cover the dough with either a moist clean towel or a slightly oil sprayed piece of plastic wrap. Let it sit for another 15 to 20 minutes before you do another stretch and fold. The dough should start to feel more tacky than wet and sticky at this point. Let it rest again for 15 to 20 minutes and do one more stretch and fold. Form the dough into a ball again and place it in a slightly oiled container or bowl and cover it tightly. Let it sit at room temperature for 1.5 hours and then put it in your refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Now shape the dough as desired on a floured work surface being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don't de-gas it


Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes. I made 2 loaves with this recipe and shaped them into boules.

Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a wet cloth.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Leave the loaves in your oven with the door cracked for 5 minutes longer with the oven off. After 5 minutes remove them from the oven and place on your cooling rack. Try to resist the temptation to cut into the bread until they have cooled sufficiently.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Long time no post here on TFL.  I have been working a little too much these days to post, how ever I have been baking about once a week.  I have been baking very whole grain breads with rye lately, and had some grains in the freezer that I wanted to bake with…  So here's what I came up with….  

For flours, I am using Whole Foods Market 365 Organic AP and whole wheat flours, and Arrowhead Mills Organic Stoneground Rye Flour.  The OG rye and spelt berries are from Fairway Market in NYC, the OG flax seeds and wheat germ are from a little organic market.  The water is NYC tap water.  

I also have a Porkert hand crank grain mill that I got at Lehman's…  It is the same one that Gerard Rubaud uses.  Sadly Lehman's called me a while a go and said Porkert went out of business…  Also, I mix everything by hand in a large stainless steel mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula, plastic scraper, and wet hands.  Everything is pretty low tech except for using a digital scale to weigh out the ingredients...

Here is the recipe and process below:

Rye/Spelt Soaker
250g - Organic spelt berries
250g - Organic rye berries
500g - Water
1000g - Total

Flax Seed Soaker
50g - Organic flax seeds
50g - Organic golden flax seeds
250g - Water
350g - Total

10:00pm - Weigh out spelt and spelt berries.  Coarsely grind using grain mill.  Mix with water, place in covered container and refrigerate.  

Mix flax seed soaker, place in covered container.  Refrigerate.

100g - Organic whole wheat flour
50g - Organic rye flour
100g - Organic AP flour
160g - Water
Pinch - IDY
410g - Total

12:00am - Mix biga, place in lightly oiled covered container, refrigerate. (I used organic flax seed oil to oil the container)

9:30am - Take biga out of refrigerator, place on counter at room temp.

Final Dough
350g  - Organic AP flour
25g - Organic wheat germ
20-22g - Fine sea salt
1000g - Spelt/rye soaker
350g - Flax seed soaker
410g - Biga
1 - Tbsp - Malt Flour
2157g - Total

10:00pm - In a large mixing bowl, combine the spelt/rye soaker, flax seed soaker, AP flour, and wheat germ.  Mix with wooden spoon until well combined, place into lightly oiled container, cover and let rest.

10:30pm - Cut up biga into pieces, mix into final dough using wet hands until well combined, cover and let rest.

11:15pm - Knead in salt with wet hands until well combined, cover and let rest.

12:30am - Scrape dough out of container on to well floured surface, shape into boule, place into well floured linen lined banneton/basket, cover with tea towel, place into plastic bag and let proof overnight.

6:00am - Place baking stone into oven on middle rack along with steam pan filled with water and lava rocks, pre-heat oven to 500F with convection if you have it.  Be sure to  place an oven thermometer on the baking stone so you can tell how hot the stone is.

6:30am - Turn off convection.  Turn boule out onto lightly floured peel, brush off excess flour, dock dough with bamboo skewer or Japanese style chopstick, place boule into oven directly on stone and bake at 500F with steam for 15 minutes.  After, remove steam pan and turn oven down to 425F and bake for another 60 minutes.  Turn off oven and leave loaf in for another 10-15 minutes.  When finished baking, internal temp should be approx 210F and weight should be about 15% less than before baking.  Cool and rest for about 12 hrs before cutting.






Submitted to Yeastspotting on 4/12/12

isand66's picture

I am going to my Mother's house for lunch tomorrow to visit with some of my relatives and wanted to bring some nice rolls for lunch.  I decided to start off with a basic Challah recipe and made some modifications to make it interesting.  I used durum semolina flour along with bread flour, spelt flour and barley flakes.  I also used some agave nectar instead of white sugar to add some sweetness.

I also used several different toppings including toasted onions, poppy seeds and a toasted garlic and herbs mix I had in the pantry.

The end results were a tasty soft roll with a more complex flavor profile than the standard Challah.  I do have to admit I didn't do the best job shaping the rolls and next time I would use the egg yolk for the egg wash instead of the egg white.



6 oz. Egg yolks

18 oz. Water, 90 degrees F.

1 1/2 Tbs Instant yeast

4 1/2 Tbs Agave nector (you can substitute sugar or honey)

4 1/2 Tbs Vegetable Oil

12 oz. Durum Flour (King Arthur Flour or similar)

15 oz. Bread Flour (King Arthur Flour or similar)

4 oz. Spelt Flour

3 oz. Barley flakes

2.5 Tsp. Salt, .63 oz. (Sea salt or table salt)

1-2 Egg whites for glaze

Toppings of your choice


Combine the water with the yeast in your mixing bowl.  Next add the egg yolks, oil, and sugar and whisk to break up the egg yolks.  Now add the flours and mix using your stand mixer on low-speed for 2 minutes.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then mix on medium speed for 4 minutes.  If necessary add some additional liquid or flour until the dough comes together in a nice silky and smooth ball.

Take the dough out of the bowl and place on your work surface.  Knead it by hand for 1-2  minutes and form it into a ball. Immediately place the dough in a lightly greased covered bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight up to 4 days.

When you are ready to make your rolls take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut the dough into pieces and form into balls or other shapes as desired.  Place the rolls on either parchment paper or baking sheets and brush each roll with an egg wash mix containing 1 egg white or whole egg and 2 tablespoons of water.   Let the rolls rise for around 1 hour uncovered.  After an hour brush the egg wash on the  rolls again and add your toppings.  Let the rolls rest for 30-60 minutes longer until they are 1 1/2 times the size.  In the meantime warm your oven to 350 degrees F.   When the rolls are properly risen, bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until nice and brown on the top and bottom.

When done, let them cool on a wire rack and enjoy.This post has been submitted to Yeast Spotting at

goodforbusiness's picture

Rye and spelt sourdough

March 12, 2012 - 6:26am -- goodforbusiness

I've been experimenting with the formulas from Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf recently and this weekend I decided to take another crack at his rye and barley sourdough. Except that I found myself without any barley flour! I decided to substitute spelt instead, even though I really have a lot of trouble working with spelt. I've also been practicing my scoring, trying to be more confident in my slashing and experimenting with different patters. Here's what I ended up with:


isand66's picture

The last time I made Ciabatta I made a sourdough version that came out quite good.  In my never-ending quest to try to create something new and hopefully great tasting I came up with the concoction below.

I decided to go with a straight forward yeasted version of Ciabatta but I wanted to get more flavor in the final product.  I happen to love onions, so I figured why not add some carmelized onions and to get some stronger wheat and nuttiness flavor in the bread I decided to use some spelt and rye flour along with a low protein French style flour from KAF.  This combination resulted in by far the best Ciabatta bread I have ever made or tasted in my not so humble opinion :).

I followed the standard operating procedures from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday for the Pain a L'Ancienne Rustic Bread and modified the ingredients as mentioned above.  The only thing I would change maybe is to add some cheddar cheese next time which would really put this one over the top.

You can really taste the onions and the rye-spelt mixture and the open crumb was nice and moist.

If you give this one a try I would love to hear what you think.

Here are the ingredients and procedure I followed:


13 oz. KAF French Style  Flour (you can use All Purpose if you don't have French Style)

4 oz. Medium Rye Flour

3 oz. Spelt Flour

16 oz. Ice Cold Water (55 degrees F.)

0.4 oz. Salt  (1 3/4 Tsp.)

.14 oz. Instant Yeast (1 1/4 Tsp.)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

17.5 oz. Carmelized Onions


Cut up half of a medium size sweet onion and saute for 5-8 minutes on medium low in a frying pan or bake on a sheet pan in your oven.  Let the onions cool before adding them to the dough.

Add all the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer except the onions and stir for 1 minute on the lowest speed. The dough should be rather sticky and rough at this point. Let it rest for 5 minutes in the mixer bowl.

Add the cooled onions and mix on medium low using your paddle attachment for one minute. In my case I have a Bosch which only has one mixing/kneading attachment. The dough will still be very sticky but should very soft and much smoother. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl using a dough scraper or spatula. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface. Make sure you oil your hands and do a stretch and fold on all sides of the dough and flip it over and form it into a ball. Put the dough back in the bowl and let it rest for another 10 minutes at room temperature. Do this stretch and fold process three more times over the next 30 to 40 minutes. You can do the stretch and fold in the bowl itself if you prefer. I personally like to do it on the counter.

After you do the last stretch and fold put it back in the bowl and cover it tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. The dough should rise to almost 1 1/2 its size in the refrigerator.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 3 hours before you plan to bake and let it sit at room temperature.  Around 1 hour after taking the dough out of the refrigerator, place a large piece of parchment paper either on your work area or the back of a baking pan and dust with flour to cover it completely. Using an oiled or wet dough scraper gently remove the dough to the work surface. You want to be very careful so you don't degas the dough and kill the big air holes you want to achieve.

Flour your hands and lightly dust the top of the dough. Use your hands and a metal dough scraper and form the dough into a 9" square and be very careful again not to manhandle the dough and degas it.

Next, cut the dough into either 3 small ciabatta or 2 larger size loaves. I opted to go with the 3 smaller size ones.

Gently fold the individual dough pieces into thirds like an envelope. Make sure to be very careful and not to apply any pressure. Roll the folded dough in the flour to coat it and lift it onto the parchment paper and roll it in the flour again. Rest the dough seam side down and repeat with the other piece(s) of dough.

Spray the tops of the dough with oil (I use a baking spray) and cover the pan with plastic wrap very loosely. You can also use a clean lint free kitchen towel.

After 1 hour of resting, roll the dough pieces very gently so the seam side is now facing up and lift them with your floured hands to coax them into either a 7" rectangle if making the larger size or 5" rectangle. Try to get them to be as close to a rectangle shape as you can when you put them back down on the parchment paper.

Let them rest covered loosely again for 1 hour.

About 45 minutes before baking, pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 550 degrees F.

Place an empty pan in bottom shelf of your oven or a cast iron skillet.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water into pan and place loaves into oven. I also spray the side walls of the oven with water 2 to 3 times for added steam.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 12 minutes and rotate the bread and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until bread has a nice golden brown crust and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. The bread should have puffed up a little and should be hard when you tap it.

Let it cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes (good luck waiting that long!) and enjoy!

The bread should have nice large irregular holes and should be soft after cooling.

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:


Subscribe to RSS - spelt