The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

spelt

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

As many of you know, I've been questing for a tasty, open crumb, 100% whole grain hearth bread for a long, long time now.

This weekend, I finally achieved my goal.



Nice open crumb, creamy texture, tangy and flavorful crumb, appealing slashes, crunchy crust.

Here's how I made it, and, to be truthful, it was mostly on a whim. The day before, I'd made some whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread, and had about 80 grams of starter left over. I didn't have time, really, to feed it, so I popped it in the fridge figuring I'd do something with it later.

The next evening, as I was thinking about what to cook for a visit from my folks (they'd come all the way from Atlanta, so I wanted something nice), I thought, "Why not try something akin to CrumbBum's miche?"

So here's what I did:

  • 40 grams of whole wheat starter at 60% hydration (Use 50 grams if at 100% hydration)
  • 375 grams water
  • 10 grams salt
  • 300 grams whole wheat flour
  • 150 grams whole spelt flour
  • 50 grams whole rye flour
So basically, its roughly 5 percent of flour in the starter, with a 60-30-10 wheat / spelt / rye flour combination at 75% hydration.

I mixed the starter into the water, added the salt until it was dissolved, and then stirred in the flour. I then did a stretch and fold at one hour, and then two more at half hour intervals. After the last stretch and fold, I shaped it into a ball, and let it sit overnight.

It's pretty chilly in our house at night, getting down to 63 degrees F, so your mileage may very, but the dough was ready to shape after about 12 hours. I preshaped it into a ball, shaped the dough into a batard after a 15 minute rest, wrapped it in baker's linen and then let it rise at 64 degrees for about 3.5 hours. After that, a few slashes and into a hot oven at 450 for 35 minutes.

I think the final piece that came into place for me was shaping gently, but firmly. And I suspect that the long fermentation helped with both flavor and texture. Anyway, I hope I can repeat this success.
mikeofaustin's picture

another starter problem. Mine only likes pineapple water.

October 18, 2007 - 12:44pm -- mikeofaustin

1st starter. So I've got a white flour starter (14 days old today) that I've been building for some time now. It smells good, with the occaional 'berry smell'. When I feed, I'll keep half old starter (stirred well) and half white flour, with spring water. Well, I will only see about 30 percent rise. But everytime I use pineapple juice instead of water to re-feed, it will double in volume at around the 7 hour mark. If I go back to plain spring water, it only raises 30%. Strangely enough, I don't get any 'houch' from this starter.

yeastArt's picture

no wheat bread

October 13, 2007 - 11:37am -- yeastArt

Hi,

I'm trying to "eat for my blood type", which is O. I miss my rye or sourdough toast in the morning. I can't use ww or oats or milk products or vinegar. Anyone know of any bread recipes using other flours? I don't think I can make an all-rye loaf because it wouldn't rise, and the bread bible says spelt has a funny taste. The recipes for essene bread have beans, which are also not allowed except for adzuki beans. Thanks!

helend's picture

KipperCat - your 100% wholemal spelt NYT method tryout

July 30, 2007 - 5:32am -- helend

Hi KipperCat

I said I would try out your method for the NYT loaf using 100% wholemeal spelt. I stuck to your instructions as closely as I could:

1lb 100% wholemeal spelt flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

2 oz yoghurt

BUT

10 oz water NOT 12 oz as it just seemed too wet to me ...

Anyway mixed it all at 9pm last night.

At 9am today, turned it out and did the stretch and fold thing as best I could on a clean unfloured board - 10 times - 6 then 5 min rest then 4 more

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

This is my first loaf from spelt flour. I wish I had pics of various stages to show you, as I'd love some ideas on why I got absolutely no oven spring from this loaf. The flavor, interior texture and crust were all good. The crumb wasn't as open as I would have liked, but not closed either. I followed the basic NYT/Lahey NK method. I've always used 1.5 cups of liquid for white flour and 2 cups for whole wheat. Knowing that spelt absorbed less flour than wheat, I used 1.75 cups for this loaf. I always got good oven spring using only 2/3's WW flour, but the only loaf that was 100% WW I baked in a pan - here - and didn't get a lot of oven spring either.

This is how I made this loaf.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 pound whole spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces plain yogurt
12 ounces water

Combine dry ingredients. Stir yogurt and water together, then add to flour mix. Stir until all flour is moistened, then knead briefly with heavy spoon in bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter for about 12 hours. (At this point I had bubbles on top of the dough and the gluten strands were quite visible on tipping the dough bowl.) Turn dough out on floured surface. Do a few stretch-and-folds. (At this point I may have let the dough rest an hour or so, followed by a couple more stretch-and-folds and a 15 minute rest. I just don't remember.) Round dough and put in colander to rise. After a few hours, it wast risen only half as well as the white flour dough in this pic. It wasn't even quite to the top of the colander but passed the finger poke test, so I hoped it was ready to bake. (That is, if I gently poked the dough, the indentation was quite slow to fill in - the test mentioned in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.)

Turn dough out on baking stone preheated well in a 500F oven. Remove at 20 minutes as the interior temp is about 210F.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was the most extensible dough I've handled. It never did develop much resistance to my folding or shaping. Is that an indication that the gluten was underdeveloped? Should I have done a few more folds, until the dough felt a bit firmer? After baking, I remembered that I often added 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid (Vit C) and a tablespoon or more gluten to my whole wheat loaves. I had assumed that the Vit C was redundant with the yogurt and didn't even think about adding gluten. Also, salt should have been 1.5 teaspoons.

KipperCat's picture

for Helend - 1st wholemeal spelt loaf

July 17, 2007 - 6:26pm -- KipperCat
Forums: 

Helend - DH is bringing home some wholemeal spelt flour tonight. I had planned to start a loaf of 100% WW tonight, but may try the spelt instead. I've read that it absorbs less water than whole wheat. Anything else I should know? I usually add an acid to my whole wheat bread. Should I do this with the spelt as well? And lastly, any thoughts on whether I should use all spelt or try a blend (about 50/50) of whole spelt and whole wheat?

KipperCat's picture

Spelt Breads

July 13, 2007 - 8:37am -- KipperCat
Forums: 

I was pleased to read here that spelt breads are quite tasty (for some reason I thought they'd taste like cardboard - or worse). How does working with spelt compare with working with wheat? For that matter, is spelt actually a different form of wheat, or botanically a different grain? Is it usually tolerated by individuals who can't have wheat? Is there a treatise on baking with spelt somewhere? Have I asked enough questions yet? :D Do I really have to quit now and get some work done? Uh, yes. :(

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Whole Grain Sourdough Sandwich Bread Loaves


This bread is an attempt to improve on the results from a previous blog entry. This one also has a spelt levain, but it was designed to rise overnight with only a small quantity of 90% hydration white flour starter added. The levain was added to the dough when it was not very ripe, before it had peaked and dipped. The percentage of fermented flour is about 32%, but the less ripe starter results in flavor and dough handling more like what you would expect if you used a lower percentage of fermented flour. The whole spelt flour contributes a characteristic nutty, slightly sweet flavor to the bread. I was very happy with the flavor resulting from this combination of flours and plan to use it more often for this bread and for my favorite mixed grain miche recipe. The hydration is about 83%, which for a whole grain bread is not enough to make it very wet or difficult to handle. However, it is a slightly slack and sticky dough. It should spread out only a little bit after sitting on the counter, not like a very wet ciabatta dough that might spread out more quickly and more or less pour out of the bowl until it has been folded more.


Whole Grain Sourdough Sandwich Bread Crumb


I have posted some photos, videos of my version of doing a "French Fold" and of periodic "Folding" during bulk fermentation, and also a spreadsheet with some further information such as baker's percentages, fermented flour percentages, and hydration.


Ingredients:


Firm Levain:



  • 90% hydration storage starter 11g (0.4 oz) (use any healthy active sourdough starter here, ideally contributing the same amount of fermented flour, e.g. use more like 9 grams of 60% hydration firm starter)

  • whole spelt flour 298g (10.5 oz)

  • water 184g (6.5 oz)


Overnight Soak Ingredients:



  • malt syrup 40g (1.4 oz)

  • diastatic malt powder 5g (.16 oz)

  • whole red wheat flour 397g (14 oz)

  • whole white wheat flour 170g (6 oz)

  • KA rye blend 57g (2 oz)

  • water 581g (20.5 oz)


Final Dough Ingredients:



  • overnight soak from above

  • firm levain from above

  • salt 17g (.6 oz)

  • olive oil 28g (1 oz)


Levain


Mix levain ingredients the night before you plan to bake. The levain is designed to rise by about double in 10 hours at a temperature of 75F. Adjust accordingly if you have different temperatures. It is not a problem if the levain rises by more than double or peaks and dips. However, if it is allowed to ripen too much, you may experience a sluggish rise or other symptoms similar to overproofing sourdough, since the amount of fermented flour contributed by this recipe is fairly high. I added this levain when it had a little more than doubled, but it was clearly not at its peak yet.


Overnight Soak


Mix all the flour and other dry ingredients for the overnight soak together well, so they are fully integrated and uniformly distributed. Mix the malt syrup and water so that the malt syrup is fully dissolved and well distributed in the water. Pour the water into the bowl and use a dough scraper to work around the bowl and mix the flour and water well enough to fully and uniformly hydrate the flour. This should be very easy and take only a couple of minutes of mixing. You can also use a mixer, but use very slow settings and do not overdo it. The idea is to just mix the ingredients. Cover and put in the refrigerator.


Mix Final Dough (next morning)


Chop up the levain into small pieces about the size of marshmallows. Wet your hands and rub the counter with water. Pour the dough from the overnight soak out onto the counter and spread it out like a pizza. Distribute the pieces of levain evenly across the dough. Press them in with the heel of you hand. Roll up the dough in one direction, then the other. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Again wet your hands and the counter if it needs it. Spread out the dough again like a pizza. Evenly spread the salt and the oil over the surface of the dough and press it into the dough again with the heel of your hand. Roll up the dough in one direction, then the other. Let it rest a few minutes. Spread it out one more time like a pizza. Work across the dough pressing the heels of your hands deep into the dough to integrate any oil and salt that may not have already been well integrated into the dough. Roll up the dough in one direction, then the other.


Let rest for 15 minutes.


Do two or three "French Folds", as shown in the video. Note that this is a good technique for developing the gluten in a wet dough that may not respond well to conventional kneading. Also, note, when I say two or three, I mean literally about 10 seconds, like two repetitions of the motion, as shown in the video. That is all the "kneading" that was done to make this bread. Place the dough in a covered bucket or bowl to rise.


Bulk Fermentation and Periodic Folding


The dough should rise by double in about 4 hours at 75F, but the folding will degas the dough somewhat, so lean toward less than double, depending on how much you are degassing the dough while folding. Also, adjust accordingly if your temperature is different or your starter is faster or slower. Try not to let this dough ferment too long. The high percentage of fermented flour in the dough and the spelt flour will conspire against you if you allow the dough to rise for too long. If in doubt, stop the bulk fermentation and go on to shaping, even if the dough doesn't rise by double.


Fold the dough about three times approximately on the hour, as shown in the "Folding" video. If the dough appears to be wet enough to relax significantly before one hour, then fold sooner. If the dough appears to be fairly stiff and holding its shape or is hard to stretch when you fold it, then fold less often or fewer times.


Shaping


Create sandwich loaves using a typical batard technique or whatever method you prefer. Place loaves in typical loaf pans that are about 9 inches long by 4.5 inches wide. I sprayed the pans lightly with oil beforehand to avoid any sticking.


Final Proof


Allow loaves to rise by roughly double in about 2.5 hours at 75F. Again, adjust your proofing time as necessary for different temperatures or different starter. Once again, avoid overproofing, which is easier to do inadvertently with less tolerant spelt flour and the higher percentage of fermented flour in this recipe.


Bake


I slashed the loaves and baked them from a cold start for 1 hour and 5 minutes at 400F after proofing for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Although the dough is not as wet as some, it still should be thoroughly baked. Otherwise the crumb will be overly moist and the crust will become soggy.


Cool


When the loaves are done, remove them from the pans and allow them to cool on a rack. Do not cut into them, if you can resist, at least until they are no longer warm to the touch.


Results


I was very pleased with the flavor of this bread. The sourdough flavor from the spelt starter is delicious, there is no bitter flavor of whole wheat that I can detect, and the spelt adds a unique and mild flavor. The bread toasts very well and carries any type of topping, since the crumb is open and light but not so irregular that honey or other wet ingredients fall right through it.

helend's picture
helend


I posted this in respose to quip from Paddyscake on th boiled fruitcake thread but know I will forget where I put it so am creating a new blog

adapted from a Terence Stamp wheat, dairy and sugar free recipe and can be made using a single dried fruit eg apricots, plums or sultanas.

My wheat version (note dairy option) here as follows:

  • 2 tsp easy-blend yeast
  • 6 oz white or wholemeal flour (spelt in my case)
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch salt
  • 3 oz ground almonds
  • 3 tbs rapeseed oil or melted butter
  • 1 grated eating apple
  • 1 grated carrot (or small courgette)
  • 8 oz dried fruit
  • approx 6 fl oz water or milk

Preheat oven to 170c (fan oven). Line a 7" round cake tin.

Sift flour, spices and salt into a large bowl. Stir in yeast and almonds, then grated apple, carrot and dried fruit.

Drizzle ove oil, then use enough water or milk to make a soft dropping consistency mixture.

Turn into tin, level and bake for approx 1 hour until skewer comes out clean. Take out, wrap tightly in tea towl and leave until completely cool.

To take in to work on my birthday I made this using dried plums cut small and shaken with 2 oz sugar, a tsp almond essence and whole almonds on the top - oh and a good splash of Amaretto liqueur. It seemed to go down well!

helend's picture
helend

I've ben practising this recipe for a while. I syill can't quite manage the same crumbly texture as the famous McVitie brand but getting closer ...

They aren't that pretty to look at but taste good

For approx 2 dozen biscuits:

10 oz wholemeal flour

6 oz fine oatmeal

2 tsp salt (nec for the sweet/savoury balance but you could use less)

2 tsp baking powder

6 oz butter/marg

3 oz dark brown/muscovado sugar

5-6 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 150c. Sift dry ingredients together, rub in butter, stir in sugar, use minimum milk to make a dough. Roll out just under 1/4" thick, cut out with a 3" cutter, prick and bake on greased baking sheets for 18 minutes until just browning. Shift to a cooling rack asap.

PS You can use about 10 oz of chocolate, melted to cover the tops.

 

 

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