The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How do I adjust for Spelt Flour?

celestica's picture

How do I adjust for Spelt Flour?

I am teaching a friend to bake bread and she wants to use spelt white flour instead of wheat white flour. 

I've heard that spelt goods need a different level of hydration than ones made from wheat flour.

How should I adjust the recipe? 



LLM777's picture

In my experience, it seems spelt needs slightly less water. I would just reduce it by a little; I don't know the percentage, maybe 10-15%.

Kelsey of Rising Sun Bakery's picture
Kelsey of Risin...

I bake almost exclusively with spelt and i find that splet tends to absorb moisture more slowly.  Yes, I use I slightly less water in the recipe as I would with wheat flour, but the trick I find is to just mix the dough, (it may still seem a bit wet and sticky) but let it rest any where from 5 to 20 minutes (depending on the ambient tempurature), and then knead it.  You'll find that you're able to make a much more pleasant dough out of a moister mix.

SourdoughBaker's picture

Yes, these points make sense. I've also found that if the spelt bread is to be sourdough, you need to establish whether you prefer the flavour of wholemeal or white spelt. I'm discovering that white spelt is still very flavoursome, and yet the sourness seems to amplify the natural flavour of spelt.

So lately I'm working with semi leaven spelt recipes - or part sourdough, part yeast. They seem to be milder and more palateable for kids and the like. While I haven't published the spelt versions yet, the general principles are the same as the link below explains:

There are spelt sourdough recipes there too, but these at present are all full spelt sourdough recipes. You can add half a percent of the total flour weight in yeast, and it'll leaven quite quickly. This reduces sourness, and spelt rises really well this way too.

Hope this helps!

celestica's picture

Thanks for the good advice everybody.