The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Shepherds Loaf - 100% Organic White Spelt Sourdough

Doughtagnan's picture

The Shepherds Loaf - 100% Organic White Spelt Sourdough

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. 


GaryJ's picture

Good luck with the test bake Doughtagnan.

I too have been on a bit of a spelt kick of late. I've made half a dozen loaves with Doves Farm's organic wholemeal spelt. It is a similar slightly painful price to the Sharpham Park flour. The taste is superb though - worth the outlay. Plus, given that the Hobbs House spelt loaf is an eye watering £21 (makes Poilane loaves look like a steal) DIY is the only way to go. The wholemeal spelt flour happily sucks up 80% hydration but makes for a fairly 'relaxed' looking loaf.

Look forward to you posting your recipe/results. I may well track down some white spelt and give it a go.