The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Super Sour White Spelt Loaf

mwilson's picture

Super Sour White Spelt Loaf

Here I am again with another highly hydrated white spelt loaf. This time around it's sourdough raised...

I didn't set out to make this sour but boy, I mean wow is this sour!

If ever proof was needed that warm and wet makes for a more sour bread, then this is it!

My firm sourdough contributes a lot of dough strength via its acidity and lack of protease activity. This coupled with much fermentation mean't that even at 100% hydration the final dough became too strong and was impossible to shape without tearing. As a result the loaf looks rather ugly..

Here's what I did...


  • 50g Italian sourdough (taken after overnight, room temp rise)(50% hydration)
  • 200g White Spelt flour (Doves Farm)
  • 200g water
  • 4g Salt

Dough was mixed initially at 50% with 100ml of water, followed by an autolyse before adding the rest of water in 25ml increments to achieve 100% hydration. Bulk fermentation for ~5hrs at 30C with a few s&f's in between. Room temp proof for ~3hrs.


This bread has a very nice acetic acid scented crust. But under that rough and bumpy crust lies a shockingly sour crumb... I can still taste it as I write this.. I really can't emphasise enough just how sour this bread is... The most sour ever...




Mebake's picture

100% hydration again, Michael! how surprisingly successful! From what i learned, whole spelt flour absorbes less water than does whole wheat flour, and theoratically, white spelt should absorb even less.

Great results. autolyze works magic with doughs. It should be sour. you've cultivated acetic acid producing bacterias, by allowing them to reproduce and thrive in liquid and warm medium. Super sour bread should have some audience.

Thanks for the sharing this.


mwilson's picture

Thanks Khalid,

This white spelt isn't as thirsty as the last one so this was even more challenging... 

I agree about the autolyse. It does seem magical!



isand66's picture

Just find the most sour puss person you know and give them some of your bread.... :)

I like sour breads so yours sounds great to me!

Nice bake.


mwilson's picture

Lol. Sounds like a good idea!

Although the sourness has dropped off a bit, since bake day. The volatile nature of acetic acid I guess.

Cheers Ian.

dabrownman's picture

last one even before it was baked - what a nice looking bread.  So how long on low speed did you mix this one before it finally came together?  It had to be a little longer than forever :-) You have the patience of Job - and that is a compliment!  Like the glossy crumb on this one the best.  Shockingly sour crumb is good....right?

mwilson's picture

Mixing time on this one would have been only around 10-15 mins had the mixture not 'split'. The tense gluten caused by acidity in this high water content dough caused it to separate while adding the last 25ml and so I had to spend a good 20 minutes beating the soupy mess back together by hand. 

I'm patient with some things.. It's not unknown for me to loose my temper at times! 

Shockingly sour is certainly good if you like that sort of thing yeah. For me though, I only like sourness in wholegrain breads. Seems odd in white unless it's subtle.

Thanks dabrownman

Jayhfd's picture

Hi Michael, have been trying this out quite a lot as I was curious what a real sour bread was like. Made a few wholemeal spelt loaves that tasted great but had trouble keeping their shape. Tried white just now and have got quite an attractive looking loaf cooling. I put it in a banneton and it blew up like a balloon in the oven :) Was a total bastard getting the water into the white dough, took ages! :) Hi from 3 years in the FUTURE!!111