The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spelt, Rye and Whole Wheat Soudough Boule with Flax Seed, Honey and Malts - A Simple but Tasty Bread

dabrownman's picture

Spelt, Rye and Whole Wheat Soudough Boule with Flax Seed, Honey and Malts - A Simple but Tasty Bread

Typo after typo,  My left fnger doesn't know what my right finger is doing.  This is way worse than dyslexia, which I had but sold to Lebanese rug trader and a lot more painful too.

With plenty of rye, WW and semolina bread in the freezer we baked off another as close to white bread as we ever make for the bread winners daily lunches.   My wife prefers Oroweat whole wheat bread but we are slowly winning her over to SD bread in the 25%-35 % whole grain range.


This one was 25% home ground whole grain bread with spelt, rye and WW ground from berries.   The remainder of the flours used for the bread were grocery bought bread flour and AP milled by KAF.


The bread baked up nicely browned with small to medium blisters.  The crust came out crisp but went soft and chewy as it cooled.  The bloom and spring were OK but nothing special.   The crumb was moderately open, soft, chewy and slightly glossy.  This bread had a bolder SD tang right after being cooled and we assume it will get better tomorrow. 


If you like David Snyder’s Pugliesi Capriosso and San Joaquin or Pierre Nury’s Rustic Light Rye you will like this bread.  For a nearly white bread it sure is tasty.  Just delicious.


The formula follows the pictures.


The levain starter was equal amounts of rye sour, desem and spelt (a new one that we will soon convert to Kamut) and built up over (2) 3 hour and (1) 2 hour build.

The levain was refrigerated overnight after nit had doubled along with the autolysed flours which included the entire formula less the levain.  There were no sprouts, scald, soaker or add ins with the exception of the red and white home made malts, some ground flax seed and a tiny bit of honey.

The next day the autolyse and the levain were removed from the fridge and sat on the counter for 1 hour to warm.  The two were combined in the KA mixing bowl and kneaded with the dough hook for 8 minutes on KA2.  The dough pulled away from the sides at the 7 minute mark.  It came together easily for the 75% hydration dough.

It was rested in an oiled plastic tub, sized for a 836 g loaf, for 20 minutes before (4) sets of S& F’s were performed all in the tub.  The first set was 25 stretches with a ¼ turn each time.  The next set was 5 stretches less all the way down to the last one of 10 for a total of 70 stretches.

After the last S&F the dough was rested for 60 minutes before being pre-shaped and then shaped into a boule and placed into a rice floured basket seam side up.  The basket was sized to allow the dough to double when it reached the top.

Sandwixh on the left made with last bakes Semolina Bread - good but not great like this bake.

The boule was them placed into a plastic trash can liner, the end closed with a rubber band.  The tented and basketed boule was placed in the refrigerator for a 12 hour retard.

Makes a great grilled hot dog bun! cantaloupe, cherries, black grapes, chips and pico de gillo. 1/2 ea plum and peach, 3 kinds of pickles and some Mexican beans - a typical but still a nice lunch to feature this  fine bread.

After 12 hours the mini oven was preheated to 500 F and (2) of Sylvia’s steaming cups with dish rage rolled up were micro waved until boiling.  The dough was covered with parchment and then the bottom of the mini’s supplied broiler pan.  The whole stack was overturned and the basket removed.

It was quickly slashed ¼” deep with a single sided razor blade, the steaming cups placed in the corner and the whole apparatus loaded into the mini oven’s bottom rack for 15 minutes of steam as the oven was turned down to 450 F.   When the steaming cups were removed at the 15 minute mark the oven was turned down to 400 F convection this time.

The boule was rotated every 5 minutes for the next 20 minutes when the boule was tested for temperature.   It was at 208 F and deemed done.   The mini oven was turned off and the bread allowed to sit in it with the door ajar for another 10 minutes to further crisp the skin.  It was then removed to a cooking rack.


Multi grain SD Starter - 25% Whole Grain Sourdough Boule     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Multi-grain SD Starter **4500459.54%
Dark Rye1500154.24%
Total Starter135502521059.32%
** 15 g each Rye Sour, Desem & Spelt SD Starters   
Levain % of Total25.12%    
Dough Flour      %   
Non - Diastatic Red  Malt20.56%   
Wheat Germ102.82%   
Dark Rye102.82%   
Spelt 102.82%   
Ground Flax Seed102.82%   
Diastatic White Malt20.56%   
Bread Flour10028.25%   
Dough Flour354100.00%   
Water 26073.45%   
Dough Hydration73.45%    
Total Flour471.5    
T. Dough Hydration74.76%    
Whole Grain %25.77%    
Hydration w/ Adds75.29%    
Total Weight836    




breadforfun's picture

Hi Dabrownman,

That's one nice looking loaf, and I like the combo of ingredients you used.  It's nice because it doesn't require as much planning as the ones with the sprouted grains (which I will try eventually).  I am always impressed with the bread you make from that mini oven of yours.  Do you get to sit on your patio eating fresh bread and admiring the sunset every day?



dabrownman's picture

Being retired makes for life that is less stressful allowing one to have a more carefree attitude, be easily amused and more bread driven :-)  You will like this bread if you make it.  It takes a little time but has all the hallmarks of a classic SD bread.  Full of flavor and tang, chewy, flavorful crust and a soft, moist and open crumb with that SD tang.  The mini oven pretty much makes any bread that will fit in it better than the Big Old GE Betsy can manage most days.   Perfect if you make a loaf at time like we do.   Wish we would have found that out long ago.  My apprentice says the mini oven makes me look like a woosie but then she doesn't get fed and watered like she thinks she should for her wayward thoughts :-)

Sunsets and sunrises are only good in AZ during monsoon when there are clouds in the sky.  For 9 months it is clear skies and nothing to look forward to photo wise when the sun comes and goes.  But,  this time of year, the mini goes outside to bake and  keep the house cool.   After she is done, we sit together by the pool with a nice home made limoncello and watch the sun set  as I eat a piece of what ever bread she made that day.  It's a tough life but, I'm willing to sacrifice just a little so mini can have her way with me and my apprentice doesn't starve.  All I want is a nice pierce a bread to munch on while watching the sunset in peace and silence - for a couple of months a year.  We should all be so lucky!  Alas, it will, too soon, be gone for such a long time.

Bake on my friend.

isand66's picture

Nice "simple" bread DA.  Your crumb looks nice and open and moist just the way I like it.  I hope your wife is finally joining the "Light" side and enjoying your great bread.

That's a beautiful sunset as well.  I can almost taste the lemoncello along with the bread.

I decided to convert my last yeasted roll recipe to SD/YW so hopefully I will have some good results to post soon after I bake it tonight.



dabrownman's picture

about this bread is it's taste, crust and crumb :-)  It reminds me of being young,  living in SF and eating fine SD bread every day.  It is pretty close to the real thing taste wise.  Today it is better.  Can't wait to have it for a lunch sandwich or dipped in EVOO with some oregano and rosemary, grated Parm and pepper - my favorite way to eat this bread.

It was so funny.   As I was writing the post yesterday, I would stop, go into the kitchen, slice off another piece of this bread, slap some butter on it, chomp away and then go back to two fingered typing.  Ate way too much bread so the wife and I split a piece for dinner.   She got the crust, her favorite part and I got the crumb.

Your last rolls were pretty good but I still don't know how you kept the color off of them even at 350 F.  Its the non color (if there is such a thing) that really makes those rolls different and unique.  I bet they will taste better with SD and YW too.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and we will await your post on the rolls.

Thanks for you comments.

isand66's picture

I am going to save your recipe and definitely give this one a try.

I made a miche out of the new mix.  I used my mini beverage refrigerator to let the dough retard and I think it was a tad too warm so the dough may have been overrisen.  I had a slight mishap when dumping the dough onto the parchment paper so it's a little misshapen.  We will see later tonight what it looks like inside.  Hopefully it will be edible...'s picture

...or Ian would call a formula with so many additions to the basic flour, water, yeast + salt "simple". But compared to the complexity you guys normally indulge in, this list is indeed pretty basic. But man doesn't it look just right and must taste great.   That formula's a keeper.  As is the sunset.  Or is it a sunrise?

Nice baking!


dabrownman's picture

as we have managed to the taste of old time SFSD that we loved in early 70's (1971-1973).  The crust is thick and chewy.  The crumb soft, moist and airy and the SD tang very good and much better the next day. You would love this bread Tom.

3 starters, 5 kinds of flour, 2 malts, wheat germ, some flax seeds, salt, water and honey sounds like it is far from the basic starter, flour, salt and water but it really isn't too far off.  The starters are combined into 1 levain and they are just flour and water, the malts are made from sprouted whole grain berries and then ground into another 2 flours, the wheat germ is just another flour component to replace the germ that was removed in the AP and Bread flour - it makes bread taste great and more healthy.  The flax seed make the bread more tasty, nutty, healthy and puts little brown flecks in the crumb for a fine color contrast in the crumb.  When ever we use darker grains like; rye, spelt and WW, we like to put a little molasses or honey in the mix to round them out flavor wise - think rye bread.  The red malt makes the color of the crust mor appealing and improves the taste while the white malt helps to break down the flour into more sugars the yeast can eat through enzymatic action during the long autolyse, ferment and proof.  They really make a difference but they aren't needed or required. 

So it really is levain, flours, salt, water a tinge of ground flax and honey.  Still pretty close to the basic with two additions  of flax and honey but the various flours and starters made from them make all the difference in taste when used in the right proportions - and taste is where all bread should be focused -  as a minimum.

It was a sunset and last night's was OK too but not looking west.  Glad you liked the bread but you will have to make it to taste it.

Bake on Tom

This was the sunset looking East away from the sun where there were clouds and the other shot is looking west toward the sun at the same time.

Monsoon sunset looking east

This is what we get 9 months out of the year with no clouds looking west :-(


suave's picture

I can't help but wonder - why spelt and ww?  Would you be able to tell them apart with that many other things going in?

dabrownman's picture

spelt used in the starters and the dough flour are about 7% of the flours used for each.  Tasting the finished bread I can't really say there's the rye or the spelt or the WW but the flavor is different than the bread made without spelt and the crumb is different too.  I have made many variations of David Snyder's San Joaquin, SFSD and Pulgiese Capriosso that have varying small amounts of rye or WW or both (which this bread was based on).  This bread has a deeper more complex flavor and the spelt makes the bread proof a little quicker and the crumb comes out different than those bread do using the the same percent of whole grains.

We use more whole grains than David does because we like the flavor and texture of the finish bread better at 25% -30% whole grains.  We also like txfarmers 36 hour methods like the extra sour derived from retarding the nearly finished levain and long retards of the dough.  This was meant to be more of a multi-grain bread and only having two is 33% less multi grain than 3.  Next time we will make it at 32% whole grains and add kamut to the mix to see if that combination works out better for our pallet.  I have the kamut starter underway derived fromt the spelt one and will add it to the levain.  We use more starter in our levains than David does but less than Ian to try to get more tang and flavor out of the grains.   Mini Oven had put me onto the idea that less starter may make for more sour so we will try that out next time too, making two loaves to see what the that difference might make to teh taste of the bread. 

It's just been trial and error to try to extend David's original projects for SD flavor and so far it has paid off and it's been fun too.

This bread isn't as good for our tastes without the spelt says it best.

FlourChild's picture

Gorgeous crumb, makes me want to slather butter on a slice right now!  I, too, had to grin at your use of the word "simple", but then I guess it's all relative. :)

dabrownman's picture

from you FlourChild and thanks for your kind words.  You are right.  This is one tasty bread and butter goes with it especially well.   It is pretty simple for my recent bakes but the 100% kamut bread we posted today is really pretty simple, gorgeous, if  deformed,  and tasty in its own right - and a pretty yellow color on the inside too. I didn't know that kamut was an ancient strain that an even more yellow semolina was developed from  - and where it got its color.

So nice to hear from you again.  What have you been up to?