The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

[Home Baked - Risgaard] Spelt-Durum Bread

loydb's picture

[Home Baked - Risgaard] Spelt-Durum Bread

Last week I finally found the elusive box that had my DLX bowl & paddles in it. Although my KA makes an appearance here for its whipping prowess, it has now been relegated back to the pantry until I next need it for grinding meat or extruding pasta. I've really been enjoying Hanne Risgaard's Home Baked: Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and Pastry. It has some great looking recipes, many of which use grains other than the standard wheat. The first one I've tried is her Spelt-Durum bread.

I had durum flour on hand, and got some of Bob's Mill's spelt. This is the first time I've milled it. The recipe calls for both sifted and whole spelt flour. For the sifted, I used a #30 mining seive. I don't know if the spelt grinds differently, or if I just had the stones set further apart than normal, but instead of the 15% extraction I get with wheat, I got right at 20% extraction with the spelt.

The bread uses a poolish, and calls for it to be "whipped." When I think whip, I think Kitchenaid (well, I actually think Catwoman, but that's a whole 'nuther thing). I used the KA wire whisk to beat the hell out of the 100% hydration starter. When it was done, it was like pancake batter. I poured it into a small bucket to sit overnight.

Fortunately, about 6 hours later, before going to bed, I happened to glance at it to see how things were going... Good thing I did, the top was swollen up and it was about to explode. After enduring the Great Homebrew Cherry Stout Kitchen Explosion of 1997 (a debacle that sent fermenting stout spraying across the ceiling, blinds, and cabinets -- stout that we still found traces of 5 years later when we moved out), which nearly led to murder and/or divorce, I was happy to catch this one before it decorated our new kitchen. I dumped it into the DLX bowl, covered it with a damp cloth, and went to bed.

The next morning, it was nice and bubbly. I added the rest of the water and the dry ingredients and began to mix the final dough. As you can see, it was very dry at the end, and I added just enough water with a spray bottle to get it to come together. First takeaway from this batch is that I need to add more water, as you'll see later.

As per instructions, I proofed for an hour, did a stretch and fold, and proofed for another hour. The dough felt pliant, but a little dry, and was prone to the type of small surface tears I get when I do a whole grain challah.

Finally it was time to shape. I had a really hard time getting the bottom of the bread to seal -- it just didn't want to form a homogenous mass. With the long loaf, I put the seams on the bottom and hoped for the best (and it ended up working. For the round loaf, the seams went up, which didn't work too well.

When I lifted the cloth in the proofer, I was greeted with this:

I decided to try and use its own weight to work it together (which worked with the long loaf), and inverted it on the board to finish rising.

The long loaf did well. I scored it and stuck it in the oven.

I let the other loaf continue to rise for the 25 minutes of cooking, but still had this to deal with:

Here are the final results. One good, one not so good. Fortunately, the taste is fantastic -- I'm just not entering the second loaf in the county fair :). The bread almost tastes like it has cornmeal in it to me, and doesn't need any butter at all. I'm going to try this again in a couple of weeks, but this time make a spelt sourdough starter to use instead of the poolish, and then spike it with yeast in the final dough. I'll also add more water...


Janetcook's picture

Hi Loyd,

I was just wondering about your lost bowl the other day....Glad to hear it has finally shown up which must mean that your floors are done and you are settled in?  

I am curious to hear how the different climate is effecting your doughs.  

Thanks for the posting of this bread.  I have the book and am enjoying it too as it fits well with my grains.  I have been converting all the ones I have baked to using sd just cuz that is what I do....  (15% pre fermented flour with an overnight bulk)  I will have to book mark this recipe and add it to my 'to bake' list.

 I have used spelt a lot but mostly by itself or with rye so baking it with wheat will be a switch.  I like your idea of using a spelt leaven too so I will try that but won't be as thorough as you were....I tend to overlook directions that mention to 'sifting'.....Sifting drives me nuts so I just grind fine and it all gets tossed into the bowl :-)  

I am glad that this bread didn't cause the marital distress that your brewing incident did....One must use caution in the kitchen :-)

Take Care,


dabrownman's picture

with close relatives having done time for moon shining, several times,  - a brewing incident is when you didn't drink enough.  Marital distress is when you drank slightly too much.  And going to prison for it  is called .......too much fun all the way around!

There is nothing like, or as good as,  home made bread, wine, beer and shine!  Home made watermelon wine is even tough for limoncello to beat  - but that is another story. 

Sadly, I did some sifting not long ago Janet.  It was my apprentic's fault.  But, you were and still are right.  I'm not ever doing it again -  no not ever.  I ended up putting the sifted part back into the bread on the last S&F anyway.

For the longest time I thought Loyd was Floyd and managed to confuse myself with them - which is not difficult  and I think they moved at the same time on purpose, hoping not to get caught doing something they shouldn't have.   Kept asking Floyd why he was in BC when I thought he said he was going to Providence.  Pretty embarrassing really.

I'm glad Loyd found his mixing unmentionables and baked some fine bread with them and that everyone is where they are supposed to be. - except for me and I'm not sure where I am as usual.  Thankfully, I don't care too much where I am but am  concerned about where I'm going because of what I did while where I've been - and we wouldn't want to go back to some places by mistake :-)

loydb's picture

Thanks Dab :) One of the down sides of being New in Town is that I don't know any shiners. :( There's dozens of real distilleries that are marketing moonshine now in normal liquor stores, but I haven't found any that compare with what I could get from "artisinal" producers... not to mention they're usually ridiculously priced ($25 for a jar of unaged corn whisky? come on now...)




dabrownman's picture

there are shiners around Providence RI ? I think you might have to drive to say......Virginia.   Maybe they ahve a 'distributor' up in RI :-)

loydb's picture

One of the biggest moonshine rackets ever busted was out of Philly (see Chasing the White Dog), so I know they're up here :) Anywhere there are folks who don't want to pay the  'revenoors' there are people distilling...


dabrownman's picture

was the largest distiller in the USA when he was President.  Rye was his bag but not for bread.  The first thing these morons did as a new nation was to put a tax on distilling to pay for the Revolutionary War.  The now illegal distillers in the NE moved to Pennsylvania to escape the tax.  George called out the militia to put down the Whisky Rebellion in Penn. to protect his business, profits and collect the tax AS THE FIRST REVENOOER in US History.    Old George was deathly afraid that no one would heed his call for the militia (since these patriots were supplying cheap whisky to the poor US taxpayer and loved for it)but alas, they did and drove the Scotts / Irish (for the first time in American history) illegal distillers south into the Appalachian Mountains.  Eventually they were forced further West by insane Yankee tax and spenders into the Ozark Mountains in Missouri and Arkansas.  That's how some of us ended up there.

To this day, even though George was from Virgina and by far the richest man in Amerca at the time (and would still be to this day with inflation),  he is considered the very worst Yankee of all time by Hill Folk everywhere.