The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% Spelt Loaves made with Local Grain

Franko's picture
Franko

100% Spelt Loaves made with Local Grain

Tom/toad.de.b recently posted  *here* about a new organic sprouted whole wheat flour he'd run across in his local market that is produced by One Degree Organic Foods. I was delighted to learn that One Degree OF is located here in British Columbia Canada, not far from Vancouver in the city of Abbotsford. One of our local supermarkets carries two of their products, the Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat flour that Tom featured in his post, and an Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour milled from grain grown in Lumby, located in the Southern Interior of B.C.

A rare treat indeed to have a locally grown grain to use and since I haven't baked with spelt in over a year the decision was an easy one to make. When I think of spelt breads, particularly100% ones as these loaves are, the nutty flavour of the grain is what first comes to mind, and not far behind that is the fragile nature of the dough due to it's lower protein content. What spelt flour lacks in gluten strength, aptly described by http://www.thefreshloaf.com/user/nicodvb as wheat's “poorer cousin” is more than made up for by its earthy, well rounded flavour that compliments a wide variety of toppings and accompaniments. Toasted almonds and dates were included in this mix along with honey and a touch of apple-cider vinegar. Increasing the dough's acidity just a little goes a long way toward strengthening a dough made from spelt or durum flour, both of which typically have low or poor quality gluten content. Although the One Degree flour shows a protein content of 13.3%, how much of that is gluten based isn't clear. If this mix had included a sour leaven of some kind I wouldn't have bothered with the vinegar but since I was using a spelt pate fermentee as the preferment I decided to hedge my bets by including it. Between the preferment, vinegar, or the flour itself I'm not certain which contributed more to the overall strength of the dough but it resulted in a mix that showed very little of the tearing so common with high ratio spelt doughs.

The loaves took on a rich brown colour during baking and I detected a whiff of the cider vinegar as it baked off but no evidence of it upon tasting. The primary flavours are those of the grain and the toasted almonds accented by a touch of sweet from the dates and honey. The crumb is fairly soft and moist with a very nice texture compared to other 100% Spelt breads I've made. Overall I'm quite happy with the final results of this bake and the performance of One Degree Organics Sprouted Spelt Flour.

Best Wishes,

Franko

Procedure: 

Other than the six hours it took for the pate fermentee to dome, indicating it was ready for final mixing, this is a relatively quick bread to make.

DDT 76-78F/24-25C 

  • No autolyse needed, just dump all the ingredients except the fruit and nuts in the bowl and mix by hand until the dough comes together. Knead for a few minutes (less than 5) until the dough begins to build strength and becomes smooth. If the dough begins to tear stop kneading and let it rest for 5 minutes before resuming.

  • Cover the dough and rest it for 15 minutes, then press it out to a disk and cover with the fruit and nuts. Fold the dough over and slowly work the fruit/nut mixture into the dough until evenly dispersed. The dough has 2-3 stretch and folds during bulk fermentation so any clumps of fruit or nuts tend to even out by the time it's completed BF.

  • This dough had 70 minutes BF time at 76F/24C with a stretch & fold at 20 and 40 minutes. After bulk was complete the dough was rounded lightly and rested for 15 minutes before scaling at 740 grams per loaf, then shaped and put for a final rise of 60-70 minutes. 

  • Preheat the oven and stone to 465F/240C. Watch the final proof very carefully during the last 20 minutes as an all spelt dough can over-proof quite quickly. When the dough has a little less than doubled remove it from the proofing environment and let it air dry for a few minutes before slashing.

  • With preferred steam system in place and oven vent blocked, slash the loaves as desired and place in the oven. Lower the temperature to 440F/226C and bake for 10 minutes, remove steam system, vent the oven and bake with convection on for a further10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 430F/221C and bake for a final 15 minutes, rotating the loaves if necessary for even colouring.

  • Check the loaves to ensure full baking either by tapping the bottom for a hollow sound or use a thermometer looking for an internal temperature of 206-210F/96-98C. Cover and cool on a rack for 6 hours before slicing.

Link to working spreadsheet *here*

Comments

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Wow, that's one lofty spelt loaf! I'm deeply impressed, not only by its volume but the fact that it held so well with almonds and dates.

Thanks for posting, Franko. It was a great pleasure to read.

Zita 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Zita,

Happy to tell you that I'm deeply impressed with this flour, it's superior to any other spelt flour I've used in the past. If it was not, regardless of the fact it's a B.C. product I'd say so. That it is, is an added bonus for me to have this flour available and knowing it supports our local farmers simply increases that value. Glad you enjoyed the post Zita and thanks for your comments. :^)

Franko

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Franko.

These look great!  Tasted almonds sounds great.  Do you think I could exclude the vinegar or maybe substitute with balsamic vinegar?  I don't usually keep apple cider vinegar in the house till summer time. 

I was contemplating buying some spelt flour last weekend but found some dark rye instead.

I will keep this recipe in by 'to do' list for sure.

Great job :)

John

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi John,

Upping the acidity of the dough makes a good deal of difference IMO when mixing 100% spelt but there are lots of ways to do that without using apple cider vinegar. Plain white vinegar would be fine, balsamic or wine vinegars might leave an unwanted aftertaste, can't say for sure but the percentage is so small it's unlikely. You could use lemon juice for that matter. The preferment delivers a certain amount of acidity as well so the vinegar may not even have been necessary...but it didn't harm either. Thanks for your kind comments John!

All the best,

Franko

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

impressive with the add ins too.  These are some really nice loaves of spelt.  It doesn't say if it is 100% whole spelt or not from the picture.  Does the packaging say if it is ? I couldn't find it or the brand for that matter at WF in Phoenix so maybe Whole Foods doesn't carry it nation wide.    Thankfully WF does carry whole spelt berries and Winco carries white spelt flour in the bins.

Nice baking Franko!

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi dabrownman,

On the back label it lists one ingredient, organic sprouted spelt flour. Whether it's the whole grain or not I don't have that info yet but will look into it. You may have better luck finding it or requesting it from a smaller health food store than a national chain grocer. It's worth a try at least to have some of this high quality spelt flour to work with. I think you'll really enjoy the handling characteristics of the flour as much as the pure flavour it brings to the baked loaf. Many thanks dabrownman!

Franko 

 

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a gorgeous bake, Frank0!  Isn't that rush great, when we find something local and wonderful to bake with :)  Using the  combination of adding nuts and fruit to round it all out full of flavor suprises, and a wonderful Holiday touch!

Sylvia

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Sylvia,

Thanks so much!

I'm just now beginning to get my head into doing some Holiday baking for gifts and such but you're right, it's really a kick to find a high end local flour to bake with. B.C. is a small player in grain production compared to the Prairie Provinces of Canada, and always will be due to the climate and terrain, but it's encouraging to see small independent farms in B.C capable of producing the type of high quality grain that went into the milling of this flour.

All the best Sylvia,

Franko  

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

delete

isand66's picture
isand66

What a beautiful and creative bake.  I've yet to try a 100% Spelt bake but your success has inspired me to give this try.  Great bake.

Regards,

Ian 

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Ian!

When you make this or another 100% spelt bread for the first time just treat it gently, give it time to relax if it looks like it's coming apart during kneading, and check it often during bulk and final fermentation. High ratio spelt loaves have great flavour so the extra care needed is well worth the effort.

Thanks again Ian,

Franko 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Franko,

You have made some really fabulous bread here, no doubt.

What a joy it is to chance on ingredients with the provenance of the Sprouted Spelt flour, and then transform it into these loaves.

Well, that's your first bit of product development for "Franko's Micro Bakery" successfully completed!

All good wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy,

Thanks very much for your opening comment, greatly appreciated!

While I was doing the writeup it occured to me that the One Degree OF flour is only the 2nd time in my life that I've had the opportunity to use a flour from all B.C. grown grain. The first experience with B.C. grain was flour I picked up at the local FM from Sloping Hill Farm in Qualicum Beach. They have a whole wheat and whole rye, both of which are very good flours with exceptional flavour. Rogers Foods mills both Alberta and B.C grains but they don't offer any information as to how or if it's blended. I remember in my conversation with Wayne Smith of VI Grain and Milling him mentioning there has been increased interest from a number of Island farmers in grain production for flour milling. Hopefully that will pan out in the years to come if enough people will support them and make it a profitable crop to grow.

As for product development I'm gradually building a list of items that I think would do well. Haven't quite found my equivalent of your Gilchesters but still have a few more years to go before my micro bakery dream ever sees the light of day. I'll keep plugging away at it till then.

Cheers Andy!

Franko 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Your bread is the best looking 100% spelt i've ever seen, Franko! Fabulous in every way. I love to bake with spelt, and i'll definitely use your formula when i start baking again.

Thanks for posting this my friend, much appreciated!

Khalid

Franko's picture
Franko

Coming from someone who specializes in this type of bread baking that's a wonderful compliment to receive Khalid. Thank you!

I'm glad you like the formula enough to try it yourself when the time comes and look forward to that day.

All the best,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

the ferment (so to speak) of ideas and information on this site.   Exciting to find that Tom's new flour was local from your perspective.   And I admire your spelt capabilities and the bread you were able to produce with it.  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

I'd seen the product on the shelves just a week or two before Tom's post but waffled on buying any until I read how much he and his wife enjoyed the bread made with it. Discovering that the spelt was grown in Province was a bit of a surprise for sure. "Cool!" I think was what I said at the time. Very rare in my experience to run across a flour from all B.C. grown grain, and that it was of such good quality was just icing on the cake (so to speak ;^) ) for me. 

Thanks Varda!

Franko

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Hardly "my" new flour (as Varda calls it) but great that it caught your eye and even better that it inspired such a delectable product!   I am so impressed with your (and Michael Wilson's - at 100% hydration!) ability to create such a perfect looking loaf with 100% of a flour (in)famous for its gluten challenge.  I've been thinking for a long time that I don't really know what spelt tastes like, having used it at <10% (G Rubaud's proportion) when I do use it, plus sampling "ancient grain" breads at WFM in which there are so many other ingredients I can't sort out the spelt flavor.  Baking this formula is certainly the answer.  So THANK YOU for developing and posting it.  Next time I'm near a WFM*, I'll see if they have this ODOF spelt and will plan to try your formula.  Hopefully over the holidays.  Almonds & dates - appropriately indulgent & festive.  And thanks for contributing that cider vinegar tip.  Makes sense, is vaguely familiar, and a great tool to add to the kit when gluten formation needs a boost.

Thanks again for posting, Franko!

Tom

________

*hardly my "local" WFM.  There isn't one.  Our shopping at WFM requires kenneling the dogs, signing up the cat visitor/feeder/plantwaterer, packing a suitcase, booking a hotel and driving most of the day.  Good thing -- they don't call it Whole Paycheck fer nutin'.  But we are planning one more visit to the big **ity before the new year.

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Tom,

If not for your positive review of the ODOF Whole Wheat I probably would have passed it by for weeks or months before buying some, so thanks to you for convincing me to get off the fence and for your generous comments on the loaves.

High ratio spelt mixes, much like similar ratio rye mixes, definitely have a steeper learning curve to them than wheat based ones. I find I need to be present much more often with spelt than any other type of grain to try and avoid producing a brick or something so ugly it's embarrassing to look at. When you can meet all it's needs, and spelt has several, the reward is a big payoff in flavour. Raising the acid level of the dough really helps keep things under control in terms of strength and fermentation, giving me successful loaves more often since I began including it in the mix. All the best with your spelt baking Tom, please keep us posted, and thanks again for the heads-up on One Degree OF.

Best Wishes,

Franko 

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Have you considered including a teaching component in your micro-bakery vision?  Your response above (latest in a long line of wonderfully informative posts) confirms again that you're as fine a teacher as you are a baker.  Thanks for the pointers, Franko!

Tom

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Tom,

"Have you considered including a teaching component in your micro-bakery vision?"

Yes I have, and hope to include some sort of community based participation such as a Village Oven day once or twice a month, where people could bring their own breads in to bake off in the shops oven (WFO I hope) or come in and do some hands on learning for an afternoon. If (big if) all the pieces come together over next few years, something along that line is definitely something I'm interested in doing.

Thanks Tom!

Franko 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
Thanks for writing about your 'find', and what gorgeous-looking spelt loaves you've created with your lovely,
local flour.
I hadn't heard of this company or its flour, having missed Tom's post. So thanks to both of you for writing about it!
I will look for this flour and will try it out with your formula. I was planning to bake a date bread for a friend for Christmas, and this beautiful bread of yours looks like just the ticket!
Many thanks,
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi breadsong,

This is a lovely flour that I know you'd enjoy using and I'm happy to spread the news of this new product being available to us in B.C., and the US markets as well. Glad you like the formula, though the one posted will probably need to be adjusted up for dates if you want a true "date bread". I'm looking forward to seeing what your imagination and styling will bring to this bread to take it up a notch...or 3! :^)

Thanks so much breadsong, always a pleasure.

Franko

  

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Franko, this loaf made with 100% sprouted spelt flour is really impressive. I didn't imagine that something so beautiful could be produced with spelt alone. Certainly the merit must be attributed to almonds :-))

I must have said something much less mild about spelt than "poorer cousin", but evidently sometimes it behaves like a good guy:)

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Nico!

The horrible beast can be tamed sometimes, but if only we'd known that it likes almonds ;^) long before now, things would have so much easier for the both of us.

Franko