The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour percentages and flavor impact

ndechenne's picture

Flour percentages and flavor impact

Had a question today on flours. Went out over the weekend and procured some different varieties, then whipped up a couple of loaves. The following are the recipes I used:

500g Poolish starter (1:1:1 ratio)

275g water

400g RM White


30G RM Oat

20G RM Spelt

20G salt

Version 2 I subbed Rye for the Oat.

S&F method, fold and rest thrice, 10 minute rests. BF 3hrs (warm day). 2 Folds at 10 minutes, 2 Hr FP. In at 450 for 40 minutes with steam and this is what I got:













On the right is the Rye variety. I found these both to be quite similar, though the addition of the Spelt seems to have impacted them nicely. Nuttier ( a bit, more balanced, crumb is good).

However, the difference between the two was hard to discern. I set a 4% mark for the spelt and 6% for the Oat/Rye. Question: Anyone have a good "experimental" percentage that seems to give us some cornerstone for getting some real flavor changes? I'm gonna bump to 10% next time.. see what happens. Appreciate thoughts/comments.

hanseata's picture

The taste of your good looking loaves must be nice, but the amounts of spelt, oat and rye are too small to make any discernible difference.

From my own experiences you can taste a difference, if you use at least 10% whole grain of ONE kind, my rustic baguettes with 10% whole rye taste different than those I make with 10% spelt, or oat, or cornmeal.

In your breads the whole wheat part will taste stronger than the smaller amounts of other whole grains, anyway, and the combination will be a nice blend.

Happy Baking,



ndechenne's picture

Thanks! I'll let you know how the next run goes...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How about bumping up the spelt to 100g (it is a wheat) and adding rye too about 50g.  Oats are nice in the banneton where the flour/flakes get toasted with the crust.  Otherwise 30g won't get noticed flavour wise.  


ndechenne's picture

Have you tried this? I was taking a light hand to the spelt only because the protein levels are different and I wanted to make sure I got a good rise. Will 100G still get good activity?

108 breads's picture
108 breads

For rye, I have used up to 30 percent, with a little more than 30 percent bread flour and same for whole wheat. With a tablespoon full of carraway seeds, this tasted like a good bakery rye bread. I have also made tasty 100 percent whole wheat or spelt breads. The spelt and the rye are becoming household favorites.

ndechenne's picture

I've got some carraway sitting around, I'll give this a shot!

ndechenne's picture

Thanks! I tell ya, I toasted up the Oat today and it really pulled out some noticeable flavors. However, I'm gonna take your advice and bump up the percentages. I've been using this recipe with 400G bread flour with 100G WW final build, but it's a little bit one-note for me so I started adding these other flours in by small percentage. Bumping it up!

lumos's picture

I luuuuuuve adding small amount of spelt, too! (As you can see in most of my formulae in my blog) It's quite amazing how much difference in flavour it makes with such small addition, usually around 5-10% of main dough flour amount.  So yeah, 10% works but it produces slightly different bread, obviously. Earthier and maybe a tiny bit denser. But I only use wholemeal spelt, so it may be different with white spelt flour. 

Btw both of your breads look great. :-)