The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First use with spelt............have some questions.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

First use with spelt............have some questions.

I added some spelt to my tartine bread this time and I noticed somethings were different when mixing and doing the turns;

Why was it so dry? And why was the dough so tough

I usually mix 700 gr water with 900 gr Org. All Purpose and 100 fresh ground Org. Whole Wheat and let it autolyse.  This time I did all the same but 80gr WW and  20gr Org. Spelt and it was very dry so I added 30 more grams of water.

Why was the dough so tough when mixing in the 20 gr salt, 50 gr water and 200 gr of leaven?  I never felt it so tough and resistant to stretching?

It is still bulk fermenting so I don't  know how it will turn out.......


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I am certainly not an authority on whole grain flours and how they affect the dough, but I did have a similar experience with spelt.  I made a whole grain loaf, but with much more spelt than what you used, and I noticed that the crust and crumb turned out to be quite tough.  Maybe a bit over chewy.  I didn't notice the hydration issue as you did with the Tartine variation, but I did notice the finished loaf was tougher in texture.  Also, I recall it got worse over the few days after the bake.  Didn't keep its freshness as other similar loaves I baked without spelt.

My two cents.


golgi70's picture

Could there have possibly been a miscaling?  I'd doubt 2% spelt substituted for wheat would play much difference in hydration. It should react in a dough very similarly to wheat.  



Janetcook's picture

I bake with whole grains all the time and my experience with spelt is that it uses LESS water than ww so I suspect miscaling too.  Spelt has a very smooth texture when used so the breads I bake with it are very nice to handle and shape.  

You might give the recipe one more try and see what happens on the second go around.  Always nice to double check....these little bread experiments :)

Good Luck,


Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Maybe it was a miscaling.

hanseata's picture

I bake with spelt often, for example this 100% whole spelt loaf, and never have any issues with toughness or faster staling. Therefore I can only imagine that there was an error in the scaling.