Spelt Multi-grain Walnut Sourdough Bread
I wanted to make a fairly uncomplicated bread with a good portion of spelt flour and while I was at it I decided to add some walnuts since I love nuts and my new apprentice Max is quite the nut as well.
My wife picked up some chocolate infused olive oil on close-out at William Sonoma so I figured that along with some chocolate vinegar would be a good compliment to the mix of nutty flours along with the walnuts. I'm not sure you really end up tasting too much chocolate flavor but it did add some nice chocolate undertones to the final bread.
I let the flours autolyse with the water overnight for around 12 hours before mixing in the other ingredients and let it bulk ferment for another 12 plus hours before baking it off.
The final bread was a nice nutty, chewy bread perfect for some hard cheese or olive oil. The crumb was nice and moist and open and the spelt flour really added a wonderful taste to this one.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours with the water for about 1 minute. Place it in a covered bowl and let it sit at room temperature or in your refrigerator overnight for around 12 hours.
The next day cut the starter in pieces and add it along with the oil and vinegar to the dough and mix on low-speed or by hand for 4 minutes. Next add the chopped walnuts and mix until incorporated for about 1 minute. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours. (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist towel or oiled plastic wrap. The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.