Tartine #3 Spelt and Wheat
I've been baking the Country Bread from Chad Robertson's Tartine book a lot over the last year. I tweaked the formula and procedure a bit each time and learned a lot about working with sourdough all the while. Last month, I received Tartine #3 as a gift and I'm ready to be challenged by the higher whole grain formulas. The Spelt Wheat is my second bake from the book (the first was the Oatmeal Porridge Bread). It uses spelt flour, white unbleached flour, whole wheat flour (I used Red Fife), and a bit of wheat germ. Making this is a bit more involved than the Country Bread because it requires sifting the whole wheat flour and a portion of the spelt flour to yield high extraction flour but otherwise, the process is pretty similar. I did a two hour autolyse and then a four hour bulk ferment. The resulting dough was wetter and stickier than I'm used to and it was quite hard to shape. I had to add a lot of stretches and folds at the pre-shape stage in order to get a reasonably decent boule that could then be "rolled" in the spelt flakes. After shaping and putting in bannetons, I retarded the loaves in the fridge for twelve hours. In the morning, I baked them right out of the fridge without bringing to room temperature.
The loaves hadn't risen in the fridge at all but the oven spring was still reasonable; I'd say they doubled in height in the oven. The crumb isn't very open (probably because I had to manipulate a lot in the shaping stage?) but it is moist and very light. The flavor is really nicely balanced and delicious. I'll be returning to this one often, I think.