July 22, 2007 - Help! My Spelt went Splat!
This is my first loaf from spelt flour. I wish I had pics of various stages to show you, as I'd love some ideas on why I got absolutely no oven spring from this loaf. The flavor, interior texture and crust were all good. The crumb wasn't as open as I would have liked, but not closed either. I followed the basic NYT/Lahey NK method. I've always used 1.5 cups of liquid for white flour and 2 cups for whole wheat. Knowing that spelt absorbed less flour than wheat, I used 1.75 cups for this loaf. I always got good oven spring using only 2/3's WW flour, but the only loaf that was 100% WW I baked in a pan - here - and didn't get a lot of oven spring either.
This is how I made this loaf.
1 pound whole spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces plain yogurt
12 ounces water
Combine dry ingredients. Stir yogurt and water together, then add to flour mix. Stir until all flour is moistened, then knead briefly with heavy spoon in bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter for about 12 hours. (At this point I had bubbles on top of the dough and the gluten strands were quite visible on tipping the dough bowl.) Turn dough out on floured surface. Do a few stretch-and-folds. (At this point I may have let the dough rest an hour or so, followed by a couple more stretch-and-folds and a 15 minute rest. I just don't remember.) Round dough and put in colander to rise. After a few hours, it wast risen only half as well as the white flour dough in this pic. It wasn't even quite to the top of the colander but passed the finger poke test, so I hoped it was ready to bake. (That is, if I gently poked the dough, the indentation was quite slow to fill in - the test mentioned in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.)
Turn dough out on baking stone preheated well in a 500F oven. Remove at 20 minutes as the interior temp is about 210F.
This was the most extensible dough I've handled. It never did develop much resistance to my folding or shaping. Is that an indication that the gluten was underdeveloped? Should I have done a few more folds, until the dough felt a bit firmer? After baking, I remembered that I often added 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid (Vit C) and a tablespoon or more gluten to my whole wheat loaves. I had assumed that the Vit C was redundant with the yogurt and didn't even think about adding gluten. Also, salt should have been 1.5 teaspoons.