The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Honey & Walnut Spelt Bread

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zoyerteyg's picture
zoyerteyg

Sourdough Honey & Walnut Spelt Bread

Spelt, honey, and walnuts seem to like each other's company, as demonstrated very happily by this bake. It's true that the scoring leaves a lot to be desired and the loaves could have come out of the oven sooner. Regardless, the crumb was moist and the taste more delicate than the ingredients might suggest, just right for sandwiches in fact.

I've done a few variations on breads with a high proportion of whole spelt up to 100% over the last few months, and enjoyed all of them. There's an elastic quality to spelt flour that makes even sticky, wet doughs pleasant to work with, and whole spelt seems to rise more contentedly than whole wheat.

The recipe isn't especially original. It's largely adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Honey Spelt Bread that he included in the second edition of Bread, but this uses yeast and doesn't have walnuts. There's also some influence from the Dinkel-Walnussbrot recipe posted on The Fresh Loaf by hanseata (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22236/dinkelwalnussbrot-spelt-walnut-bread) a few years ago which seems to have inspired lots of bakers since.

Anyway, my formula today used 75% whole spelt (bread flour made up the rest), with a 25% sourdough pre-ferment made up of spelt and wheat flours in the same 75:25 ratio. Hydration was at 73%, and the other ingredients apart from salt were 4% honey, 10% chopped walnuts, and 0.2% fennel seed. I retarded the shaped loaves for 18 hours in the fridge, and left them out at room temperature for 2½ hours before a 40-minute bake.

My sourdough starter was perky from the beginning, and came through with a gratifying oven spring:

The darkened crumb contributed by the walnuts is one of the features of this bread I like most. I'm definitely going to bake it again.

Comments

Ric Snapes's picture
Ric Snapes

These look very very VERY nice. Impressed. Does your even have an uneven heat though? Funny how it only burst on one side. They still look incredible though. I will try this one out. I've been meaning to make a sourdough with honey. Im so hungry right now!!

 

Ric.

zoyerteyg's picture
zoyerteyg

Thanks for your comments. We have an ancient oven and the element keeps coming loose and dropping on one side. I've given up trying to fix it. But the difference in expansion has never been so obvious before—there could also be something I did wrong in the shaping.

Ric Snapes's picture
Ric Snapes

Also, I think they look great baked dark.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

inside and out.  We love bold bakes since the rust is so much more tasty that way and it doesn't go as soft when cooled.  Looks like a winner.  The all SD version with the walnuts has to be better than one with commercial yeast, without the nuts:-)  Well Dome and

Happy Baking

zoyerteyg's picture
zoyerteyg

His recipes are generally terrific, but I've been tempted to play around with this one. Having a try at baguettes a few months ago taught me to welcome longer bakes and darker crusts. Thanks for your encouragement.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Very nice loaves!

I bake for friends a lot and one has always told me to 'burn' her loaves which was how I learned how to bake 'boldly' as people call it here on TFL.  

Yours do not look too dark at all.  In fact they look perfect despite the fact of the uneven spring.  The varied crust color tells me your loaves expanded nicely over time.  Proof once again that even though we home bakers have to make due with the equipment we have, shoddy as it may be at times, good bread can prevail due to the skill of the human being operating the equipment.

I love working with spelt too for the same reasons you mentioned.  Creates a very nice extendable dough.

Take Care,

Janet

zoyerteyg's picture
zoyerteyg

As a home baker with pretty limited technical abilities, there's always a lot to learn, which is where The Fresh Loaf is such a valuable resource. Thanks for the generosity of your comment.