The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% Whole Spelt

ghazi's picture

100% Whole Spelt

Finally figured out what I was doing wrong with this grain. No more stretch and folds instead slap and folds with a good autolyse is what is expected

I really like the higher hydration, it works great. Keeps longer too

Thank you Dabrownman

Next time I will try a full 24hrs fridge autolyse @ 50% hydration


400g wholespelt

310g water

8g salt

60g Spelt starter 50%

autolysed for 3 hours @ 70 - 75 F

Added levain let sit another 20 minutes, then salt and rest of 110g water. Left to soak and incorporate on its own for 1 hour

Brought together starting 1st set of slap and fold for about 10 min, after 20 min another set around 5 min, anfter another 20 min last set lasted only 2 minutes, even less since I didn't want to go voer it was comeing together tightly nicely

retarded overnight in fridge . Next morning bring to room temp let rise a bit more then shaped and into brotform.

Baked in preheated dutch oven @250cturning down to 200c after 2 minutes. Then after another 8 minutes down to 170c for rest of bake. Then at 150c with lid off for last 10 minutes  or so

golgi70's picture

Nice Bake

How is the mouthfeel?  Does it come off a little on the dry side? 



ghazi's picture

Its a very nice tasting brown loaf. Its much better with 75% hydration than the usual 68-70 I would do, id say the later ones would seem more dry. I know what you mean because spelt can do that

Its just got that spelt flavor, subtle yet complex. Compared to wine I would say this is a pinot noir


dabrownman's picture

A great leap forward but, as Josh was hinting at, your next bake of this bread will be much better and the one after that even better.  Next bake you can make a few more changes and will astounded at how much better this bread cam be.  First off - up the hydration to 80%.  Change the levain from  50% hydration to 80% by adding 12 g of water to the 60 g of 50% hydration starter for a total of 72 g of 80% starter.  Then add another 10 g of water to the dough liquid to get to 32 g of water in the levain and 320 g n the dough for 352 g of water total and 40 g of flour in the levain and 400 g in the dough for 440 g of whole spelt total giving you and overall 80% hydration.

Only hold back 20 g of dough water from the autolyse making it 400g of flour and 300 g of water.  Sprinkle the salt over the top of the autolyse ball without mixing it in and just let it sit for 2 hours.  Then add the held back 20 g of water and mix it with salt by squishing the dough through your fingers until it its incorporated.  Then add the levain and mix it in with the first set of slap and folds.  Try to make the 2nd and 3rd set of slap and folds as short as possible - just to keep the gluten where it should be and no more.  Once it tightens up..... stop - don't watch the clock for slap and fold sessions 2 and 3.

Once the slap and folds are done let it sit one the counter and bulk ferment for an hour then  retard it over night for 10-12 hours.  Let it warm up for an hour before shaping and final proofing the next morning.  Then bake with falling temperatures.

This will give you a much better bread and you can then go to 85% hydration the bake after that:-)  Then you can try retarding  it again for final proof after shaping!  Well done and

Happy Baking.

ghazi's picture

I was wondering what Josh was pointing at there, thank you so much for excellent help. So in general its better to keep the levain and autolyse at a higher hydration for whole grain breads?

I normally autolyse all my breads at 50% because all my starters are 50%. This adds to some sort of dryness in the final dough?

OK, im rearing to go for the next round. Thank you both:)

dabrownman's picture

is to have the flour soak up as much water as possible.  A 50% water autolyse is no where near what you want - the more water the better.  Problematic autolyse's are the ones where the levain is a high percent of the total water like a large 133% hydration one where there isn't enough water left to adequately hydrate the flour.  Your restricting the water to 50% is doing the same thing.

The dryness  tn the final bread that Josh was referring to was that a 100% whole grain bread, even spelt, at 75% hydration is very low.  I'm guessing Josh would make this bread with at least 80% hydration and a WW one at 90-100% hydration which you can find on his blog.

Look at David Snyder's post today where he made a 10% whole grain (mix of wheat and rye) and 90% AP flour Forkish Style of bread at 81% hydration.  Spelt is a little more tricky than other whole grains when it comes to hydration but 80% should be no problem  With your success at 75% hydration, 80% will be a snap for you.

Happy baking 

ghazi's picture

Thank you for all your great advice. Its such a treat getting help from people like you

Now I know that since I bake primarly wholegrains I will up my hydration of both autolyse and starter. I'll have a look at these posts and im sure they will give me more insight.

With 100% hydrated WW breads I would guess to use American hard  red wheat, where if I used a 12.6 % protein regular strong wholemeal I would threshold at around 85 max?

Think im getting the picture much more clearer now, and even as winter sets in here I should have starters a little more active