The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Not using bakers flour anyone?

Trinity23's picture

Not using bakers flour anyone?

Hi all, 

After many years of successfully baking beautiful loaves i out my bread machine away because I was always too busy to use it. way back then I always used bakers flour. Now that I have started again I am using wholemeal spelt and want to use rye flour, no bakers flour and I am using dried yeast. Dried yeast along with bakers flour always gave me perfect bread. I am not having the same success now. I have just made my first loaf in ages, the texture is perfect, the crust is perfect however half of the loaf ( top half of the loaf) was made up of a massive hole aka huge air bubble!


Thanks Trinity

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Are different to bread flour. Rye needs much higher hydration and your breadmaker needs to be specially adapted for it. And Spelt needs a shorter proofing time then bread flour. So you can't just do the same recipes and dimply swap the flour/s. What recipe are you doing at the moment and on what cycle?

Trinity23's picture

Hi Abe, this is my recipe

1 cup Water

2 Tblspn Shortening

2 Tblspn Sugar

1 Tspn Salt

 2 2/3  cups White Flour

1 Tspn Yeast

I am using setting No 1, 2 hours 45 minutes.


I am using specific flours because there are allergies in the family, just need to make them work :)

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

235g water

2 tablespoons shortening

26g sugar

1 teaspoon salt

280g white spelt flour

1 teaspoon yeast


Well first of all what jumps out at me is the hydration is far to high. Your hydration is 84%

As a rule spelt needs lower hydration then bread flour. Now if you consider a normal hydration for bread flour is around 60 - 65% and spelt does better on a lower hydration then 84% is way too much.

Try dropping the water to 168g or upping the flour to 392g

Don't know if you're comfortable in working in grams but you have the idea. I don't now how you work out the hydration when it comes to cups as it goes by weight. Perhaps someone on here who understands the cup system can guide you.

I never use shortening in a recipe so can't guide you here.

I know that too much sugar with commercial yeast can inhibit it somewhat but I rarely use commercial yeast but something to look into.

Don't know the cycle that you're using on your machine. Has it got a breakdown? i.e. how long does it knead for, how many rises are there and how long is final proofing?

Hope we're somewhat closer into solving the problem.


drogon's picture

I've found that with spelt that it ferments really fast - well, faster than standard wheat flour, so can you reduce the times in the bread machine?

Also the gluten is quite soft in spelt - maybe add in a portion of wheat to help give it a little lift? My 100% spelt loaves are 70% white spelt and 30% wholemeal spelt..


Trinity23's picture

Hi Drogon, 

Might try mixing the two different spelt flours but unable to use regular wheat flour, thanks for the tip.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

In the UK there is a great breakmaker called the Panasonic SD501. Here is a recipe from the instruction manual...



Yeast 1 teaspoon

White Spelt Flour 400g (14oz)

Sugar 1.5 teaspoons

Salt 1+1/4 teaspoons

Butter 5g (1/5 oz)

Water 260ml (260g)


[Note: This is a 65% hydration loaf]


Now for the bread cycle:


30min - 1hr 15min rest (always has a rest at the beginning of the cycle)

15min - 30min Knead

1hr 50min - 2hrs 45min rise

55min Bake


Important! to note is that while it seems long it actually isn't so as there is only one knead and a single rise. The machine will probably measure how much it has risen and bake when ready. This is a specialty bread option so there is a range! Because spelt is quicker it might knead for 15-30min (probably closer to 15) then it will go straight into final proof (or one single rise) and bake at around 1hr 50min.

If you were to bake this by hand you'll probably leave it to rise for an hour and half, shape and then final rise for 20min and then bake. So don't let this seemingly "long" time throw you off. I'm just giving you the cycle here.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

From what I remember (I used to own one a long time ago) even though it looks like there's no bulk fermentation plus final proofing there is.

It says 1hr -50min - 2hrs 45 min rise.

What will happen is towards the end the paddle will go round a few times deflating the dough and then it'll final proof (even though it doesn't look obvious in the instruction manual). So it'll detect how much it had risen and adjust the cycle that is why there is a range.