The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

[2017-05] Sourdough with Spelt Levain

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

[2017-05] Sourdough with Spelt Levain

Unrelated to this loaf, I am planning on baking a loaf for a coworker who has some wheat issues. She's had modest success tolerating a very long-ferment sourdough loaf that I prepared for her (taking pains not to incorporate any unfermented flour along the way), and I'd like to now try an all-spelt loaf for her as an experiment. Thus, I needed to split off my wheat-based starter into a spelt variant, and rather than waste precious spelt, I thought I would make the most of the transition.

So THIS loaf is a pretty much plain, standard sourdough, but made with an overnight spelt levain. The levain was mixed at 100% hydration, and I had a tablespoon or two left over as a seed for an all-spelt starter.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 500g KA Bread Flour
  • 350g water (77°)
  • 150g spelt levain @100% hydration
  • 13g kosher salt

Stretch & folds happened at 30 minute intervals for 3 hours. Skipped bench rest (I was running short of time) and formed the loaf, which then proofed overnight for ~9 hours in a cool kitchen. Baked covered @ 500° for 20 minutes and uncovered @ 450° for 13 minutes.

I think this is one of my better crumbs, and the spelt seemed to add some extra tastiness -- hard to articulate, maybe more nutty?



txbubba's picture

Yesterday I made a loaf with 100% Spelt. Flour was fresh milled a few hours before mixing, made certain to mill extra for flouring during the stretch and fold and the banneton proofing basket. Recipe came from Breadtopia and turned out to be one of the better loaves I've made recently. Plan on making another one soon with a mix of Spelt and Kamut. I do like these ancient grains although the only one I haven't had all that good luck with has been Einkorn

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

I've made 100% spelt loaves in the past (save for the starter) and yeah, they're really good. Very nutty. The effect here, with only a small amount of spelt, was more pronounced than I would have thought.

Ru007's picture

Great looking crumb. 

Well done :)

Danni3ll3's picture

That loaf is outstanding! I haven't ever tried using all Spelt. I thought it would be too heavy all on its own. You have totally proven me wrong!

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Perfect loaf! I could just stare at it and be happy!

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

Thanks all for the kind words. On to the next loaf...

dabrownman's picture

Impressive.  Love that crumb and bloom.  Very well done indeed.

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

It didn't seem tricky. :) I've baked 100% spelt loaves before, and they are a bit difficult to get good gluten development. With this small amount of spelt, though, it didn't really seem to have any negative impact, and yet the flavor is improved and the crumb seems pretty good. Not sure if that was because of the spelt or in spite of it.

vivienf's picture

That looks great. I dream of achieving a crumb like that.

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

I'm just a beginner. Must have been luck.