The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh Milled Spelt Sourdough

Pequod's picture
Pequod

Fresh Milled Spelt Sourdough

This is my second loaf with fresh milled flour. Once again, I turned to Maurizio for inspiration and went with his Sourdough Spelt formula. My loaf used 30% fresh milled spelt, 30% fresh milled high extraction hard red spring wheat (Maurizio calls for Central Milling T85), and 40% Giusto's Artisan. I used a 40 mesh sieve to sift the whole grain red wheat down to high extraction (about 85%). This loaf was 85% hydration. It was proofed in the refrigerator in a linen-lined oblong banneton and baked in an oblong clay baker. The result:

 

This is an incredibly delicious bread and am very happy with the result. Next time I'll replace a bit of the high extraction wheat with some rye, but otherwise really loving the flavor of spelt. 

Comments

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Just everything about it looks great.  In the photos it looks to be particularly long, as if the other half is in the next room.  Or is it just the camera angle?

A wonderful batard, alan

Pequod's picture
Pequod

Thank you! You are correct about the shape of the loaf. I used an oblong, 12-13" banneton and clay baker rather than a more "traditional" oval shape. Here is an overhead shot:

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

that is not even considering that it must taste great! Super crumb too!!! I would be dancing in the kitchen...Kat  p.s. I want a mill now!!!

Pequod's picture
Pequod

Thanks! I highly recommend getting a mill. You are right about the flavor boost. I was prepared for my bread skills to take a step back as I adjust to baking with fresh milled whole grains, but they seem to have taken a step forward instead. Love this thing! I use it regularly. Next up: sourdough waffles with fresh milled soft white wheat and corn.

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Great looking bread.  By some quirk, I was looking for a sourdough spelt recipe this weekend and also turned to Maurizio.  I have some questions so that I can compare what I did with your result.

As Maurizio comments, this bread does not rise a lot during the bulk fermentation.  His bulk occurred in a 76-80 F kitchen, whereas mine yesterday was 73 F.  He estimates a 4-5 hour bulk fermentation at that temperature.  After about the same period of time, I observed a slight doming of the dough in my Cambro tub, the presence of bubbles on the top surface as well as the side and bottom, a definite increase in volume (although nowhere near what I typically get with other recipes), a somewhat alive jiggling when I moved the tub back and forth, and a slight tugging when I pulled on the dough with a wet hand (all suggestions by Maurizio for testing the bulk phase).

I removed the dough from the tub and divided it, and the dough definitely was not billowy.  Shaping went fine, and I left the dough overnight for about twelve hours.  After today's bake I let the loaves cool and then sliced one.  It had a crumb with a pattern I have seen in other loaves that I suspected were not left in the bulk fermentation phase long enough -- namely, the bottom half of the loaf had small holes, and the top was dominated by large holes.

My questions for you (if you happen to know) are what was the temperature of your kitchen, for how long did you do the bulk fermentation, did you have much rise in the dough during the bulk, and did you deviate from Maurizio's recipe in any significant way?  I am planning to bake this loaf again sometime soon, and my intention then is to let the bulk fermentation go longer.  First, however, I would appreciate hearing your response to my questions.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.  Once again, your loaf is one that I would be completely happy with.

Pequod's picture
Pequod

I did the bulk ferment in my unheated oven using a Thermoworks Dot to report the temp. I had the alarm set for 80 degrees, and turned the oven light on until the alarm went off, then turned the light off and let it coast. It stayed between 76 and 80 degrees the entire time and went the full 4.5 hours. The dough did rise, bubble, jiggle, and dome on the edge. The rise was probably around 30% — definitely noticeable, but not as much as I’d see with less whole grains. I also let it proof in my 38 degree fridge for around 13 hours. Also, I should mention that my final dough temp after mixing was 79 degrees — 1 degree over the target, and my starter was very active, so I was pretty confident in how my bulk ferment would go.

I stayed pretty close to Maurizio’s recipe. The only significant deviation was to mill my own high extraction flour rather than use Central Milling T85 or mix 50-50 whole wheat with bread flour.

Hope that helps. It sounds like either a longer bulk ferment or use of a "proofing box” (unheated oven) to manage temp would give you what you need. Good luck! It’s worth the effort to master this one.

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

My dough temp was 78 F after mixing, and my starter is also a vigorous one, so I was not worried about good activity during the bulk fermentation.  I think that the difference between 73 F and 76-80 F accounts for what I ended up with and means that next time I need to go longer with the bulk if I have similar conditions.  The flavor of my bread is excellent, and I do like the combination of spelt with the other flours (I also do not have any T85, so I opted for Maurizio's suggestion of a 50/50 mix of bread and whole wheat).

Thanks again.  Happy baking.

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

A really impressive loaf...that crust is a thing of beauty as is the crumb, well done!

Pequod's picture
Pequod

Thank you!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I love Spelt. It must be delicious! Well done!

Pequod's picture
Pequod

Thank you! A few years ago I couldn’t have spelt spelt. Now it seems likely to become a permanent part of my bread arsenal (and vocabulary). 

solano's picture
solano

This is for sure one of the most beautiful breads I have ever seen. I'm delighted with the texture of this crust and the structure of the crumb, incredible! The longer shape looks really cool too! Beautiful work!

Pequod's picture
Pequod

Thank you! This was my first bake with spelt and I couldn’t believe how well it turned out. I like the long shape as well. It produces uniformly sized slices and a high crust to crumb ratio.