The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Honeyed Spelt and Oat

Danni3ll3's picture

Honeyed Spelt and Oat

It was time to redo this one as it is one of my favourites. Recipe is adapted from Sarah Owens. 




Makes 3 loaves of ~ 885 g unbaked boules


Oat Soaker

245 g Rolled Oats

480 g Boiling Water



800 g Unbleached Flour 

200 g High extraction Spelt Flour (230 g Spelt berries)

540 Water 

726 g Soaker

80 g  Honey

22 g Salt 

30 g Yogurt

250 g Levain


Mid afternoon the day before:

  1. Take 18 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of bran or wholewheat flour. Let rise in a warm place. 
  2. Mill the Spelt berries and sift to obtain the needed amount of high extraction flour. Save the bran for the levain or another use. 
  3. Place 200 g of the high extraction flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside.

The night before:

  1. Place the rolled oats in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the oats. Cover and let soak overnight. 
  2. Before going to bed, feed the levain 36 g of water and 36 g of AP flour flour including any left over high extraction flour. Let that rest in a warm spot overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of AP flour and let rise 6 hours in a warm spot. 
  2. Two hours before the levain is ready, mix the water with the oat soaker on the lowest speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until the mass has been loosened up. Add the flour and mix on speed 2 until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes just a minute or two. Autolyse for a couple of hours.
  3. Once the levain is ready, add the salt, the honey, the yogurt and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes. 
  4. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes. 
  5. Do 4 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do another 2 sets an hour apart. Place the dough in a cold fridge for 3 hours. The dough rose almost 50%. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~ 885 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make as tight boule as you can.
  8. Sprinkle rice flour, then rolled oats in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 9-10 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 17 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.



I love this recipe. Even though I tweak it each time i make it, it never fails to give me big, beautiful loaves! 



chockswahay's picture

Oooh, they look nice!

This takes me back to the one I made nearly 3 years ago! you said then you were going to do these again......... and indeed you are!

I might have to have another bash :)

Danni3ll3's picture

Yes, do have another go at it! It really is a great recipe!

Danni3ll3's picture

isand66's picture

Looks great and I'm sure they taste great.  Love oats and this combo.

Danni3ll3's picture

Bread1965's picture

Truly, all your loaves look so incredibly amazing and similar!

Your consistency is truly inspiring!.

Or you're recycling the same pictures from post to post! :)

And PS - I think this is one of my top three bread recipes!

Danni3ll3's picture

Now I have to prove I don’t use the same picture? Here you go! The only thing is that we already cut into the loaf! 😉 Oh I had to use yesterday’s paper since we no longer get a Sunday paper. 😥

Bread1965's picture

Hahahah! I think that was photo-shopped! :) 

The truth is that even making one of your breads only once would be enough for most of us. But you just keep putting them out.. truly great! Well done! frank!


dabrownman's picture

this past week and what a beauty to find today!  Oats and spelt make for a one terrific loaf for sure.  Bet it tastes grand too  Lucy says the crumb is better on this one, not better, more open,  because there is less whole grains tin the mix than usual.  Very well done and happy baking Danni

ifs201's picture

Hi Danni,


I don't have any spelt flour and am trying to use what I have. If I substitute out the spelt, can I simply replace with either whole wheat or Einkorn, or do I need to make other changes to the recipe? 

Danni3ll3's picture

you can do the recipe as posted. 

Einkorn though, needs a couple of things. Reduce the water by about 50-100 g and make sure you autolyse for at least 2 hours. 3 would be better. If the dough is seriously too stiff, carefully add some of the water back. The dough should be quite firm going into the autolyse but should feel like a regular dough after adding the Levain and other ingredients. And do not overmix. 5 minutes tops for mixing in a mixer to develop the gluten as Einkorn doesn’t like being over handled. I keep these things in mind when I include Einkorn and so far, it has worked out for me when I use it. 

Hope this helps!

ifs201's picture

Thanks for all of the information on Einkorn. Sounds like I am best using whole wheat and I'll save the Einkorn for a tried and true Einkorn recipe to try and avert disaster. I'm thinking about the Einkorn and barley recipe you posted or the Perfect Loaf Einkorn miche. 

Danni3ll3's picture

It’s just flour and water really and a bit of time! I make up most of my recipes and just use the knowledge I have gleaned here and the feel of the dough to adjust things. Even if it flops, it will still taste good. 

ifs201's picture

I am just really struggling with these porridge loaves. I'm wondering if somehow my 2-3 hour autolyse with the oat soaker is degrading the gluten and then the loaf quickly becomes overproofed. I was going to end my bulk at 3 hours, but it hadn't increased in volume that much so I let the bulk go to 4 hours. When I took it out of the container it had become a stringy mess (same thing happened last time), making it impossible to shape and nothing like all of the doughs I have worked with outside of my 2 porridge loaves. For my 3rd attempt I might 1) use a tad less water 2) not include oats in the autolyse 3) watch the bulk REALLY closely. What do you think? 

I guess I think it was overproofed because of lack of oven spring and how the dough went from holding some shape to being a gloopy mess. The funny thing is I had made your stout, oat, cheddar loaf awhile back with no problem so I can't figure out why I've been struggling so much with this! The bread was super dense and a bit wet seeming. 

Danni3ll3's picture

Maybe the flour I use is stronger and can handle the longer autolyse. Give your ideas a try and see what happens.