The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1 dough 2 ways: 100 percent wholemeal spelt with yeast water and sourdough

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

1 dough 2 ways: 100 percent wholemeal spelt with yeast water and sourdough

I just wanted to show off a little. I was happy with these pretty sibling loaves. I'll post again when we cut into them to show the crumb.

This was a 7 hour bake from milling to taking them out of the oven, not counting the two levains I built the night before: one yeast water and one sourdough.

I autolyse the flour for an hour using yeast water with a bit of barley malt syrup mixed in, then kneaded in the salt, levains, and a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Hydration was my usual for fresh-milled spelt: 73%.

Bulk proof was about 3.5 hours, undisturbed. Then it got two letter folds at half hour intervals, divided, preshaped, rested, shaped, and final proof of 1/2 hr for the pan loaf.

I've been putting the bigger loaf into the freezer in a banneton after 15 or 20 minutes of final proof so that I can bake one loaf at a time, which seems to work fine. It stays in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill down, then goes into the fridge until I'm ready to put it in the clay roaster (after the pan loaf is done.)

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Did you use a mixer? The crumb is beautiful right to the edge. 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Thanks, MT.

I have a stand mixer but my dough doesn't like it. I gave up on using it for bread.

I autolyse for an hour and then knead in the levain and salt by hand, which takes about 5 minutes. After the bulk proof the dough gets two letter folds to build structure and even out the fermentation.

suminandi's picture
suminandi

Looks soft and tasty

newchapter's picture
newchapter

A really lovely crumb!

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

The crumb of this bread is moist and springy, not at all crumbly, but also not really soft. It has a nice chew. The flavor is rich and gently tangy.The addition of the yeast water and the yeast water levain speeds the fermentation up and tames the sourness, which can be pretty intense in a 100 % whole grain loaf.

I would like to learn to bake a truly soft whole wheat but I'm not sure spelt can handle that much enrichment. I would like to learn to make one of txfarmer's enriched whole wheat leaves.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, that is spectacular crumb Jess, well done.

Benny

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Aww shucks. Thank you, Benny. I confess it is a great relief and pleasure to finally be developing some skill and competence with a few specific breads. Now at least I have a bake or two to fall back on when I need to lick my wounds after a flop! This bread is such a pleasure to bake, mostly because it's consistently successful for me but also because the dough itself is so lovely to handle. Spelt makes such a silky, elastic, cohesive dough, it is a pleasure to work with it. 

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Hi Jess,

Thanks for sharing this. I have been making 100% wg spelt sd once a week for a little over a year, so it's nice to see someone else doing it. And so very well!

How do you find it ages? Mine previously had a tendency to go stale quickly. Maybe the olive oil helps this? I have worked with this by using a scald of 10% of the flour. It also makes for a softer crumb, which is perhaps another way you could go without making the dough enriched? 

My loaf is 72% hydration, similar to yours. I don't use freshly milled, but will do soon as I have some berries in the freezer! Interestingly though, mine wouldn't hold it's shape without my clay loaf tin....whereas it looks like your loaf on the right has.

Alison 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Hi Alison, thanks for writing! I'm not sure if this bread has a tendency to go stale quickly because with 5 in the house, and two of them are 19-year-old very tall young men, the bread usually disappears as fast as I can bake it. I did have the idea that the olive oil would soften the crumb but I don't think it made a difference. From my reading either butter or another solid shortening works better for that. I tried a roux/scald but that didn't do much either, so  I might just keep this one in the rotation as-is, for when we want a chewy, crusty loaf. 

I cheat a bit for the batard because it is baked in a clay roaster, which gives it some support. But I think it would do OK even as a free-form loaf because of the two letter folds. The letter folds really soak up that extra spelt elasticity and make it easy to build tension at the end. In fact I have to be careful not to over-tighten the loaf and tear the gluten cloak.  

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

I have two men here, one grown and one only 6. They eat enough between them. I can only imagine what two 19-year olds eat!

I think I have something I could work on in letter folds. I cheat worse that you and just plomp it into a ceramic loaf tin. It's a lovely loaf, so I haven't been pushed to make it free-form, but it'd be a good way to improve my technique.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I encourage you to develop your letter folding technique. If the dough is ripe, all you need is a light dusting of flour on the bench and on the top of the dough before you turn it out. It's fun. Spelt is so elastic, the dough can be gently stretched out into a sheet, before folding back up. Only touch the floured 'smooth' side of the dough: the inner dough is very sticky. I like to slide one hand under the dough, palm down, and use the back of my hand to stretch it out gently, like a pizza dough.

Look at the Patrick Ryan spelt treacle loaf video at 4:32 for a beautiful example of letter-folding a stretchy, billowy, elastic spelt dough. So pretty! I love spelt dough so much! 

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Thank you for the encouragement! The timing is just right as I was just ready to mix things up a bit. And I see my love of spelt so clearly reflected in your words!!

I watched the vid (lovely accent) and the folds are clear, thanks. My dough is currently too sticky for this. So I'm going to have a go leaving out the scald as I think that adds to stickiness. I'll keep the hydration high. 

Two questions more, if I may?

What % leaven do you use for these timings (and what's your rough temp)?

Why do you bake the two loaves separately? Is it because you need a lower temp for the clay baker?

Think I might be brave and get my banneton out!

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I used 20% sourdough levain and a little less than that for the yeast water levain. And I added yeast water to the dough. Today I did something similar with an enriched dough made with hard red winter wheat, but the yeast water levain didn't rise overnight so I also added 4 grams of active yeast (mixed into the yeast water levain at the last minute.)

Personally I don't like to mess with the dough while it's rising, so I develop the gluten fully, then let it bulk proof undisturbed  until it's fully ripe. At that point it's much less sticky and easier to handle. I find a little flour on the bench is cleaner and works better than using water, at this stage, as the ripe dough has a nice skin on it. I find 73% hydration perfect for fresh milled spelt.

I do a letter fold, a 2nd rise for around half an hour, another letter fold, then divide, preshape, bench rest, shape, and final proof.

If I'm going to steam the pan loaf I use the clay baker and set the pan inside. That's why I don't bake both loaves at once. I have another roaster but the baker and the roaster don't both fit in the oven at the same time.

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Thanks very much for sharing. I will leave well alone after mixing and do the letter folds later.

Going to give it a go this weekend. I don't have raisins to make yeast water in time (although I do have water kefir, which might be interesting...). I will probably raise the leaven % a bit on yours. I can also keep it at 29C if need be.

I have an Emile Henry ceramic loaf pan and will put it in there. Thinking of getting myself a round dutch oven to match my round banetton, but not been brave enough to splurge yet!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Wet the counter surface, no flouring needed, dump dough, wet hands, fold.  Here's some guy named alfanso doing it with a 75% hydration all AP dough.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAa1WDE15Ig

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

I wish I had a counter like that! 

Am going to give them a go.