The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Fresh from the oven

hansjoakim's picture

Fresh from the oven

Here's a photo of some whole rye and whole spelt small breads that I pulled from the oven this morning. They're made from approx. 50% high extraction wheat flour and 25% each of whole rye and whole spelt. The rye comes from a ripe sourdough. To shape them, I form the dough into a batard that I cut crosswise into eight or nine equal pieces. One of the "cut" sides are brushed with water and gently placed in a seed mix. They're flipped and put onto a pan. Delicious and filling, with a savory, "earthy" flavor.

Spelt and rye sourdough small breads


Next up is the spelt bread from Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry. This was a great dough to work with, 90% spelt and 10% whole spelt, gently mixed, and bulk fermented for three hours. The dough is mixed very carefully, and some dough strength is developed over three folds during the bulk fermentation. 33% of the flour comes from a spelt poolish, so the dough feels quite slack and extensible all the way to final shaping. Suas writes that there's no pre-shaping for these, the dough is simply cut in two, and placed as "rectangles" on "well dusted linen". I think the dough behaved remarkably like a ciabatta dough, even though the hydration is only 68%. Quite fragile and sticky, but still smooth and a joy to work with. A fragrant, great bake that had a tremendous oven spring. The crust is very crispy, and there's a slight nutty flavor (probably coming from the poolish and the inherent "spelt" flavor). I made two of these rustic loaves, and they're well worth the effort! Advanced Bread and Pastry is a book I'm getting more and more fond of.

Spelt bread from ABAP


Finally, slightly branching out ("The Fresh Cake" anyone?): Apple breakfast cake, also from Suas. Lots of apples, walnuts and raisins. Yum!! Probably the best apple cake I've tasted... I picked this one, as it was the least intimidating of Suas' cake recipes ;-)

Apple Breakfast Cake from ABAP


mountaindog's picture

Hans, that spelt bread looks especially fantastic! I am really impressed with that crumb, and that it is 100% spelt, incredible! So, just to clarify, you used white spelt for 90% and whole spelt just 10%, correct? The folding certainly seems to give it great structure. Not surprised that it looks and behaves like a very wet dough at 68% hydration. I have yet to make bread with spelt, but have used spelt for many years in muffins (love the flavor) and I always noticed that it absorbed less water than wheat flour, and needed to use more spelt flour in a given recipe when replacing wheat flour.

And that apple cake is really beautiful and a great sounding combination of ingredients, I'll have to take a look at that book if possible from the library sometime (I'm shying away from the advanced sounding nature of it though, I'm still tying to finish reading Calvel right now...).

weavershouse's picture

I love using spelt too and use it instead of whole wheat a lot of times. I need to grind some more soon. That apple cake looks sooo good. If you ever have time and wouldn't mind sharing the recipe I'd love it.


Great job,


SylviaH's picture

 Hans, Beautiful breads and the Fresh cake looks so deliscious! 


proth5's picture

I've got to get deeper into AB&P.  It took forever to arrive and now that it has I have been unable to work anything from it into my baking plan.  Must - try - harder...

Great looking stuff!

hansjoakim's picture

Hey, thanks everyone :-)

mountaindog: Yes, it's 100% spelt, as even the poolish is a 90% white spelt + 10% whole spelt flour mix. I even floured the working surface with spelt to stay true to the nature of the recipe... ;-)  It's the first time I've used a considerable amount of spelt in a dough, and I was surprised by how wet it turned out. The weird thing was that it mixed to a fairly nice consistency after 4-5 mins at low speed in my mixer, but it seemed to almost get wetter as the bulk fermentation went on. And I think you're spot on with regards to hydration: Suas mentions that spelt doesn't absorb as much water as wheat. His advice is to still use a pretty wet dough, as a spelt crumb can dry out quickly otherwise. As you can see from the photo, the crumb is pretty dark for a bread with only 10% whole flour (it's even darker than in the photo). Perhaps this has something do with the composition of spelt as a flour (high on minerals and vitamins). Thanks again for your nice compliments, md!

weavershouse: For 1 cake:

  • Flour: 123 gr (100%)
  • Eggs: 80 gr (65%)
  • Sugar: 70 gr (58%)
  • Raisins: 70 gr (58%)
  • Chopped walnuts: 48 gr (38%)
  • Diced apples: 475 gr (385%)
  • Melted butter: 70 gr (58%)
  • Baking powder: 4 gr (3%)
  • Vanilla extract: 2 gr (1.5%)
  • Salt: 2 gr (1.5%)

Whip eggs and sugar. Gently mix in the raisins, chopped walnuts and melted butter. Fold in the diced apples. Fold in the dry ingredients. Bake at approx. 170 degrees C for 45 mins. Slice and enjoy :-)

Paddyscake's picture

Was the Apple cake made in a springform pan? Thank you for sharing the recipe.


hansjoakim's picture

Yes, I baked it in a springform pan. I think mine is roughly 24 cm in diameter.

trailrunner's picture

I am going to get that book...have been saving pennies ! Your breads and that cake are gorgeous ! I have never used spelt but that sure makes me want to try it. I have a french cake recipe that is amazing. If you ever want the takes minutes to make and tastes like a dream. 

holds99's picture

Your breads and cake look terrific.  Lovely crust and crumb on both type breads.  No question about it, you've got the "touch".

FWIW.  I agree with you re: Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry (AB&P).  When it comes to baking books I think AB&P is at the top of the pyramid, so to speak.


hansjoakim's picture

Your kind words mean a lot :)

What I really like about the bread section of the book, is Suas' emphasis on bread baking as a continuous process. A change at one step in the process will alter every following step in one way or another. His discussions about different mixing processes (and how they are related to everything from hydration levels, the appropriate number of folds, amount of yeast, bulk fermentation to final loaf appearance) and the various preferments and their effect on the final product are unrivalled.

holds99's picture


I completely agree with you about "the process".  As you indicated, once a home baker grasps the idea that baking is a systematic process made up of 11 specific steps (scaling to cooling), then the baking mystery is really no longer a mystery.  In addition to Suas AB&P I also think Hamelman's first 92 pages of his book "Bread" is a great place for new bakers to study the 11 step process.

Please keep baking those lovely breads and pastries and sharing them with us through your photos and descriptions.


weavershouse's picture

Thanks so much for the recipe. Tomorrow I'll give it a try.