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100% Spelt Sourdough - trying spelt for the first time

txfarmer's picture

100% Spelt Sourdough - trying spelt for the first time

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Index for my blog entries

Can't believe that I have never baked with spelt yet, well until last weekend that is. I finally got some spelt flour and went to town with it. In my typical "jump in with both feet" way, I make a 100% spelt souroudgh. Two sources were helpful with my research: (Shiao-Ping)
However, my ratio and fermentation schedule ended up being quite different form both of them, but the thing I learned from their posts held true: spelt has quite a bit of gluten, but not as much as wheat, and more delicate, which means it's the best to handle it gently and try hard not to over rise/proof.

Spelt Flour, 298g
Spelt Starter(100%), 105g (I started with my white starter, and fed it with spelt (1:2:2) 3 times to convert it "mostly" to spelt)
Agave, 28g (if use honey, might need more since agave is sweeter)
Water, 193g
Salt, 7g

1. Mix everything autolyse for 20 to 60min, mix by hand until even.
2. Bulk rise at room temp (~75F) for about 2.5hrs. S&F at 30, 60, 90, 120min.
4. Shape, put in basketes smooth side down, put in fridge over night.
5. Next morning take the dough out to finish proofing, about 45min for me. Score.

6. Bake in cast iron pot at 460F with lid on for 20min, lower to 430F, take away lid, bake for another 25min.

The dough is fairly wet & loose, so I chose to bake in cast iron pot to keep the height better.

I like the addition of Agave in the formula, which complements with the spelt flavor well. Honey or other sweeteners would do as well.

Crumb is quite open, and I really like the slightly "bitter"/earthy taste of spelt, no wonder it's used so often by other bakers.


hanseata's picture

I haven't made a 100% spelt sourdough, yet (only Spelt Walnut Bread with a biga.) I'm amazed at the open crumb.



txfarmer's picture

Thanks hanseata! The crumb is on par with other 100% ww hearth loaves I have made, so yeah, I am pretty happy with it.

dabrownman's picture

of 100% spekt SD.  What an interesting idea.  The crumb is way open for this kind of bread - but yours always is.  Did you bake this in a hot or cold DO?

So what does it taste like?

Very nice presentation txfarmer as usual.

txfarmer's picture

I always bake in a hot DO. Tried cold DO and I think the rise and crumb suffered noticably.

It tastes sort of like ww, but with a spelt flavor, I like it!

Isand66's picture

Wow! You certainly went all-in with the Spelt flour. I have come love this flour and have added it to many of my bakes but never 100% yet...I shall have to add your formula to my never ending list! Beautiful looking loaves and per the other comments, your crumb and crust looks excellent. I find the spelt adds a nice nutty flavor to the bread but not too overpowering.
I wonder how adding some nice sharp cheddar cubes would motto...adding cheese can only improve a bread or sandwich!


PiPs's picture

Your a wonder txfarmer ... amazing lift!!!

It's wholegrain spelt flour? Beautiful crumb if it is ... I have not been overly favourable of the spelt loaves I have baked. I think the dryness bothers me ... how was your breads crumb?


dickeytt's picture

Hi txfarmer, thanks for the great recipe, I tried this yesterday and this is how mine turned out.

I am very happy with the way the loaf has turn out, so thanks very much.  

I do have a couple of question;

1) When you describe the Autolyse, you say to mix all the ingredients, is this including the started (and salt) and then leave to rest or without the salt and starter?

2) When you do a Stretch and Fold, do you do this once each time, i.e one stretch and fold like letter or many time, if many, can you suggest how many is enough?

Thanks again




mdvpc's picture

SCruz's picture

Is there anything one should know about working with spelt compared with regular flour?

Adam4SD's picture

Someone asked me to bake 100% spelt SD and I happened to have organic whole wheat spelt to do my first experiment.  The result was a flop... and I was googling to see whether anyone baked a ww spelt loaf looking like a regular bread.  (mine came out like a pita bread on top)

I am going to copy your recipe and steps to see whether I can duplicate your result.  I never go over 20% levain, but you used 35%.  Also, my hydration was 80% (dough got very wet after 20 hour cold FF) vs. your 65%.  These experiments will cost me some money as this flour wasn't cheap.  :-(

Thanks for sharing your recipe!


cfraenkel's picture

This is the first time I have ever had a loaf stick to my dutch oven.  I had to cut it in half in the pot, chisel out half and then pry out the other half.  It wasn't very pretty when I got it out, but it tastes amazing.  I will try this again, and next time I'll put some parchment in the bottom of the DO. I have never had this happen before - the only thing I can figure is that I cleaned the pot before I baked in it, and maybe the Agave made it sticky?  Thanks for the formula though, the bread is delicious.

monet60707's picture

I’ve noticed that recipe calls for agave, honey or sugar. Is that an optional ingredient or has a specific purpose?