The Fresh Loaf

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Spelt Flour Sourdough Starter

LaceyLou's picture

Spelt Flour Sourdough Starter

I have been trying to make spelt sourdough and my starter just doesn't grow and I don't know what to do and am about to give up, but spelt sourdough is the one bread I can have on a low FODMAP diet.  I measure my ingredients, but it just doesn't grow and I will never have enough to make a loaf of bread with!  It's been 4 weeks!  I started with starter from my daughter that was very healthy.  But the whole grain spelt seemed to just kill it, and then I got white spelt flour and it's not any better.  

naturaleigh's picture

Hi LaceyLou!  Have you been able to grow and maintain any other starter before or is this your first attempt?  Was your daughter's starter a different kind?  As an aside, I've read that many people that are on a FODMAP diet can tolerate most kinds of sourdough breads because this process makes the bread a low FODMAP food through the long fermentation process (so long as it ferments for at least 12 hours)--there is also a special, long fermentation process that one can apply to making yogurt so that it is FODMAP friendly due to the same benefits from long fermentation.  My point being, you may not need to stick strictly to spelt.  Anecdotally, I've had people that I know, who are gluten intolerant (not the same issue as IBS of course) that are able to eat all kinds of bread once they started making their own sourdough. 

If your daughter's starter was not spelt, you should have maybe slowly transitioned it to 100% spelt.  However, if you are not getting any rise or life out of your starter after 4 weeks, I think you have some other kind of problem and should likely start over.  There are many, many posts on this site as far as starter guidance (try the search function in the upper right corner) and I'm sure lots on the Internet specifically related to spelt should be able to find some starter success soon.  All the best!

Abe's picture

after switching over to spelt flour did you try waking it up by feeding it more? 

If so, then that is probably the problem. When starters play up and go quiet then what are you feeding? And any microbes in the starter will be discarded each time it's fed before being able to multiply. The best course of action is to slow down your feeds till your starter has time to adjust. It has food and now it doesn't move from the table till it eats its dinner. 

Mark Stone's picture
Mark Stone

It has food and now it doesn't move from the table till it eats its dinner.

RedPentacleB's picture

I would suggest creating a wheat and rye starter from scratch, then transition that to the spelt. My spouse cannot tolerate wheat, so when I make bread for her I take a tablespoon of my standard wheat and rye starter and feed it 1/4 cup spelt with 1/8 cup water. The next day discard all except 1 tablespoon of that and feed it another 1/4 cup spelt with 1/8 cup water. Repeat a few times and you will end up with an all spelt starter. Once you get it going, you can scale the feeding back to 1/8 cup flour with 1 tablespoon water daily just to keep it going.

Good Luck,