Spelt Flour Sourdough

I’ve been trying to buy and experiment with different flours to get a better appreciation and understanding about how they affect the fermentation, rise, flavor and look of the bread. For this double batch I used some Bob’s Red Mill spelt flour as about 20% of the flour in the recipe.

Spelt sourdough loaves cooling on rack

Schedule: I based this loaf off of my sourdough schedule.

Since this is a 100% naturally leavened bread, I created a levain with my sourdough starter that was last fed 12 hours prior. This levain provides enough for 2 loaves of bread, plus a little extra to keep your starter going.

30 minutes before mixing the levain and salt into the dough, I performed an autolyse by mixing the water and flour together.

Ingredients:

Levain

Started at 9:00am with the following ingredients. Mix everything together and loosely cover and let it ferment for about 8 hours.

  • 26g unfed sourdough starter (last feeding was 24 hours prior)
  • 128g filtered water @ 85-90’F
  • 102g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
  • 26g King Arthur whole wheat flour

Dough

  • 627g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
  • 157g Bob’s Red Mill spelt flour
  • 572g filtered water @ 90-95’F
  • 216g levain
  • 21g sea salt
Spelt sourdough boule

Method:

After mixing the dough, I performed 4 stretch and folds within the first 4 hours. The dough fermented at room temperature (around 70’F) overnight. After the overnight fermentation I divided the dough and shaped them before proofing in bannetons for 3 hours.

Before putting the loaves in the dutch ovens, I dusted them liberally with flour and scored them with a lame. This was only the second time using one and don’t think I cut deep enough.

I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 38 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 14 minutes.

Result:

Spelt gives the sourdough a flavor very close to using whole wheat flour. I only used about 20% spelt flour in this recipe but want to try boosting that percentage up in a future loaf. I would also like to mix in whole wheat and rye flour to give it even more complexity.

For this bake, I cut back the fermentation time by a couple of hours since I was thinking the last few batches might have been over fermented slightly prior to proofing. I still feel like the dough was a little loose while proofing and still need to think about that some more. It’s possible i’m not developing the gluten well enough during the stretch and fold stage.

I didn’t make a full 1,000g batch so each of my loaves turned out a little small, but that’s probably for the best since I’ll be baking a lot of bread over the next few weeks and these smaller loaves are easier to eat through or freeze.

Spelt sourdough crumb shot
Spelt sourdough crumb shot

My Baking Notes

  • Ambient Temperature: 70’F
  • Started autolyse @ 4:30pm
  • Water temp: 92’F
  • Dough was 88’F at autolyse
  • Mixed @ 5:00pm
  • Dough was 81’F after mixing
  • 4 stretch and folds in first 4 hours
  • Started proof @ 6:35am
  • Preheated oven @ 9:00am
  • Into oven @ 9:45am
Spelt sourdough loaves

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