Whole Spelt Sourdough Bread – 2 loaves
(adapted from Josey Baker Bread, Chronicle 2014)
12 grams sourdough starter (about 1 tablespoon)
120 g water (60 degrees)
120 g whole-spelt flour Dough:
720 g water (80 degrees)
960 g whole-spelt flour
24 g sea salt—fine grind
Steps for preparing starter, measuring, mixing, dividing, shaping, and baking bread:
Loaf pans are recommended (about 8″x 4″)
- Mix your preferment (starter) using an active sourdough starter–8-12 hours before you want to mix your dough. The 2 tsp. of starter should be sour smelling in a good way and be fluffy and bubbly.
- Cover your preferment with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temp. for 8-12 hours.
- Mix Dough: Combine all the preferment, 720 g water, and 960 g whole spelt flour. Mix just until it is totally hydrated. Then, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. This dough will feel different, stretchy.
- Stretch and Fold: Dip your hand in a bowl of water and reach under dough in bowl; stretch and fold on top of it self. Rotate the bowl as you stretch and fold about 10 times. Cover it and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. You may notice that the dough tears more than other doughs you’ve made, but don’t worry. Just be as gentle as possible in the stretch and fold process.
- Stretch and fold another ten times. Cover it and let it sit for another 20-30 minutes. Perform 2 more stretch and folds, after 15-30 minutes.
- To shape your loaf in 3-4 hours, let it sit out at room temperature. If you want to shape your loaf in 12-48 hours, stick it in the fridge, covered tightly. (BULK RISE). For better flavor, I recommend a long ferment in the fridge.
- Shape for loaf pan. After the bulk rise, flour your surface and pull the dough gently from the bowl. Shape it into a log, and place it in a oiled loaf pan, seam-side down. Spray or brush oil on the top of the loaf and cover with an aluminum foil tent; 2” height is adequate.
- Final rise: Do you want to bake your loaf in 3-4 hours? In that case, leave it out at room temperature. If you want to bake anywhere from 6-24 hours later, place the foil-covered loaf pan in your fridge. You can also put it outside if the temperature is about 45 degrees.
You may (or may not) have bubbles appear on the surface of your spelt loaf; this is not a problem.
- Preheat Oven. Set the temperature of your oven to 475˚F/240˚C. Preheat for about 30 minutes. For this loaf, remove the loaf from the fridge during this half hour.
- Bake your bread. With the foil still on top, bake for 20 minutes. Then take off the foil and enjoy the beauty of your bread made with spelt! Bake another 25 minutes. The bread should be dark brown. If it’s not give it a another 5-7 minutes.
- Cool your bread. Spelt breads benefit from a cooling off period, just like other whole grain breads. Because it is a fairly wet dough, it can be a bit gummy if you cut into it too soon.