I have been doing some of my experiements with Spelt flour and decided to do up a Spelt Bread which was mainly from Spelt instead of just adding Spelt to other recipes. I made up a preferment in the evening and left it out at room temperature:
- 4 cups Whole Spelt Flour – 14 oz
- 2 cups Spring Whole Wheat flour – 8.4 oz
- 3 cups water- 24 oz
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt – .3 oz (to control fermentation)
- 1 cup vigorous Desem or Whole Wheat starter at 100% hydration – 9 oz
I put this into a large covered container and next morning it was very bubbly. I then poured the premix into my mixer and added:
- 3 Tablespoon Oil – 1.5 oz
- 2.5 teaspoons Sea Salt – .7 oz
- 1 Tablespoon Non-Diastatic Malt syrup – .85 oz
- 4 cups of bread flour – 18 oz
I mixed the dough for about 2 minutes, but had to take the dough out of the mixer and knead some by hand as the batch wasn’t as large as my usual batches and the dough was wandering around the bowl and not mixing as well as it should. I put the dough back into the mixing bowl and allowed the dough to autolyse for 20 minutes. I then mixed again for another minute. The dough, with the malt included as part of the liquid, was at 65% hydration. The dough felt nice, but I think I would make it at 67% hydration next time, adding a small amount more of water (about 1 oz or 1/8 cup water). I let the dough double, which it did in about 3.5 hours, and then I shaped the loaves. After proofing the loaves for about 2 hours, I baked them at 450 degrees in my usual way, by slashing the loaf, placing it on the hot oven stone,spraying the dough once, covering it with a preheated large roaster lid for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, I take off the lid and turn down the oven to 425 degrees and let the bread bake for 15 more minutes, turning once during that time to allow for even browning. The bread is quite delicious. It has a chewy crust and a soft, moist crumb. Here are some pictures:
The slashes on the long loaf reminded me that it was time to change the blade!
Here is a picture of the crumb, no nice outside picture, as by the time the bread cooled, the sun had fled:
This recipe made 4 lb 11 ounces of dough, just enough to make two large loaves and give a little piece of dough to smallest daughter to shape into her own loaf, which was cut into and eaten faster than the camera could be whipped out! Spelt has a wonderful mild flavor, which would come to mind if someone said “Old World Flavor”. It is also a soft flour and weighs only 3.5 ounces per cup right after grinding. The flour feels very soft and fluffy. When added to white flours, to bring up the ash content, it seems to make the bread crumb lighter and fluffier. Give it a try, it can be found in most health food and bulk food stores.