Whole Spelt Sourdough

When you think of 100% whole grain spelt bread, what images come to mind? Bland 1970’s era health food? What people with dietary restrictions must resort to? Lots of hard and challenging work? A door stop?

Those were largely my impressions until I found this spelt bread recipe to be as delicious and easy to make as it is nutritious. So when the inspiration strikes to get virtuous with your eating habits without sacrificing sensory pleasure, give this one a whirl. You’ll enjoy that flaky, buttery croissant all the more when you rotate this spelt recipe through your bread baking line-up now and then.

A bit about spelt: Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat with its roots in the Fertile Crescent some 9000 years ago. It is more widely used in Europe where it’s known as dinkel in Germany and farro in Italy. While higher in protein than commonly used wheat varieties, the nature of its proteins results in less gluten formation when making bread dough. Spelt is renowned for its health benefits. Many people with wheat allergies or sensitivities can enjoy bread made with spelt flour. What really helped make a fan out of me, however, is the mellow nutty flavor that spelt delivers. Read more about the Wonders of Spelt.

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The Ingredients:

530 grams (about 5 cups well fluffed up) whole spelt flour
350 grams (~1+1/2 cups) water
10 grams (1+1/2 tsp) salt
3 Tbs honey or sugar or 2 Tbs agave
1/4 cup sourdough starter
Follow the instructions in the video.

Bake at 450 for 45 minutes or until internal temp is 195-200.

Whole Grain Spelt

Spelt/Kamut Variation

Miscellaneous Notes: I’ve baked this bread several times since making the video and have found a few things you can vary in order to adapt the recipe to your time schedule.

Spacing the stretch and folds out by as little as 10-15 minute works just as well as the 30-60 minutes mentioned in the video. Three or four stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals seems pretty optimal.

Most of the time I mix up the dough in the evening, let it sit out overnight, and bake it the next morning. But I’ve also mixed up the dough in the morning and then immediately refrigerated the dough in a covered bowl until just before bed time. I then took it out to proof at room temperature until morning. This worked very well too.

You could probably also leave the dough in the fridge for up to a two or three days until you’re ready to bake. Since the dough continues to proof in the fridge (just very slowly), you’ll want to be careful not to let the dough sit out too long after removing from the fridge or it may over-proof. Since I haven’t tried this yet, you’ll have to take a good guess on the timing and let us know your experience.

Another relatively minor thing I’m doing differently now than when I shot the video, is I’m leaving the lid on the baker for the entire 45 minutes. I find the crust gets plenty brown and crusty this way.

Wheat Berries

Wheat Berries

Recipe Variations: There are, of course, endless ways to vary the recipe. A mix of spelt and kamut flour also produced an excellent loaf. Kamut is another ancient variety of wheat known for its nutritional value and naturally sweet and nutty flavor. The “official” kamut web site has some very interesting information.

Kamut flour has different moisture absorbtion properties than spelt, so if you’re playing around with different combinations of grains, you’ll also have to adjust the amount of water used. The following worked well:

300 grams spelt flour
230 grams kamut flour
360 grams water
Same as video for everything else.

August 2011 Update: Thanks Brent for this Spelt Bread Recipe variation and how to make it into sandwich loaves. Great picture too!

Feb 2012 Update: Check out Phil Dellinger’s post for Dutch Crunch topping.

 

{ 558 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria September 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Sorry I posted twice, I did not know it worked the first time.
This is my second loaf baked on a dutch oven.

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Maria September 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Eric:
Thank you so much for this wonderful site. I have been making bread with the help of your videos for a few years. I have seen your videos so many times that you are like part of my kitchen.
I made today the spelt bread and it taste very good and I love that is 100% whole flour. I made two loafs, one on a Romertopf and the other one on a dutch oven. I follow the directions on your revised version with the 15 minutes stretch periods. I used parchment paper and scored the dough with scissors. I feel like the skin of the bread is not as it should be, maybe I needed more raising time or maybe it was over proofed, can you tell by looking at it? I sure can not.
Also I am thinking of buying a grain mill and would like to know if someone has an Idea of where I could buy grain in Downingtown, PA.
Please forgive me if my English is not good.

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Maria September 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

Anyone knows where can I buy grain in Chester county, PA? I leave in Downingtown. I am considering buying a flour mill but I do not know where to get the grain.
I love this website and I have been making sourdough no knead bread for a few years, I think is an addiction.
Today I am trying for the first time the spelt recipe. I will let you know how it goes.
Thank you again for this wonderful site

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Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl September 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Maria,
Like you, we’re addicted to homemade bread as well and have been buying whole grains in bulk. ( 40-50 lbs. ) I store the grains in airtight, food safe buckets. I purchased my Wonder Mill from Eric and order the grains from Pleasant Hill Grains http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/ and Honeyville Grain. http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/ My local healthfood store can order the grains for me, but at a much higher cost. Happy grain shopping ! Kris

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Maria September 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

Hi Kris, thank you for your answer.
Do you know if a kitchenaid grain-mill attachment wood be good to mill grain? I am trying to save some money and I have seen it on amazon for 90 dollars.
Thanks

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Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl September 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Dear Maria, Didn’t know that KA has a grain-mill attachment. Please read the reviews before buying one and I would also ask Eric for his advice.
I checked out http://www.breadbeckers.com/. Debra is correct. Their prices are much better than the vendors I suggested. The 42 lb. bucket of spelt is least 50% less than Pleasant Hill.

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Inge Rush September 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

Hi Maria:

I use the Kitchenaid grain-mill attachment all the time. I run whole wheat and rye through twice at the finest setting; spelt berries just once. Works great.

Do pay attention to the instructions: run the attachment at full speed with the top locked; I think it needs the motor’s full power to do the job. When I was evaluating this purchase I noted a lot of postings re: burning out the motor. I notice that if I do only one hopper of grain at a time (even when running it through twice) it works great (one hopper gets more than enough flour for 1-2 breads); gets slightly warm but not hot …

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Maria from Pennsylvania September 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Inge, and thank you so much for your help. The Kitchenaid grain-mill attachment is a lot cheaper and on top of that I would not have to worry about another appliance on my counter .
Where do you buy your grain? What grain do you use for bread flour or do you buy it as flour.
I can not believe how nice everybody is.
Sorry I know I have too many questions.

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Inge Rush October 1, 2011 at 10:26 am

Thanks Maria!

Re: the grain – I got mine from Wheat Montana Farms and Bakery (Spelt and Whole Wheat).

Debra September 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

You may want to look into a coop with the BreadBeckers. They have excellent prices. I’ve bought wheat, etc. from them for many years. Their website: http://www.breadbeckers.com/

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Maria September 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Hi Debra and thanks a lot. I look and they do not have one in PA but I wish they did.

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Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl September 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Debra, thanks for the link to BreadBeckers. Great site and their prices are by far the best I have seen. They will definitely get my business.

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Maria September 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I have been looking on line and I have found a good price on grain.
http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=FS%20P380
It is not organic but at this time I think It will have to do for me.
Please let me know if you get across something better.
Do you recommend buying a use grain mill?

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Dr_Mike October 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Maria –

Where you are, I would buy spelt where I buy mine. I drive from Eastern Long Island to Dutch Valley Foods in Myerstown just outside Lancaster. It was $55 for 50 lbs last month. (OK, I usually just duck South on a trip to Ohio, but you are one county over. For you it’s a no brainer.)

Tell them you are a home user, they’ll sell to you no problems. Phone or email ahead with an order and estimated pick up time and they’ll have it on the dock waiting.

So why did I come back last time with 50# of rye, 50# of hard red winter wheat, and 50# of spelt? Because I still have 30# of hard white winter wheat, so I used a bit of restraint.

Your post was a year ago, I hope you set your email to notify you of followups…

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Miri September 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

FYI. Spelt in not farro,so if you have a recipe that ask for farro do not sub with spelt and expect the same result. Farro gives you better result in bread baking, spelt is not as good as farro. Farro is emmer wheat .
Spelt botanical name is triticum spelta and originated as a hybrid from emmer wheat and regular wheat. Farro botanical name is triticum dicoccon and it’s used commonly in Italy (not spelt). Unfortunately is more expensive and harder to find in USA.

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Jack Taylor September 14, 2011 at 2:45 am

I just stumbled upon your site this early morning. I’m also a bread fanatic but more of a connoisseur of breads. I agree with you, if I had one thing to live on the rest of my life, I do believe it would be bread!

I’m not very experienced with making breads (mostly just eating someone else’s bread ), but yesterday the bread baking bug hit me and I experimented with a basic yeast bread using an Ale yeast I purchased online. I am not exactly sure about the details of the yeast, but it has a distinct and lovely smell that reminds you a bit of butter with a very subtle after smell of the mold in bleu cheese. It leant a very nice taste to my bread.

I’ll be really checking out your site because I was hunting on using a natural bacteria and yeast symbiotic thing. I’ve been reading up on lactobacillus strains and am really interested in this. I can play the mad scientist and then eat my creations! Never mind how much healthier I’ll be!

Jack
Columbia, Tenn.

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Breadtopia September 15, 2011 at 5:22 am

Hi Jack,

It’s always nice to meet another bread fanatic! Your Ale yeast sounds very intriguing. Once you start getting into natural leavening you’ll no doubt get hooked on it. It definitely enhances the whole baking experience.

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Hana August 15, 2011 at 3:38 am

Hi, In was wondering if you know how this recipe should be adjusted for baking in the SLOW COOKER/CROCK POT.
I dont have a bread machine and prefer to use smaller appliances than the whole oven, so I like the idea of baking bread in the crock pot and there are various instructions for this on the internet, youtube etc. Nevertheless I have only baked one bread and cannot call myself experienced so I hoped somebody here might have more of an idea. Much appreciated :)!!!

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Toneweaver August 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I loved this recipe, and since my wife prefers spelt over wheat, I decided to try tweaking it for our everyday sandwich loaf. I’ve been around on it a few times and think I’ve come up with something pretty good as an adaptation of Eric’s wonderful hearth loaf formula:

For each loaf:
Dry ingredients
530 g spelt flour 100%
10 g salt 1.9%
1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten (this could be omitted for people with wheat gluten problems, but I find it helps the rise)
1-2 T each sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds

Wet ingredients
350 g water 66%
3T (64 g) honey or molasses, or a mix 12%
1/4 c. starter (I have a spelt starter @100% hydration)
(I sometimes augment this with a pinch or two of commercial yeast)

I mix this in two-loaf batches and do 4 stretch-and-folds before putting the dough in the refrigerator for the night. In the morning I degas the dough a bit more (to get fewer big holes) as I form the loaves, place them in 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pans, cover and let rise until they’re 1.5 times their original size (this can take as long as six hours on some days). I score the loaves lengthwise (which you can see in the picture), then bake 1 hr. at 375° F to an internal temperature of 200°. My family loves the flavor and texture of this bread, and with the seeds it’s a little homage to Dave’s Killer Bread, which is made here in Portland, Oregon. :-)

As you can see from my photographer daughter’s picture, we couldn’t quite wait the full hour before cutting into this loaf, but it should give you an idea of the crumb.

Thanks, Eric, for this terrific bread recipe!

Toneweaver (Brent)

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Maria from Pennsylvania December 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Hi Brent, I made the bread with your recipe and it is to dye for. I love it. I have been trying to make 100% whole grain bread but I did not like the consistency, yours is perfect. Have you tried with other grains other than spelt? I hope it works with hard red wheat.
Thank you for posting your recipe.
Maria

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Maria from Pennsylvania December 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Sorry I want it to say die for.

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Linda L Costa April 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

could U share this recipe :~) it looks SOOOOO good I have IBS and I need new things in my diet.

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Vanessa September 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Brent I have the bread in the oven and so far smells heavenly. I have been trying to bake with sprouted flour for our everyday sandwich bread and have baked several recipes, this one is bookmarked and saved.
Thank you for the tweaking :-)
I used dry yeast as I just got my starter from Eric and is still in the process of refreshing.
Love this website!

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Vanessa September 18, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Ok bread is out of the oven, cooled and it is just perfect!
Thank you again Eric and Brent for this fabulous healthy recipe :-)
Eric I am refreshing the starter with the spelt, is it ok right?

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Breadtopia September 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Yes, your starter will love spelt ☺.

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Vanessa September 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Awesome, thank you :-) and thank you for all the cool informative videos too.

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carolee August 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hi Eric
I want to try the spelt bread and was wondering how much yeast should I start out with as I don’t have a sour dough starter. Thank you.

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Breadtopia August 17, 2011 at 9:53 am

I’m guessing somewhere from a 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tsp. I’d start with 1/2 and see how it goes.

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siuflower August 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hi Eric,

what is the best way to bake bread use fresh grind berries like spelt and kamut. I heard of green flour, can I milled the berries and use it right away or should I let the fresh flour to sit and oxide for awhile. I’m confuse about the green flour issue.

siuflower

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Breadtopia August 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

I’m not too sure there is a “best” way. I almost always mill just what I need at the time and use it right away. I’m happy with the results and don’t notice much if any difference if the milled flour sits in the fridge for extended periods of time.

Supposedly fresh milled (green) flour retains more of the inherent nutritional value and many report better flavor. Whereas aging improves the gluten forming properties so should help with more loft in the bread.

Take your pick. If you experiment and come to a conclusion of your own, I’d love to hear about it.

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Breadtopia August 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

Hi Peggy,

You could use a pair of standard loaf pans. You don’t have to bake in a covered baker. A pair of oblong cloches is nice but pricey.

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Peggy August 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

What do you bake the divided loaves in? I have tried dividing the loaf in 2 before I bake, but it turns into 1 loaf anyway. I usually cut the loaf in half and freeze half until we are ready for it. I store the loaves in plastic bags and keep in the refrigerator.

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Breadtopia August 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hi Sophie,

Nice pic!

The question of how to best store the bread is a good one. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution. After the bread is sliced you have the option of storing in something non plastic which tends to promote staling or storing in a plastic bag which keeps the bread fresh longer but makes the crust soft.

Sometimes, I’ll just cover the cut end of the bread with foil and store the whole loaf in a paper bag. That seems to be a decent compromise. Or I’ll use the toaster or toaster oven to crisp it up again. I also like to bake smaller loaves and, like you, don’t have much trouble devouring them quickly :).

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Sophie August 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm

wow this bread is amazing i was so excited making this and it worked beautifully! i didnt have a ceramic baking vessel so i improvised and used a ceramic casserole dish with our pizza stone as a lid and a couple of random bricks in our massive gas oven for extra thermal mass, achieved a lovely crust and ‘oven spring’ :)

What is the best way to keep homemade bread? (not that i have to keep it long, it gets devoured pretty quickly!)

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Gloria July 29, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Yum! Looks good enough to eat.
I’ve tried two methods of storing that work fine. I divide dough into two loaves in aluminum bread pans and this time, baked both. I sliced one after it cooled and put the slices in the freezer. I keep the second one on the counter, cut side down and covered loosely with a towel. Each day I cut the pieces as needed and return it to the cutting board, stored on the counter. This is the third day after baking and I’ve got about 1/2 loaf left since I’m the only one eating it. It is still fresh and when I toast it, put olive oil and garlic on a slice, it is sheer heaven. Hope this helps.

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Andrew Chan July 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I suppose every oven varies- mine is set to 235°C. It is more important to reach the required temperature inside the bread.

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Peggy July 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Are you sure your oven temperature is accurate? My bread is always in the 210 range with the top on.

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Andrew July 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

I use a Romertopf as in Eric’s video. When I baked with the lid on, I find the spelt bread a little too wet in the middle and the temperature does not reach the required 200°C.

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Peggy July 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

What problem were you having that leaving the top off the baker fixed? What kind of baker were you using?

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Andrew July 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

I forgot to include a photo. Here is the one I baked earlier.

Andrew

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Andrew July 13, 2011 at 6:16 am

Hello Eric,
Thank-you for yet another wonderful recipe .Followed your advice and baked the spelt sourdough with the lid off. Turned out great!

Warmest regards,
Andrew
A

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Toneweaver July 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

This is wonderful stuff — I’ve made it several times now (measuring by weight) and have had great results. Has anyone modified this for a sandwich loaf variation?

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Breadtopia July 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

Hi Dean,

Your experiences sound like normal bread baking to me. Results vary all the time even when you think you’ve done things the same as before. It’s often difficult to pin down what causes variations.

As for thawing frozen bread, I just let it sit out at room temp until it’s thawed. If there’s a better, I don’t know it.

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Dean June 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Once frozen, what’s the best way to thaw it?

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anna June 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Does this bread freeze well if I made some up in advance to have on hand?

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Breadtopia June 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Sure, just wrap it well.

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Dean June 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm

To clarify–by “dense” in my last comment/question, I mean airy but substantive, it holds together nicely and can be sliced thinly without falling apart.

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Dean June 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I have made this bread several times now, but I’m a little puzzled by the variability in the results. The first time I made it, it was perfect, but of the many times I’ve made it since then, I’d say half the time it turns out just as well as the first time, but the other half the time it still tastes good, and the bread still hangs together, but it isn’t quite as dense–it is more crumbly, and the crust is more likely to separate from the loaf easily, including when I am cutting through it. I thought that the first time I had the “crumbly” problem it might have over-proofed, but on subsequent times making the bread, I’ve been careful to time it precisely and to keep an eye on it so that didn’t happen. Now I’m wondering if the problem is that I have needed to do more stretch-and-folds. Maybe there is another element at play that I’m not considering. I’d appreciate any insights into what might be causing the results to be less than stellar.

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deb June 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

Roxy, I spray my bread pans with PAM and it works great!

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Roxy June 9, 2011 at 3:58 am

Okay, so I have been trying rather unsuccessfully to make sourdough spelt for about 1 month, and the time and effort for awful bread nearly had me beat. Then I came across your page and followed the instructions to the letter (except I added 1/3 cup of starter by mistake). The bread was amazing, light, fluffy and really tasty. My only problem was that the loaf stuck quite badly to the loaf tin I was using and I was wondering what I could do to avoid this next time ?
Thanks for giving me and my family great spelt sourdough at last !!!!!

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Breadtopia June 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Hi Darren,

Yes, you can scale the recipe down as much as you want. I probably wouldn’t alter the baking temp, just the time. I’d only be guessing at how much to shorten the baking time. This where an instant read thermometer comes in especially handy. You can check the temp for doneness at about 20 minutes (or whatever) and every few minutes thereafter until you know it’s done.

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Darren May 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

The recipe and video have been a wonderful intro into the realm of spelt. Family and friends who don’t take well to gluten have reaped the benefits.

One friend wants to start making the bread, but the size of this recipe makes more bread than a single person can eat in a few days. Could she simply use half the ingredients to make a smaller loaf? If she did, how would she adjust the baking time and temperature?

Many thanks for your work in putting all of these videos together.

Darren

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Beatrice May 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

I did the 100% spelt bread with a SD made from 25gr. Rye SD that I feed with Spelt flour 3 times, every time with 50 gr. of spelt as I wanted to have a bigger quantity than I needed for the recipe. It went very well and very fast. I also used water yeast water to do it.
Then I followed the recipe scrupulously. The whole story is on my website with photos (that I will try to upload here.)
Although the crumb is tight it look much better than any spelt bread I ever saw in health food shops, and the one that I bought months ago and was so dry and unedible that I gave it to the various animals I have around the house….
This one is perfectly edible and the only thing I think to change to my next try will be to put more salt.
Thank Eric for the video that was very instructive for me as it’s a long time that I didn’t deal with dough that need to be strechted and fold. My rye bread is a wet dough as well as my tries with glutenfree flours.
Bea the Bee

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Peggy May 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Have been making this sourdough spelt for nearly a year. Have continuing varied results – the bread is gummy alot. Temp always indicates it is done. Doesn’t seem to rise much. Frequently sticks to the proofing basket. Any suggestions?

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Breadtopia May 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

Hi Beatrice,

You sure can use a spelt sourdough to make the all spelt bread. I usually just keep one (white flour) starter culture and use that for everything since it’s a lot easier to manage. But any healthy culture would work. Just depends on how much of a purist you want to be.

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Beatrice Aimée Botvinik May 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Hi Eric,
I read your posts on TFL but never visited your website… I get hooked by the subject of gluten free and water yeasts and found the link to your 100% spelt bread. People who has intolerance to gluten but not suffering specifically from Celiac, seem to be able to have spelt flour.
My question is about the SD. Would you use a Spelt SD for your recipe when you say 100% Spelt ? I made one yesterday and it’s ready ! I didn’t expect such a rapidity since I remember the full week it took to make my first attempt with Rye and the 10/12 days it took to make a rice SD lately…
It’s now bubbling like made. I could use it straight away. What would you do ? Bee18

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Breadtopia May 19, 2011 at 5:18 am

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the link. Beautiful photos. Your sisters photography talent, technically and artistically, shines. Looking forward to the next installment.

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Eric May 19, 2011 at 1:25 am

Hey Eric,
I’m Eric too. I’ve been trying out your recipes for a while and have really enjoyed myself. My sister is a photographer and took photos while I made the spelt dough a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately she was just over for the evening so she’s going to shoot some more pictures the next time a make this bread.
I used yeast since I didn’t have a starter going; I’m not sure exactly how much I used.
Here’s a link to her blog post:
http://www.ldankertson.com/roughhewn/?p=2186
Hopefully we’ll be able to get together soon for the rest of the process.

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gulia May 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm

where can i purchase the baking pans for my sourdough bread?

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Deb April 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

Dean, yes, I use the same technique but just use Hard Read Wheat. I am experimenting with the amount of flour I prefer. So far I’m down to 8 cups. With 8 cups, my bread turned out fabulously!

Concerning the technique, I follow Eric’s methods until the second day. I do not have proofing basket, so I just place my dough in a bread pan (glass) and let it rise for about 1 1/2 hours then pop it into a preheated (375 degree) oven to cook for 45 minutes.

hope this helps!!

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Ben Wattum April 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm

My spelt bread is turning out great, but comparing it with Spelt that I purchase in the local store, it doesn’t seem to be able to absorb liquid as well as the commercial stuff. My wife’s favorite breakfast is a poached egg on bread, with hot milk poured over it, and my bread just doesn’t seem to absorb as well. Any suggestions. Guar gum?

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Dean April 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Thanks so much for this recipe! I tried it over the weekend and am thrilled with the results. I had been trying various whole grain sourdough recipes recently with mixed success, but now that I finally tried this one, I’m wishing I had tried it sooner.

Deb–I’m curious about your comment. Are you using the exact measurements and techniques in this recipe with the wheat flour instead of the spelt flour? I was so happy with the results with the spelt flour, I will keep using this recipe, but it would be good to know about a more economical alternative which would still be a whole grain sourdough.

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Deb April 21, 2011 at 9:34 am

Hi all! Interestingly, I made this sourdough bread for a year or so using spelt as recommended but decided about 2 months ago to try hard red wheat instead of spelt. My family actually likes it better! Since the red wheat is cheaper (a lot) than spelt, it’s a win win! I did have to make some adjustments to amounts of flour though.

Also, I’m considering trying to make this recipe in my dlx mixer. If I do, I plan to use the dough hook and kneed the dough for a minute on and 15 minutes off for the stretch and pull portion. What do you thing about doing this? I’ve learned over the years that trying different methods sometimes leads to surprising results; some good/some not so good!

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Linda April 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Thank you Breadtopia, made my first ever starter and after feeding it every day with a different flour and water ONLY….. EUREKA !! I used up all the wee bits of flour left in bags. Strong Bread, White spelt. wholegrain spelt, Rye and wholemeal and on the 6th day I used some mongrel starter to make your spelt recipe. i also mixed white spelt, wholegrain spelt and strong white bread flour to make up the flour volume in the recipe…………..Well it worked a treat Ive never tasted bread so good and it will obviously get much better with more practice. ………….another random add was New Zealand Bio Thyme Honey. I could not believe how the bread turned out. I know breadtopia are purists but my carefree starter making proves that as long as you tend to your starter with love and care and follow Breadtopias great directions your starter can succeed ONLY ONE PROBLEM my hubby and i polished the loaf off before it was cool…………hopefully the first of many sourdough loaves.

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JeanBean April 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Can I use Farro, instead of Spelt???

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melanie April 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm

so i made another starter and baked my first loaf using this recipie and it is crumdiddly!!!!!!! thank you so much….lip smackin good!!!

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alli April 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Here’s my report on retarding the dough, for anyone interested. I mixed the dough up in the evening, then put it straight in the fridge and let it proof slowly for 24 hrs, and even then it hadn’t done much. I removed it from the fridge the following evening and left it out at (mostly cool) room temp for another 16 hours. The dough never did get all puffy and bubbly like my previous efforts, but it had increased in volume and looked somewhat bubbly. I was worried about it overproofing – and I was eager to eat it – so I baked it early in the afternoon on day 2. The dough stuck to the banneton, and flopped out when I transferred it to the dutch oven. All good reasons for the relatively poor final volume of the finished loaf. Oven spring was ok, but not as good as earlier loaves. Taste was more sour; I actually preferred it to the non-retarded spelt sourdough. Oh, and we added pumpkin seeds when we mixed the dough – really excellent. Thanks so much for this recipe!

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melanie April 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm

my starter is soupy, is that ok? it does smell sour like yeast but its not the airy bouncy dough like consistency. did i make a boo-boo? :)

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Breadtopia April 3, 2011 at 10:55 am

If you mean freeze the starter itself, that may kill it. Otherwise freezing the bread after it’s baked is a good way to store it.

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melanie April 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

Have you ever tried to freeze the spelt sourdough?

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Lloyd April 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Eric:

Just had to tell you that I love your web site and baking techniques. It has inspired me to make sourdough bread again and it is better than ever before. I just wanted to pick up on one thing you said in at the bottom of the written instructions. You said you left the bread in the covered baker for 45 minutes without taking off the cover. I have been doing that for years with my la cloche bakers and consistently get beautiful crust and crumb. My theory is the fewer the steps and ingredients the better.

Lloyd

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Breadtopia April 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Thanks Lloyd!

To Melanie: Go ahead and use the pans for now. Your bread will be a whole lot better than anything you can typically buy in the store. If you can get into a covered baker down the road, you’ll likely get a better crust and more oven spring.

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melanie March 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Hi there, I dont have a dutchoven or anything like that yet. Up until now I’ve been using regular baking pans. How much difference will it make if I start off using a baking pan until I get a clay vessel? Thanks Mel

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Susan Speigel March 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Can’t wait to try spelt or spelt and kamut sourdough bread! I get so inspired watching these wonderful videos! Thank you!

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