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.

 

{ 560 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Giannoni June 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Has anyone ever tired to double the recipe to get a larger loaf?

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Bill June 9, 2013 at 2:51 am

I’m getting a larger loaf by adding more starter and leaving all of the other ingredients the same as the original recipe. I like the taste a lot and have gotten lots of compliments. I grow my starter in a 3 cup glass measuring jar. When it gets to 2 1/2 cups I add all of this to the water and honey. This gives me a somewhat better rise with larger holes. The size isn’t double though. And the taste is different.

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Sara Giannoni June 9, 2013 at 5:43 am

You add 2 1/2 cups of starter rather than 1/4 cup? Do you feed and grow the starter the morning before starting the bread?
Thank you!
Sara

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Bill June 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Yes. I add 2 1/2 cups of starter. I start with maybe a half cup of starter and grow it for a day or so, adding more flour each time it doubles. However, the 1/4 cup and the 2 1/2 cup measurements are different. When I used to add the 1/4 cup I would spoon my starter in to a measuring cup, which would compress it. So I was probably adding close to 1/2 cup of uncompressed starter. Now I grow the starter in a 3 cup jug and when it reaches between 2 1/2 cups and 3 cups, air spaces included, I spoon it all in to the water and honey. Then I add the flour and salt.

I’ve never paid much attention to how long it takes to grow this much starter. When I make bread later this week I’ll take notes and get back to you.

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Bill June 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

I started with 1/3 cup of starter. I fed it when I took it out of the fridge. I fed it one more time half way through the process and in 11 hours I had 2 1/2 cups of starter. I think it helps that the highs are in the mid 80s and we don’t use air conditioning. I think I could have done it in 10 hours if I’d paid attention to the rise.

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ebashi May 11, 2013 at 3:13 am

OMG, I just had a big revelation moment, so I thought I’d share it. I have been thinking for months that there’s something wrong with my starter, I just haven’t been getting the rise lately. I did not know that your starter has to double before it’s going to be any good at rising the dough. So I discovered that if I take the starter out of the fridge in the morning, halve it to 125gms, feed it with 125gms flour and 125gms water and wait until the starter has doubled (usually 8hrs or so). And then I begin to make my bread. And the next morning the dough has exploded to 2-3 times it’s size and the resulting loaf has great holes and texture. Very, very happy now as my starter is 2 years old and I didn’t want to lose it.

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jyoti patel May 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi Eric,
Thank you so much for this wonderful site. Your sourdough stater video is great. I tried to make sourdough starter many times and never worked. Your video explained so well that I could make starters with spelt and rye flours. The rye starter is very strong. I also followed your spelt sourdough bread recipe from your video. It was a success. My bread was slight dense but had very good taste. I use only 5 teaspoon of sugar instead of 3 table spoon. I don’t have any clay pans so I baked in a heated cast iron skillet covered with another hot skillet. I also tried using guar gum and mashed potato in separate breads to make the bread light. It improved the texture slightly. Now I am trying to use malted barley. Since I can not find diastatic malt in my town, I am sprouting barley and planning to dry the sprouts and grind them. Do you have any info. regarding the use of homemade barley sprout flour or store bought diastatic malt? I think that it needs very little amount. I stopped using commercial yeast, wheat gluten and whole wheat flour many years ago and now use organic spelt and kamut flour in non yeast breads. With your sourdough spelt recipe I can now make spelt bread. I can not thank you enough.
JP

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Elinor April 4, 2013 at 8:21 am

I tried this recipe after having cultivated a wholemeal spelt starter for a few weeks now. For my first ever sourdough loaf I am very pleased, but there weren’t any large air bubbles in my loaf. So I have something to improve on next time, what could have caused this? My starter was healthy, although not as bubbly as the one on your video, and the overnight fermenting didn’t lead to a big increase in volume… also I don’t have any of the baking containers or proffing basket yet. I did the final proving in the ceramic loaf baking container and then added a tin foil top when I put it in the oven.

Any ideas what to try and do differently next time to get that nice airy texture?

E

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Elinor April 13, 2013 at 5:17 am

I was a bit stricter with my starter this time and instead of just adding a couple of spoons of flour and water I discarded and doubled. I need to learn to start with small amounts I think otherwise I am going to get throug loads of flour. I think this might have made the difference with the loaf though. This one rose a nice amount – so much so it wouldn’t fit back in the oven to finish it off.

If I were to scale the quantities down should I just do all evenly? I guess I can experiment.

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Breadtopia April 13, 2013 at 5:26 am

Well done, Elinor. Good idea on strengthening your starter. Yes on your scaling question.

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Bill March 26, 2013 at 3:27 am

The practice loaves came out okay. Here’s hoping my friends will like their Easter gifts.

By the way, lately I’ve gotten plenty of rise overnight but the next morning after minimally handling the dough and proofing it I don’t feel like I’m getting the rise or oven spring that I used to get. Any suggestions?

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Bill March 26, 2013 at 3:21 am

I made a foil separator so I could bake smaller loaves.

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Laura March 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Thank you for the recipes! Having finished cultivating my own rye sourdough starter, I have now baked my second loaf (the spelt sourdough pictured). My first was your rye sourdough, which was so popular I didn’t have time to take a picture!

I baked these two loaves in my cast iron dutch oven, but I’d like to make this spelt loaf again in a loaf pan (PB&J sandwiches are especially popular in our house). As a newbie to bread baking, I have no idea how to convert the recipe. Should I do the final proofing in the loaf pan? Should I change the oven temp at all? Will the bake time be dramatically different or roughly the same?

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Bill March 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I do my final proofing in my metal loaf pan. I line it with baking paper to keep the bread from sticking. For baking, I make a loose aluminium tent and remove it for the final 15 minutes or so. I reduced the temperature by about 20 degrees when I baked a loaf last week and got good results. Prior to that I was getting a little bit of scorching on the bottom of the loaf. My bake time seems to always run 20 minutes or more longer. Maybe my oven thermostat isn’t accurate. I pull my loaf when the inner temperature is between 195 and 200, dump the loaf out of the pan and thump the bottom to be sure.

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Ashley March 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for the great recipe! I’m new to making sourdough and have tried a few different recipes – each time I got a flat, dense loaf, but not this time! I got loaf that actually rose! I think the honey was the trick. Thanks again!

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Bill February 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

My first by the book whole spelt sourdough loaf. Couldn’t have done it without these recipes and videos.

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Breadtopia February 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

Very nice!

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Peggy Crockett February 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

Hi,
What did you proof it in?
What did you bake it in?
Is this the recipe in the video? The loaf looks larger than usual.
Thanks,
Peggy

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Bill March 8, 2013 at 2:21 am

Yes. It’s the recipe in the video. I proofed it in a metal bread loaf pan lined with baking paper and cooked it in the same pan. I covered the loaf with foil for the first 30 minutes of baking and then pulled the loaf from the oven when the core reached just under 200 degrees. Sorry for the late reply.

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Bill March 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

I should have said that I covered the loaf loosely with a foil tent during the first 30 minutes of baking.

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Sondra Hodgkinson February 6, 2013 at 2:37 am

Hi from South Australia

I have watched your videos for the whole spelt sourdough bread and am keen to try it. I have some established starters to use and would like to try a dutch oven method, but here they are not readily available (well. for between $2-300 dollars) so I found and purchased a Romertopf clay baker, which you used in your video. However, when I got it home it had a glazed interior (bottom only) . Would this be suitable for pre-heating and cooking the bread? Does it need any different treatment than the unglazed version? Please, is someone able to help me with this problem. If it is not suitable, I may have to return it. I also have a Le Chasseur enameled cast iron casserole, but I believe the black handles on the lid may melt at high temps. Does anyone have experience with this?

Sondra

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Breadtopia February 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

Hi Sandra,

The glazed bottom is fine to use. Can the handle on the other dish be removed?

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Sondra Hodgkinson February 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm

thx for the reply. I have decided to go ahead with the spelt recipe jn my new clay baker and will preheat as you did. I also need to purchase a proofing basket from this site as I do not have one (not available here). My Creuset is precious and is used for soups, stews etc. and I need the handle and don’t want to ruin it. Will hunt for a suitable replacement SS handle to replace the black one if it is possible.

Once again, thx for both the recipes, the inspiration and the help.

Sondra

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ebashi March 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I have a romertopff clay baker without a lid, which is glazed inside. I put the dough directly into the Romer to proof, and soak it in water while doing so. Then once it’s risen it can go into a cold oven (otherwise it will crack). One thing with my baker is that the bread always sticks to the bottom, even with oiling, flouring, so to be on the safe side I cover the bottom with baking paper, and have no problems getting it out.
Good luck
Ebashi

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Chris April 30, 2013 at 12:16 am

Sondra

The handles on Le Creuset casseroles are made of phenolic resin and although they aren’t recommended for use above 375F they wont melt if used at higher temperatures. What will happen is that over a number of years they will become dulled and brittle, and eventually may crack.

You can buy replacements pretty easily or you could “upgrade” to a stainless steel one and not have to worry at all.

SS version

http://www.amazon.com/Creuset-Stainless-Steel-Replacement-Knob/dp/B0014JRN0Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1261327614&sr=8-1

Chris

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Anthea Cook August 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Hi Sondra, I know they have proofing baskets at the Bake and Brew shop at Gawler (also Prospect?) google them. I also have a Bessemer cast aluminum dutch oven but was worried about the handles as they said good to 200c only. I just used a loaf pan and made a tinfoil tent and it worked beautifully.

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Linda Morken January 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Your video’s are really good – invaluable! You might want to take a look at this article about the use of agave though – I understand it is very unhealthy: http://realfoodforager.com/why-i-never-use-agave/. Better to “stick” to raw honey!

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Kim January 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hi Eric,
I just received my Romertopf Clay Baker, and I’m in the process of making sourdough spelt for the first time! Back in the summer I went to a class on how to do sourdough and made a starter. I have only made bread twice. It was good, but I am really excited about trying your recipe. You make it look easy…I hope I have success. I received the rising basket and danish dough hook for Christmas, so I am putting all these things to good use tonight. I am looking forward to baking my bread in the morning! Do I need to wash my baker tonight? I am not planning on soaking it. I will be using it strictly for baking bread. I have been milling my own wheat for 3 years and making wheat bread, but sourdough is something I love!! Thanks for the website…it is one of my favorites.

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Breadtopia January 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Hi Kim,

That all sounds great. Have fun with your bread baking adventures.

No, you don’t need to wash out the Romertopf.

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Kim January 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I did bake this morning, but I think my dough was too wet. I also preheated my pan, but my bread ended up sticking. I was able to get the majority out, but can I soak it to get the remaining bread out of my clay baker? I did use a spelt starter I had but may need to make starter using the pineapple method. It tasted fine but did not look at all like yours. I would be grateful for any advice you could offer. I am determined to try again until I get it right. Thanks, Kim

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Kathy January 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I also had a problem with 5 cups of flour — but I live at a higher altitude. I think somewhere between 4 and 4.5 is going to be what I need to use. It’s in the oven now — we’ll see how it goes! I have to also comment that I made my starter using the pineapple juice — and it turned out beautifully! THANK YOU

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shuhan December 11, 2012 at 6:07 am

Your recipe and video has been really helpful to me (: I’ve made this loaf with a few variations a few times now, but have only just blogged about it finally:
http://mummyicancook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/lazy-no-knead-sourdough-spelt-bread.html

I use a cast iron casserole pot instead of a Romertof, and a colander lined with a thin dishcloth instead of a proofing basket (:

Thanks so much!

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Julia November 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hello Eric,

I have a few questions: Is a sweetener necessary for spelt breads? If I leave it out, do I need to add a little water? Also, how many hours before mixing the dough do I need to feed the sourdough starter?

Thanks for your wonderful recipes and videos!

Julia

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Breadtopia November 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi Julia,

The sweetener is totally optional. It helps a bit with the rise but I’ve taken to leaving it out with no adjustments necessary.

The window of time to feed your starter before baking with it is quite wide. From about the day before to several hours before baking is probably a decent guideline.

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Alex O. October 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Made my second loaf of Spelt bread yesterday and it was fantastic! The only thing I can say is I had a problem the first time with using too much flour. 5 well fluffed cups was too much and my bread was quite heavy. This time I used 4 and a half and it it was a nice consistency. It is harder to add water then flour when first mixing up the dough. Just something to “chew on”. :)

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John October 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

What size proofing basket do you use for this size recipe??

Thanks,

John

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tamara September 24, 2012 at 7:39 am

hi, i’m new to making bread and i’ve now made a couple of your recipes (and also a fermented rice bread, a sprouted kamut bread, and a sourdough pizza dough from a cookbook and two other websites respectively) and i have the same result every time: after the overnight rise my dough turns into a mushy porridge consistency. i usually bake and it turns out edible but this last time i left it overnight in the baking dish and i now i can’t get it out!! any idea what’s going on? is it my starter? i tried thickening up my starter for this recipe it now resembles the consistency of yours in the video (it was more liquid before) and the dough was less moist and sticky than on previous occasions which is why i felt confident to leave it in the baking dish overnight instead of in the bowl. but this morning, again, it was like bubbly thick porridge. i baked it and i’m sure its tasty but it’s unfortunate that i can’t get it out of the dish without tearing it apart. any suggestions?

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ashlee November 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hi Tamara,
Try these steps. First, maybe your starter is hungry and not very active. Weigh your starter before you feed it, add the same amount of water and flour to your starter to feed it. So if it weighs 100gms then add 100gms flour and 100gms water. This should perk it up. I always use this ratio when feeding.
Second, usually you need to leave the dough in an oiled bowl overnight covered in plastic wrap, not in the pan you’re going to bake in. Leave it somewhere warm if you can. The next day, you pour the dough into your bread dish. I oil my dish, then cover it with sesame and poppy seeds, then pour the dough in. I then leave it for around 2-3 hours for it to rise. If it’s a cold day I put the tin in my sink which is filled with hot water.
The consisitency of your mix sounds ok to me, but you could keep adding flour or decreasing the water until you’re happy with the dough, Eric’s video is a good indication of how your dough should look at the start, I usually have to add more flour to my mix, everyone’s flour is different.
Hope this helps
Ashlee

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Sue Peters September 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

Do you sift out some of the bran first? I have questions about sifting flour and which grain mill grinds the finest.

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Breadtopia September 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I don’t, but doing so will make it easier to get a more open crumb. Grinding the flour finely helps too. All the electric mills grind pretty finely. I set my KoMo mill on the finest setting and the flour somes out quite fluffy.

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Lisa September 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Eric I made the bread with the sugar and it turned out delightful! Waiting for fall here in Detroit – nothing better than homemade soup and bread! Thanks you are a valuable resource!

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John October 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

lisa,

The home made soup and bread sounds very good. What kind of wine??? :)

John

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Lisa October 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

I have a Michigan cherry wine!

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John October 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

Can’t say i’ve ever heard of that wine??. But, Hey I always bring good wine and flowers when invited over for dinner.
:):)

John

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Lisa September 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm

What option is there if you don’t have either honey or agave? Can sugar be used?

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Breadtopia September 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Sure. It’s pretty flexible that way.

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Lydelle August 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I’ve recently started using my (relatively) new outdoor oven (made for pizzas) in order to bake bread and it’s turned out real well. If you’ve ever considered one, I think it’s a good way to go as it’s turning out to be very multipurpose.

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Karen July 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm

This recipe looks terrific and I can’t wait to try it.

A question about using a dutch oven: I intend to make this recipe as soon as I receive the proofing basket I bought from you and will bake it in my Le Creuset enameled dutch oven. I bake a similar fermented rye bread in a covered Pullman pan and I MUST oil the pan to prevent sticking. Is it necessary to oil the dutch oven?

Thank you very much,
Karen

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Breadtopia August 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

Hi Karen,

What I find is that if I preheat my Dutch oven before putting the dough in, it doesn’t require oiling or anything to prevent sticking. If you put the dough in cold and then heat the whole thing, you’ll probably want to use oil or parchment paper or you may need a chisel to get the bread out.

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ebashi July 25, 2012 at 6:31 am

Hello and thank you for your recipe on spelt bread. I just started using spelt flour last time I made bread. I made the ‘moro’ sourdough with spelt instead of white flour. It worked ok, but I now know that I should have cut out some of the water. I’m on my way now to try your recipe and I have my dough ready to sit overnight. Tomorrow morning I will bake it. I have a question about Romertopf cookers. I have one that does not have a lid, it is an oblong shape and seems to have a glaze on the inside. It didn’t really come with great instructions so I’ve been failing when I use it to bake my bread. My dough sticks to it and it is terribly hard to get out (usually resulting in half the loaf stuck to the sides. I have always soaked the Romer in water, then oiled and floured it and put the dough into it for the final rise. Then I put it straight into the oven, but now I’m thinking I have had it all wrong, should I be heating the romertopf up and then tipping my dough into it hot like you do in your video? And also if I don’t have a lid what should I do? I’d love to hear from anyone with any advice so I don’t ruin another loaf. I’m in Australia so as I sleep tonight I’m hoping someone, somewhere in the world will send me some help. Thank you!

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Tom Bonasera July 25, 2012 at 8:14 am

I think thoroughly pre-heating the Romertopf is key. (I use a Dutch oven, so I’ve got no Romertopf experience, but I always heat up my baking stone and Dutch oven with lid thoroughly. I made about three earlier comments below.)

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ebashi July 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Hi Tom,
Thanks for your reply, I was up all hours last night researching it, and read all of these posts. This morning when I got up my dough looked excellent. I don’t have a proofing basket so I just turned my dough into a teflon bread tin for it’s final rise. In the meantime I soaked my Romertopf in water and then put it into the cold oven half an hour before I needed to put my bread it. So by the time my dough was ready, the oven was hot and so was my Romer. I tipped the dough in and and cooked it. It’s all done now and it looks great, it fell out of the Romertopf very easily, so thanks for your encouragement. Ebashi

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ebashi August 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Hi Folks, just wanted to share my experiences with my Romertopff pane (no lid). By the way Eric I am in love with your bread, I really am. Anyway I’ve had two kinds of success, after many failures. Firstly I should say that I don’t have a bread forming basket, but maybe I should get one. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing. I’ll start with my latest and happiest success as I have already posted my other method.
I’ve made your bread just like your instructions. However I put my measured out starter in a sink of warm water for 20 minutes before adding it to the flour and water, to get it nice and active. I have a heated concrete floor so when I leave the dough overnight I sit it on the floor. I couldn’t agree more about the difference in rise between a few degrees. The next morning I oil my Romer very well and then sprinkle seeds all over the bottom, I am currently using poppy seeds. I get my mixture which has at least doubled in size and I simply pour it into the Romer. It loses a little air, but then I sit it in a sink of warm water to let the Romer soak up the water. I leave it there for 10 to 15 minutes and then I put it in a cold oven, set it to 200 degrees and bake it for roughly 45-50 mins. It rises beautifully and comes out of the pan very easily.

I do have a question though, often my bread splits at the side or sometimes through the top, can anyone suggest what I might be doing wrong for this to happen? Have I overproofed it, and if so what should I do differently.
Thanks very much
Ebashi

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Canuckette April 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Hi!
I just tried your recipe for the first time. I followed it quite closely. I even used the same Romertopf. A local artisan bakery gave me some spelt starter. It seemed to be in good shape, as it was quite bubbly. My bread rose quite well, but I was disappointed. It just tasted OK. It was quite dense and didn’t have the open crumb I associate with Lahey’s no-knead method. This was also the first time that the top of my non-knead bread didn’t split open. Would this have something to do with the starter, or could it be something else, like my flour maybe?

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Clare April 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

OMG. Finally had a few days off to get my yeast starter which I got off your site to sit over night and fluff up, then did exactly what you said. My other attempts were terrible, but this is what I found. I had to put more water in and I put more yeast starter in. My dough was too dry before and I think not enough yeast. But, now that I added the extra water and starter and made sure to do what you said and put it in a dutch oven, OMG IT IS SO GOOD! THANK YOU! I can’t eat wheat but I ca eat this! THANKS! Don’t give up guys, try to adjust for yourself till get it.

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Phil D March 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

I made this loaf of spelt bread using the Breadtopia recipe with only 3 minor adjustments.
1. Spelt sourdough starter was used.
2. The flour weight remains at 530 grams, but I changed the content to 318 grams of spelt flour, and 212 grams of white bread flour. (this makes a less dense loaf)
3. Lastly, I adjusted the oven temperature to 430 degrees with cooking time remaining the same.
What fun!

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Phil D March 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

Closeup of loaf top

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Phil D March 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

End cut

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Tom Bonasera March 19, 2012 at 4:42 am

Just baked my second loaf following this recipe. Prepared as per my previous comments, but this time I added the salt (but I still added no sweetener at all). It is hard to imagine bread getting any better than this! Or a recipe any simpler or more reliable!

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Fred March 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

I kept feeding my spelt starter and it finally got very vigorous.

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Peggy March 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

My starter isn’t doubling. It smells fermenty but isn’t growing. I use 100% spelt flour. Any thoughts?

Also, even tho I score the bread the top opens on its own making the top crust hard to control when cut. Any suggestions?

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Fred March 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

Eric,
I split my starter in two and made one into a spelt starter using whole spelt flour. It is not nearly as active as the wheat starter. Would it make a difference if I used white spelt flour?

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Tom Bonasera March 13, 2012 at 1:21 am

PS: Forgot to write that I had a baking stone under the Dutch oven. All was thoroughly preheated before dropping the dough in as per the excellent recipe.

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Tom Bonasera March 13, 2012 at 1:16 am

I followed the instructions as closely as I could, with the exception of going even further hardcore and not using salt or sweetener. Just water and locally grown and stone-milled organic wholegrain spelt (triticum spelta) flour. Even the sourdough starter (1:1 by weight) was made using only water and the same spelt flour. I wish I had a clean spring/river/well for the water, but I just took it from the tap. London (UK) tap water! The bread came out quite good for the first try! Next time, I’ll add the salt, though, as that would have balanced the taste a bit. I used a thin Teflon/PTFE sheet under the bread for proofing then transferred the whole sheet plus dough directly to a pre-warmed Dutch oven.

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Kgruett March 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I made this recipe from sprouted wheat flour from kaf. I found the bread to be a little bitter. Does anyone know why? How can I take the bitterness out?

Thanks

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Sonja from Ireland March 13, 2012 at 4:11 am

Hi Kgruett,

I had exactly the same problem. I used wholegrain spelt flour. It tasted as if I had used far too much sourdough, even though I only used quarter cup.

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Victoria March 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Hi,
I am following your spelt sourdough recipe right now. I followed all the instructions but my dough looks much much dryer than yours. It is resting at the moment and doesn’t seem to be rising at all. My starter was good very active, light and bubbly, I halved all your ingredients to make a smaller loaf, but looking at the dough compared to yours I think it’s not going to work : (
Any thoughts?
Victoria

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Natasa March 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thank you Breadtopia!!! I have never tried something like this. I am using spelt flour all the time, but sourdough spelt bread baked in clay baker is something sooooooo SPECIAL!!!

Happy, happy, happy!!!

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Don Letizia February 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

Hi Eric,
After watching your Sourdough Spelt video, I JUST had to give this one a try. Fortunately, we have a local Mennonite bakery nearby, who just happened to have the spelt flour. I don’t have an oval clay baker, but have a La Cloche, and a Sassafras Bread Dome. I decided to give the latter a dry. Following your instructions, stretch and fold included, all went very well. 32 min. baking at 450 degrees worked just right for me. The sourdough and nutty taste is a great combo (to my personal taste) I’m looking forward to using the spelt in some of our homemade pasta. I sure appreciate your site and videos!

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Breadtopia February 28, 2012 at 9:55 am

Excellent!

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Sandra February 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hi!
If I wanted to add nuts or seeds to the recipe would I reduce some of the flour or just add a 1/4 cup or so to the recipe?

Thanks!
Sandra

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Breadtopia February 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

Hi Sandra. I don’t think the nuts or seeds are going to absorb enough moisture to require much of a tweak, if any. I would just add them.

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piazzi December 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Will I need to increase the amount of water, or do any other tweak, if I wanted to add ground flax to the recipe?

many thanks

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Brent February 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hi, Sandra —

I’ve had great success adding either seeds (flax, sunflower, sesame, or a mix) or walnuts to this recipe — about 1/4 c. per loaf, or more if I’m feeling extravagant. The walnut version is my mother’s favorite, so I make it for her and my dad often. :-) I just add the nuts into the dough with the dry ingredients, and haven’t seen any difference in absorption.

Brent

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Sandra February 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Thanks so much for the tips!
Sandra

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Phil Dellinger February 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Here is my first loaf of Spelt Sourdough Bread with Dutch Crunch topping. It tastes as good as it looks. The Dutch Crunch could have been made a little thinner with a touch more water as it slowed up the “oven spring” just a little bit.

Topping recipe (from the Bread Bible)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (105-110F)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup white rice flour (not sweet rice flour
Combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl and mix very well. Let stand for 15 minutes.

When bread has risen a bit and the topping is ready, spread a generous layer of topping mixture on the bread. Let rise for another 20 minutes before baking. Bake bread following video instructions. If using a La Cloche Clay Baker, remove lid for the last 15 minutes of cooking time to brown the topping.

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Judy January 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm

This was a great video…calm, thorough and made it look less tedious. Many years of baking whole grain plus grinding wheat, some sour dough (makes me a tad anxious); high hopes for this week; only have a stone…always something! A type personality is breaking out. Thank you.

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Andreea January 6, 2012 at 5:25 am

Hi Eric and Breadtopia!
This is the most wonderful bread I’ve ever made and maybe the best I’ve ever tasted so far in my life. It scared me at first how wet the dough was, but it turned out just perfect. Airy, full of bubbles and it melts when you eat it. It’s not sour and i can agree with Eric when he says the spelt flour has a special flavor.
Thank you Breadtopia! You help me develop my love for baking bread. Lots of good tips and very efficient videos. Keep up the good work!

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Christa Bridges December 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Hello,

I just made two loaves of the sourdough spelt that you demonstrated, and my family and I are very pleased overall with how it turned it. It tastes very good and is definitely an improvement over the sourdough rye bread that I had previously made (not your recipe). It was rather difficult to cut (but I think it was probably because we didn’t wait very long to let it cool – we were hungry! Also, it got a little burnt on the bottom, which made it pretty tough to cut.) It was interesting because it got a little overdone (hence the black underside) when it had only cooked for about 30 minutes covered at 450 degrees. Do you have any ideas on why this happened? I should mention that I baked the bread in a covered glass baking dish because we don’t have a romertopf or other clay baker.

Do you have a recommendation on how to store this bread, i.e. plastic, paper, refrigerator, etc.?

Thank you for the wonderful recipe and the helpful video instruction!

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carol wharton December 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

Eric,
Can you use dry yeast instead of starter for the SPELT recipe

I have been baking NKB for a year now and still have not used or made a starter. Is there a recipe somewhere on this web site…It has always sounded rather mysterious and time consuming…

carol

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Marius December 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm
Les V November 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I decided last night to start another loaf, then discovered I was almost out of spelt berries. I already had all my “bread stuff” out so decided to make up the difference with regular wheat. It turned out to be about 1/3 spelt and 2/3 hard red winter wheat. Other than that I followed the spelt bread recipe. I should have added a little water, as I noticed right away that it was stiffer than my earlier whole spelt dough, but decided to try it as is. When the dough was ready I put it in the fridge for a cold overnight ferment, because I had to work today so couldn’t bake it until after 6pm. Took it out of the fridge this morning and let sit on the counter at room temp all day. When I got home from work I was impressed and encouraged at how much it had risen. Finishing the process and baking per instructions resulted in the loaf you see here.

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Les V November 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm

It was about 8:30pm when I took it out of the oven, and it smelled great! I’ll admit I only let it cool a little over half an hour before I cut it. It was getting late and I just couldn’t wait until morning. You can see it’s a little tight, but I thought it was pretty good considering. And the flavor was very good. I plan to continue the spelt adventure, but will keep this in the back of my mind for future reference.

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Breadtopia November 30, 2011 at 5:08 am

Very Nice!

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Les V November 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I made my first loaf of this today. I lost the race for the oven this morning, so it seriously over proofed by the time the turkey and dressing were done. Needless to say it didn’t rise much so it’s quite dense… but the flavor is very, very good! I’ll certainly be trying this again soon. (I grind my own flour in my Retsel slow stone mill.)
Thanks for the recipe Eric.

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Marius November 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hi,

I wanted to ask a generic question regarding using Romertopf.

I just purchased a new Romertopf and used it for the first time. Before I added the dough I’ve soaked it for 15 min, than put it in the oven for 30 min at the required temp and then added the dough and continued the bread cooking as per the recipe. When it was time to take the bread out of the oven and let it cool down I realized the bread was stuck to the Romertopf.

Can anyone advise if I’ve done anything wrong or if I should have done anything differently?

Thank,

Marius

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Peggy November 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Try putting the dry Romertopf in the oven to preheat and before putting in the bread – put a strip of parchment.

I also put the parchment in the proofing basket – minimizes sticking.

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Peggy November 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

Have been making this yummy bread for a while. Even when I slash the top to let the steam escape, it seems to create its own path as well making the top awkward to cut and unstable. Any thoughts?

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Doris October 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hi Eric, can I use dry yeast instead of a sourdough starter? Thanks, Doris

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Breadtopia November 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

Sure, that’s fine Doris. I’m just not sure how much. I guess I’d try about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of instant yeast and see how that works. You can always adjust later. Of course the proofing times might change too (shorten most likely) so keep an eye on it.

Good luck an maybe tell us how it goes for you.

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Breadtopia October 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Hi Dick,

I would stick with the same approximately 100% hydration. But then I’m never that particular. I just add flour then water until it’s kinda thick.

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Dick Eastmure October 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Hi Eric,
I really like the spelt bread. I was wondering about doing a spelt starter. Since you use less water to make the bread with spelt, can you tell me what flour/water ratio you would use to make the spelt starter?
Thanks,
Dick

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