040 - Sourdough #15

Spelt and White Bread
June 17, 2011

[250W - 250SP - 350WA - 150ST] autolyse 20 minutes (0010-0030)
[10SA - 50WA] mix, bulk fermentation 1.5 hours, stretch and fold every half hour (0030-0200)
Bench rested for 30 minutes (0200-0230)

After the short autolyse the dough already looked quite solid and smooth, reminded me of cheesecake filling. It felt quite silky and took a while to absorb the extra bit of water. Shortening the bulk fermentation as well, the dough expanded but never build much tension and was very loose. Silky but not airy, more wet than sticky, and super stretchy. The dough completely pancaked during the bench rest but I shaped it into a round and left in the mixing bowl to retard for 10:15. When I removed the dough from the fridge the surface appeared smooth as ever with some very large air bubbles close to the surface. While pouring the dough into a pre-heated dutch oven I noticed that the rest of the dough, unlike the surface, was well spotted with many smaller air bubbles. The texture was still wet but somewhat stiff - the structure of the dough was more like a honeycomb than the more webby texture I usually get. Sprayed the top of the dough with water before baking and removed the dutch oven lid after 20 minutes. Total baking time was 1:15. 

Taste and texture notes to follow. 

This is my first effort with spelt flour. Noticed it while I was restocking the goods and grabbed a bag. Truth be told, I had to look it up on Wikipedia after baking the bread and curiously finding that it was a type of wheat that is believed to have hybridized with goat grass at some point. It's now eaten mostly for its health benefits, but what makes this curious is that Dove's packaging says nothing about any of this, instead proclaiming its ability to rise faster than normal flours and save time. The wikipedia page says that spelt is moderate in gluten and only sometimes used for baking (contrary to my experience as described above). A question for the books, but I'll continue baking with it and see whether it also brings dramatic changes in taste and texture to wholemeal and rye loaves. 

Submitted to Yeastspotting


  1. I like working with Spelt flour, it has some fun characteristics and tastes great. Your bread looks wonderful!

  2. Beautiful loaf! I love spelt flour, use it even on my pizza dough, about 25% of the flour amount

    Nice to "meet" you through Yeastspotting, will be browsing through your blog

  3. Love your breads. They are gorgeous. Could you please post a key to the abbreviations? Maybe in one of the margins? Maybe because English isn't my native language, I have trouble deciphering some of them. Thank you!

  4. Nice to meet you all via Yeastspotting!

    Farine.. I'll add something to the site soon. I'm planning on putting up a page for the key as well as a few other things.. I've been making it up as I go. Here are abbreviations I've used so far:

    W - strong white flour
    WM - wholemeal flour
    RY - rye flour
    SP - spelt flour
    WA - water
    MI - milk
    SA - salt
    LE - leaven
    ST - sourdough starter