Spelt (wheat free not gluten free) Sourdough loaf


I made a loaf of sourdough spelt yesterday. I usually have a starter going, but it had been a long time since I baked a loaf of sourdough so I threw it out (it had been in the fridge for a couple of months, unfed) and started over with a new starter. I really don’t eat bread very often and this made a huge loaf, 1/2 of which is already in the freezer wrapped in foil and a zip bag. I never was much of a sandwich person. But I do like some nice cheese with a slice of crusty sourdough bread.
I basically followed Chez Pim’s recipe converting it for spelt.  I am on the search for the perfect loaf of spelt sourdough.

100% spelt sourdough


Here are my alterations (luckily I have a scale!):
510g spelt flour
2 tsp kosher salt (about 10g)
8.5oz (240g) starter (my starter is 1/2 white spelt and 1/2 whole spelt)
9oz (255g) water
1tbsp molasses (I am out of honey and wanted a darker browning on the crust)

100% spelt sourdough

I let it rise for 7 hours as 12 is too long for spelt. The rise time needs to be shorter and the knead time needs to be less than 1/2 too. I then placed my dough in a small colander (not having a banneton – yet) with a well floured towel in it. Next time I need to use 2 times more flour on the towel. The banneton is to help the dough hold it’s shape while rising. Spelt dough seems to go a bit flatter than wheat, so I am willing to try anything for a nice tall loaf. This one is about 3 inches high. Once in my converted banneton, I let it rise again for only 1.5 hours and then dumped the colander and towel directly onto my baking stone. As you can guess from my need to add more flour stated above, some of the dough stuck to the towel. I had to twist the towel to get the dough to separate, but it resulted in a nice little button on the top. I had a cast iron pan on the rack below that had been heating up and threw in about 6 large ice cubes to help create a steamy oven and form a crust.  The dough immediately spread out on the baking stone and created it’s own shape.  Oh well, perhaps a bit more spelt flour in the dough next time. Spelt is really water soluble and you have to either add 1/4 more spelt or 10-15% less water. Adding more spelt is easier math for me!
I think the molasses worked nicely and gave the loaf a great color and a bit of flavor, not at all any sweetness.

100% spelt sourdough

100% spelt sourdough

I will definitely use this recipe again, tweaking it again. More flour, 1/2 a batch, use 1/2 whole spelt, honey, or try sorghum or rice malt to boost the loaf and add color. I buy my spelt 25 lbs at a time from Vita Spelt, via my local food co-op. Lucky for me, their office is about 6 miles from my house and so it the co-op.

spelt sourdough with boursin cheese

100% spelt sourdough

Starters are our friends! Oh, I forgot to mention that this was/is a great loaf of bread, nice and tangy, moist and not too dense. My starter was only a week old. They just get better with time, as long as you keep feeding them. I used some of the bread to make some croutons and put them on the French Onion soup I made for lunch.

i’m out

4 thoughts on “Spelt (wheat free not gluten free) Sourdough loaf

  1. Ginger, were you ever able to create JUST a homemade sourdough starter from sorghum flour and distilled water?? I am trying this without much luck… wondered if you had any!

  2. Hi Carrie!
    I am pretty sure I have done an all sorghum starter. It’s been a while since I have done any bread baking as my oven heats the kitchen up a lot. I did add yeast to get my going and it had a nice tang. If it isn’t working with just sorghum and water, I would add some yeast as I am not sure sorghum has the same properties as wheat to gather the natural yeast in the air. I think you could get one going with oat flour too. I grind the oats up myself in the spice mill.
    Let me know how it works. The bread never tasted super sourdoughy, so maybe I needed a higher percentage of starter in the bread.

    Ginger

  3. I tried this out yesterday. Was your starter very wet? I had a very stiff starter… the base was rye and I fed it with spelt. I halved the recipe (120 g starter), and I used 125 ml water and I think around 4 cups whole spelt and 1 cup white spelt, no sweetener, but I had a really hard time working all that flour in. This was more of a standard boule-size loaf, and I had a decent height (still not like wheat bread, but maybe 4-5 inches)… I was really happy with the results! Thanks for posting this!

  4. Wow, it has been a while since I made a loaf of spelt sourdough. My starter was thicker than pancake dough – a pretty stiff pancake batter I would say. I had to spoon it versus pour it. You inspired me to make a loaf of sourdough today! Thanks for the reminder. I am glad yours turned out. Spelt works great for bagels too.
    Are you allergic to wheat or gluten intolerant but can eat spelt? I have celiac, but spelt doesn’t bother me. I added your blog to my google reader feed. Thanks for stopping by!

    Ginger

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