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

Death by garlic herb monkey bread

garlic herb monkey bread


I saw this delicious looking loaf of bread on I’m hungry and decided it would be a good idea to try it, with tweaks of course. Being lazy I used spelt flour instead of a gluten free flour and started the involved process. The result: Rich, flavorful, herby, cheesy (I used 3 times as many herbs and threw in a cup, yes a cup of grated parm) and buttery. I was so excited to eat this bread. It is a pull apart loaf so I pulled a few pieces off and gobbled them up. Lesson learned: This bread is too rich for me. I felt so icky after eating it as it was so ladden with fat. Two sticks of butter folks and 1 cup of parm. It was over the top. My dear BF loved it. After I sat around moaning that the monkey bread had to go and that I never wanted to see a bit of it again, he said, you always feel that way after eating really greasy food. I do I asked? Yes, you do. Why don’t you feel icky I asked? He says, because I eat this kind of stuff all the time and I thrive on it.

So, give it a try if you want but if I were you, I would skip the parm and use less butter (keep the herbs tripled). Those first bites were pretty good. In fact, I could probably look the bread in the face now, knowing what I know. Thank goodness I can’t. I sent it with the BF to work to torture his coworkers with it. Saved from a second death.

garlic herb monkey bread garlic herb monkey bread garlic herb monkey bread

i’m out