Spelt Sourdough Recipe

Whatever anyone tells you, spelt is a type of wheat, though some people who struggle with eating modern wheat find that they are fine with spelt. Whether this is because of differences in the grains or the processes by which each is typically made into loaves will vary between people. For the purposes of this recipe, by Andrew Auld, all you really need to know is that spelt makes a relatively high-protein flour with plenty of nutty flavour, especially if you choose wholemeal/wholegrain.

Makes

1 large, or 2 small loaves

Ingredients

For the pre-ferment

  • 60g/2¼oz/½ cup light spelt flour
  • 60g/2¼oz/½ cup wholemeal/wholegrain spelt flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/3½ tbsp water
  • 15g/½oz/1 tbsp rye sourdough starter

For the dough

  • 250g/9oz/2 cups light spelt flour
  • 250g/9oz/2 cups wholemeal/wholegrain spelt flour
  • 300g/10½oz/1¼ cups water
  • 50g/1¾oz/3½ tbsp orange juice
  • 10g/2 tsp honey
  • 7g/1½ tsp fine/table salt
  • Oil, for greasing

Method

1. Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together thoroughly, cover and leave at room temperature for 12–14 hours (typically overnight).

2. Mix the pre-ferment with the dough ingredients, then knead everything together until you have a smooth and stretchy dough. Cover and leave for 3 hours, giving the dough a single fold (i.e. stretch it out and fold over itself, turn 90 degrees and repeat) after 1 and 2 hours.

3. Divide the dough into 2 equal-size pieces and shape as desired. If using proving baskets, dust them well with flour and place the dough in them, seam-side up, though for flatter loaves you can simply leave the shaped dough on a floured work surface, seam-side down. Cover the dough and leave to prove for 1 hour.

4. Heat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 8–9, with a large baking stone or baking sheet in place.

5. Either turn the loaves out of their baskets, or carefully transfer them from the work surface, so they are seam-side down on a floured peel. Slide the loaves onto the baking stone and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas 6 and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.

Recipe taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, www.realbreadcampaign.org. Published by Nourish Books. Hardback, £20. Commissioned photography © Victoria Harley.

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