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Do you have any tips for using Spelt?

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Question

I was just wondering if you have any tips for using spelt? I can get a pretty decent loaf with spelt but I find it doesn't handle exactly like normal flour, i think it has slightly weaker elasticity when kneaded and its kind of hard to get it to keep its shape before it goes in the oven. Do you have any advice?

Answer

Yes, you are right on the spelt, it is an ancient bearded grain that supposedly has not been engineered, like some of the high breads we are using today. Because of this, the functional gluten within this grain is totally different, which is why people with digestive problems are finding their way to it

To care for this I have found that spelt likes a cool slow fermentation.

My best results have been setting the dough with just 1% fresh yeast or 5% sourdough starter. I give a 1 hour bulk proof with the fresh, or 4 hours with the dough, then a further proof in the fridge, 4 hours for fresh and 8 hours for sourdough.

When it has had its time, bring it out, knock back and scuff up to your shape. Allow it to recover at an ambient temperature until about 50% of its proof then bake; this should ensure plenty of activity will still be pent up within the dough to be released when exposed to the heat.

Added by: clivemellum

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