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Crusty Spelt & Wheat Loaf

This easy to bake loaf uses 50:50 spelt & white wheat flour to give a tasty soft loaf with a good crisp crust. I use a Poolish (100% hydration) preferment that I leave overnight - this gives the bread a great flavour.


Poolish Preferment

300g spelt flour

300g (300 ml) water at room temperature

a small pinch of dried yeast (~ 0.1g)

Mix the flour, water and yeast in a bowl. Cover & leave overnight (around 8 - 12 hours)


Add to the preferment:

300g wheat flour

8g dried yeast

10g salt

60g (60ml) water at room temperature. Note that this is approximate and the actual volume will depend on the wheat flour that you use - add enough to give the dough consistency that you like (I like my dough to be quite moist).


Mix the ingredients together & knead for 7 - 10 minutes (until you get a smooth dough with a good spring).

Cover & leave for around 45 minutes (until it has at least doubled in volume).

Turn the dough out of its bowl, spread it out and fold it in on itself several times. I usually spread it into a circle and then take the edge into the middle starting at the 12 o'clock (top) edge and going clockwise around with about 6 or 8 folds until I've completed the circle, taking the edge into the centre each time. I then fold in the left 1/3 back over the body of the dough, then the right 1/3 - making a parcel. I then repeat this with the top 1/3 and the bottom 1/3. This double parcel seems to give the dough extra strength.

Leave the dough to rest for 5 - 10 minutes.

Shape the dough and place it into a tin or banneton to prove. I baked my loaf in an oblong covered baker, so I proved it in an oblong banetton.

Prove the dough for approximately 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven. Because I use the covered baker I heat the oven and the baker to 230 deg C.

Slash the dough.

Bake for approx 40 minutes.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.