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Spelt Bread

Spelt Bread

Spelt flour and sourdough go together like love and marriage – only yummier…!

4oz white spelt flour

4oz rye flour

12 oz white flour

16oz liquid sourdough starter

10 fl oz water

1½ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoons sugar

2 fl oz vegetable oil

2 tablespoons caraway seeds or to taste

NB - This combination of flours can be changed to suit e.g. the rye flour could be whole-meal, or some of the white bread flour could be changed to white spelt – whatever you choose. Also cumin seeds can be used instead of caraway – or even dried cranberries or other fruit.

If your sourdough starter is more of a sponge consistency, let it down with a little water before measuring it until it is more like a thick batter. You can then get back to the sponge consistency by adding less water when you feed it after use.

1. Combine the flours and mix well. Mix the liquid starter with 4 oz of the flour mixture and 2 fl oz of the water in a large mixing bowl. Keep it in a warm place for a few hours, then in a cool place overnight.

2. Add 4 oz of the flour mixture and 4 fl oz water. Mix well, and proof as above. It should have bubbles with possibly a skin on top and a nice sweet/sour smell. This is now ready to turn into bread!

3. Mix with the remaining flour and water, the salt, sugar, oil, and caraway seeds. Turn out on to a clean, un-floured work surface and knead for 10 mins more or less until the dough is smooth and stretchy – it will be quite a soft dough. Roll the kneaded dough into a little flour until it is a nice, round cushion.

4. Return to the lightly floured bowl and proof it for about 1½ hours in a warm place until reasonably well risen. Then if liked, the dough can be retarded in the `fridge over night for a deeper flavour.

5. Form into one large or two small loaves and put them into well-greased loaf tins. Leave to rise in a warm place until they are just about to the top of the tins.

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°/gas mark 6 for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool on wire racks. This bread keeps extremely well!

To acquire a sourdough starter, you can leave a flour and water mix open to the air and feed it daily with about 4 oz flour and 8 fl oz water for several days until it is obviously bubbly and active – the time it takes can depend on the ambient temperature. An alternative is to google Soughdough International and buy professionally produced sourdough starters which I can testify to be excellent.

from C Chant