100g Starter - I use a 100% Rye Starter which is active and at room temperature, (50/50 Flour and Water), fed at least 6 hours before.
200ml Stout Beer
100g Spelt Organic Wholemeal Flour (may substitute Wholemeal)
7g Sea Salt
Organic Porridge Oats or flour for sprinkling (optional)
1) Mix the sponge ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spatula the night before. Do not knead. Cover with cling film or place in a sealed plastic bag. Leave to ferment for at least 12 hours at room temperature.
2) The mix will now be active with bubbles formed on the surface. For the loaf add the flour, oats and salt. Mix well, do not knead. This should now be a sticky dough; add more flour / water as necessary.
3) Cover bowl again and leave for 1 hour to autolyse.
4) Remove dough from bowl and knead on a lightly oiled work surface until smooth - around 5 to 10 minutes. Form into a ball.
5) Return to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film or enclose in a sealed plastic bag to prove in a cool, draught free area until at least doubled in size.
6) Gently remove from bowl and lightly stretch dough using your knuckles into a rectangle. Fold in half, turn and repeat twice. This creates a structure to the dough.
7) Shape dough and place in a proving basket, seam side up. Cover and leave to rise at room temperature. A slower rise results in a better flavour to the finished loaf.
8) Heat oven to 230c. If using a baking stone place this in the oven to heat up. Place a foil container filled with water into the oven 5 minutes before baking.
9) Dough is ready to bake when an indent formed by a finger pressed into the dough fades after a few seconds.
10) Turn out onto the heated baking stone/ tray. Slash the top with a sharp knife / razor blade a few times. Spray the top with water (as an option sprinkle flour or oats onto the surface).
11) Bake for 15 minutes. Turn down oven to 200c and bake for a further 25 - 30 minutes until base sounds hollow when tapped with a knuckle.
12) Cool on a wire tray.