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Spelt Bake-Off (title changed from Spelt) | Sourdough Companion

Spelt Bake-Off (title changed from Spelt)

Note inserted on 10 April 2008:
The idea to change this thread to a bake-off was cooked up here. Let's share our experiences with spelt, what works and what doesn't. Teresa has a very helpful thread on her spelt experience. Nowonmai and bushturkey have started blogs...see here and here. Theoreticgal tells about her spelt starter here. There's lots of time for all to join in...20 days and counting. I may bake another loaf or 2.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Announcing....that spelt has finally arrived on our shores....Bob's Red Mill. It's expensive but I was so thrilled to finally see it here that I bought the lone packet without even glancing at its price. It was the only packet not because many bought it, the shop had only one packet because even they don't know anything about spelt and didn't expect anybody to buy it. I've put in orders for more.

Here's the fully sourdough half plain/half spelt loaf I made last week. I'm toying with the idea of making fully spelt. Shall I?



Thanks for looking.

TP


239 comments

Aaarrgghh...my dough is looking like a lump of clay !!  And I wore my lucky baking hat and everything...

Midway through the first rise, will post pictures regardless of how they turn out.. :)




and watch that lump of clay transform into a gastronomical delight!


My first attempt at a sourdough loaf is really not too bad; for a first loaf I think it's turned out decently. It tastes good, with a moist crumb and superbly crunchy crust. I used nowonmai's recipe but had to improvise with the strong white flour because I can't get it here. I replaced it with a mix of whole wheat, all purpose white, and spelt. The starter was a spelt starter, and the first addition of flour was also spelt, as the recipe says.

Now I have to work out how to post a photo of it here.

goat




My first bake-off, woohoo..

So yesterday I donned my lucky baking hat (is it just me, or does anyone else think Graham looks particularly endearing in that hat?), and took my standard dough recipe and changed the flour mix to include spelt.  I meant to do a half white, half spelt and rye, but I'm really crap at maths. :)

200g starter
320g water
50g EVOO
10g salt
100g dark rye
280g wholemeal spelt
310g white bakers flour
1/2 tsp ground malt

It really was a lump of clay to start with !  First rise 5 hours, with 2 of those on top of a tower of pots so that it sat right under the rangehood lights for warmth.  Shaped and second rise in a black iron loaf tin.  I would normally have just shaped a baton, but I was tired (and sick with a cold), and I couldn't face having to clean up a bench and a tea towel covered in flour.  Dough rose really well in the tin, second rise under an hour.  Baked for 15 mins in tin, then another 10 mins out of the tin.

I have to say I was surprised how well this worked.  The finished loaf looked good, but the aroma was unbelievable - it smelt (smelled?) amazing.  Cut it this morning after it had rested overnight, and the crumb is quite dense, but still quite tender, and it has a really interesting (and delicious) flavour.  This is definitely a loaf I'll make again !

Oh, and it's cutting really well too.  Actually worked well in the tin, because I can cut it into thin, uniform slices...







Yes Graham does look swanky in the hat, he is featured on my site in that kit!
I still have my starter working on a second rising, will post later tomorrow if all is well or chuck it in the bin, although with prices soaring, I could just as well make some melba toast!


Ta!
[quote=celia]
[snip]

I have to say I was surprised how well this worked.  The finished loaf looked good, but the aroma was unbelievable - it smelt (smelled?) amazing.  Cut it this morning after it had rested overnight, and the crumb is quite dense, but still quite tender, and it has a really interesting (and delicious) flavour.  This is definitely a loaf I'll make again !

Oh, and it's cutting really well too.  Actually worked well in the tin, because I can cut it into thin, uniform slices...





[/quote]

Looking good, celia. That's exactly how I describe my spelt too. The crumb looks tight but it's still tender in texture.

Think I'll make a 3/4 spelt today....(just because everyone else is doing half or full, lol).

TP



White spelt sourdough, white flour starter, Vitamin C.
70% hydration.
The dough was a sticky mess, sticking to the banneton, the peel and the oven floor.  Misted with olive oil to control it.
Looking at it you can see how wet a pudding  it was, with comparatively thick cell walls. My guess is still under developed, although not that much oven spring, and  I'd appreciate expert comment.

Excuse me, I think I can hear a sausage sandwich calling.....



TP I can't think of a good way to describe the taste of my whole meal spelt loaf. Maybe slightly nutty especialy when toasted. The english language is not very good when it comes to describing food.

_________________________________________

Danubian

Sorry I didn't get round to taking an internal photo, it was a moist fairly close soft crumb. Very good to eat.







Jack: That's one great crumb shot!

Joe: Thanks. I'm trying to find taste descriptors for breads. My vocab for this is also rather limited....I don't think it's due to scope of the english language.

OK, everyone. Try very hard to describe the taste of your bread. So far, Boris communicates this very well....thanks.



Here's my second loaf.  It's delicious - I stuffed it full of fruit - and we've eaten half the loaf before it's cooled.  I learnt something today - the loaf was in for the same amount of time as my usual bread, but the crust went a bit darker than normal.  I think next time I'll try lowering the oven temp for this loaf and cooking a bit longer.  It's 90.5% spelt (or so says my dodgy maths :)).  I have a big bag of gluten which I've never used - I think the tsp I added here made a big difference to the loaf - it was lighter than the mixed loaf I made yesterday !

100g starter
5g salt
345g spelt
185g water
1 tsp gluten
1 tsp mixed spice
cranberries
marinated persian figs
currants
chopped dates

First rise 6 hours, with a fold at the hour for the first four hours.  Second rise 1 hour in a floured napkin.  Deep cross slash on the top.




























Just in time. Your recipe (beautiful bread!) looks perfect for me. I didn't manage to make my spelt loaf yesterday as I spent too much time deliberating on what formula to use till I ran out of time. Duh. I'll be throwing in some XO brandy-soaked prunes and currants.



TP, it really does seem to work particularly well with dried fruit.  XO brandy ?  You go, girl ! :)




TP, remember that I'm using my starter at 166% hydration (I think) - ie. it's fed with 1 cup of flour to 1 cup water, as per the original instructions from Teresa.

You might need to adjust slightly if your starter is at a different hydration.

Edit : Final dough hydration was 65%.




Well, I don't have the gluten...threw the expired bag of vital gluten out of the freezer just last week when I was cleaning. I've only used it twice. Once I made baguettes with it, and had the biggest holes ever! Then another time I used it,  I must have added too much (apparently less is more) because the resulting loaf was disastrous. But that was around 2 years ago.


Wow, you folks have been busy - posting and baking...

I haven't visited for a while, and discover that you have started a bake off without me! (Nothing like a bit of friendly competition to stimulate people into action).

Great idea - and beautiful loaves.

I would love to join in, but am about to go away for 8 or 9 days - to Crete. However on my return...

cheers
Dom


I made a loaf yesterday, it's a bit flat and will be cut into this morning for brekkie!
I felt like crap this whole week with a low grade cold, can't use that as an excuse though.
Will post a pic later, after another interview for my site an olive oil producer in France!


Ta!

Have a great holiday [full of envy] and take lots of pix; I hear it's beautiful there. I'd be happy to give you a reminder to join the great spelt bake-off when you return.;)


Aww...Jeremy, sorry to hear about your cold, hope you feel better...do post your bread and the formula. Mine is in the oven right now. I know it is somewhat underproved, it still sprung quite a bit when I gave it a poke but I decided I couldn't wait to pop it into the oven. Will post pix in the morning.


especially with spelt.

See the post below.

for a white flour 70% water seems a little too high considering the nature of the protein spelt is reputed have.

The general rule in most baking is that the longer the fermentation or DTO the slacker the dough will become due to enzyme action. If the dough is wetter to begin with this usually means enzyme action is more rapid over the same time frame compared to a lower hydration dough. So, as inexperienced as I am with spelt - having never used it - I'd be lowering my water content to something more managable considering the length of your DTO and the type of bread shape I think you're aiming for. You may also want to keep it a little on the cooler side during mixing and floor time.

[quote=jacklang]I'd appreciate expert comment.[/quote]

Hi guys! Well I think I'll join in end of the week since the place where I buy flour (the windmill) is only open Thursday-Saturday and I haven't stocked any spelt. I'll just adapt a regular wheat recipe with spelt flour and see how that turns out! Will post again later...




Here is my bread, I got this from TheFreshLoaf site, though I wanted to make a oat and spelt that I saw from a picture of a seminar from another blogger Küchelatein or something!
Here is the formula
10g starter (mine was a whole wheat levain)
30g spelt /whole grain
30g water. NYC Tap

700g starter
700 spelt
700 water

Dough:
200g levain
500 whole spelt
356 water
12  salt

I made the dough, bulk fermented about 6 hours in fridge, gave a few folds and shaped, baked.

Initial mix was very short like Dan Lepards, only that I mixed 2 times only within 10 minutes. 2 folds as TP suggested, oh yeah added a pinch of malt, no vitamin c Jack!

nice tasting, though slack dough, ie Boris on long ferment, I also think that is why in Swiss and German baking there seems to be a mix of rye/wheat in those cultures?

I have a formula here from the one aforementioned, anyone want to give it a go, I am busy and my wife will certainly not let me make another loaf today!

Levain:

125 whole grain spelt
15g Rye
50g Sauer
171g water

Soaker:
140g Oats
60g oat flakes
200g water

Dough
50g spelt
125 Rye
50g oat flour
15g salt

(There was no water mentioned, except add as much as needed, Boris, we could use your expertise it said !)


























Can't wait for your contribution, Edmund.

Thanks for the german formula, Jeremy. Anyone game? Your bread looks pretty rustic.

Here's my 2nd almost full wholegrain spelt (again, white starter) tweaked from Celia's recipe. Comes in weighing 1.3kg. It has a bit more starter than Celia's, I added 2 yolks left over from making swiss meringue buttercream, has some EVOO, have XO brandy soaked prunes (not enough!), tiny currants and chinese wolfberries (didn't have cranberries), and, last but not least, one vitamin C tablet....can't find diastatic malt. I can't describe the taste of the crumb as it's complicated by the taste of the fruits. This time, it is slightly crumbly when cutting. Not bad, though. Hydration 62%.

By the way, this is actually the colour of the crumb. I didn't add any molasses.
 



Although different formula and method results in a different outcome, I can see the crumb structure in white spelt is much more open than the wholegrain's. Maybe I'll do some sifting to get a 'whiter' spelt the next time...love those holes.


Celia and TP, good work, arrrggghh I feel lousy!
Check my last two interviews, good for washing dishes, don't listen too kids or hubby!


Ta!
[quote=TeckPoh]This time, it is slightly crumbly when cutting. Not bad, though. Hydration 62%.

[/quote]

...I really do.  I love heavy fruit loaves that look like that, particularly toasted.  What are wolfberries ?  Have just had a slice of mine toasted, slathered in butter.  Now I need a cup of tea.. :)

My theory with fruit bread is that you can't have too much fruit.  And I think a dense, heavy (but not stodgy) texture really suits the loaf.  Another thought - I think the spelt shines in this format - I like this better than rye based fruit loaves.  I think the rye masks the aroma and flavour of the spelt somewhat in a mixed loaf.

Have just ordered more spelt - white this time, and a bag of kamut.  You're a bad influence TP. :)

Celia




I figure if you can call me a sheila, I should be able to call you Jezza.  :)   But do let me know if it pisses you off, and I'll stop..

[quote=Jeremy]
Here is the formula
10g starter (mine was a whole wheat levain)
30g spelt /whole grain
30g water. NYC Tap

700g starter
700 spelt
700 water

Dough:
200g levain
500 whole spelt
356 water
12  salt

[/quote]

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't quite understand what you've done here ?  When I make a sourdough, I feed up my starter, and then just use starter in place of yeast.  Have you made two starters here, or is there another step to the process I'm unaware of ?  Thanks..

Cheers, Celia




...just don't ask for a kamut bake-off! Can't get it here. I trust you'll share whatevah yummy bread you make out of it?

Chinese wolfberries? I hesitated on calling it goji berries as after googling, some argue it's a different thing. But in cantonese, it's called gei chee...the ones you add in soup or dishes because it's "good for the eyes". I just washed the berries and added to the bread; do not in any event soak them as they'll become mushy.

Thank you for your kind words, Celia (and Jeremy, get well!). My fruit bread looks like a poor man's version of Celia's. It's funny how when you add to the dough it looks so much, but after baking, it looks sadly sparse. Mental note to be more heavy handed. I've eaten 4 slices already. *blush*

Are we having fun, guys?




You should see what it sells for here, TP.  And your bread hardly looks like a poor man's version, not with all those goji berries..  :)

I add what seems to be an obscene amount of fruit - to that little loaf, it was at least half a cup of cranberries, close to the same in currants, three pitted and torn dates, and half a dozen of the marinated figs, chopped up.  I know there are rules which how much stuff you can add in to a loaf (we with fossil collecting children would call them "inclusions"), but I'm always heavy handed with what I throw in.

Interestingly, I was reading a recipe for Dan Lepard's garlic bread, and he added three whole garlic buds (not cloves, the whole thing) to his dough.  THREE !!  I was thinking you'd have to stay home for a week...

Having fun ?  That's an understatment !  :D



[quote=celia]

[quote=Jeremy]
Here is the formula
10g starter (mine was a whole wheat levain)
30g spelt /whole grain
30g water. NYC Tap
----
70g total refreshed starter?
----

700g starter methinks it's typo error, should be 70g?
700 spelt (duh....jeremy, is this derived from 200g levain + 500g whole spelt)
700 water
Hmm...I have come across 1:1:1 formula like this before, but how then does the following tie in?

Dough:
200g levain
500 whole spelt
356 water
12  salt

[/quote]

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't quite understand what you've done here ?  When I make a sourdough, I feed up my starter, and then just use starter in place of yeast.  Have you made two starters here, or is there another step to the process I'm unaware of ?  Thanks..

Cheers, Celia
[/quote]

OK...I got lost halfway, thinking aloud....or rather from the start. Jeremy?


Yeah it's 70g, typo with cold!
70x3=210 toss out the 10 or use it to feed another levain build!

[quote=TeckPoh]I'll be throwing in some XO brandy-soaked prunes and currants.
[/quote]

TP, I'm impressed; you use XO to soak fruit for your fruit loaves?! I hope you drink it also.... do you?

Of course, I drink the drips. Shhhlllurp! SIL made that decadent jar of prunes for me....to eat as a topping for ice-cream. It's one year old already. Now that I've used up all for the bread, I'll go make a jar...it's really delicious. I have 2 cupboards full of liqueur and liquor. I only drink for health purposes....believe it or not!, lol....so 90% of it goes into my bakes, to flavour cakes and buttercream.


[quote=TeckPoh] crumb structure in white spelt is much more open than the wholegrain's[/quote]
Not by law..tabe a look at my gallery :)

Spelt - wholemeal

Spelt is a mimosa, freshly milled it loves to lay down on earth, stored for a long long time in a forgotten edge it likes to settle down in its shell.

Forgotten meal  (2 year laid anywhere)
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict10961oh.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict10961oh.jpg[/img][/url]e/thumb/pict10961oh.jpg[/img][/url]
with some tiny visitors...
cleaned, doughed(mixed with salt and water and little spices) and presoaked

it was overkneeded  within 4! minutes
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict1100m56.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict1100m56.jpg[/img][/url]

long cool proving - above well known lumpy clay
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict1107hy4.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict1107hy4.jpg[/img][/url]

only bäähhh
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict1117lu3.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict1117lu3.jpg[/img][/url]

second one slightly better
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict1119pfu.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict1119pfu.jpg[/img][/url]

for good results you need an excellent flour
the only thing you could do with such crap is bake some gimmicks
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict1076sgd.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict1076sgd.jpg[/img][/url]

..for whom the bell rings..
baguette - white spelt - 66% hydra
spelt - wholemeal, with some additions - 78% hyd
spelt - pure wholemeal - 74% hyd
[quote=Jeremy]Yeah it's 70g, typo with cold!
70x3=210 toss out the 10 or use it to feed another levain build!

[/quote]

Got it now.  :)

Thanks, Celia



[quote=canadianmountaingoat]
[/quote]

Goatgirl, you are a STAR !!  What a superb looking loaf...


And bianchifan, great texture in that spelt wholemeal loaf !  Man, you guys are impressive...




Celia,
That Markus is a great baker, yet he refuses to give up any numbers or formulas he is going to have to get Carla from NZ to help with his cryptic English as I have lost all mein kinder Deutsch!

Mountain Goat, wow what a gash on that spelt!

Were cooking up a storm aren't we kids!

Being that I haven't baked sourdough before, I must admit I am quite proud of my little production! :-)

I have another spelt starter ready to go, and my long overdue whole wheat starter seems to have sprung to life now so that will get a bake too this week. I want to bake both with spelt.

Anyone have a recipe for 100% spelt? I'm after at least a hydration figure so I don't 'overwater' the poor dough. A recipe would be preferred though as I am new to things like resting, proving, 10 second kneading...

Oh - and just for the record, celia, I'm a goat girl! :D

Happy baking - back with more in a couple of days but meanwhile recipes recipes recipes pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaase!

goat



I love that there are so many baxters here - did you know that "baxter" is the old English word for "female baker" ?  This always felt like such a male dominated board until recently...

Do you have a first name, GG ?  Or would you like us to call you Goatgirl ?

Celia



Ok, so I am now officially blind because I didn't see the 100% recipe posted in this thread above until JUST now. Oh well. I did see it in the end, I guess.

So before I head off into the kitchen to work on my refreshed dough, does anyone have insights as to why there's a big hole in my loaf? Could this be because I was impatient and let it prove on top of my stove on the element that vents the oven? I.e. could it have been too warm for resting or proving and that's why there was too much activity on the bottom of the shaped loaf? Ideas?

Also, on the crumb, you folks are superb at shaping a texture that is what me calls 'proper bread'! Now, you have to know that I lived in Germany for quite some time and just can't get used to the North American idea of bread. It's NOT BREAD! I'm not sure what it is, but it's not bread! Grr! ANyhow, is the crumb shaped by how long you knead? Sorry about the long wound question. Trying to improve... Insights welcome.

goat


CMG, you should indeed be proud of your bread! Celia's recipe is simple and sweet. I think you can follow her fermenting times as your temperature should be about the same. Great, 2 more spelt breads on the way!

Markus, I love your english (Jeremy's not any less cryptic) and your breads. Where is your wholegrain spelt with the big holes?

Edit: found it and posting it here. WOW!




























Please share how you got them? 74 - 78% hydration for wholemeal spelt sounds pretty wet, how do you handle them?

I'm thinking of spelt cinnamon buns. Thursday.




[quote=canadianmountaingoat]Ok, so I am now officially blind because I didn't see the 100% recipe posted in this thread above until JUST now. Oh well. I did see it in the end, I guess.[/quote]

I see you've found it. Great.

[quote=canadianmountaingoat]
So before I head off into the kitchen to work on my refreshed dough, does anyone have insights as to why there's a big hole in my loaf? Could this be because I was impatient and let it prove on top of my stove on the element that vents the oven? I.e. could it have been too warm for resting or proving and that's why there was too much activity on the bottom of the shaped loaf? Ideas?

Also, on the crumb, you folks are superb at shaping a texture that is what me calls 'proper bread'! Now, you have to know that I lived in Germany for quite some time and just can't get used to the North American idea of bread. It's NOT BREAD! I'm not sure what it is, but it's not bread! Grr! ANyhow, is the crumb shaped by how long you knead? Sorry about the long wound question. Trying to improve... Insights welcome.

goat
[/quote]

My inexpert guess re: The Hole - the shaping was not tight enough and the bottom joins were not properly sealed.


[quote=bianchifan]
for good results you need an excellent flour
the only thing you could do with such crap is bake some gimmicks
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict1076sgd.jpg][img]http://www.abload.de/thumb/pict1076sgd.jpg[/img][/url]

[/quote]

The wamb and wabbit are so adowable....did you use a mould or cutter?


[quote=canadianmountaingoat]

So before I head off into the kitchen to work on my refreshed dough, does anyone have insights as to why there's a big hole in my loaf?  ANyhow, is the crumb shaped by how long you knead? Sorry about the long wound question. Trying to improve... Insights welcome.

goat
[/quote]

That hole looks like a moulding/shaping error.

I don't think the crumb texture has anything to do with how long you knead. The gluten is developed by time and hydration, rather than hand kneading, hence stretch and fold. Instead the crum is governed by factors like hydration, bulk fermentation and proof times (and their ratio), and handling the dough gently so as not to knock all the gas out.

That said I can't reliably get big holes and super thin cell walls with sourdough, Please can someone tell me how?
Markus, I apologize your not cryptic, your a baking maestro! I am still under the weather but feeding a starter for another loaf, this time with mixed flours including spelt, barley and whole wheat, got the idea to try Pim's formula from www.chezpim.com she had been bitten by the bug, I sort of commented she ought to send all her fans to this page or Dans for a look @ us!
[quote=jacklang]I don't think the crumb texture has anything to do with how long you knead.[/quote]
I must do a veto, kneading technique is not the only thing but it's very very important.

There are some reasons why peple forgot spelt for a long time...
Spelt stores water in another way, the bakes dry out quicker.
The glue isn't as strong as from wheat, the window for best development is very small.
Too short - dense, clumpy, gluey,  too long - open crume but the bake flows away, you might get a flat and wide pita, the much more weaker gluten doesn't allow to rise like french rustic bread or an italian pane.
Ok.. some bakers add wheat glue, others add ascorbic acid.
With wheat glue you might get chewing gum, I never tried (I never added glue to any bake) but I believe so because I tried some obscure product from commercial bakeries.
With ascorbic acid yoe may support the strengh of the gluten, the result is still weaker as with use of wheat, but it will reach it almost.
The shaping of a spelt dough may be a little bit more complex, but it's possible.
Don't reduce the amount of water (as I did some years in the past), the result will be a dry and crumbly texture.
Learn to love this cereal so you can handle.

Jeremy, I'm sad but I don't know the exact formula for the 78% Hydraloaf.
I always (much mostly) bake after the formula "pi times windowcross(crossbar)", I recon 78% for I use a kneading machine since last december and cannot longer play try and error with water addition.

@TP
[url=http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=pict10838ey.jpg]mould[/url]

My feeling is that there is a high level of enzyme, which is why it goes to gloop.

Really happy with today's spelt attempt, which used the same formula as my fruit bread above, but without the fruit, and substituting organic white spelt flour for the wholemeal spelt.  I also added a tiny amount (about 1g) of ground malt powder. The gluten powder really seems to make a difference, this dough was light, pliable and co-operative throughout it's 6 hour first rise, and 1.25 hour second rise (in a plastic basket).

Of course, an intelligent person takes a picture before they cut the loaf..sigh...but here are some pics nonetheless.  It's a nice textured loaf !













































Hey, we love crumb shots!

Can't talk. Storm approaching and just started mixing 2 breads.


WOOOHOOOO!!! 100 posts for this thread, and going strong!