# Spelt Bake-Off (title changed from Spelt)

TeckPoh

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.

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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

Category:

## Replies

celia 2008 April 24

Mick is KING ! I used his pizza recipe for ages, and I know this formula does work, because I'm sure I've used it before.  It's just now that I have a "standard" formula figured out, I'd forgotten how I figured it out in the first place, so thank you for providing it again.  I'm going to crunch some numbers and see if I can convert my favourite sweet dough recipe to sourdough (maaan, I'm crap at maths).

My question though is this - how do you know how much starter to use in terms of yeast ?  For example, if the recipe says 30g fresh yeast, I know to use half that in dried yeast, but how much starter do I use ?  15% of dough weight ?  Or 30% ?  Or does it not make any difference, and all you have to do is let it rise longer to achieve the same results ?

Thanks again,

Celia

PS. Sweetie, I love it when you call me darling.  ;)
Jeremy 2008 April 24
I think it really depends how much ooomph you want in your dough, though I am sure a more brilliant person will help me out here? I ususally go for 15-30 percent myself! I also would suggest for sweet doughs add the sugar last, though that would be for yeasted so may not matter in sourdough!

No problemo sweetie
celia 2008 April 24

I'm going to try 15% for the sweet dough, Jeremy, otherwise I have to reduce the amount of milk too much, which I think will affect the texture of my dough.  Wish me luck ! :)
I tried another round of spelt today based on nowonmai's recipe, that's round 3 of a total of 4 sourdough attempts, and I must report a disappointment! Not a flat out kind of failure, but definitely flat! Haha. Will upload the pics when I can but just the following advice. Based on the original recipe, I
- increased spelt content from 300g to 500g (without altering the total flour content),
- didn't alter the water content (!),
- didn't knead but only folded the dough,
- rest and proof periods all the same as in the recipe, and
--> ended up with a VERY soft and sticky dough that should have had me worried! But I thought 'well this looks like in the video, very soft, pliable and stretchy - fine!'. I have to say it didn't bake well; not quite hockey pucks but not far off! Not a lot of oven spring, but my slasing didn't help. And I even used a scale this time, which I bought only a few days ago! Previously I had been using cups to approximate weight. I think that the dough was WAY to wet this time, and perhaps, for wheat, especially white flour, this might be fine, but this level of hydration is too much for the 600g of spelt.

Another thing: I didn't slash as deep as I have before and that definitely didn't help. One of the loaves cracked at the base. So when you slash, be courageous - it's worked best for me.

So to answer nowonmai's question, what worked best for me was:
- replace strong white flour with 1cup (250mL) white, 2 cups whole wheat, and one cup spelt.
- slash deep, i.e. 1-1.5 cm, possibly 2cm deep, right before baking.

goat, feeling a little more humble today
TeckPoh 2008 April 24

CMG

Yep, it happens. Purpose? Hopefully, we learn something from it and because you're sharing this, all of us get to hop on the learning curve with you.

While it has been pointed out that a dough will come out more wet with a higher volume of spelt (or all spelt) in it, our dear Markus proves that this spectre can be dealt with as we see his marvellous spelt loaves with hydration above 70%. Overmixed, perhaps?

Celia

Oooh...I see someone is getting more indulgent...sweet breads...YUM! The way I do my baker's yeast to full sourdough conversion is loosely based on what Jeremy suggested.....15% to 30%.

Dom and Boris

We're waiting for youuuuuuuuuuu........
TeckPoh 2008 April 24
Another thing: I didn't slash as deep as I have before and that definitely didn't help. One of the loaves cracked at the base. So when you slash, be courageous - it's worked best for me.

[/quote]

Ooooh yes. When slashing, be very very vicious! Sadly, this cowardly lion, or rather, tiger (year of birth) has yet to get smack into that frame of mind in those few compressed seconds. One day, I must make some practice dough to play; it's rather fun...once I get it, I wish I have more breads to score.
celia 2008 April 24

TP, wasn't it you who coined that legendary phrase...

!! SLASH WITH PANACHE !!

It's not an expression you use around small boys, though... ;)

Not to worry, Goat, there are two things you can do with a loaf like that.

1. Make the best breadcrumbs for a meatloaf or hamburgers, OR

2. Make that gorgeous Italian salad with the grilled stale bread - you cut it up into cubes and toast it into croutons, then throw it in with tomatoes and garlic, and dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  To die for - I looove this.  Here's a recipe from Food Safari.
Cheers, Celia
celia 2008 April 24

Wasn't it you, TP ?  Sorry if I've misquoted you.  I thought there was some discussion here a while back about that being a good t-shirt logo. :)

Jeremy, can't help it, memories of toilet training my sons are still too vivid.  I would never have told them to "slash with panache" !  ;)

Fattoush is a little different I think, because it uses pita bread.  Panzanella traditionally used stale ciabatta, from memory.
Jeremy 2008 April 24
I forgot Celia about Mancunian term for slash is also a toilet term!
Fattoush though, me thinks....could be possibly considered a root or cousin of Panzanella? Mick makes sourdough pita, could you imagine he told me he also makes tortillas with it? I really have to show the boy that tortillas with flour are only made in northern Mexico, corn rules!

So are you happy with the new flour? How is the spelt bake off going, where is the next competion going, in what flour or style?

celia 2008 April 24

My cry of "look at my buns, they're spectacular !!" caused some laughter in the kitchen, particularly as I was crouched in a particularly unflattering position at the time, peering into the oven.. :)

Anyway, they worked a treat.  The flavour of the spelt really seems to complement sweet add-ins, and the combination of spelt and dark Belgian chocolate was delicious.

Thanks to Mick, Jeremy and TP, I was able to convert my standard sweet dough recipe to use a sourdough leaven.  It was quite different to how the yeast recipe works (heavier texture, different colour), but it was a very good difference indeed.

Starter                   130g (166% hydration)
Spelt Flour              450g
Milk                        170g
Egg                        2 eggs
Salt                        10g
Unsalted Butter       60g
Castor Sugar          40g
Gluten                   2 tsps
Choc baking sticks  21 sticks

I whisked together starter, milk and eggs in one bowl.  Then I whisked flour, salt, castor sugar and gluten in another, then rubbed in butter, before mixing the whole lot together.

Cheers, Celia
TeckPoh 2008 April 24

From the first picture, I thought you were showing very nice potatoes as an ingredient, lol. Gosh, they are so plump and inviting. Belgian chocolate buns....I want some!!!!!
celia 2008 April 24
A friend who was over for dinner made exactly the same comment, TP !  He said they looked just like baked potatoes !

Jeremy, not just in Manchester, it's a pretty common term here in Oz as well. ;)

Enjoying the flour ?   Yes indeedy.  I love an adventure.  I'm sure Mistress TP has something truly challenging in mind for May... :)
TeckPoh 2008 April 24

OK, I finally get the slash joke! ROFL! Never heard of that slang before!

Yes, I believe I did say, "Slash with Panache!" ages ago...old brain cells take some jogging to recall things these days. But....I'll see it differently now, as will everyone else. Funny, how natural it is for us to stray to regularity and toilets from breads.

Dear Jeremy,

Of course, we have an adventure planned out for the merry month of May. Stay tuned.

cheers

Celia, my Melissa in the Middle said, "Wah!!! Yummy baked potatoes!" However, this was quickly changed to "We want Belgian Chocolate Buns too!"
SourDom 2008 April 26
OK, have finally made my first spelt loaf as contribution to the bake-off

It is a variant of the Mill loaf, using all spelt (apart from a little rye in the starter, and to dust the banneton)

175g starter (1/2 spelt, 1/2 rye, 100% hydration)
312g water
300g white spelt flour
200g wholemeal spelt flour
10g salt

usual mix/knead at 10 minute intervals over half an hour
fold ~hourly - bulk for ~3 1/2 hours
shape
Retarded in fridge overnight
Baked in pot in morning

and some crumb shots for TP

TeckPoh 2008 April 27

I miss your breads so much, Dom! Thanks, it looks awesome. I see you've taken to baking in a pot.

TP
SourDom 2008 April 27
thanks guys,

the pot is a necessary evil (actually it isn't so evil) given the oven that I have to bake with here.

I made a spelt and stout barm loaf this morning. What is always a fairly liquidy dough turned into a thick batter, and shaping became virtually impossible. I ended up tipping the proved batter/dough into a hot pot, and baked a loaf that looks, well, rustic would be the kindest way to put it.

Am also working on a wholemeal spelt and honey loaf

cheers
Dom
SourDom 2008 April 28
More spelt loaves - since I am way behind everyone else (who I suspect have long moved on from spelt)

Spelt and stout barm loaf

(This was indeed the batter bread from the previous post.)

and a 100% wholemeal spelt and honey loaf
(going for Dan's inside front cover effect - but not carrying it off!)
no crumb shots - loaf has gone in the freezer!

Ginger 2008 April 29
What exactly do you mean by baked in a pot, literally in a pot?  What type?  I can't get my loafs to have such nice holes and lift.  I think the spelt you guys are using is perhaps more refined than mine as my loaves are a bit yellow.  I can see flecks of whole spelt in my white spelt.  Beautiful loaf!
celia 2008 April 29

I am definitely going to have to revisit pot baking...thanks Dom.  Dom's kids playing dom-inoes made me smile as well..  :)

My problem with pot baking in the past has been that it's all a bit scary - dragging the blazing hot cast iron pot out of the oven, tipping the dough in, and then pulling it out again.  But I'm going to try again with my less heavy stainless steel pots and see how it goes - then I won't fret about the handles melting either.

Hey TP, reckon this thread can get to 200 posts ? ;)
TeckPoh 2008 April 29

No problem! Right, guys? Boris will whack it past 200 with his series of spelt bakes and findings....eh, Boris?

Meantime, let's recap the spelt breads we've made so far, not forgetting those mentioned but not shown...

* Panevino's 90% spelt

* Matthew's 100% spelt version of Peter Reinhart's 100% Rye recipe

* TP's almost 100% whole grain spelt

* Fire Beard's 83% wholemeal spelt

* Jacklang's white spelt batard/baguettes

* Bianchifan's white spelt baguettes

* Celia's tinned rye/spelt/white combo loaf

* Jacklang's almost 100% white spelt bread

* Celia's 90.5% spelt stuffed with lots of goodies

* Jeremy's whole grain spelt with wholewheat levain

* TP's 2nd almost 100% wholegrain spelt

* bianchifan's various spelt (showcase) loaves

* celia's 90.5% white spelt loaf

* TP's sticky spelt buns

* Ginger's 100% spelt loaf

* celia's spelt using her newly-arrived ABA flour

* jacklang's wholemeal Health bread (with omega mix seeds)

* gul dekar's spelt with flaxseed and muesli

* theoreticgal's 100% spelt loaf

* celia's spelt epi

* celia's chocolate spelt potatoes sweet buns

* sourdom's spelt (white/wholemeal) loaf

* sourdom's spelt and stout barm loaf

Phew! Amazing bakes, everyone! Please let me know if I've got any links wrong or if I missed out anyone's bread.

Remember, April may be going going gone, but, please continue to post your spelt bakes here. We want to make this The Longest Online Spelt Thread. :)

Catharina 2008 April 30
Hi Dom - thanks for the video - I am definitely going to try that technique (as I too have some Le Creuset pots!) but I suppose one could always do it with flower pots as well (my Mum does this) --- but terracotta flower pots don't necessarily have lids.... questions....

Do you oil or flour the pot?  Or is it just the flour remaining on the loaf that stops it sticking or crusting onto the pot?

If the bread is cooked for say, 40 mins total, with a temperature reduction at around 20 mins (like Dan Leader's recipes) --- would that be about the same time I remove the lid?  Would I still reduce the temp?  What temp do you use --- as it seems barse ackwards (to me) that the loaf would get colour at the end rather than at the beginning.

I love the idea of the self generating steam --- it always freaks me out when I spray water in the oven to make steam,
Thanks again,
Catharina
Jeremy 2008 April 30
Hey all, did bake that 100% dinkel (spelt) unfortunately the gallery still isn't working for me? So check out a story on my site about this contest and Spelt!

Cheers!
nowonmai 2008 April 30

not fair! canadianmountaingoats first spelt loaf was my recipe...unfair advantage in the bakeoff! lol
we need to have a new one now i'm back baking...how about the best fruit loaf?
TeckPoh 2008 April 30
...may be difficult...the camera's in the way.

Hey, everyone! The thread is not closed. Keep baking and posting your spelt loaves. I've seen nowonmai's latest spelts and I can tell you people they are gorgeous. Wait till the gallery is up again...

And, for you, specially, nowonmai...since you're such a sport, supporting our bake-offs, here's the next one....yep, your fruit loaf will be just right ripe for it.

SourDom 2008 April 30
[quote=Catharina]Hi Dom - thanks for the video - I am definitely going to try that technique (as I too have some Le Creuset pots!) but I suppose one could always do it with flower pots as well (my Mum does this) --- but terracotta flower pots don't necessarily have lids.... questions....

Do you oil or flour the pot?  Or is it just the flour remaining on the loaf that stops it sticking or crusting onto the pot?

If the bread is cooked for say, 40 mins total, with a temperature reduction at around 20 mins (like Dan Leader's recipes) --- would that be about the same time I remove the lid?  Would I still reduce the temp?  What temp do you use --- as it seems barse ackwards (to me) that the loaf would get colour at the end rather than at the beginning.

[/quote]

Catharina,

I always put the casserole in and turn my oven up to max. Then when I am putting the casserole back in the oven (after taking it out, and tipping the dough into it), I turn the oven down.
The temp depends on your oven, but maybe 210C.
(It is Gas Mark 7 on my crazy oven, but the temperature falls about 20C with each shelf going down the oven.)

I take the lid off after 20 minutes, and then the loaf will have another 20-25 mins

cheers
Dom
Catharina 2008 May 1
[quote=SourDom][
Catharina,

I always put the casserole in and turn my oven up to max. Then when I am putting the casserole back in the oven (after taking it out, and tipping the dough into it), I turn the oven down.
The temp depends on your oven, but maybe 210C.
(It is Gas Mark 7 on my crazy oven, but the temperature falls about 20C with each shelf going down the oven.)

I take the lid off after 20 minutes, and then the loaf will have another 20-25 mins

cheers
Dom
[/quote]

Thanks for the info Dom - I am tempted to try it on half this morning's Pain au Levain effort.  (the other half is being used for a 'filled' experiment ;) )  I must remember the  C/F differences when posting --- I have gotten so used to  imperial after growing up with metric.  I'll let you know how I get on.
C
theoreticgal 2008 May 1
I received my Santos order whilst  I was in baby bootcamp with the little one.  I am very pleased, it all looks great and smells so fresh and wholesome :-) The rolled spelt looks divine.

So I got my starter going happily again and have just made a 100% spelt and a 50/50 rye/spelt dough up which is bulk proofing.

I am running a little late with this batch as I want it for dinner tonight but I might make it.

Even though I am a complete novice. My family is really pleased with how my breads are turning out but it keeps disappearing before I remember to take a snap.

Hmm house smells so nice with a pot of soup bubbling and freshly bakes sourdough straight out of the oven.

I have found my bread seems to have a nicer crumb the less I knead it. is this perculiar to spelt or  just the nature of sourdoughs?

celia 2008 May 3

TG, glad you like the Santos order, I've been delighted with mine.  Just made a quinoa curry today for lunch, and the white spelt has been gorgeous to work with.

Dan Lepard expouses a kneading method that involves numerous short kneads and folds, with lots of resting in between.  I think that produces a wonderful crumb in sourdough, better than a long hard first knead and then a long rest.  From what I've read here, I think the spelt particularly likes the lighter touch and gentler handling.
sourfish 2008 May 13
After reading this thread I got inspired to bake some spelt loaves. I used the formula that sourdom kindly posted, but using 100% kialla white spelt. I made a rye/spelt starter and had to increase the hydration of the dough to compensate for the more refined white spelt flour. 10mins knead/10mins rest/5mins knead/10mins rest/add salt/3mins knead/6hrs proof @ 10 - 16C/wood oven bake @ 300C for 35mins.. ..just lovely. Thanks Dom.
TeckPoh 2008 May 13
Your spelt is lovely indeed! Dom's tried and tested recipes never fail!
Danubian 2008 May 19
Here is my first spelt bread. A bit late but I finally got to make some dough from 100% spelt.

[IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b317/plutrach/IMG_5635.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b317/plutrach/IMG_5648.jpg[/IMG]

Base Formula  ~ 20% sourdough flour content (SDC)
%                    wt.
ABA Spelt flour     100                  2.700
water +/-               65                  1.755
salt                         2                    .054
diastatic malt            .25                 .007
Total                   167.25              4.516

TeckPoh 2008 May 20
Boris, how would you describe the taste? Similar to wholemeal bread?
Danubian 2008 May 20
It has a caramel hint in aroma and taste at the beginning and then I'm hard pressed to say. A lingering pleasant tang with a fine mealy texture but it's distinct from other grain flavours.

I've just loaded a few more in the oven that had an overnight stint in the fridge. I'll let you know what happens and how they fare.
bianchifan 2008 May 23
I have found my bread seems to have a nicer crumb the less I knead it.
[/quote]
1. which? No?
2. Don't overkneed

[quote=sourfish]6hrs proof @ 10 - 16C[/quote]
May you explain this a little bit nearer, please?

[quote=Danubian]Here is my first spelt bread.[/quote]
Excellent!!
[quote=Danubian]ABA Spelt flour  [/quote]
ABA??
Black? Grey? White? Ash content?? ;)
SourDom 2008 May 23
Sourfish,

what a gorgeous looking loaf.
I was going to comment on your amazing spring and slightly dark base and suggest that you must have a super-hot oven stone.
But then I saw that you had a wood oven. Lucky thing - I am jealous ;)
beautiful loaf - well done. Better than anything that you can buy in this part of the world (Oxford).

Danubian
I presume that you used this flour

so the answer Bianchi is that this is 85% extraction unbleached flour, (don't know about the ash content)

also a beautiful loaf. Is it selling well?

cheers
Dom

TeckPoh 2008 July 30
Used up all the spelt I had left which amounted to 70%, rest wholemeal flour, with one egg, chopped pecans and sunflower seeds. Pinch of vit C and vital gluten was included as per Corriher recipe. (Don't hit me!)

TeckPoh 2008 July 30

I can put what I like into MY Bread. Not selling that.

Go and have a crazy time in your exotic getaway cookaway and you might come back with additives we've never even heard of.

TP
Jeremy 2008 July 30

They won't be additives, but food aphrodisiacs, not Vit C or gluten!
Will have fun, for sure.
celia 2008 July 30

TP, I think it looks wonderful!!  I add gluten all the time to my spelt - I reckon you can do anything you want.. ;)

I tried adding Vit C once, but genuinely didn't like the bread it produced.  I now keep the Vit C for crushing up and dipping apples in before I freeze them - they stay lilywhite in the freezer that way!  My friend does the same thing with eggplant (she doesn't freeze it, but dipping it in a vit C solution stops it oxidising).

Celia

PS. Hey, this thread is 4 posts off 200!!!!!
TeckPoh 2008 July 30

Celia, on your use for dipping apples, why do you freeze the apples?  And, eggplant for that matter? I can see 2 great tips here....1) a good alternative for when lemons aren't available. 2) Finding more uses for the freezer.

I added only a teeny tiny pinch of pure vit C powder as the recipe calls for a quarter of a tablet. Vit C helps with the gluten development, but, then so does vital gluten. I'm not discerning enough to detect anything odd about the bread except that the texture was great.

Best
TP

celia 2008 July 30

Teep (do you like that? :)), apples are very seasonal here.  Unlike Singapore or other Asian countries which import them, they're grown here, so at certain times of year, they're really really cheap at the markets.  We were buying 15kg boxes for \$6 last month.  When they're out of season, they can be \$8/kilo.

I froze the Pink Ladies so that I'd be well stocked for apple pies and apple galettes when apple season is over.  The Vit C trick actually works much much better than lemon juice - truly!  Have a look here.  The apples I have in the freezer right now are still white - not a hint of browning!

I tried baking a batch of sourdough with the vitamin C, and while it was fine, it was just...well...boring.  I really couldn't figure out what the fuss was about, and if anything, I felt that I'd ended up with a loaf that was more "commercial" than usual.  I blogged about it here.  But hey, that could have just been me.. ;)

Celia
TeckPoh 2008 July 30

and a lovely bottom, Jack!

Celia, what a neat use for vit C! Thanks.

TP

DING! DING! 200th post! This must be the longest online thread on spelt bread. Woohoooo!