newbie with spelt starter

theoreticgal's picture
I am a newbie here and to sourdough breadmaking.
My Patner is intolerant to wheat and bakers/brewers yeats but seems to handle sourdoughs made from spelt and  other bakes good made from kamut.
 So I figured since I used to enjoy making standard yeast based goods and I am home with a newborn, I might give sourdoughs a try.
I purchased a couple starters online rather than trying to make my own and I have an active sanfransisco starter that seems to be going ok, which has been fed on 100% Spelt since I started it.
The only things I have made so far are some pizza bases from excess starter from a  recipe I found here I found here
and a dud trial loaf using some instructions I found somewhere online but obviously I totally messed it up. Still learning about hydrations etc

Looking forward to producing some nice loaves to go with all the soups I plan to make now the weather is cooling down.

I was planning on getting 25kg's of kamut and spelt as I gather I'll use a lot of flour, has anyone used Santos trading in Byron for supplies? I ahve ordered bulk spelt from organic suppiers on Melbourne before but the Santos stuff seems to work out quite a bit cheaper even factoring shipping into the equaltion. Plus they have kamut which I used to love baking with, but which has been nigh on impossible to source in the last few years locally.

279 users have voted.


matthew 2008 April 5
Welcome along theoreticgal.  Sorry I'm in NZ so will be of no use regarding flour supply.  There are a couple of other current topics on Spelt that I assume you've looked at.  One thing to remember is that you can cut down on your flour consumption by putting your starter to sleep in the fridge between bakes.  Feed it, let it get started (how long you leave it out depends on how long it's going to sleep) then put it in the fridge.  Get it out and feed it a couple of times before you bake and it will come bursting back to life.  After a while you'll get a feel for how long your leaven takes to wake up depending on the time of year and how long you've let it sleep.  If it's been sleeping a while it's often useful to x5 it once or twice to reduce the acid load a bit.

You can also cut down on flour use by keeping the storage leaven small.  You don't need 300g in between bakes.  If you take 50g starter and feed 50g flour 50g water (assuming you keep it at 100% hydration) then you've only used 50g of flour and have 150g of starter. More than enough between bakes.  You can feed it up to baking size over a couple of feeds easily enough (assuming you're not trying to make up a huge batch of dough).

theoreticgal's picture
theoreticgal 2008 April 5
[quote=matthew] If it's been sleeping a while it's often useful to x5 it once or twice to reduce the acid load a bit.

thanks matthew
I am just learning this stuff and I have read the spelt threads.

What do you mean by "x5 it"

I will definitely be keeping smaller leavens in fridge than my current one.

Mind you DH wanted more of those excess starter pizza's for dinner, so  we ducked off to the local deli to stock up on toppings.:)
matthew 2008 April 9
By x5 I mean for instance start with 25g leaven and add 50g water and 50g flour, result is 125g leaven or 5x the starting quantity of 25g.  3x is equal weights - 25g leaven, 25g water, 25g flour = 75g.

I've decided that I really only need to keep enough to be able to get out 25-75g to start feeding up to a dough, depending on how much dough and how many feeds I hope to do (normally 2-3 before the dough is mixed up).

Hope that helps

dln 2008 May 7

After taking the starter from the fridge, do you wait for it to warm up before the first feeding?

How long between the multiple feedings?

What factors other than volume determine whether to use two or three feedings?

Thanks for clarification of 5x and 3x. Would you use more than a 5-times multiple or would that overly reduce the flavor/sour of the starter?


SourdoughBaker 2009 April 25

Hi theoreticgal,
Just thought you might like to catch up on some extra spelt sourdough information on my site,
There is a basic spelt sourdough recipe there under the recipe tab, as well as a whole bunch of articles about spelt and spelt flour grades commonly found in Australia.
There is also a lot of info about different ways to keep starter, including one called 'old dough technique'. You'll find some how to details there under 'techniques' and a bit more in 'recipes'.
Hope this is helpful! Happy baking!

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