Spelt adds a sweet flavor reminiscent of honey that deepens the flavor of this soft and creamy crumb. Unlike hard wheat which usually imparts a hint of bitterness, spelt has a much more delicate flavor that’s delicious on its own, and both with sweet or savory accompaniments.
I developed this recipe in partnership with Central Milling. I’ve loved Central Milling’s products ever since I started baking sourdough, so I was so incredibly honored when they expressed the desire to partner with me for a few recipes. As part of our partnership, I got the rare treat of picking Nicky Giusto’s brain on how to create a whole wheat sandwich loaf. Nicky gave me some amazing tips that I have incorporated into my bread baking techniques since. More details on Nicky’s tips to come in a future recipe!
I’ve been baking my loaves consistently at about 82% hydration, but in developing this recipe I scaled the hydration down per Nicky’s advice because spelt is more water-soluble than wheat, therefore needs less liquid than other whole wheat flours. I combined the Central Milling’s Organic Whole Spelt Flour, with their beautiful Artisan Bakers Craft Flour which imparts a strong structure on the dough, and Organic Beehive to maintain a soft texture and avoid excessive chewiness. I absolutely love this combination and I think you will too!
I’m very excited to announce that I’m hosting a giveaway for Central Milling so you can make this loaf yourself. Central Milling has generously offered to giveaway a package containing three 5 lbs bags of their best selling flours to THREE WINNERS. Check out my Instagram for details on how to enter!
Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This in no way impacts my recommendations.
Each winner will receive:
- Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft Plus – best-selling product, for artisan bread making
- Organic Beehive – best-selling all-purpose flour
- Organic 100% Whole Spelt – best-selling specialty flour, ancient grain, whole wheat flour
Now onto the recipe!
|10 grams||Sourdough Starter||40%|
|25 grams||Central Milling Artisan Baker’s Craft (Bread Flour)||100%|
|60 grams||Central Milling Whole Organic Spelt Flour||20%|
|90 grams||Central Milling Organic Beehive (All-purpose Flour)||30%|
|150 grams||Central Milling Artisan Bakers Craft (Bread Flour)||50%|
Start by mixing all the ingredients in the levain section above. Set your levain aside in a warm spot until it triples in volume, this takes about 4 to 5 hours in my Brot and Taylor Bread Proofer set to 78 F / 25 C.
Immediately after mixing your levain, combine only the flours and water in a mixing bowl. Stir using your hand or a spatula and mix until all of the flour is hydrated. Cover the mixing bowl with a plate or cling wrap and set aside until your levain has activated.
In addition to activating the enzymes in the flour and jumpstarting gluten development in the flour, this step softens the bran in the spelt flour and will prevent the bran from cutting the gluten strands in the dough. This additional step will aid in preventing your loaf from developing a dense crumb.
Once your levain is ready, add all of the levain into your autolysed dough by spreading the levain on top of the dough and folding the edges of the dough toward the middle. Mix the dough with your hand until the starter is fully incorporated. Cover the mixing bowl and set aside to rest for 30 mins.
Once the rest period is over, add the salt to the dough, mix using your hand until fully incorporated, cover and set aside for another 30 minutes.
After the rest period, fold the dough by picking up one edge, stretching it as far as it will go and folding it over itself. Repeat this process until you’ve folded all 4 edges of the dough.
Throughout the bulk fermentation period, conduct a series of 4 or 5 folds at 30-minute intervals.
Once it appears smooth, silky and strong, let the dough rest for 2 to 2 ½ hours. This period could be longer depending on the temperature of your room, watch carefully for signs of fermentation in your dough.
At the end of bulk fermentation your dough should have increased in volume by 30 to 50%, with slightly domed edges, a few large bubbles on the surface, lots of tiny bubbles and a web-like structure on the underside of the dough.
Liberally dust a tea towel with rice flour and place it inside a banneton or mixing bowl. Set aside.
Gently turn your fermented dough out onto a clean, lightly-floured surface. Shape your dough into either a boule or a banneton, place it into your prepared banneton or mixing bowl.
Wrap the banneton in a plastic bag and allow the dough to rest on the bench for 30 minutes.
Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight (12 to 16 hours).
The next day, preheat your oven to 500 F/260 F with a dutch oven inside.
Once your oven comes up to temperature, take your dough out of the refrigerator, place it on a piece of parchment paper seam-side down, and score it with a sharp blade or knife.
Bake the loaf inside a covered dutch oven for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how dark you’d like your crust.
Place the loaf on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing (at least 2 hours).
Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Remember to post a photo and tag me @makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake.