After the last spelt experiment, I learnt from kind bloggers that the gluten in spelt behaves differently and that if white spelt is less distinctive in taste, whole spelt is quite tasty. Looking through my copy of Michel Suas’s Advanced Pastry and Bread, I found a recipe for spelt flour that uses a poolish. What was interesting is that it calls for a very short second proof (recipe includes a pinch of yeast) and free-form shaping with no slashing – like a ciabatta. This, I thought, makes some sense because I remembered how slack the spelt and wheat flour dough was, yet how it had good oven spring. I adapted the recipe to use a spelt leaven and totally changed the proofing times, so it’s quite a different recipe after all.
100% spelt sourdough
280g White spelt flour
280g 100% spelt flour leaven
This is quite an easy recipe to remember: flour and leaven in equal quantities (not exactly that in the recipe, but I rounded it off), and the quantity of water almost half the that of flour.
Autolyse of 45 mins.
Three folds in three hours. I felt the dough getting stronger with each fold.
I then popped it into the fridge for a few hours and left it on the counter overnight at coolish temperatures of 17 degrees. In all, 1st proof was some 11 hours. The dough was very puffy at the end.
It was just picked up clumsily, folded over itself and plopped onto parchment paper before going into the oven, no slashes.
The crumb was creamy, sweet, cool and only slightly acidic. Spelt might just have redeemed itself with this loaf!
* I felt the dough could handle more water, especially if it’s going to be baked free-form, so I might up the water a little by feel the next time.