Posts Tagged ‘sourdough’

Sourdough Whole Spelt Bread

| June 14th, 2010

Saturday’s Workshop Spelt Sourdough Bread

This past Saturday we had homemade whole spelt sourdough bread with our picnic sandwiches. It was a hit as many folks have trouble with regular wheat bread. Having a wheat sensitivity can be a pain if you want home baked bread so we found a great alternative. This recipe is for those who want less wheat in their diet due to symptoms of sensitivity but are not suffering from celiac disease.
Spelt sourdough bread is so full of that tangy, chewy flavor and keeps exceptionally well. It is loaded with minerals and vitamins such as B, E and A.
Once the “starter” is established it is easy to create your own whole grain goodness with outstanding flavor. To make sourdough one needs to create what is called a “starter” by allowing a mixture of spelt flour and water to ferment. This is where the fabulous big holes in the bread and the incredible flavor originate. From a natural process the mixture begins to absorb yeasts from the surrounding air. Followed by daily feeding of your “biga” (that is what Italians call the starter) with a little flour and water you will have the basis for incomparable spelt sourdough bread. If you are not making bread on a daily basis the starter can be refrigerated for a few months (without feeding), this is called a dormant starter. Just don’t forget it or you will have to start over.
To Make the “biga” or Starter:
Mix 2 cups whole grain spelt flour with about 11/3 cups warm water to the consistency of a thick pancake batter (add a little more flour or water if required), mixing with a wooden spoon vigorously to incorporate as much air into the batter as possible. (The air around us contains the natural yeasts).
Place the mixture uncovered in a large bowl in a warm area. Give it a quick vigorous stir every 12 hours at least and feed the mixture with another cup of flour and ¾ cup of warm water (or enough water to maintain the consistency) each day.
After 2 or 3 days small bubbles should begin to appear on the surface. Continue feeding and mixing daily. The starter will develop a bubbly layer of foam on the surface. When this occurs you have created your active starter and it is ready to use.
If the starter develops a foul order or color is a strange gray it should be discarded. A slight cider vinegary smell indicates a healthy starter.
Always measure out what’s required for a recipe into a separate bowl for mixing. The remaining starter can be fed again to start over or 1 to 2 cups of starter can be placed in a capped jar and put in the fridge right away for another time.

Spelt Sourdough Bread Recipe
2 ½ cups active starter (biga)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
2-3 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon active yeast
6 cups whole grain spelt flour

Mix all together adding more flour or water if necessary to get a firm yet sticky dough.

Continue mixing with a wooden spoon till incorporated then turn out on a board and knead for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic adding spelt flour as needed but don’t make it too dry. It needs to remain somewhat sticky.

Place dough into greased bowl and cover. Preheat oven to 450º. Place in warm area until dough has doubled in size around 45 minutes. One rise is all you need. Don’t let it go longer or the dough could fall.

Place in greased loaf pans and place in oven for 35 minutes or until golden. If it sounds hollow when tapped it’s cooked, if it doesn’t sound hollow put the bread back in the oven straight on the oven rack and cook another 5 or 10 minutes. Allow bread to cool. Serve right away for the best flavor but this bread stores beautifully.