As time and my mother passed I began to learn about sourdough bread and began the adventure of Spelt sourdough baking. We had great results with cookies, pancakes, cake and crackers but bread remained...a problem. I churned out doorstop. Handsome weighty loaves that often became bread crumbs for meat loaf and meat balls. Useful but not what I was hoping for.
Last month I came across a wonderful recipe at http://gnowfglins.com/2014/01/14/not-so-dense-sourdough-bread/#comment-88085. This recipe became the jumping off place for our Spelt sourdough bread.
During the last baking session I was unexpectedly called away to work during the last rise. So popped the loaves in the refrigerator and hoped for the best. When I got home I set them on the counter. Three hours later they were ready for the oven and turned out very well.
Following the recipe reflecting the changes we have made. As husband is allergic to honey we went to sugar, olive oil instead of coconut and only Spelt flour. I have used the both the milk or water options and melted butter instead of or half and half with olive oil. All of which have worked.
Thank you Tracy Vierra and Wardee!
Photograph by Eric Donaldson Tworivers
Sourdough Bread, Vierra-Style
- 1 cup (active state and fed 2 to 3 times before use — this will lessen the sour taste)
- 1 cup milk or water
- 2-1/4 cups spelt
Soaked dough ingredients:
- 1-1/2 cups water or milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil or melted butter
- ½ cup sugar brown or white
- 5 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 2 eggs
- 3-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- butter or olive oil
I have found that if I put the loaves in the refrigerator over night the loaves continue to rise very slowly. Then I set them out and bring to room temperature (this takes a couple of hours) before baking. This creates a much better crumb.
Once the loaves have risen satisfactorily, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake loaves for 40 to 45 minutes until they sound hollow if you tap them. Remove bread from oven and cool out of pans. Do not slice the bread until it is cooled!!