My Favorite Sourdough Recipe of All Time
Yesterday, my friend asked me an interested question – what are my top 3 sourdough recipes. Without hesitation, I replied with the following three recipes – Sourdough Vegan Shokupan, Seeded Sourdough Rye Bread and this recipe! 100% Spelt Sourdough
More sourdough recipes:
- Blueberry Cheesecake Sourdough
- Chocolate Sourdough Focaccia
- Chocolate Brownie Sourdough Bread
- Double Chocolate Sourdough Babka Rolls
- Matcha & Black Sesame Sourdough Babka
- Vegan Sourdough Shokupan
- Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls (Yudane Method)
- Sourdough Challah (Yudane Method)
Spelt Flour 🌾
Spelt are notoriously hard to handle as it has a weaker gluten network. Hence, a lower water absorption capacity. I find spelt works best somewhere between 70% – 75% hydration. And for the brand I am using, 75% is the optimal hydration. If you are using home milled flour or other brands, you can perform a flour stress test or try it at a lower hydration first.
If you haven’t tried spelt before, spelt is an ancient grain with a mild, nutty flavor. It’s also rich in essential nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. Hence, this spelt sourdough is not only tasty with a unique and special taste, but it’s also nutritious and hearty.
Performing Flour Stress Test
This step is optional but it helps make great bread. By great bread, I mean a spelt sourdough with an open crumb. Sounds appealing? Please read on. If not, you need to understand that my recipe may not work for your brand of flour, so you may need to adjust the amount of water in the recipe.
As different types of flour absorb water differently, I highly recommend you to perform flour stress test to determine the optimal hydration for this recipe. In this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour.
In order to perform the flour stress test, take 40 g of flour and mix it with the amount of water you would like to test. For example, in this recipe, I am aiming for 75% hydration for this particular flour. So I will mix 40g of spelt flour with 30g water. Let it rest for about an hour. Then, test the texture and gluten development. If the dough feels very loose and soggy, it means that your flour may not be able to take all of the water in the formula for this recipe. To be more accurate, you can now reduce the amount of water and then test again. Try again with less water, say 28g (i.e. 70% hydration). Repeat until you find the optimal hydration for this flour.
Note that you should also be able to stretch the dough between your hands without breaking. The dough should be extensible and strong.
This spelt sourdough bread has an unexpectedly airy, light and open crumb when it comes to whole grain bread. It’s not as open as the one you achieve with white sourdough. But the airiness and lightness of the crumb is a nice surprise when I cut it open.
100% Spelt Sourdough (Whole Grain)Course: Baked Goods, Bread, SourdoughCuisine: SourdoughDifficulty: Medium
This spelt sourdough bread is one of my top 3 sourdough recipes of all time!
- Prepare the Levain
- Feed your starter using 1:2:2 (starter:spelt flour:water) ratio. Cover loosely and let it rise until it tripled in size, around 5-6 hours.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and water until everything is incorporated into a dough. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Mixing the Dough & Bulk Fermentation
- Once your levain has peaked, add 52.5g of levain to the dough. Mix until you feel the dough has strengthened. I mixed in a stand mixer for 5 minutes. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
- Add 7g sea salt, the extra 17.5g of water and maple syrup to the dough and mix for another 3-5 minutes until everything is incorporated.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has relaxed.
- Perform one set of light bench fold. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has relaxed.
- Perform lamination on your dough.
- Rest for 45 minutes or until the dough has relaxed. Perform one set of coil fold.
- Perform one more set of coil fold after 45 minutes. Then leave the dough to rest until the dough has increased by roughly 50% in volume.
- Shape the dough and transfer to a banneton dusted with rice flour. Rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. Then retard the dough in the fridge overnight or 16 hours.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 250°C for 1 hour with a dutch oven inside. I love baking with my challenger pan.
- After 1 hour, take the dough out from the fridge. Score the dough using a bread lame. I used my UFO lame from Wire Monkey. Transfer it to the challenger pan using a parchment paper. Place 2-4 ice cubes beside the bread, cover the pan immediately and bake for 20 minutes covered.
- Remove the cover after 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 220°C and bake for another 10 minutes.
- For the last 10 minutes, further lower the temperature to 210°C.
- Turn off the oven and leave the oven door a crack open for 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and place it on the cooling rack until it’s completely cooled.