Spelt Sourdough loaf in a bread-maker

Before you can make spelt sourdough bread, you need to first, make or obtain a sourdough starter.  If you are starting one yourself, you can use wholemeal spelt or rye from the beginning.  If you are getting some from a friend or another source and it is wheat, you can feed it spelt or rye and gradually the wheat content will diminish and you’ll be left with a spelt or rye starter.

There are LOADS of internet posts about creating and feeding a starter, I will leave this to the experts! It looks a daunting procedure but actually, it is quite simple and once it is done, your starter lasts as long as you feed it, which can be for years and years.   If you don’t bake very often, the starter can be left in the fridge for up two 2 weeks without feeding it.

This easy bread-maker recipe seems to work for me.  With three young children and a busy life, I find it really so easy to do, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t do it myself! This is the bread I make every other day and the bread my children take to school as sandwiches in their lunch boxes.

The best bit of all this; enjoying fresh, homemade bread which you know is healthy, no unnecessary ingredients (check out your next shop-bought loaf for a staggering list), no added yeast and no modern wheat.

Spelt Sourdough loaf in a bread-maker (easy peasy!)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Medium loaf
 
The recipe is for a medium loaf, that lasts us two days. You can scale up the ingredients if you want a larger one, but be aware beforehand that the bread is best eaten within two days.
Ingredients
  • 200g wholemeal spelt/rye sourdough starter
  • 200ml water
  • 150g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 250g white spelt flour (slightly harder to get hold of, some supermarkets do it, some health food shops. Or you can just do a 100% wholemeal loaf)
  • 1½ tsp salt (optional, preferably rock salt)
Instructions
  1. Weigh the above ingredients into the bread-maker pan.
  2. Put the bread pan in the bread-maker and mix on ‘pizza’ setting (Panasonic) or any ‘dough-only’ only setting for 5 minutes. This is purely for the function of mixing the ingredients to a ball, no proving required. Don’t leave for the whole dough cycle, just long enough for the machine to mix all the ingredients well together into a ball.
  3. Remove the mixing blade (as swiftly as possible, the dough is quite sticky!)
  4. Close the lid of the machine and leave for about 8 hours (I do it overnight).
  5. After 8 hours (for example, when you come into the kitchen in the morning), set the bread-maker to ‘bake only’, for 1 hr 10 minutes.
  6. In just over an 1 hour you’ll have a freshly baked spelt sourdough loaf. Leave to cool and enjoy.
  7. If you don’t have a bread-maker, you can mix the ingredients by hand, kneading the dough only enough to get a nice ball of dough. Leave to rise overnight in a bowl, covered by cling film. The next morning, bake in the oven.
Notes
If you don’t have a bread-maker, you can mix the ingredients by hand, kneading the dough only enough to get a nice ball of dough. Leave to rise overnight in a bowl, covered by cling film. The next morning, bake in the oven.

As you get to work more with sourdough, you will find you can play around with the starter:flour:water ratios depending on how you like your bread.

 

Author: Kate Siraj, Ayurvedic Practitioner, BSc Ayurveda, MChem (Oxon), MAPA.
© The Ayurveda Practice

Photo thanks to FreeDigitalPhotos.net

11 thoughts on “Spelt Sourdough loaf in a bread-maker

    • Valery says:
      July 9, 2013 at 23:05
      Great idea, rather than buying sourdough bread. But where do you buy sourdough starter?

      Valery and Kate – no need to buy a sourdough starter, just make one using the following Sourdough starter recipe:

      100gms dark rye wholemeal flour;
      200gms filtered water

      Mix ingredients together in a plastic tub with a snap-on lid and leave in a warm place for 4 days (in our apartment, the only consistently warm place is the shelf above the loo!)

      After 4 days take off the lid and examine the contents; the starter should smell slightly fruity, the surface will have bubbled-up and if you dip-in your finger the taste will be slightly acidic. Gently whip the contents with a fork or whisk to incorporate the contents and leave for a further 24 hours.

      Now you have the sourdough starter and can start your bread-making. I have not used Kate’s recipe process; preferring to divide the bread-making into two steps. I prepare an overnight “sponge” and mix the final dough after 12 – 18 hours. This has a pronounced effect on the final bread and makes it more easily digestible (rye and spelt are low gluten flour sources but need the lengthy development of the overnight sponge to improve digestion and long lasting edibility or shelf life.

      I have only just seen this website and your questions were raised over three years ago. So it’s likely you have found a solution and are making great breads. But for those, who like me have only just hit on the site, I hope my guide to making a sourdough starter will encourage you to try it out for yourselves.

      Good luck!

    • I don’t have instructions about how to make the starter but there are many websites out there which do, if you just search for spelt sourdough starter I’m sure you’ll find some. You can also buy them on eBay for about £5 or £6. I got mine from someone else and have had it for a long while so I haven’t had to make one from scratch. Have fun!

  • Hi,
    This sounds great! I have heard sourdough should be left to sit in a glass bowl rather then metal/ plastic. I assume the bread maker tin is metal. In your opinion do u find cause for concern at all?

  • Hello,
    I’m anxious to make your recipe but I dont have a breadmaking machine.
    The recipe does not state oven temperature and baking time.
    Please provide these details.
    Thank you,
    Peter

    • Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your interest. I’m afraid I have never cooked the bread in the oven as I have a breadmaker. It may be worth looking at the weight of the dough and looking for a similar sized loaf recipe where oven temperature and baking time are indicated.
      Warm regards,
      Kate

      • Dear Peter,
        I have made 100% wholemeal spelt with this recipe and it has produced a loaf that was fine; more dense without a doubt but sliceable and delicious. I wonder if the breadmaker had a different heat setting? It could have been hotter and thus overbaked it?
        I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, maybe you could try with the half white half wholemeal?
        Warm regards,
        Kate

  • Hello Kate,
    Thanks for the reply.

    Did you ever bake a bread 100% wholemeal spelt flour as you suggest may be done in your recipe and what was the outcome?

    Mine was a total failure. The only mistake I made was to cut off a piece once it cooled thereby rendering a perfectly good door stop usesless.

    I borrowed a breadmaker. What I encountered was a long mixing time to form a ball of dough. Until 8 minutes passed, there was still a lot of flour in the bottom of the baking pan that had not incorporated into the dough ball. After about 8 minutes the result was the consistency of pie dough, not ‘sticky’.

    My starter was bubbly and therefore I feel it was active, alive and capable of providing rise. The dough did not rise overnight, but I engaged the bake cycle anyway in the hopes something good would happen during baking.

    Any ideas?

    Peter

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