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.
- 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)
- Weigh the above ingredients into the bread-maker pan.
- 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.
- Remove the mixing blade (as swiftly as possible, the dough is quite sticky!)
- Close the lid of the machine and leave for about 8 hours (I do it overnight).
- 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.
- In just over an 1 hour you’ll have a freshly baked spelt sourdough loaf. Leave to cool and enjoy.
- 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
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