sourdough w/spelt?

Sourdough, porridges, pre-soaking, and more!

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sourdough w/spelt?

Postby akmom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:27 am

I have an sourdough starter.. I'd like to know if i can use spelt flour instead of wheat flour?

I would think it would work since they are so similar in properties.
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Re: sourdough w/spelt?

Postby jen on Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:18 pm

I have used spelt,kamut,rye...all sorts of flour.They all work fine.i try and keep my starter fairly pure,by using a very strong white organic flour and then add a veriety of different flours to that weeks batch,depending how I feel.Oat,.soya and quinoa flour all add interest as well as whole grains and fruit.
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Re: sourdough w/spelt?

Postby brianthomas on Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:39 am

You can use almost grain flour in a sourdough, and you can convert your sourdough starter to another grain simply by starting to use that flour whenever you refresh it. It may take a few times but eventually you will have only miniscule amounts of the original flour. I've kept at different times a rye starter, kamut starter, and spelt starter along with my wheat starter.

Keep in mind that if you are baking bread, different flours will have different properties in the dough, whether it is sourdough or not. Some don't have enough gluten content to make the dough rise as well as wheat.
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Re: sourdough w/spelt?

Postby astrid on Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:07 am

I am working with my first sourdough and I am using only spelt. Last week-end I made my first breads with the started I created, and the sponge was very wet and difficult to work with. The bread I made was very dense, and delicious...but dense. Any advice? I wonder if I had kneaded more or less if that would have made a difference, I kneaded for about 15 minutes straight.
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Re: sourdough w/spelt?

Postby bonni on Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:15 pm

I'm new here, but I make sourdough bread for my restaurant on a semiweekly basis. Spelt is just an older variety of wheat, and makes great bread. If your dough is wet, that's good. Wet dough makes for a better loaf, generally, even though it's difficult to work with. After fifteen minutes of kneading, was it still super sticky? Or just tacky? Was it smooth?

Regardless of how long you kneaded the bread, you want to knead until the dough had developed enough gluten to pass what's called the "windowpane" test: Pinch off a golfball sized hunk of your kneaded dough and round it. Press the center of the ball with your thumbs and fingertips, thinning it somewhat, and then stretch it. You should be able to stretch the dough for quite a distance before it breaks. In fact, it should be so thin and transperent, that it will look like a dough "window."

It may also help with the stickiness (and gluten development) to let the flour soak in the liquid for fifteen to twenty minutes before you add the sourdough starter and salt.

Another way to maximize lift in the dough is to put the dough, when ready to bake, in a super hot oven (450 F. or better), and then to steam the oven (throw a handful of ice cubes, or a cup of ice cubes in about a half-cup of water into the oven, after the dough goes in, being careful to minimize any heat loss by working quickly to shut the oven door as soon as possible). After about ten minutes, you could lower the heat to 400 or whatever you'd bake the bread at normally.

A book that's handy is 'Local Bread" by Daniel Leader.
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