Basic spelt (the bread for beginners)

19. August 2021

The Basic Spelt is the perfect bread for beginners: without sourdough, uses fresh yeast and a long fermentation time for a better digestion and taste.

The perfect beginer bread with 100% spelt

When I started to think about the characteristics of the perfect spelt beginner bread I was sure I wanted: 

  • The bread should have a light airy structure and to be too close.
  • It should contain the minimum of ingredients as possible and all should be available at the supermarket.
  • It should taste really good.
  • It should be good for your digestive system.

I took then all this points and created this recipe. You can already see the result in the pictures: an amazing oven spring, an airy crumb and visually appealing. And all this with only 6 ingreadients (if you count water as such), which you can find everywhere:

  • Whole spelt flour
  • White spelt flour
  • Fresh yeast
  • Salt
  • Honey
  • Water

Why did I choose to do a cold bulk fermentation and a warm final fermentation?

(if I use to many words from the baking world you don’t understand yet, do not worry and scroll further to the recipe)

The bulk fermentation (this is the first fermentation and starts after kneading the dough) starts at room temperature. The dough needs to kick start the fermentation and this needs some time due to the small amount of yeast. The dough goes over night in the fridge. I have chosen this method due to 2 reasons: 1) the dough develops in the cold environment further, so that the risk of overfermentig the dough is reduced (at the beginning one still has to learn to see when the dough has finished fermenting), and 2) the shaping of a cold dough is often easier as with a warm dough (the dough is more stable and does not stick so much to the fingers). It is therefore suitable for beginners.

The final fermentation (the fermentation after the shaping) takes place at room temperature first and then the dough goes in the fridge 30 minutes. This can seem pointless, but it is not. This time in a cold environment helps stabilize the douhg, so that the scoring is easier. Also better suitable for beginners.

Baking without cas iron pot

If you don’t hve a cast iron pot or like to bake more than one bread at once, you can bake the bread also directly on a baking steel or stone. I usually bake 2 or 4 times this recipe. In this way I save time and energy costs. I use the same temperatures and times as written in the recipe, but do not forget to generate steam.

What can you practise with this bread?

With this bread you can practise all techniques: preparing a flour custard, kneading a dough, improving the dough structure with the help of coil folds (here you can find a video where I perform a Coil Fold), interpreting when the bulk fermentation has finished (here you find a video about folding and shaping), scoring (here you find a video about scoring)… If you have general questions about bread baking do not forget to have a look at the FAQs.

Once you have baked this bread a coupple of time successfully you can start experimenting with it. You can try to laminate the dough and sprinkle something. Ir you shape it different.

And once you have practised everything then you can go over to baking your first sourdough bread. You have the best training.

I hope you like it and have fun learning!

 

 Time schedule

Previous day

07:00h Prepare flour custard

08:00h Place flour custard in the fridge

16:00h Mix all ingredients except the salt

16:30h Add salt & place dough in the proofing box

17:00h Coil Fold 1

17:30h Coil Fold 2

21:00h Place dough in the fridge

 Baking day

07:00h Shape bread and place in the proofing basket

08:00h Place bread in the fridge

08:30h Bake bread

Basic spelt (the bread for beginners)

The Basic Spelt is the perfect bread for beginners: without sourdough, uses fresh yeast and a long fermentation time for a better digestion and taste. By baking this bread you can practice all techniques about baking bread. And you only need 6 ingredients: whole spelt flour, white spelt flour, fresh yeast, salt, honey, water.
Working time1 hr
Waiting time16 hrs
Total time17 hrs
Ergibt: 1 bread à 650g aprox.

Ingredients

Flour custard

  • 15 g whole spelt flour
  • 45 g water

Main dough

  • flour custard
  • 295 g white spelt flour
  • 15 g whole spelt flour
  • 170 g water
  • 10 g honey
  • 1,3 g fresh yeast
  • 7-8 g salt

Instructions

Flour custard

  • For the flour custard cook the flour and the water together in a pot on medium heat until it reaches the consistency of a pudding. Use a spoon to make sure the custard does not burn on the bottom.
  • Let covered to cool at least 4 hours. If you prepare it the day before, keep in the fridge.

Main dough & Bulk fermentation

  • Mix all ingredients except the salt and let rest 20-30 minutes (similar to a Fermentolyse).
  • Add salt. If using a kneading machine knead maximum 1-2 minutes.
  • Place in a oiled proofing bowl and let rest 30 minutes.
  • Do 1 or 2 coil folds every 30 minutes.
  • Let further rest. The whole bulk fermentation takes about 5 hours at 23°C. The dough should double in size, fill full of air and not started deflating.
  • At this point place in the fridge over night (12-14 hours).
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape as desired. As an example I baked the double amount of dough. I shaped one round...
  • and the oder as a batard.

Final fermentation

  • The final fermentation is as follows: 1 hour at room temperature and 30 minutes in the fridge (it helps with the scoring and dough expansion).

Bake

  • Heat a cast iron pot in the oven at 250°C (this takes at least 30 minutes).
  • Place the bread on a baking paper, score (only with the batard, the round bread should open by itself) and carefully place in the hot cast iron pot. Place the lid on top. Reduce the temperature to 230°C.
  • After 12-15 minutes open the lid a little bit (but let it still in the oven) so that the steam can get out of the pot.
  • Bake another 12-15 minutes until the bread is cooked through.

Notes

Once you have more practice, you can increase the water by 20g. The crumb will get more open by doing so. Additionally it is important to know that the water needed always depends on the flour. So take care that your flour might need more or less water than it stays in the recipe.

Further recipes

Knowledge area

FAQ

Frequently asked questions regarding bread baking, baking with ancient grains and without eggs.

Sourdough: creation & feed procedure

Information regarding the creation and feeding procedure of 3 different sourdoughs.

Sourdough calculator

Calculate fast and easy what you need to mix, to reach the required amount of sourdough in a recipe.

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