Bread three ways

I have been experimenting a bit with different grains for my latest bread baking adventures. I made the most wonderful bread with spelt sourdough starter, rye, barley, buckwheat, and more spelt. It’s funny, because I often read that spelt is difficult to work with when it comes to bread baking: “Spelt breads dry out faster than other breads.  It is difficult to use a sourdough starter in spelt breads…better use a pre-ferment. Spelt gluten is a little bit wonky and erratic and therefore hard to handle. Breads made from spelt flour don’t rise that much.”

Well, I think spelt likes me because I never experienced any of these problems. My spelt breads always come out huge and fluffy and the keep fresh for a couple of days. Okay, I often use whole spelt flour (which keeps the bread moister)  or I mix the spelt with other grains. But even my 100 % spelt breads with spelt sourdough came out great. To me spelt is a wonderful bread flour.

This bread is the best bread I have ever made. Very flavourful, fluffy and soft. It has the perfect texture and lasts long. The key to a good spelt bread is a relatively high water content, because spelt flour absorbs more water than wheat. It is also important not to overknead the dough and to knead by hand. Don’t use a kitchen machine or you might damage the spelt gluten.

I milled most of the grains myself, except for the medium spelt flour. I liked the bread so much, that I made a similar version a couple of days later. I give you the recipe for both.

Dinkelmischbrot Version I (spelt bread mixed with other flours)

200 g spelt sourdough starter*
100 g whole rye flour
25 g barley flour, made from pearl barley
25 g buckwheat flour
150 g medium spelt flour
300 g water
10 g salt

Dinkelmischbrot Version II

200 g rye starter*
250 g medium spelt flour
25 g buckwheat flour
25 g kamut flour
300 g water
10 g salt

*The sourdough starter is prepared 16 hours before you actually make the bread. Take a tablespoon of sourdough starter and mix it with 100 g water and 90 g whole spelt flour(or whole rye flour for the other recipe). Let sit covered for 16 hours. It should be bubbly and have a pleasant sour smell.

Mix all ingredients, knead for five minutes by hand. (It will be a very sticky dough, a bit like a thick cake batter) and place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Knead again for 20-30 seconds.

Because of the relatively high water content, the dough will still be very sticky. Don’t worry about shaping it, just pour it into your greased loaf pan. Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 1.5 hours, until doubled in size. Since there is no additional yeast used in this recipe, the rising time might be even longer (~ 2 hours). Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 250°C (480°F). Bake the bread at this temperature for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 200°C (400°F) and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing.

If these breads sound too complicated to you or if you cannot find all the ingredients, you can try a simple yeast bread instead. I used kamut berries and kamut flour for mine, but the bread works well with spelt as a substitute.

Kamut Bread

100 g kamut berries (1/2 cup) soaked in 200 ml water for 8 hours, drained

400 g whole wheat flour
100 g whole kamut flour
350 g water
10 g salt
10 g fresh yeast (or 1 t instant yeast)

Mix all ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and tacky, not sticky. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour (covered), until doubled in size. Knead again for ca 20-30 seconds and shape. Transfer to a loaf pan or a “Brotform“. Let the dough rise for another hour (covered). Meanwile, preheat oven to 220°C (420°F). Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 200°C (400°F) and bake for 30-35 minutes [for a darker crust you can opt for 40 minutes, but check so it doesn’t burn]. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

25 thoughts on “Bread three ways

  1. Hallo Mihl,
    ich habe seit einige Zeit dein Blog endeckt und bin total begeistert! Sowohl deine vegane Rezepte als auch deine Brot Rezepte finde ich klasse. Ich habe letzte Woche die erste Variante vom Dinkelmischbrot gebacken und es war super lecker. Jetzt möchte ich das Kamutbrot backen aber mit Sauerteig anstatt Hefe. Wie viel Sauerteig wurdest du benutzen? (Sorry für meine Schreibfehler aber ich bin nicht Deutsch!)
    Liebe Grüsse

    1. Hallo Emma, Dein Deutsch ist doch super! Also ich würde es genauso machen wie bei den Broten davor. Das heißt, einen Löffel Suaerteigansatz mit 100g Wasser und 90g Vollkornmehl über Nacht stehen lassen und dann diesen Sauerteig zu dem restlichen Mehl und dem restlichen Wasser geben (also noch ca. 300g Vollkornmehl, 100 g Kamutmehl, 250 g Wasser, 10 g Salz).

  2. those breads look so good! you can be in charge of breads… and everything else… when we open our bakery!

    you know, I’ve never had trouble with spelt either- in fact, one of the best breads I ever made was a 100% spelt pita- those were delicious!

  3. Beautiful! I just started “milling” my own flours with my coffee grinder and it’s really made a big difference. I can’t wait to give one of these recipes a whirl.

  4. I think that every time I comment on your blog I say something like “You are a bread baking goddess”. Well, it’s too true! Your breads are amazing and inspiring and make me wish I had time to bake more! Yummy!

  5. how does your bread always look so so perfect? I’ve never made bread with spelt, it honestly scares me a bit, but this post definitely upped my confidence! mmmm I can almost smell the crumb. :D

  6. Oh, I forgot to add: it’s good to know that “spelt flour absorbs more water than wheat” – I’d been wondering about the differences between those when experimenting with spelt flour. Thank you for that piece of info, it’ll be useful!

  7. Beautiful-looking breads, as usual. I’ve never had problems with spelt flour either – and I love the flavor barley flour adds to bread. Yours look great.

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