After months of testing in different ovens in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, with different flour types, I’m finally sharing this foolproof fully spelt sourdough bread recipe. This is my go-to bread and I make it a couple times a week.
It’s a lower hydration dough, meaning a high ratio of flour to water. Most sourdough recipes made with bread flour seek to use the lowest hydration possible for the most open crumb and greatest oven spring. Here, we have a slightly tighter crumb and less extensive oven spring, but an excellent and flavourful loaf.
This is a good daily bread that can hold up to any number of toppings. If you want a more complex, sour flavour, try this sourdough dark rye bread.
There is a spelt sourdough in my book, but I hope this recipe can provide a straightforward guide for anyone looking to bake more with spelt flour.
- Spelt Flour: light or sifted the first time, and then experiment with adding whole grain. See more on this below.
- Sourdough Starter: any kind of starter can be used for this recipe, as long as it’s 100% hydration (using equal parts flour and water). Levain can also be used.
- Water: room temperature. I use tap water.
- Salt: fine grain sea salt.
Step by Step
If you can’t see the recipe video in this post, please watch it here.
Tips and Notes
If you’re unfamiliar with the terms used, please see our post on how to stretch and fold sourdough bread over at Baked.
You can use a round proving basket if preferred. I like the batard more for this loaf as it is fairly small and the oven spring is better in the batard form. Be sure to line with a lightly floured tea towel as spelt has a greater tendency to stick to the basket.
I have only had good success for this particular bread when using up to 50% whole grain flour. This can be spelt or another whole flour – in the video, I used part Graham flour (coarsely milled wheat). The first time you make this recipe, I highly recommend using all light spelt flour as it’s much easier to work with and will produce a consistently good loaf.
If your oven can’t reach the temperature required for this recipe, or you don’t have a dutch oven, you can bake the bread as a sandwich loaf. Simply shape into a log, prove in a standard loaf tin, and bake at 200°C (400°F) for 40 minutes once the refrigeration time is finished.
I did experiment with baking this from cold (not pre-heating the pot). It’s possible if you are concerned about handling the very hot dutch oven, but the end result isn’t as good.
Because this is a low hydration dough, there’s no point in shaping by rolling/pressing the dough before forming the boule. Simply turn until surface tension forms, but be careful not to break the tension, as it happens quickly here.
There are no substitutions for this recipe.
More Spelt Flour Recipes
Spelt Sourdough Pizza Dough
Sourdough Rye and Spelt Crackers
Spelt Banana Bread
Most of the baking recipes (unless GF) on the site are made with spelt flour – see a comprehensive collection here.
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Spelt Sourdough Bread
- 300 grams water room temperature
- 100 grams active sourdough starter
- 550 grams spelt flour
- 10 grams fine sea salt
- Add the water and starter to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until a shaggy dough forms. Finish mixing with your hands to fully incorporate the flour.
- Cover the bowl and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has rested, begin your stretches and folds. Do three rounds of stretches and folds over the course of an hour, once every 20 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball or boule by placing it onto a clean surface and using your hands to rotate until surface tension forms.
- Line a proving basket with a tea towel and sprinkle with flour. Place the dough upside-down into the prepared basket.
- Cover and set aside to rise at room temperature for three hours. The dough should visibly rise during this time.
- Place the dough into the refrigerator overnight, or for at least eight hours.
- Place a heat-safe dutch oven into the centre rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 240°C (465°F).
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and score with a sharp knife.
- Carefully remove the dutch oven and place your loaf into it, using the parchment paper as handles to lift the bread.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and reduce the temperature to 220°F (425°F) and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until browned to your desired degree.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pot for ten minutes before carefully removing the bread and cooling fully on a wire rack. It must be completely cool before slicing.
- I recommend storing it in the pot you've baked it in, or freezing individual slices and toasting to thaw.