I make this particular loaf because Spelt is lower in Gluten than Wheat and it still has quite a sweet flavour but the starter is the Biga starter that I usually use.
There are a couple of quirks to making a good Spelt bread. But once you have found your way around them it is very worth while making.
As I say it has a lower gluten content than wheat and because of this it is necessary to reduce the number of times it is left to rise as the physical structure cannot stand being repeatedly broken as in the normal rising and kneading of a wheaten loaf. I also for this reason leave it to rise in a Bundt tin as that seems to give it a helping hand in the ‘rising and staying risen’. After all that effort you still want to eat a nice light loaf.
Don’t let any of these worries put you off. After all the recent news about mass produced food it is the perfect time to start to literally take back into our own hands the production of our own food – and anyway … it tastes better
Spelt Sourdough Ring Loaf (Low Gluten, Vegan, Vegetarian)
1 cup (about 180g / 6 oz) of Biga starter
480g / 1lb organic, wholemeal Spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
250 ml 1/2 pt water
Sift together the salt and flour
Put it into the food mixer bowl (or just a mixing bowl if you are doing it by hand).
Add in all the other ingredients and using the paddle (or your hand) mix for a few minutes to bring everything together.
Let it be for 10 minutes and now you can give it a really good mix, knead for a good 10 – 12 minutes, the dough needs to be somewhat wetter than you would want with a wheaten bread, so you will be feeling sticky if you go for the hand method.
I now grease and flour very generously my 23 cm Bundt or ring cake pan, but you can make these as loaves if you prefer. Do not tap the flour out of the pan, any excess flour can be brushed from the bread later.
Loosely cover in cling film and leave the dough to rise in the refrigerator for 6 – 8 hours.
If it looks like it has risen by 1/2 to double then that is enough, otherwise you are in danger of the loaf collapsing as you move the pan, this is a much more fragile structure remember.
Set it in a warm spot in the kitchen to warm up at room temperature for about 30 minutes. I pop it at the back of the stove.
Preheat the oven to 400° F 200˚C Gas 6.
As you pop it into the oven either spray them with fresh water from a mister or flick a little water on top of them, this gives them a chance to rise and then gets a nice crust going too.
Bake for 35–40 minutes, do the rapping the base with your knuckles for that hollow sound trick to check if it is cooked but it should be.
Tip it out to cool on a wire rack.
Outrageous fresh from the oven just like that let alone with a dip or a topping 😀
Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)
Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.