Sourdough Baking Journal: Poolish loaf w/ home-ground spelt

Recipe: The inspiration behind this recipe came from Ken Forkish’s popular book entitled Flour Water Salt Yeast. Because I was getting my starters ready for bakes later in the week I decided to follow Ken’s ‘white bread with poolish’ recipe. Then after finding some Bob’s Red Mill organic spelt berries  in my pantry, I decided to try making my own flour using my trusty vintageCB468BAB-E4D0-4178-9FDC-F9002A94AFE4 Krups coffee/spice grinder and a wire mesh sieve. However, after weighing out the flour that I had made I realized that I only had enough for one loaf i.e. 200g of sifted flour and 50g of ground bran. Yes, I know I could have use 25% spelt per loaf if I had chosen to make the full recipe, but I was in an experimenting mood. So why not 50% in one loaf? The night before baking day I made the poolish with 250g bread flour, 250g water, and 1/16 tsp of instant yeast. Then the next morning I mixed my final dough which was comprised of the whole poolish, the 250g of spelt flour, 11g of salt, 1.5g of instant yeast, and 140g of spring water.

1E6ACDA5-47E1-4F2F-8FB0-9EC8F2AC851CBulk Fermentation: 3 hours including 3 sets of coil folds. Proof: 1.25 hours @ warm room temp (see below).  Baked 30 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered @ 475F.

Techniques Used: Overall I followed the aforementioned recipe (beyond the using 50% home ground spelt instead of 100% bread flour). Though I should note that this was my first time using coil folds instead of stretch and folds and a poolish instead of a levain.

8E0E46C4-BD91-4DC7-B11D-67ABCF5C1015Results: After proofing for a probably unnecessary 15 extra minutes in my warm kitchen (due to oven preheating) I  was ready tobake my loaf. Unfortunatley, it spread upon being transferred to my preheated Challenger Bread Pan . Next, I suspect that due to the 475F baking temp for 55 minutes I lost some shape and oven spring during the second half of the bake (see pictures in journal). Once I cut into the loaf and posted pictures in the sourdough Facebook groups that I’m a member of, the feedback that recieved left me pretty happy with the overall even crumb and flavor of the bread. Lastly, a fellow baker provided me with this link and commented that spelt doesn’t absorb at much water as wheat and therefore one should lower their hydration percentage a bit when baking with spelt.


About Barry W

Israel (formerly NJ) based sourdough baker and fermentation enthusiasts sharing his baking, fermenting, cooking, and brewing adventures on
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