My (open) secret affairs: the Spelt Sourdough love


My secret relationships have all started off as affairs. There was Bela, the sour tourist from San Fransisco, then there was Sasha, the stable russian, and finally came the beautiful Egyptian princess, Kamut Cleopatra. Over three years ago now, I think, I have met my soul mates. All three of them. I am in a long-term relationship with the love of my life but without them three I would feel like I was living a lie with my love, my husband. My soul mates are my best friends and we share everything, trouble and joy together. We spend long nights secretly hiding in the kitchen , and when I think of them throughout my day, I feel my soul filling with happiness, we are drawn to one another and it hurts to be apart.

I think I am in love with my starters. And I think, my husband does not mind. He is the one who enjoys the fruits of our love.



For the sourdough starter

30 g white spelt flour
30 g wholemeal spelt
25 ml water
10 g rye starter

Add 1 grated apple

After a day of rest add 30 g white spelt flour, 30 g wholemeal spelt and 25 ml water, then rest for another day.

For the dough
450 g white spelt flour
50 g wholewheat spelt
½ tbsp honey
350 ml water
7 g salt
Previously prepared sourdough starter



2 days before making the dough, mix the ingredients for the sourdough starter to make a tight but smooth dough. One day before making dough add additional ingredients to mixture, rest for another day.
On baking day, mix together all of the dough ingredients and knead until you have a smooth and stretchy dough, it is very important to develop the gluten sufficiently to avoid a heavy loaf. Leave to ferment covered  in a bowl with a damp tea towel over it,  for eight hours. Ideally, during this time you will do two turns: after the first  two hours, take the dough out, flatten gently, fold the top third down, then the bottom third up over the folded top third. Turn through 90 degrees, flatten out again, repeat and put back in the bowl. Repeat this process three hours later.
After eight hours divide the dough in two equal-sized pieces (ideally using scales) to ensure even baking and shape into round or baton loaves. If using proving baskets, dust well with flour and place the dough seam-sideup .Leave to prove for three hours.

After three hours grease lightly and place the dough seam-side down to rise. Heat the oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9 and bake for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 200C/ fan 180C/gas 5 and leave for a further 30 minutes. Remove and leave on a wire rack to cool before serving.


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