Monday, 7 March 2011

Spelt Bread with Multigrain Soaker

Whole-Wheat Bread with a Multigrain Soaker is one of the breads the Mellow Bakers made in February. The month ran out on me before I could get to it so I added it to my list of breads for March. I made it this past weekend, but decided to change things up a bit and use spelt flour rather than wheat flour.

This Spelt Bread is made with 50/50 mixture of white spelt flour and whole wheat spelt rather than 50/50 white bread flour and whole wheat flour.  It also utilizes an overnight Pâte Fermentée of white spelt flour, water, salt and yeast and includes a multigrain soaker of cracked wheat (bulgur), coarse cornmeal, flax seeds, and steel-cut oats.  To enhance the multigrain experience, I sprinkled some spelt flakes on top of the loaf just before baking.

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Spelt Bread with Multigrain Soaker

Recipe adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Whole-Wheat Bread with a Multigrain Soaker in Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes


3/8 cup cracked wheat (bulgur)
3/8 cup coarse cornmeal
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1 cup water, boiling

Pâte Fermentée:
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
7/8 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp yeast, instant dry

Final Dough:
3 5/8 cups whole-grain spelt flour
1 cup white spelt flour
1 1/4 cups water
1 T salt
1 1/4 tsp yeast, instant dry
2 T honey
Soaker (all of the above)
Pâte Fermentée (all of the above)


Preparing the Soaker:

The soaker should be prepared at least 4 hours before mixing the final dough.  This will give the grains time to absorb the water and soften.

To prepare the soaker, measure and add all of the grains into a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Stir to incorporate, then cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic.

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Prepare the Pâte Fermentée:

Start the Pâte Fermentée 12 to 16 hours before you plan to make the final dough.

Add the yeast to the water, then add the flour and salt, and mix until just smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for the desired amount of time at about 70 degrees F.

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I let my Pâte Fermentée sit on the counter for about 14.5 hours.  

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Mixing the Dough:

Add all of the ingredients, including the soaker (but not the Pâte Fermentée) to the mixing bowl of your spiral mixer.  Mix on first speed for 3 minutes to incorporate the ingredients.

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Add the Pâte Fermentée in chunks.  Correct the hydration if necessary by adding water or flour in small amounts. I added a little extra flour. Mix on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes until the dough is supple and the gluten is moderately developed.

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Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic. Let it bulk ferment for 2 hours.

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Fold the dough after 1 hour of bulk fermentation.

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Divide the dough into two 1.5-pound pieces. Preshape lightly into rounds and place on a lightly floured work surface, seams up.

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Cover the rounds with plastic.  When the dough has relaxed sufficiently (10 to 20 minutes), shape into loaves and place in loaf pans.  Alternatively, you can shape them into round or oval loaves and place them in banneton baskets to rise.

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I sprinkled the tops of the loaves with spelt flakes, then covered the loaves with plastic wrap and let them ferment for 1 1/2 hours.

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Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes in a 400 degrees F. preheated oven.  If the loaves start getting too dark too soon, lover the oven temperature by 10 or 20 degrees.  I lowered it to about 375 halfway through the bake cycle.   Remove the loaves and let them cool on a wire rack.

Let the loaves cool completely before slicing if you can. Then slice and enjoy.

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I’ve really come to like spelt breads and this one is no exception. I had a slice warm with butter and another slice toasted and spread with Pomegranate and Pear Jam. It has a delicious, nutty flavor and just a little bit chewy. It’s a wonderful multigrain bread!


Thanks for joining me in the Bread Experience bread-baking blog.  I hope you’ll join me again soon.

Happy baking!


The Mellow Bakers group was started by Paul at Yumarama. We’re baking breads from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.

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