The Fresh Loaf

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[2017-09] Honey Spelt with Spelt Starter

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

[2017-09] Honey Spelt with Spelt Starter

One of my coworkers has a serious problem tolerating wheat, though she is not celiac. She agreed to try some experiments (with her as the subject!) to see where the boundaries of her wheat issues lay.

Our first experiment, some time last year, was a very, very long ferment sourdough. That loaf was modestly successful -- her symptoms were relatively mild.

For this loaf, I came at it from a different angle, creating an all-spelt starter (through many successive feedings of a branch of my regular starter over 2 weeks) and 100% sprouted spelt flour. The theory here is that wheat underwent a fairly radical change in the  middle of the 20th century, so I thought her tolerance might be related to that. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat, of course, and so didn't get transformed by the green revolution. It seemed like it might be worth a try, and I've been digging the nutty flavor that spelt (in smaller quantities) gives to my loaves.

It's not a very attractive loaf, but she said it was really tasty. Unfortunately, it made her just as sick as regular bread, so modern wheat is not the source of her problem.

Recipe as follows:

  • 450g sprouted whole spelt flour
  • 300g water (76°)
  • 130g spelt starter @ 100% hydration
  • 50g honey
  • 10g kosher salt

Regular turns at 20 minute intervals for 3 hours, followed by overnight proofing (~8 hours) on the countertop.

Baked (in parchment) for 20 minutes @ 450° covered, 15 minutes @ 450° uncovered, then 10 more minutes @ 350° covered, until internal temp reached 210°.

(Sorry, no crumb shot -- I gave this loaf to my coworker unmolested)


dabrownman's picture

Sprouting and spelt can work for some folks.  Maybe it is wheat and or gluten that caused her problem and spelt iswheat and has both.  I would try a sprouted rye bread next to rule that out.  She may be allergic to grass and all of these grains are really grass.

Good luck experimenting