Making sourdough spelt bread with a sourdough starter
Latest update: may 2019
I have wanted to make my own sourdough bread for ages, but the long process to make a sourdough starter kept me from it. When I found a simply explained recipe on the Dutch website walrabenstein.nl, I decided to try it. I was a bit sceptical about the chance of success at the first try, but I managed! After a process of a week, I had a yummy sourdough spelt bread!
For people who have IBS, sourdough spelt bread can be a good replacement for normale bread. Wheat and bread made from wheat contain fructans (one of the FODMAP groups) and are high FODMAP (only in small amounts wheat is low FODMAP).
Spelt contains fewer fructans than wheat, but is still high in FODMAPs. There are, however, quite a lot of people with IBS who tolerate spelt well, so it is definitely worth testing how you react to it. Next to that, when spelt is processed in certain ways it can become lower in FODMAPs (read my blog about FODMAPs & spelt for more info). One of these “processes” is the sourdough process.
According to Monash University, sourdough spelt bread is low FODMAP up to 2 slices per serving and also sourdough bread made from wheat is low FODMAP up to 2 slices per serving. See the Monash University app for more information.
Does sourdough spelt bread really taste sour?
I think sourdough bread has a light sour taste, but it is not too noticeable. Sourdough bread definitely tastes different than bread made with yeast, but I personally really like it.
When I compare sourdough bread with the bread that I used to eat when I could still tolerate wheat, I think this has so much more flavour and it is also more filling. After two slices of sourdough spelt bread, I feel full, while I could easily eat 4 slices of wheat bread in a row. I must admit that we used to eat relatively cheap bread from the supermarket. So I think that is not comparable with high quality wheat bread from the bakery. Higher quality wheat bread probably fills you up better too.
You might have to get used to the flavour of sourdough spelt bread a little, but after a while you won’t want anything different! If you fell in love with it, like I did, definitely give my recipe for sourdough spelt bagels a try too or make a delicious sourdough grilled toast sandwich.
Will you let me know if you make my sourdough spelt bread recipe? I would love it if you would share your creations with me by leaving a reaction and a rating below or by using the hashtag #karlijnskitchen on Instagram and by tagging me at @karlijnskitchenPrint
Homemade sourdough spelt bread with a sourdough starter. This recipe does not contain yeast and is low FODMAP. You only need spelt flour, water and salt.
- A glass jar or bowl that can contain about a liter (4 1/2 cups)
- 300 gram (2 cups + 1 tbsp) white spelt flour
- 500 gram (3 1/2 cup) wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tsp salt
- The process takes about a week. It is important that you stir the sourdough starter every day in the morning and in the evening and if possible also once during the day.
- Day 1: Mix 100 g (2/3 cup + 1 tbsp) spelt flour and 100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) lukewarm water in the jar/bowl. Mix it until it is a smooth mixture. Put the bowl in the kitchen with a damp tea towel over it.
- Day 2 and 3: Stir the mixture through in the morning and in the evening (and during the day if possible).
- Day 4: At this point, you should see some air bubbles in the mixture and it smells a bit sour. If this is not the case it is possible that the process takes a little longer, you can just continue with the process for about 2 more days. It is also possible that the mixture smells really sour and bad, then it has gone wrong and you have to start over, unfortunately.
- You can now feed your sourdough (it is like a baby :)). Add 100 g (2/3 cup + 1 tbsp) spelt flour and 100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) lukewarm water to the bowl and stir it through well. Put the bowl away again with the damp towel over it and also stir it through in the evening.
- Day 5 – morning: If all is well, the desem is quite active now. You can feed it one more time. Add 100 g (2/3 cup + 1 tbsp) spelt flour and 100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) lukewarm water again. After feeding, you need to leave the starter for about 8 hours. If you feed your starter in the morning on day 5, you can make the dough in the evening and bake your bread the next morning.
- Day 5 – evening (at least 8 hours after the last feed): you can now make the dough for your bread. Put 500 gram (3 1/2 cup) wholemeal spelt flour with the salt in a bowl and make a dent in the middle. Add 350 gram (12.35 ounces or 3/4 pound) of the starter. Then add 200-350 ml water (about 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cup). It differs per starter how much water you need, so start with 2oo ml (3/4 cup) and add some more if the dough is too dry.
- Knead the dough until you have an elastic dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and put a damp towel on top. Leave the dough to rise overnight.
- Day 6: layer a 26 cm (1o inch) cake or bread tin with baking parchment. Knead the dough one more time (otherwise you will get air bubbles in your bread) and put it into the baking tin. Put a damp towel over it again and leave it to rise for another 2 hours until the dough has almost doubled. If it hasn’t risen enough after two hours, you can leave it for 2 hours longer.
- Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius (450 F). Put the bread into the oven and spray some water into the oven with a spray bottle. This gives a steam effect and will help to give the bread a crunchy crust.
- Put the timer of the oven to 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius (390 F) after 5 minutes of baking. When the bread has 15 minutes left in the oven, lower the temperature to 170 degrees Celsius (340 F).
- Take the bread out of the oven and knock to see if it is done. Leave the bread to cool down completely before you cut it.
You can store the bread for several days into a closed box or bag. You can also freeze it.
Sometimes your starter is not active enough at day 4. Then you can just wait for two more days and repeat the steps from day 2 and 3: stirring the starter through in the morning and evening. As long as the mixture doesn’t smell or look bad, that is no problem.
You can use the starter that you have leftover after baking the bread to make a new starter. Simply start feeding it again with an equal amount of water and flour. I usually do 50 ml water (3 tbsp) and 50 g flour (1/3 cup)
Storing the starter: you can store the starter at room temperature, if you want to bake with it several times per day. Simply feed your starter an equal amount of water and flour, like in the note above, and stir well. Like this, your starter will remain active. If you want to bake less often, you can also store the starter in the fridge. You only have to feed it once per week then. If you want to use your starter again, you can take it out of the fridge. Feed it again and leave it to come to room temperature for a few hours. Your starter is ready to use when it is very bubbly and airy.
As noted in the recipe, I use white spelt flour for the starter and wholemeal spelt flour for the bread. This is the combination that I prefer. In the past, I have also made delicious breads with only wholemeal spelt flour (also for the starter), so you can try that too.
- Prep Time: 6 days
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Category: Baking
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