Sourdough Diaries. Wholemeal and Spelt.

It’s 6 degrees outside and Kevin Bacon springs to mind! An odd thought to start the day, I know. Any plans to garden or gather plants have been shelved in favour of baking. I am experiencing separation anxiety from my lonely sourdough starter waiting for me at the back of the fridge. Time to light the fires and get ‘Celia’ into action.

50% wholemeal sourdough
50% wholemeal sourdough

Last week I made three different loaves using the basic foolproof tutorial provided by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  My first loaf was white and gorgeous. Loaf number two was more appealing, made with half baker’s white flour and half wholemeal flour. The third started as pizza dough, but as time ran out in the evening and the dough wasn’t fully risen, it became the next day’s spelt and white sourdough loaf. The latter contained a mixture of 20% spelt flour to 80% white baker’s flour. I am keen to increase the spelt content on this one. The young visiting lads enjoyed the spelt loaf, eating all the crust, a good sign, and asking for more. This is the best compliment a bread can have. It is now two days old and while a little firm, is excellent grilled for bruschetta.

Some spelt added to the mix
Some spelt added to the mix

Now I am in search of some decent large packets of rye flour in Melbourne.  I found a large bag of Rye flour at Bas foods, Brunswick, but it contained added salt, sugar and oil and appeared to be a bread mix. The health food shops tend to pack things in tiny quantities and charge an arm and a leg. Any hints anyone?

20% spelt adds a nutty flavour.
20% spelt adds a nutty flavour.

21 thoughts on “Sourdough Diaries. Wholemeal and Spelt.”

  1. Sigh..Francesca, I’m almost scared to mention this, but the next step is of course searching out flour wholesalers. 🙂 I buy my bakers flour in 25 and 12.5kg bags, and the place I buy from also sells spelt in 10kg bags and rye (dark rye, light rye) in 5kg ones. One expensive but high quality option is to mail order from Santos Trading – http://www.santostrading.com.au – I’ve bought great quality flour from them in the past, particularly their spelt.

    I find spelt a tricky beast – when it’s good, it’s spectacular, but it varies so much! Sometimes it’s as heavy as lead to work with, other times it nearly explodes from the stone.

    So pleased to hear you’re having fun! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Celia for the advice. I usually buy in bulk, being 50 kms or so from Melbourne. So big bags are good bags for me. I am hoping for a retail outlet on the rye- the mail order option adds heaps to the postage but I’ll check it out.
      I always add around 20% or so of spelt to Pizza dough ( normal yeasted beast) with success but have never increased it. we ill see. Yes its fun, there are little bowls of stuff everywhere! Flax seeds to soak, flours to source. Many Thanks Cleia.

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  2. I’m a novice bread baker and have only attempted 100 % spelt loaf, and as such buy organic spelt flour in small quantities from Woolworths. I make it using yeast and don’t do much at all – http://elladeewords.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/under-the-influence/. It started out as a ‘found’ bread maker machine experiment, the machine failed on the second attempt so I threw the dough into a loaf tin and put it in the oven. That was working well until my loaf tin developed a hot spot yesterday, so this morning I succumbed to Celia’s influence and ordered a Romertopf – Pane Loaf Baker from PoK.

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    1. I am also a novice. I bought some Australian wholemeal spelt flour at Bas foods – $4.49 to top up my supplies. I have read about celia’s Rometopf baking but as a beginner, I am yet to invest. Do you buy Rye flour?

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      1. So far only Spelt flour for bread as I don’t bake or eat a lot of it, so it keeps the process and ingredients on hand simple & limited, but once I have more time & kitchen space I’ll probably experiment. I’m always interested in what and how other people are baking 🙂

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  3. I’ve been researching rye flour and reading all your (and Celia’s) sourdough stuff as I want to make rye sourdough. I’ve noticed two places that sell 100% rye in bulk, one in Seaford called Simply No Knead, and the other called Marg and Maree’s in West Heidelberg. They do sell by mail which as you say is super expensive – but they seem to have premises one can go to as well. Rach xxx

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    1. Ah thanks Rach, I seem to recall that place in Heidelberg from years ago. I must do a drive by. I just went to the local Hursttbridge Healthfood shop and they just sold out of Rye. I am working on a swedish sourdough rye and flaxseed loaf that was my fave at St Andrews Bakery. The baker left a few months ago.SOB. xx

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      1. That would be awesome! Both the starter and the coffee. It’s been far too long. Thanks – I’ll email you to organise xxx

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  4. I love your sourdough diaries – experimenting with bread is a wonderful thing. I’m really sorry I can’t help you with flour sourcing, but I get mine from mills in the UK (some sold through my supermarket and some direct from several mills). The spelt I use is wholegrain and very similar to a coarse brown wholewheat and I have never seen a “white” spelt. I read somewhere (Daniel Leader comes to mind in his book, Bread Alone) that traditional rustic sourdough Pane Compagne of France is 1/3 wholewheat and 2/3 white. I find this to be a very good proportion and combination for flavour. I also have a rye sourdough starter (Sven) which I use for seeded wholewheat breads and for good old-fashioned rye and pumpernickel breads. I have never seen rye flour with additives you mentioned. How very odd!

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    1. It was an American product! Thaks for the proportions – 1/3 to 2/3 sounds about right. Since posting I have found some good Ryeflour sources. Spelt is milled here and is wholemeal on the whole. It is a learning curve of fun and so suited to these winter months. I’ve read bout your Sven!

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