i didn't think that my post today had anything to do with bread, aside from the fact that these were the things that i was thinking as i baked my loaves. but then i tossed this over in my mind: perhaps it is the bread that has inspired this moment inward. every time i bake bread i find myself in the mood to reflect. oftentimes i crave the effort of bread when there is a problem that i need to work out in my life. something about intuiting my way through the creation of the dough is analogous to intuiting my way through my life, or at least some part of it that requires a momentary reflection. bread then, when seen in this light, continues for me to be part of my path, and one inextricably so.
for the olive spelt loaf, i used equal weights bob's red mill light spelt and king arthur bread flour. for the rosemary and country loaves, i used a combination of to your health sprouted whole spelt, vitaspelt white spelt and king arthur bread flour. all loaves were made with my 100% hydration, 100% sprouted rye flour starter fed twice a day leading up to levain day.
THE NIGHT BEFORE DOUGH DAY
make your levain. mix the following, cover and ferment overnight.
50g sprouted whole spelt flour
250g BRM light spelt
250g KA bread flour
186g kalamata olives, pitted and whole
82g black oil cured olives, coarsely chopped
8g kosher salt
mix the water, flours, and levain, autolyse 40 minutes. after autolyse, squish the salt into the dough with your fingers till thoroughly amalgamated, then add the olives and fold into the dough.
begin the 4 hour bulk fermentation, the first two hours of which you will perform 1 series of turns every 30 minutes at room temperature. after the first two hours, pop the dough in the fridge and finish fermenting for another 2 hours, unmolested.
45 minutes before the bake, preheat the oven outfitted with a pizza stone and both pieces of your cast iron combo cooker at 550 degrees. when the oven is good and hot, cover the bowl with a slip of parchment and turn it out onto a peel. score as desired and slip the dough into your combo cooker, paper and all, cover, turn the oven down to 475 and let the loaf steam for 30 minutes.
rosemary (i forget to weigh it, so i'm not sure how many grams i used, but i did use three good-sized branches)
pop in the fridge overnight. mine proofed for 11 hours.
listen up. all three loaves turned out to be FANTASTIC. the crust was shattery, the interior was the perfect texture and the flavor was outstanding. spelt is turning out to be one of my favorite grains. the flavor is really rich and complex, and it's pretty easy to work with. just so you know, it will pancake when its on the bench resting, and it will spread quicker than wheat flour once its scored. but don't freak out, this is normal for spelt because it lacks the elasticity of wheat flour. you can quickly gather it up and shape it into a boule despite.
spelt breads also achieve amazing oven spring every time, even when using higher percentages of whole spelt. it's super healthy, and it's one that you might begin experimenting with because it's and easy addition to your repertoire of breads (spelt is also not as expensive as rye). rye, as you know, is sort of my thang, but this spelt is giving it a run for its money as i bake with it more and more, and as you can see, it makes for a lovely, rustic loaf.
i will keep posting my findings as i work with this flour. let me know how your spelt loaves turn out for you. its been a while since i've made a rye because i'm having so much fun with it.
to the staff of life!
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