In fact, Mr. Kitchen announced that it was his favorite bread so far. Ever. This from Mr. White Bread? Go spelt!
About three years ago, when I first caught the bread baking bug, I picked up a copy of Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson at a Williams Sonoma outlet. I read it, adapted some of the methods, but never actually tried any of breads in the book. I'll admit that I was a little intimidated. The first recipe, including the starter, is 88 pages.
This is one of the reasons I am so happy to have been assigned Sally's blog, Bewitching Kitchen, for this month's Secret Recipe Club. How did they know????? It was meant to be!
Let's start with the reasons why:
- We both baked our way through Peter Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice. That means we made every single recipe.
- She wrote this really cool post about how to revive a sourdough starter. She mentioned "shed a tear" in the same sentence with sourdough starter. This is a girl after my own heart.
- We both work at a university.
- We both believe in "everything in moderation, including moderation."
- She broke the Basic Country loaf down to one page and made it with spelt flour.
Sally is not just about bread either. She has an amazing array of recipes on her index. It's worth a visit.
Basic Country Loaf
50 g whole spelt flour
50 g white flour
100 g room temperature water
1 T active sourdough starter
375 g room temperature water, divided into 350 g plus 25 g
100 g starter
450 g all purpose flour
50 g whole spelt flour
10 g salt
- The night before you plan to bake the bread, stir the starter ingredients in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 12 to 14 hours.
- The next morning, in a large bowl or Cambro 8-Quart Food Containermix 350 g of the water and 100 g of starter until the starter has dissolved.
- Add the flours, and mix with a large spoon or dough whisk until the flour and water are incorporated.
- Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for about 40 minutes.
- Add the salt and the rest of the water and mix with your hands by pinching the salt into the dough. Then fold the dough until it comes together and forms a cohesive mass. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- For the next 2 hours, fold the dough by pulling the underside of the dough and folding it over the top from all four "sides" every thirty minutes for a total of four "stretch and fold" sessions.
- Let the dough rise in a warm (80 degree) environment for another hour. If your kitchen is cooler, allow more time. The dough should be bubbly, but not necessarily doubled in size.
- Remove the dough from the bucket/bowl, and lightly flour the top of the dough. Using dough scrapers, flip the dough over, and fold it over from all four "sides" to form a ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Heavily dust a banneton or towel lined bowl (about 9 inches wide) with a 50/50 mixture of brown rice flour and wheat flour.
- Fold the dough over itself from all four sides to create a ball, and lift it into the banneton with two dough scrapers or bench scrapers. Place it seam side up. Spray the top with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Allow the dough to rise for 3 to 4 hours. My dough was ready at 2 1/2 hours.
- About 45 minutes before you are ready to bake, place a cast iron Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees F.
- When the dough is ready, remove the Dutch oven from your oven and remove the top. (Be careful, it is hot!)
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough, and place a plate on top of the parchment. Flip the dough over and lift off the banneton. Lift the dough with the parchment and place it into the Dutch oven. Score the dough, and cover. Place the Dutch oven back into the oven.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 25 minutes, until the dough reaches 210 degrees internally.
- Cool on a wire rack. Or just break into it.
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