I'm incorporating an ancient grain into my bake today. Spelt, Triticum spelta, is a hardier and more nutritious grain compared to the modern wheat.
The nuttiness from the sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds complimented the subtle sweetness and nuttiness of spelt.
The crusty, nutty crust held a moist, chewy interior that was speckled with the added seeds.
Seeded Spelt Sourdough Boules
(Yields 2 loaves of 500g boule)
350g organic bread flour
150g organic spelt flour
325g filtered water [293g (for autolyse) + 32g (for later portion)]
100g mature liquid levain
12g fine sea salt
20g sunflower seeds
20g sesame seeds
Steps to boules:
- In a large mixing bowl, mix bread flour, spelt flour and 293g of water until all the water is absorbed by the flour. Cover the bowl and allow the flour mixture to sit for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, mix the remaining water (32g) with 100g of the mature levain and mix into the flour mixture. Sprinkle the salt over the mixture and mix till a uniform dough is formed.
- After a uniform dough is formed, stretch the dough by folding on itself. Grab the dough at 12 o'clock position, pull it upwards and fold it over itself at the 6 o'clock position. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and fold in the same manner, repeating the folds for a total of 4 times. Cover the bowl again and let the dough rest for 30 minutes then repeat the cycle every 30 minutes for 4 hours. 4 folds every 30 minutes for 4 hours. Wet your hands before the start of the fold so that the dough will not stick to your hands.
- After 4 hours, completing the four sets of folds, divide the dough into 2 equal halves. Roll each half into a ball and let it sit on the counter covered with a damp cloth for 15 minutes.
- To form the dough, take one of the dough and gently pull it into a rectangular shape. Fold the bottom half a little over the center of the rectangle. Grab the right side of the folded side and stretch it a little and fold it onto the center of the folded side. Repeat for the left side of the dough. Stretch the top end of the dough and fold it over to the bottom end of the dough and seal the dough. Using a tying shoe lace method, pull with your thumb and index fingers from the top end of the dough pieces of the dough and crisscross them toward the center of the dough and working your way down to the bottom of the dough. Lastly, roll the dough like a Swiss roll onto itself and pinch the seam close and roll it onto itself on the tabletop to tighten the surface of the dough.(It would be better to watch a video on YouTube on 'how to form a sourdough boules')
- Place the dough into a heavily floured round vessel, lined with a cloth and cover with a cling wrap and let it proof 8 - 10 hours or overnight in a refrigerator.
- When it is ready to bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees C (500 F) for 1 hour. Place a enamel pot and a pizza stone into the oven as it is preheating. This will be the baking vessel that will hold in the steam generated from the bread while it is baking to create the thin crust on the bread.
- Be very careful at this stage, everything is extremely HOT. Use a pair of thick oven gloves to protect your hands.
- Once the oven is preheated, turn your bread onto a pizza peel (I used the removal base of a tart pan) lined with baking paper. Use a sharp knife to score the surface of the dough. Very carefully take out the enamel pot from the oven and pulling the baking paper, slid the dough onto the pizza stone. Cover the dough with the enamel pot turned over to act as a cover and bake for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, open the oven (be very careful as hot steam will rush out when you open the oven door) and remove the enamel pot leaving the bread on the pizza stone and reduce the temperature to 220 degrees C (425 F) and let the bread bake for another 10 - 12 minutes or till golden brown.
- Once baked, transfer the bread very carefully to an elevated cooling rack to cool for at least 1 hour.
- Return the enamel pot into the oven and increase temperature to 300 degree (500F) and let it preheat for 15 minutes before you proceed with the second loaf. Repeat the steps above to bake the second loaf.
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