In my opinion there is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread filling up the whole house. There is just something magical about it. It brings me absolute joy and feeling of comfort. Homemade bread is better for you than any store-bought one. Not to mention the sourdough bread. Sourdough bread is made with sourdough starter, which is full of wild yeast and beneficial bacteria for your gut. They both transform the grain and make it easier to digest, as well as resistant to getting a mould.
I started making sourdough breads almost a year ago now and I have never looked back. The taste is just superior to any other bread I have ever had. Not to mention how much cheaper it is, even when I use all organic ingredients. I tend to buy my ingredients in bulk, thus making it even more economical and sustainable.
I mostly use spelt flour to make my sourdough breads as spelt, being an ancient, non-modified grain contains less gluten than the modern wheat.
When it comes to the sourdough starter it was actually a hit and miss sort of process. Since I first created my starter during winter, it was hard for it to work its magic. After a lot of flour being wasted, I found a recipe by Dan Lepard for a perfect, foolproof sourdough starter. I waited patiently and after a week or so my first ever batch of sourdough starter was ready to use. I only use rye flour for my sourdough starter, as I like my bread to have a more distinct flavour.
The following recipe is my slight alteration of the fantastic recipe by James Morton who wrote a bread lover bible, Brilliant Bread. If you’re serious about bread making, I highly recommend you get this book. It covers everything, from simple yeasted breads to sourdoughs, plus all the techniques and tricks you need to know to create that perfect loaf.
Homemade Spelt Sourdough Bread (adapted from Brilliant Bread)
400g organic spelt flour
200g sourdough starter (rye or spelt)
extra flour for dusting
01. Measure out your flour in a big bowl (or a bowl of a stand mixer), add salt and rub it into the flour until combined. Next, add the starter and water, and mix thoroughly until it becomes a wet dough. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
02. Turn out your dough on to a floured surface and knead it for a good 15 minutes or use a stand mixer (my preferred method) on high speed until the dough visible changes texture. Trust me, you will definitely notice a difference. It will go from a messy, wet dough to a gummy, shiny coherent dough. Once you’re finished it should be very springy, almost rubbery like.
03. Move it back to a bowl, cover and rest the dough for around 5-7 hours at room temperature. You can also chuck it in the fridge overnight after 3 hours in room temperature, which is what I always do.
04. Once the rested, turn it out again on to a floured surface and shape it the way you like. I shape mine to fit into a loaf tin and I use a similar technique to this one.
05. Transfer your dough to a proving basket or oiled loaf tin, cover and prove for 3-4 hours at room temperature.
06. Preheat your oven along with baking stone (if using) or baking sheet at 240ºC (220-230ºC fan) 30 minutes before baking.
07. Turn your proved loaf or loaf tin onto the baking stone or sheet, then score it with a sharp knife or lame and reduce the temperature to 210ºC (190ºC fan). Bake for 40-50 minutes. If using loaf tin, carefully remove the loaf from the tin after the first 20 minutes and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes. Add a bit of water to the bottom of the oven for a better rise and glossy top.
Before devouring it, remember to cool your bread first on a cooling rack.
Have you baked a homemade bread before?