ye olde bread blogge

bread, coffee and tidbits

Another spelt failure

with 9 comments

Today was a special day, says The Central Marketing-Society of German Agrarian Economycouldn’t they have chosen a less obvious name?‘Tag des Deutschen Butterbrotes’ or ‘Day of the German sandwich’.

Allegedly it did not quite qualify for a national holiday, although I would be all for it, and I do not know what the statutes of a sandwich-day are. It seems, about 5,000 bakeries in the country joined the CMA in their quest to promote German grain. The pdf file (link to file no longer valid) lists only about 2,000 bakeries and many of them appear without names – for a second, it looked like I was onto something here.

But why wreck the brain about the difficulties of cereal marketing, when you can have your own bread? I tried another spelt loaf and followed Daniel Leader’s suggestions on how to spice up a pain au levain and replaced half of the wheat flour with whole-spelt, and also added a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds. A extra amount of water was needed to get a soft dough, but it rose perfectly and everything looked fine. What I had in mind was a loaf I had seen on Jeremy’s STIR THE POTS (the first two pictures of the series).

But my own bread sucked, it had a terribly hard crust that shattered into hundreds of micro-crackers under attempts to cut gently into it. The crumb was pale, dense, dry and tasted bland. I refuse to believe that this is the quintessence of spelt. Surely, there has to be a trick.

My book on German baking says:

Things that should be considered when processing spelt:

Spelt doughs should…

  • …include a small amount of fat
  • …be made with a pre-ferment such as poolish, sourdough or old-bread soaker
  • …be sprinkled with seeds such as linseeds (flaxseeds), sesame seeds or sunflower seeds

Spelt flour is a very strong flour that bakes to a slightly dry bread. Therefore it is important to keep the gluten supple with addtions of fat or pre-ferments. At the same time these modifications improve flavor and keep the crumb moist. The seeds add more flavor.”

“Adding” flavor by sprinkling the flavor on the loaf is like cheating, but ok, sounds reasonable. That probably also means to use spelt sourdough instead of a wheat levain. What about flour quality? There are about 10 different brands of spelt flour I could get ahold of, ranging from 2-5 Euros per Kilo, but don’t feel like trying them all. But maybe this is what needs to be done. Spelt bread will be a long-term project.

Spelt croutons are underrated.

Written by theinversecook

29 September 2007 at 01:49

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Maybe you should order some from Rudi Graf in Maisprach? He has some great spelt and ruchmehl as well!

    I am doing the 100% spelt and the multigrain with and addition of naked barley!



    29 September 2007 at 02:56

  2. Ich empfehle dir die Mehle der Adlermühle, geringe Versandkosten, excellente Mehle und Service.


    29 September 2007 at 11:13

  3. @ Ulrike: Danke für den Link. Eu, sogar Hartweizenmehl, so einen Laden hätte ich gern überall in Deutschland. Werde eine Probebestellung aufgeben.

    @ Jeremy: Sounds yummy, I prefer barley to all oily seeds. If all fails, I am going to travel to Switzerland and just eat the bread there. Spelt deals me blow after blow…


    29 September 2007 at 16:05

  4. My first attempt at Dans 100% pain d’epautre was dismal and was in the garbage! I met him today and will try to have the interview up by tonight or tomorrow! I made an olive bread was fantastich as well the grain bread!


    P.S. thanks for the mention on the site!


    29 September 2007 at 23:42

  5. @ Jeremy: I always enjoy your interviews and listetning to authors speak about their work can make things clearer. Try the Auvergne dark rye from Daniel’s book, if you get a chance, the one with very hot water. It’s very flavorful. I had to add extra water though. The German rye flour, I think…



    2 October 2007 at 19:23

  6. Da habe ich wohl Glück. Das Dinkelmehl welches ich hier kaufen kann (aus Frankreich übrigens) ist perfekt. Ich finde ja Dinkel hat einen nussigen Geschmack und braucht eigentlich keinen “Geschmacksverstärker”. ;-)


    3 October 2007 at 13:06

  7. @ zorra: Ich habe das Vollkorn-Dinkelmehl von Diamant verwendet. Vielleicht habe ich eine schlechte Charge erwischt. Jetzt ist das aus dem Bioladen dran.


    3 October 2007 at 18:32

  8. Bin auf das Resultat gespannt. Meins ist auch Bio und ist auch ziemlich teuer. :-(


    3 October 2007 at 19:04

  9. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you


    16 December 2007 at 08:31

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: