It has been a year, and we’re only halfway through the year! Anyone else out there wondering what else will be thrown our way this year? Just me?! Well just in case I decided to get ahead of the game with Social Distancing Spelt Sourdough, aka Garlic Spelt Sourdough, to prepare myself for whatever 2020 has in store for us. The garlic in it might keep vampires, and maybe people too, away if that’s what you want or sharing it could bring people together.
I recently thought about the year and how I would sum it up in terms of food and if I could only use one word it would be BREAD! Everything changed back in March and for awhile I thought as long as we have flour to make sourdough bread (we always have Suzy, our sourdough starter in the fridge) and stuff to make my oatmeal banana bread we’d be good. As mentioned so much of what we ate, and still eat, drastically changed. It made me think and reminded me how simple and amazing sourdough really is. Just flour, water, and salt make something so amazing! Nope I didn’t forget starter, it’s made with only flour and water and once you have your starter you can keep it going for years. Suzy (our starter) is 3, going on 4, years old.
A few months ago to help with stress we started making more sourdough again, like 2-3 loaves a week. I find the process calming to make by hand. When life got busy I would reach for my mixer to make our sourdough while making my Americano in the morning and it had gotten into such a routine and process. I decided to branch out since I enjoy the whole process as it’s a combination of baking, art, and science and try Spelt Sourdough.
Not all sourdough is the same and spelt sourdough became an instant love! The texture, the flavor, it almost reminded me of a cross between sourdough and an English muffin.
With recent events here in Mpls with the riots and just life in general my husband and I were talking and were remembering a co-op grocery store we use to go to down in the city and a loaf of garlic bread we use to get. It was so good the loaf of bread never even made it home. Of course we later went back for more and one of the loaves was a little stronger, or maybe my husband had a little too much, and it has been some time since we’ve had it.
Of course it was only days after that conversation that I decided I had to re-create it at home and instead of going with our usual sourdough I decided to make it with spelt. Not only because I’ve been loving the taste and texture of spelt lately but also because I thought it would also balance out the flavor.
Don’t let the whole bulb of garlic scare you, or the fact that I bake whole garlic cloves into the bread! Well unless you’re a vampire, than you better be scared. It isn’t very strong, I didn’t get any strong garlic flavor but also taste tested with family and friends as apparently I’m immune to garlic. If the whole cloves scare you can always rough chop your garlic (we haven’t tested this but plan to, we just love the whole cloves so it just hasn’t happened) and add it in. The whole cloves cook in and are more like roasted garlic, so a little sweeter.
Still haven’t tried making your own sourdough? If you have here are a few of our other recipes to try! Or maybe you like more of a rustic sourdough? Spelt Sourdough might be for you! From start to finish it takes about 16- 18 hours (if you have active fed sourdough already), with minimal hands on. Maybe a little more hands on than our regular sourdough but less time from start to finish. If you store your starter in the fridge or haven’t fed your starter recently it will take about 24-26 hours.
You probably already have most of what you need to make spelt sourdough at home, more specifically my Garlic Spelt Sourdough. Most items are relatively inexpensive and there is nothing on the list that isn’t a staple in my kitchen. If you don’t have a kitchen scale I highly recommend it for bread making and baking in general. Plus it has come in handy for other things like postage from time to time and even weighing Baby G when he was first born and we had to weigh him every other day and saved many trips up to the doctor. The first one I bought was really cheap but still did the job for years until it broke and the upgrade one I have now I love (has a pullout screen that makes it easy to read using large bowls and was less than $50). If you don’t have bread towels they’re handing, don’t shed, and if you decide bread making isn’t for you also work as regular dish towels. You can find singles from around $5-$7, I usually buy a set of 4 for around $20. A cast-iron dutch oven is something I use all the time, especially during the winter for soups and stews. I love and use them so much I have a plain cast iron one, perfect for camping too and how I justified it but love it so much it’s at the top of the list for things to gift for weddings, as well as an enamel coated one. I use both all the time, especially when I’m baking 2 loaves of bread. Haha!
The complete list of what you’ll need:
• Kitchen scale
• Cast Iron Dutch Oven
• Parchment Paper
• Sharp serrated knife
• Bread Towel, Floor Sack Towel
• Spelt Sourdough Starter
• Spelt Flour (I use Nature’s Legacy VitaSpelt Organic Spelt Flour that I purchase from Whole Foods. It use to be in a red bag but is now in a teal bag. I did try organic sprouted spelt flour a couple of times and didn’t have the best luck so I’ve stuck with the VitaSpelt since I can consistently get it.)
• Honey (My favorite is local Bare Honey Minnesota Amber, a dark honey that isn’t overly sweet and has notes of molasses!)
• A whole bulb of garlic
It will a little extra take time to make your starter if you don’t have one but well worth it as once you have your starter it’s easy to keep it going for years to come. I made a spelt starter, or converted our regular starter, using a small amount of our regular starter (a tablespoon) to build it up over a couple days. I store it (still need a name for our spelt starter) in the refrigerator and pull it out the morning the day before I plan to bake it. Somewhere around 9am I will feed my starter and than I will make the dough around 7pm that night to bake the next day between 11 and 1pm. You will find what works for you and right now we are close to 16 hours since it’s warmer out.
Social Distancing Garlic Spelt Sourdough is delicious on it’s own smeared with a little butter or dipped in a little EVOO with big flaky sea salt. There are nights that is all I want along with a glass of wine. Although usually it’s with a salad or big plate of veggies! While it makes a perfect side and accompaniment to any meal lately in our house bread is a big part of the main dish. I make sourdough knowing it will be turned into toast, sandwiches, or just enjoyed as is. Sometimes I like to switch up the usual and make a sweet swirled bread but lately feeling savory combos.
You really can’t beat fresh sourdough bread! Plus it’s good for your gut and if you’re gluten sensitive like I am easier to digest. I can probably count on one hand how many times a year I buy bread. When I do it’s sprouted bread, I almost always have a loaf in the freezer, and usually because we aren’t home or don’t have time to make it.
Today is Monday, aka Meatless Monday. I hope you consider linking up Deborah and me below or sharing what you you’re making for Meatless Monday or just drop what’s happening in your kitchen below.
|Prep Time||30 minutes hands on|
|Cook Time||45 minutes|
|Passive Time||16 hours|
- 350 g water
- 3 TBSP honey local Bare Honey Minnesota Amber
- 1/4 c active bubbly spelt sourdough starter (I pull my starter from the refrigerator 6-8 hours before I make the dough and feed it)
- 530 g spelt flour, PLUS MORE for stretching and baking
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 bulb garlic
- Make sure you have active fed spelt sourdough starter. If you haven't fed your starter feed it about 6-8 hours before you want to make your dough. See notes in my post to plan accordingly.
- Peel garlic cloves and cut off dry bottoms if there are any. If you want to chop the garlic instead of adding whole cloves give it a rough chop and set aside just before making bread so it's ready to go.
- Measure out your water and add to a large glass or ceramic bowl.
- Stir honey into water, if it hasn't dissolved or your honey has crystals warm the honey water slightly. You don't want it hotter than lukewarm, if it's too hot let cool before stirring in your starter.
- Stir in your active spelt sourdough starter.
- Add flour and salt and stir until just combine.
- Add in your whole cloves of garlic, or chop if desired.
- Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place, usually up high in the kitchen, or just on your kitchen counter for 1 hour.
- After an hour sprinkle a little spelt flour on top of the dough (2'ish tablespoons) and dust your hands. Grab the dough out of the bowl, scraping it off the sides with your hands, and stretch/pull, fold, and turn 90 degrees to stretch/pull again in the opposite direction. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover for 30 minutes before repeating the process. You will want to do this 3 times. (After 1 hour rest stretch, let rest 30 minutes, stretch, let rest 30 minutes, and stretch a final time before putting up for the evening or about 12-14 hours)
- After letting rest for 12 hours the top of your dough should have a few larger bubbles forming. If not and you have time let rest a little more. If you don’t have time or see bubbles don't worry it should rise while baking.
- Place your bread towel (not a kitchen towel but thinner tight woven fabric bread towel) on a cutting board (I like to use a cutting board as you will use it for transferring the dough twice before baking) or clean counter and rub with flour in the center. The whole towel doesn't need to be covered but a good rough circle that will go in your colander, or parts that will touch the dough. Generously add a little more flour as you don’t want your dough to stick. I would roughly say I add an extra 1/4-1/3 cup after rubbing some into the towel.
- Place floured bread towel in the colander, flour side up.
- Lightly sprinkle bread board or counter with a little more flour and turn your bread dough onto it. Grabbing the edges at roughly 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock pinch up to the center and place dough into your floured colander. Cover with bread dough with your plastic wrap and let sit for an hour (will sit for 1 1/2 hour total).
- After an hour place your dutch oven in the oven and pre-heat to 400F. Let your dough continue to rest for 30 minutes while your oven pre-heats.
- Remove plastic wrap from the top of your dough, place a sheet of parchment paper (12x16) on the cutting board. Place the parchment paper and cutting board over the dough (make the bread towel is not tucked in between or in the way) and flip it over so the dough is on the parchment paper. Quickly and carefully slice a cut down the middle and a few on the sides of your bread, or a big X).
- Carefully remove your dutch oven from the preheated oven. Pick up the corners of the parchment paper and place your bread dough into the hot dutch oven, replace the cover (parchment paper can stick out a little), and place it in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.
- After 35 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rick.
- Let cool, ideally for an hour and a half but at least an hour, before slicing.
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I have not yet tried cooking with spelt flour! Your breads always look so amazingly delicious. And yes gotta carb up because we have no idea what will be thrown at us next
We’ve been baking bread here but not sourdough. Looks really good and different! I’m sure if we get shut down again, we’ll be trying new breads, lol