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.
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