Before you turn away, please allow me explain why I’m posting this poor-looking bread. There’s no doubt that it had poor rise, yet it’s also true that its flavour is so exceptional it deserves to be shared.
This is not a complete replication of dabrownman’s bake but there’re plenty of similarities. Obviously, the dough flour used is the same and I adopted his idea of bran leaven. However, the baked scold was skipped to make my life easier. I also included Tom’s Alt Altus after realizing how much flavour it added to my past bake. Another change I made, which was a stupid mistake, is upping the hydration slightly as it felt like the dough can take a bit more water (WRONG!).
100% Whole Spelt Sourdough with 50% sprouted flour
150g 50% Whole spelt flour
150g 50% Freshly milled sprouted spelt flour
10g 3.3% Starter
20g 6.7% Bran shifted out from dough flour
20g 6.7% Water
280g 93.3% Dough flour excluding bran for leaven
193g 64.3% Water
48g 16% Whey
50g 16.7% Leaven
13g 4.3% Alt Altus, powdered
9g 3% Vital Wheat Gluten
5g 1.7% Salt
3g 1% Dark barley malt powder
305g 100% Whole grain
266g 87.2% Total hydration
Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 20g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 22g) in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.
Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 4 hours.
Roughly combine all dough ingredients. Skip the autolyse so as to lower the risk of gluten breakdown. Let the dough ferment for 6 hours.
Stretch and fold the dough for a few times then let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Conduct another round of stretch and fold before another 15 minutes rest. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Leave it on the counter for 10 minutes before retarding for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F and pre-steam at the last ten minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and score it. Bake straight from the fridge at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
As anticipated, the dough spread out immediately after entering the oven. It was unquestionably over-hydrated. I had a seriously hard time shaping it. However, it did rise quite a bit after the spreading stopped. The crust browned and crisped up well thanks to the sprouted spelt, dark barley malt powder and Alt Altus. This bread has considerably open crumb being over-hydrated and 100% whole grain. The crumb is moist, custardy and chewy, which are basically everything I could ask for.
Let’s move on to the flavour. It has to be outstandingly good such that I’d be willing to share this unsightly loaf to embarrass myself. Really, this is the best tasting bread I’ve made so far. It’s sour but not overwhelmingly so, forming a nice balance with the mild sweetness of the sprouted spelt. But what sets it apart from other bread is its complexity. The three flavour contributors Alt Altus, dark barley malt powder and the spelt flour work together to achieve well-rounded savour. The experience of eating this bread is like wine tasting, there’re so many layers of flavour: sweetness, saltiness, sourness and slight bitterness. Once you acknowledged the delectability of whole grains, you’d have a hard time going back to bland commercial white bread.
I’m sure this would have turned out amazing if the hydration was dropped back to 83%!