The scent of freshly baked bread, a crispy crust, and a fluffy crumb – there is no food that gives me the feeling of comfort and easiness as bread. It was also no coincidence that my second blog post dealt with the topic “Traditional Bakery vs. In-Store Bakery”. I love bread. Either fresh from your own oven or from a craft baker like my brother is. Milan, that’s his name, started learning the baker’s craft in a small bakery in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the middle of the Bavarian Alps, more than 20 years ago. After completing his 3 years of training, he moved to a two-man family-owned bakery on the Staffelsee in Murnau, also in the Alps. He has years of experience and, of course, I got the recipe for this infinitely delicious wholemeal spelt bread from him. So easy and yet sooo delicious!
A year ago, I set out to publish a book on baking with him. You can look forward to it! In the background, there is already a lot of fiddling around and experimenting. If you have any wishes or suggestions, please do not hesitate to express them – also as a comment below! Until then, you can also watch my brother knead on his YouTube channel (German language) and, above all, enjoy this infinitely delicious wholemeal spelt bread! I dedicate myself to my beloved end piece! 🙂
- kneading machine or mixer with dough hook
- poss. proving basket
- baking plate
- small baking mould for creating steam
- 200 g spelt flour Type 630
- 300 ml water cooking at a rolling boil
- 400 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 200 ml water
- 10 g salt
- 20 g yeast
- 50 ml water
- For the scald or the mother dough, you take the 200 g spelt flour and pour the boiling water over it in a bowl. You let it knead slowly to medium-fast for about 9 minutes.
- To cool completely, place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- For the main dough, mix the wholemeal spelt flour with the water, salt, and yeast and add your scald. Knead for another 5 minutes.
- Now dust a smooth surface with some flour and knead the dough with your hands. If it is too sticky, add some flour. Now make the bread dough round and leave it covered for half an hour.
- To give the bread more stability, you squeeze out excess air from the dough by kneading it again ("expelling").
- If you have a proving basket, flour it a little and put your dough in it so that it can rest for another 40 minutes. Without a proving basket, you can let your bread dough rise again on the floured surface or in the bowl.
- At the end of the resting time, you can preheat your oven to 240 degrees and place a baking-proof container or a small baking pan in the oven.
- Now you take your dough, put it on the baking sheet, and cut it lightly on the surface. You put the baking sheet in the oven and at the same time pour water into your container to generate water vapor.
- After 5 minutes, carefully take out the water, turn down to 200 degrees and bake your wholemeal spelt bread for another 55 minutes. Enjoy your freshly baked bread to the fullest!
What do you need a scald for?
What is a “scald”? I looked a proper charlie when my brother said that I should prepare a scald for my wholemeal spelt bread. A scald is nothing more than a pre-dough, a kind of pre-swelling for your loaf of bread. By preparing the mother dough with boiling water, parts of the starch is already gelatinized. This should also prevent your wholegrain spelt bread from spreading too much when baking.
You almost set a kind of seal of approval for your dough, since the quality of the bread depends largely on the water content! The more water your bread dough has, the more aromatic it is, it pastes better in the oven and also stays longer fresh. The best thing to do is to prepare the scald the evening before and put it in the fridge to swell. It can stay there for a day. If you are in a hurry, you should still bring at least 4 hours with you. This is the minimum swelling time for a scald. So, the spelt has enough time to absorb water and does not have to extract it from the dough later.
Water for steaming in the oven
You may have wondered why you need steam for your bread. The water vapor promotes the correct crust formation. If the crust hardens too quickly, it can happen that it does not become elastic enough and your bread can no longer increase in volume as a result. In addition, the condensed water that forms on your bread due to the water vapor ensures that starch degradation products (dextrins) dissolve from the surface and give the crust a very special color and shine. You see, baking real German bread is quite a science! 🙂
Spelt – a very old type of grain
I found out that spelt is an integral part of alternative medicine when I made some research for this blog post! Apparently, the healer Hildegard von Bingen did miracles with spelt already in the Middle Ages! Incidentally, freekeh is unripe harvested spelt, which is rather less suitable for baking, since when the green spelt dries, the gluten changes and thus makes it unable to bake. At least you can’t bake bread made from the pure green spelt. You can mix it into a dough in small quantities. Spelt also belongs to the wheat family and – as already mentioned – contains gluten.
The function of the crust
A crispy and strong crust gives every bread that certain something. I personally especially love bread crusts and end pieces. Mama knows that too, and always leaves me with the delicious side pieces when she bakes bread herself. The crust protects the soft, moist interior, i.e. the crumb of the bread, from drying out and thus also improves the shelf life of your bread. So you can enjoy your homemade bread for a long time!
I hope you like your wholemeal spelt bread as much as I do! Both Milan and I would be happy to answer any questions or suggestions you have! You can find more recipes from me *here*! Enjoy your bread to the fullest!
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