• Sides
  • Starters

Crusty Spelt Loaf

Preparation Time15 minutes (plus rising time)
Cook Time40 minutes
Serves1 loaf

Ingredients

Sponge

  • ¾ cup (120 gm) bread flour
  • ¾ cup (120 gm) organic wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp yeast
  • 1½ cups water, at room temperature

Flour mixture

  • 2 cups (320 gm) bread flour
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp yeast
  • 5 ice cubes for baking the bread

Method

Begin this recipe a day in advance.

  • In a large mixing bowl, place all the ingredients for the sponge starter and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the sponge to sit for an hour at room temperature then overnight in the refrigerator, or up to 24 hours.
  • Turn on the Nexus Proving drawer function.
  • Bring the sponge up to room temperature, then add all the flour mixture ingredients to the sponge and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic; if the dough is still sticky add a little more flour. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and roll the dough around to coat, cover with a damp cloth and place in the proving drawer for 1 hour until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 220°C Fan.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knock the dough back to release the air by folding the bread over itself a few times. Shape the dough into a round loaf, place onto a floured heavy-based dish, or a 20cm floured banneton or bread proofing basket; cover with a damp cloth and place in the proving drawer for a further 1 hour.
  • Place the dough onto a heavy-based tray, if not already, and with a very sharp knife or razor, make 4 cuts in the top of the dough in a square shape. Place a baking sheet in the oven on the bottom rack (underneath where the bread will bake) and allow it to heat up. Put the dough in the oven and put the ice cubes in the empty tray beneath and quickly shut the oven door. This will trap all the steam in the oven and allow the bread to rise before the crust begins to form. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

NB: If you can’t find bread flour you can use regular unbleached flour, but your loaf won’t be as chewy.

 

Recipe, Food Styling and Photography by Karen McFarlane, foodlove.com.au