An Experiment - Spelt Country Levain
Here at a Breaducation our goal is to get you to the point where you are comfortable enough and knowledgeable enough with the process of baking bread that you can create your own beautiful custom loaves of bread. We want you to be able to throw crazy flours and seeds and grains and whatever else you can think up in your bread and know it will come out well or at least learn something valuable along the way.
For inspiration, we will be sharing some of our own bread experiments on the blog from time to time. We hope you will enjoy checking them out and learning from them as we do! This week I tried my hand at a country bread with a spelt flour variation.
Country bread style loaves are quite popular these days thanks in part to Tartine Bakery owner Chad Robertson's book called Tartine Bread. While Chad's country bread is know for it's high hydration and long fermentation, a country style bread can usually be defined as wild yeast leavened and contains a small amount of whole grain flour, around 10-20%. This small amount of whole wheat is meant to simulate flour produced in an old french country mill, think of the ones powered by water, where the miller doesn't quite sift out all of the whole grain when making white flour. Hence the name country bread.
I love a good country bread as I think most people do. It is one of the most fun, beautiful and often times challenging styles of bread to make. However, I find myself becoming bored of the standard 10% whole wheat flour in the formula. In an attempt to changes things up I will often raise or lower the percentage of whole wheat in the dough. As little as a 10% change can have drastic effect on flavor. I've also tried putting all the whole wheat in the sourdough starter, something that adds quite a bit of sourness to final flavor.
Lately, I've been playing around with different flours to accent the flavor. In my latest effort I have used spelt flour in place of the whole wheat. The result is quite nice! It has a subtle nutty flavor that is quite pleasing. In my next bake I'll try upping the spelt to 20% and see if I like it as much.
Here are the results of the spelt country bread experiment: