I love this bread because we always feel so good after eating it, it is so nourishing and hearty with tasty freshly ground spelt flour. I start this in the afternoon (when I know I will have some time to tend to it) and bake later the next morning. Because it takes some time, I like to do two batches of bread, or a loaf and a pizza crust.
Spelt Sourdough Bread Recipe
1 ½ c filtered water
3 Tbsp honey (I usually have to warm my honey first)
¼ c active starter
Dissolve honey in water. Add ¼ cup starter (should be bubbly). Mix with slotted spoon.
In another bowl mix:
350 g, or about 5 c spelt
1 ½ tsp sea salt
Mix flour in with water to form wet dough (my starter is kept in the fridge after I made bread so I keep it dry, therefor I usually need to moisten with a couple Tbsp extra water). You don’t want it clumpy and crumbly, but not slimy either.
Cover with plastic and sit 1 hour.
After 1 hour, dust your hands and the top of the dough with flour. Pick up the dough and stretch and then fold the dough. Stretch once again in the opposite direction.
Place back into bowl and cover with plastic for another 1/2 hour. After a half hour do a second stretch and fold in both directions. Put back in bowl and cover with plastic for another half hour.
After a half hour do a final (third) stretch and fold in both directions. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic and allow it to sit overnight. I usually start this whole process at 3:30 pm and bake it the next morning at 9:30 am.
In the morning (or 16 hrs later) you will need a wood cutting board, a colander and light dish towel.
Flour the cutting board, hands, the dish towel in the colander and the top of the dough with rice flour. Gently scrape the dough out of the bowl and place it onto the cutting board. Pull the sides up and pinch the dough at the top. Gently place dough into the lined colander, seam down, and cover with plastic and allow the dough to rise for another hour and a half (my bread is rising much better these warm Spring days than it was in the Winter!).
In a 400º-450º F oven (temperature might vary depending on your oven, I cooked mine in a 400º F oven) preheat a dutch oven with lid (I use a stoneware loaf pan) on for the last half hour that the dough is rising. Pull the very hot dutch oven out of the oven and gently transfer the dough into the hot dutch oven by flipping the dough gently out of the colander. Put the lid back on (I use foil) and return to oven and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove the lid and allow to bake for 10 additional minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 195º-200º F.
Remove bread from pan and allow the bread to cool for 1 hour before serving.