Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread

by - June 03, 2019

Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread
Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread

Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread

Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread

Spelt is an ancient whole grain that is now making a come back as a health food.  Its claimed to be more nutritious and healthier than the bread flour.  It is a cereal grain in the wheat family and spelt does contain gluten, which can substitute bread flour.

As you can see from the below method, I reduced the kneading time to 10 minutes instead of the usual 15 minutes that I usually knead my bread.  This is because spelt has a more delicate gluten structure that may be easily damaged if over kneaded.  The dough is more dense too if compare to bread flour.

This Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread is very soft on the first day.  However, it lost a little softness and moisture on the second day.  By the second day, it is best to toast them before eating to get back some softness.

I have several Soft Sourdough Bread recipes that you may like.   Soft Sourdough Bread recipes.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

Final Proofing:
  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Soft Spelt Sourdough Bread 

Yields:  1 loaf


Levain - 260g total (ratio 1:3:3):
40g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
120g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
120g water

Main Dough:
350g spelt flour  (67.40%)
260g levain (from the above)
25g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp sea salt
30g butter
135g full cream milk (start with 125g first, reserve 10g/1 tbsp to add in if the dough too dry)

600g loaf pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)

  1. Levain:
    1. One night before baking, mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment in aircond room temperature (approximately 25C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. The total weight should be around 280g.  But, use only 260g.
    3. If you like to prepare levain on the same baking day, please use the ratio 1:1:1.  Let it ferment in our tropical room temperature until tripled.  It took about 3-5 hours depend how strong is your starter.
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter), including the 260g sourdough starter (levain) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 3 - 5 minutes (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue knead for 12 minutes until reach window pane stage.
  3. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough did not rise a lot in 60 minutes.
  4. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions. 
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  
    3. Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    4. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  
  5. Final Proofing:
    1. Let it proof at warm and dark place until the dough double the size. This one took about 4 hours at room temperature of 28C - 30C  To speed up the rising process, place the dough in the oven and a bowl of hot water next to it and close the oven door.
  6. Baking:
    1. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C.
    2. Bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.

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  1. Great bread! Will try this soon. What does the ***(2.6% rye flour and 30% bread flour)*** stand for?

    1. Hi there, thank you for your comment. It is the percentage of rye flour and bread flour for the levain. Just for your information.
      Cheers :)

  2. Hi... How do I reapportion the recipe to fit a 450g pan instead? I don't have a 600g pan :(

    1. Hi, thank you for asking. Please reduce all the ingredients to 75% to fit 450g loaf pan. X 0.75

      Cheers :)

  3. I tried this recipe using 100% organic spelt flour and reduced the ingredients by 25% to fit 450g loaf pan. The dough was heavy and tight after kneading by bread machine. After 7 hrs only rose to 70% of pan. The final result was a short loaf, not very soft but taste okay. I have a feeling the dough was dry and didn’t attempt to add more water to make it more extensible. Any advice?

    1. Hi, Thanks for trying this recipe and your feedback. May I know what flour did you feed your starter? I used unbleached bread flour to feed the starter. So, my is not 100% spelt flour.

      It could be the flour. Bread made from 100% spelt flour is abit dried. You need more water if you feel your dough is dry.

      Cheers :)

    2. My regular feeding for starter is unbleached bread flour and 10% rye. Main dough for this recipe I follow 100% spelt. The only change was low fat milk instead of full cream.

    3. Maybe your spelt flour absorb more water. In this case, you may want to add more water.

      Cheers :)

    4. Will try to make some adjustments. Thanks.

  4. hi..jie, before thank you, i want to ask if i want part breadcrumbs and part spelled, how do they comparet, thanks you jie

    1. Hi, thanks for asking. Are you referring to half bread flour and half spelt flour?

      If you want to be exactly 50% bread flour and 50% spelt flour then it should be 240g spelt flour and 110g bread flour in the main dough.

      Cheers :)