Saturday, February 2, 2019

Crusty Spelt Bread

I obtained permission from Cathy Warner at to re-post this recipe for making crusty spelt bread with an EZ DOH mixer because it was so interesting and informative. Better yet, her website has plenty of other recipes and insights about making bread. Here's her post:

                                                     February 4, 2014 by: Cathy

                                               CRUSTY SPELT BREAD
This Crusty Spelt Bread, baked in a loaf pan, utilizes an overnight sponge to help develop the gluten structure and enhance the flavor. I’ve used this method a few times; each time with a different type of flour.  For this experiment, I used a mixture of white and whole grain Spelt.
Using an overnight sponge helps with gluten development.  This is particularly useful when working with ancient grains because they generally have a weaker gluten structure. Allowing the final dough to ferment for a longer period of time also aids with gluten development.
Due to the weaker protein structure, doughs made with spelt also benefit from a shorter mix.  It’s generally better to mix them by hand or utilize a shorter mix on first speed in a stand mixer.  Due to these characteristics, I felt this would be a good dough to test in the EZ DOH unit.
This bread can be baked in a regular loaf pan or as a freeform artisan loaf.  I tried it both ways (see photo below).  The loaf on the left is made with white and whole grain Spelt.  The loaf on the right is made completely with whole grain Spelt and baked on a baking stone using steam.

This post documents the process for making Spelt bread in a loaf pan. If you want to learn how to bake the hearth-style loaf, refer to the Einkorn Bread made with an Overnight Sponge post.  Just substitute Spelt for the Einkorn flour.

Crusty Spelt Bread

The dough for this bread was mixed in an EZ DOH manual bread dough mixer, but it could just as easily be mixed in a stand mixer or by hand using a Danish Dough Whisk. Just keep in mind that spelt benefits from a shorter mixing time.
Makes: 1 Loaf
Adapted from: Bread Science by Emily Buehler


  • 187 g (1 2/3 cups) white Spelt flour
  • 140 g (2/3 cup) water (50 to 55 degrees F.)
  • 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
Final Dough:
  • 210g (~1 3/4 cups) whole grain Spelt flour (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 327g Sponge (all of it)
  • 140g (2/3 cup) water (60 to 65 degrees F.)
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt


Mixing the Sponge:
Mix the sponge 12 to 15 hours before you plan to make the dough. If the temperature is cooler in the house, then use warmer water, if it is warmer in the house, then use cooler water. Final temperature should be about 65 degrees F.
I mixed the sponge in the EZ DOH unit and let it rest in the unit overnight.

After the overnight rest, I added about half the water to break up the sponge. I mixed the sponge and the water for a minute or so, then I added the dry ingredients and starting mixing while I gradually added the rest of the water. I mixed until all of the dry ingredients were incorporated into the dough. Then I removed the handle assembly and kneaded the dough just a bit (in the bucket) with my hands.

Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the dough bulk ferment for 2 hours total. After 1 hour, fold and turn the dough in the bowl or take it out and perform a fold on the counter or work surface.
Place the dough back in the bucket, cover again, and let it bulk ferment for another hour.
After the 2nd hour, shape the dough into a loaf. Place the loaf seam side down in an 8 1/2” x 4 1/2”  loaf pan. I used a glass loaf pan.
I scored the loaf before the final proof so it wouldn’t deflate the dough. This is recommended for weaker doughs.  It also gives the scores more definition after baking.

Let the loaf proof for an hour.  It probably won’t double in size during the proof, but the oven spring should be very good.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  The crust should be brown and crusty.
Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
The EZ DOH bread maker lives up to its name.  It’s really easy to use.  I like it although I have found that it does require a bit of hands on kneading.  If you’re making breads by hand, this shouldn’t be an issue because you want to get your hands on the dough to make sure it’s developing properly.
The EZ DOH is a useful tool for mixing no knead breads and for making breads that require a longer fermentation time to develop the gluten.
Happy Baking!


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