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White Spelt Olive sourdough - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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White Spelt Olive sourdough

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  • White Spelt Olive sourdough

    This is my attempt at making a White Spelt Olive sourdough. I still have to make some improvements but its a leaning curve is it. The dough is still a little dense and I believe it required more proofing (I was not able to slash the top as it did not develop a tight skin)

    The starter was young (about a week)
    The hydration was 70%
    Dough mixed with sponge, rested for 1/2 hour, then added salt
    3 Hour bulk fermentation, with stretch & fold every 1/2 hour
    Shaped twice
    Final proof 2 hours
    Cooked 20mins @ 250C, then 40mins @200C
    Rested 1 hour

    Any body have any ideas on how I could improve it?

  • #2
    Re: White Spelt Olive sourdough

    Hi Redd...

    Your description/results don't seem to quite add up. At one week your starter is awfully young and you got pretty good crumb in a very short bulk fermentation and proof. Color is fairly good but a bit odd to me... I am going to guess it is rather high in levain. But that still doesn't explain the crumb...

    You don't give us much detail on the bake/oven hydration. I presume it was not covered or in a Dutch oven.

    The crust shows the long bake - thick crust. I personally think your oven temp is off for 20 minutes at 250 should have given more color. The 200 finish is I think too low. I am guessing you were somewhat below those temps.

    Spelt doesn't typically yield loaves that are as airy as regular wheat. Olives and inclusions usually decrease volume a bit also so you may not be able to do much better.

    You said nothing of your dough development. I would encourage you to use a double expansion approach. Expand the starter to make a levain (which should ferment overnight - roughly 8 to 12 hours depending on your starter) followed by expansion to the final dough. Starter should be about 20% of the levain and levain about 20% of final dough by weight. There are plenty of detailed discussions on this on the FB site.

    Check your oven temp! One to two pound loaves should bake in about 40 to 45 minutes at 435 to 455F. You are dropping the temp too far IMO.

    Don't make too many changes at once. If you change four or six things you will have no idea why the result happened. Keep at it. You will get there. It takes time...


    • #3
      Re: White Spelt Olive sourdough

      Hi texassourdough

      You are correct about the leaven, its at 20% and made about 10 hours before the dough was mixed. I did only use 1 Tablespoon of starter

      And yes you're right again I did use a 2 qt dutch oven, as Im only cooking 2 loaves. I want to get the technique correct before I move into the WFO.

      The oven is a new oven and I suspect that the temperature is off as all of my cooking time have changed. I will check this tonight.

      From mixing the dough to placing in in the oven it is only 5 hours.

      And the temperature is in centigrade, so to convert its 480F & 390F

      The recipe I used was:
      700g water
      200g leaven
      1000 flour
      20g salt

      Much appreciate your in-depth critique


      • #4
        Re: White Spelt Olive sourdough

        Hi Redd!

        1 T of starter to make 200 grams of levain feels way short. It should not be at peak activity in 10 or 12 hours so your levain may be underactive and that may contribute to your "density". Try 20 %. That should peak in about 10 to 12 hours. I.e.about 40 grams plus 80 of water and 80 of flour.

        I did the temp conversion before I commented and 480 feels too hot and 390 feels too cold. I like 455 for preheat and about 440 for bake.

        Hang in there. You seem to have good technique so you should be able to get where you want fairly quickly!


        • #5
          Re: White Spelt Olive sourdough

          Well I gave it another go on the weekend and the results are promising.

          I dropped the hydration down to 70% from 75%
          Used your 40/80/80 levain
          Retarded in fridge over night

          The results are:
          Got a better oven spring (too good, the bread hit the top of the dutch oven)
          Good tight skin
          The crumb was uniformly airier.

          The oven, even thou its new does not hold the temperature correctly. Once it hits its target temp it switches off and drops 30 degrees C in about 2 mins before switching back on and slow rising back to target temp...


          • #6
            Re: White Spelt Olive sourdough

            I will increase the hydration from 70 => 73 and reduce the total mixture by 30% so the bread wont hit the top of the Dutch oven next time.

            BTW the flavor of the starter is quit a bit stronger as its now about 5 weeks old