When you think of 100% whole grain spelt bread, what images come to mind? Bland 1970’s era health food? What people with dietary restrictions must resort to? Lots of hard and challenging work? A door stop?

Those were largely my impressions until I found this spelt bread recipe to be as delicious and easy to make as it is nutritious. So when the inspiration strikes to get virtuous with your eating habits without sacrificing sensory pleasure, give this one a whirl. You’ll enjoy that flaky, buttery croissant all the more when you rotate this spelt recipe through your bread baking line-up now and then.

Part One:
Part Two:

A bit about spelt: Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat with its roots in the Fertile Crescent some 9000 years ago. It is more widely used in Europe where it’s known as dinkel in Germany and farro in Italy. While higher in protein than commonly used wheat varieties, the nature of its proteins results in less gluten formation when making bread dough. Spelt is renowned for its health benefits. Many people with wheat allergies or sensitivities can enjoy bread made with spelt flour. What really helped make a fan out of me, however, is the mellow nutty flavor that spelt delivers. Read more about the Wonders of Spelt.

Whole Spelt Sourdough Bread
Whole Spelt Sourdough Bread

This spelt bread recipe is as delicious and easy to make as it is nutritious. So when the inspiration strikes to get virtuous with your eating habits without sacrificing sensory pleasure, give this one a whirl.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 18 hours

Yield: 1 Loaf


  • 530 grams (about 5 cups well fluffed up) whole spelt flour
  • 350 grams (~1+1/2 cups) water
  • 10 grams (1+1/2 tsp) salt
  • 3 Tbs honey or sugar or 2 Tbs agave
  • 1/4 cup sourdough starter


Follow the instructions in the video.

Bake at 450 for 45 minutes or until internal temp is 195-200.


Miscellaneous Notes: I’ve baked this bread several times since making the video and have found a few things you can vary in order to adapt the recipe to your time schedule.

Spacing the stretch and folds out by as little as 10-15 minute works just as well as the 30-60 minutes mentioned in the video. Three or four stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals seems pretty optimal.

Most of the time I mix up the dough in the evening, let it sit out overnight, and bake it the next morning. But I’ve also mixed up the dough in the morning and then immediately refrigerated the dough in a covered bowl until just before bed time. I then took it out to proof at room temperature until morning. This worked very well too.

You could probably also leave the dough in the fridge for up to a two or three days until you’re ready to bake. Since the dough continues to proof in the fridge (just very slowly), you’ll want to be careful not to let the dough sit out too long after removing from the fridge or it may over-proof. Since I haven’t tried this yet, you’ll have to take a good guess on the timing and let us know your experience.

Another relatively minor thing I’m doing differently now than when I shot the video, is I’m leaving the lid on the baker for the entire 45 minutes. I find the crust gets plenty brown and crusty this way.

Wheat Berries

Wheat Berries

Recipe Variations: There are, of course, endless ways to vary the recipe. A mix of spelt and kamut flour also produced an excellent loaf. Kamut is another ancient variety of wheat known for its nutritional value and naturally sweet and nutty flavor. The “official” kamut web site has some very interesting information.

Kamut flour has different moisture absorbtion properties than spelt, so if you’re playing around with different combinations of grains, you’ll also have to adjust the amount of water used. The following worked well:

300 grams spelt flour
230 grams kamut flour
360 grams water
Same as video for everything else.

August 2011 Update: Thanks Brent for this Spelt Bread Recipe variation and how to make it into sandwich loaves. Great picture too!

Feb 2012 Update: Check out Phil Dellinger’s post for Dutch Crunch topping.


Whole Spelt Sourdough Bread

Comments from our Forum

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  1. Brooke says:

    Over the weekend, made this whole spelt sourdough for the first time, using my long-maintained white flour starter. Never made a more delicious loaf! Eric's video was so helpful to use along with the basics of the recipe. Always appreciate your updates, Eric. I ran short of time and did 3 stretch & folds at 10 minute intervals before leaving dough to rise overnight (which it did nicely). Baked in preheated Romertopf, leaving top on for whole 45 minutes. Sorry I didn't take picture because the loaf emerged with both great crust and wonderful crumb. Thank you, Eric!

  2. Eric says:

    Great! Glad it worked out so well, Brooke.

  3. Sabina says:

    Absolutely wonderful recipe! This was my second time baking bread (I made no knead sourdough last week) and I'm very happy with the results. I did the strech and folds every 15 minutes and baked with the la cloche top on during the whole time. I substituted honey for maple syrup as I'm on a low FODMAPs diet and I also added 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of a mix sunflower seed and pumpkin seeds. I can see myself baking this every week! For those out there on the same diet, according to Monash University 54gr of spelt sourdough bread is considered low FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most individuals with ibs, but make sure to not include honey or agave (both are high FODMAPS). Here is my loaf:

  4. klause says:

    Thanks Eric

    I am from Brazil and here spelt is dificult to find, but I managed to get 1kg of that.
    Made you recipe twice
    This is the second one:

  5. pamelaclark says:

    My first attempt ran into a problem when I lined my proving basket with parchment paper. The dough would not release from the paper. I had to scrape it off - grr. Any idea why this happened? Should I have oiled or floured the paper? Was the dough too wet? Appreciate any tips.
    Novice Baker.

  6. Eric says:

    I'd try a light spray of oil first. If that (or something else) works, please let us know.

  7. maratus says:

    I've never made bread before in my life.
    Followed your recipe using a kefir starter from this blog.


    I did about 5 hours of rising then had to refrigerate and then another 7 hours overnight. Proofed in a glass loaf dish. Pretty happy with my first result. It's quite dense but I suppose that's how it's meant to be.
    Thanks so much for the clear, simple and easy to follow instructions!
    If anyone is wondering, temperatures for me were about 27C during the day and about 18C overnight.

  8. keiloycat says:

    Do you grind your own whole spelt flour? Do you do it on the 'bread' grind?

  9. Hi Eric,
    I just made my first loaf of bread, this spelt sourdough, using your recipe. Thank you! However, my bread didn't turn out quite right. I was hoping you could help me troubleshoot. The loaf cooked for 45min @ 450 in my dutch oven (past 195F degrees), but burned on the bottom. I got a bit of a malty smell during baking. (Also preheated the dutch oven for 30min, and took the lid off for the last 10min.) When I cut into it after about an hour, the crumb was not quite dry but a little gummy. I'm wondering if my problem is in the proof? Proofing began yesterday morning, but I wasn't noticing much of a rise so I bounced the bagged dough around my kitchen to find warm spots. But then it got too late at night and I had to pop it in the fridge till this morning. Then this morning, I took it out and parked it next to my preheating oven (then inside the microwave) for a few hours so it could warm up and rise. It did, but still felt pretty firm. Is my freestyle proofing the problem or could it be something else? This is also the first recipe I've made with my sourdough starter. (This is my first time at a few of things.) Thanks again for any help or advice! Andrea

  10. Eric says:

    Hi Andrea,

    It doesn't look like you're all that far away from a great loaf. Here are some guesses at what might be going on. It looks like your Dutch oven is cast iron. Cast iron transfers heat faster than ceramic, so in some ovens, the bottom is prone to burning before the loaf is finished baking. An easy adjustment is to put a cookie sheet under the Dutch oven. This usually provides enough of a heat shield to allow for a more uniform bake. Then you can let the bread bake longer so the internal temp passes 200ºF. It's also possible that your oven is running hotter than you think. You could try lowering the temp and baking longer. Could also be a combination of the above too. Or none of the above. :confused:

    I have no idea if or how your proofing effected the outcome. Too hard to tell. I'd have to see what it looked and felt like before you baked it. But at least you can play around with other stuff and see if you can narrow the variables next time around.

    Keep us posted.

Earlier Comments

617 thoughts on “Whole Spelt Sourdough Bread

  1. Maria

    Thank you so much for this wonderful site. I have been making bread with the help of your videos for a few years. I have seen your videos so many times that you are like part of my kitchen.
    I made today the spelt bread and it taste very good and I love that is 100% whole flour. I made two loafs, one on a Romertopf and the other one on a dutch oven. I follow the directions on your revised version with the 15 minutes stretch periods. I used parchment paper and scored the dough with scissors. I feel like the skin of the bread is not as it should be, maybe I needed more raising time or maybe it was over proofed, can you tell by looking at it? I sure can not.
    Also I am thinking of buying a grain mill and would like to know if someone has an Idea of where I could buy grain in Downingtown, PA.
    Please forgive me if my English is not good.

  2. Maria

    Anyone knows where can I buy grain in Chester county, PA? I leave in Downingtown. I am considering buying a flour mill but I do not know where to get the grain.
    I love this website and I have been making sourdough no knead bread for a few years, I think is an addiction.
    Today I am trying for the first time the spelt recipe. I will let you know how it goes.
    Thank you again for this wonderful site

    • Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl

      Hi Maria,
      Like you, we’re addicted to homemade bread as well and have been buying whole grains in bulk. ( 40-50 lbs. ) I store the grains in airtight, food safe buckets. I purchased my Wonder Mill from Eric and order the grains from Pleasant Hill Grains http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/ and Honeyville Grain. http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/ My local healthfood store can order the grains for me, but at a much higher cost. Happy grain shopping ! Kris

      • Maria

        Hi Kris, thank you for your answer.
        Do you know if a kitchenaid grain-mill attachment wood be good to mill grain? I am trying to save some money and I have seen it on amazon for 90 dollars.

        • Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl

          Dear Maria, Didn’t know that KA has a grain-mill attachment. Please read the reviews before buying one and I would also ask Eric for his advice.
          I checked out http://www.breadbeckers.com/. Debra is correct. Their prices are much better than the vendors I suggested. The 42 lb. bucket of spelt is least 50% less than Pleasant Hill.

        • Inge Rush

          Hi Maria:

          I use the Kitchenaid grain-mill attachment all the time. I run whole wheat and rye through twice at the finest setting; spelt berries just once. Works great.

          Do pay attention to the instructions: run the attachment at full speed with the top locked; I think it needs the motor’s full power to do the job. When I was evaluating this purchase I noted a lot of postings re: burning out the motor. I notice that if I do only one hopper of grain at a time (even when running it through twice) it works great (one hopper gets more than enough flour for 1-2 breads); gets slightly warm but not hot …

          • Maria from Pennsylvania

            Hi Inge, and thank you so much for your help. The Kitchenaid grain-mill attachment is a lot cheaper and on top of that I would not have to worry about another appliance on my counter .
            Where do you buy your grain? What grain do you use for bread flour or do you buy it as flour.
            I can not believe how nice everybody is.
            Sorry I know I have too many questions.

            • Inge Rush

              Thanks Maria!

              Re: the grain – I got mine from Wheat Montana Farms and Bakery (Spelt and Whole Wheat).

      • Debra

        You may want to look into a coop with the BreadBeckers. They have excellent prices. I’ve bought wheat, etc. from them for many years. Their website: http://www.breadbeckers.com/

        • Maria

          Hi Debra and thanks a lot. I look and they do not have one in PA but I wish they did.

        • Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl

          Debra, thanks for the link to BreadBeckers. Great site and their prices are by far the best I have seen. They will definitely get my business.

          • Maria

            I have been looking on line and I have found a good price on grain.
            It is not organic but at this time I think It will have to do for me.
            Please let me know if you get across something better.
            Do you recommend buying a use grain mill?

    • Dr_Mike

      Maria –

      Where you are, I would buy spelt where I buy mine. I drive from Eastern Long Island to Dutch Valley Foods in Myerstown just outside Lancaster. It was $55 for 50 lbs last month. (OK, I usually just duck South on a trip to Ohio, but you are one county over. For you it’s a no brainer.)

      Tell them you are a home user, they’ll sell to you no problems. Phone or email ahead with an order and estimated pick up time and they’ll have it on the dock waiting.

      So why did I come back last time with 50# of rye, 50# of hard red winter wheat, and 50# of spelt? Because I still have 30# of hard white winter wheat, so I used a bit of restraint.

      Your post was a year ago, I hope you set your email to notify you of followups…

  3. Miri

    FYI. Spelt in not farro,so if you have a recipe that ask for farro do not sub with spelt and expect the same result. Farro gives you better result in bread baking, spelt is not as good as farro. Farro is emmer wheat .
    Spelt botanical name is triticum spelta and originated as a hybrid from emmer wheat and regular wheat. Farro botanical name is triticum dicoccon and it’s used commonly in Italy (not spelt). Unfortunately is more expensive and harder to find in USA.

  4. I just stumbled upon your site this early morning. I’m also a bread fanatic but more of a connoisseur of breads. I agree with you, if I had one thing to live on the rest of my life, I do believe it would be bread!

    I’m not very experienced with making breads (mostly just eating someone else’s bread ), but yesterday the bread baking bug hit me and I experimented with a basic yeast bread using an Ale yeast I purchased online. I am not exactly sure about the details of the yeast, but it has a distinct and lovely smell that reminds you a bit of butter with a very subtle after smell of the mold in bleu cheese. It leant a very nice taste to my bread.

    I’ll be really checking out your site because I was hunting on using a natural bacteria and yeast symbiotic thing. I’ve been reading up on lactobacillus strains and am really interested in this. I can play the mad scientist and then eat my creations! Never mind how much healthier I’ll be!

    Columbia, Tenn.

    • Hi Jack,

      It’s always nice to meet another bread fanatic! Your Ale yeast sounds very intriguing. Once you start getting into natural leavening you’ll no doubt get hooked on it. It definitely enhances the whole baking experience.

  5. Hana

    Hi, In was wondering if you know how this recipe should be adjusted for baking in the SLOW COOKER/CROCK POT.
    I dont have a bread machine and prefer to use smaller appliances than the whole oven, so I like the idea of baking bread in the crock pot and there are various instructions for this on the internet, youtube etc. Nevertheless I have only baked one bread and cannot call myself experienced so I hoped somebody here might have more of an idea. Much appreciated :)!!!

  6. Toneweaver

    I loved this recipe, and since my wife prefers spelt over wheat, I decided to try tweaking it for our everyday sandwich loaf. I’ve been around on it a few times and think I’ve come up with something pretty good as an adaptation of Eric’s wonderful hearth loaf formula:

    For each loaf:
    Dry ingredients
    530 g spelt flour 100%
    10 g salt 1.9%
    1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten (this could be omitted for people with wheat gluten problems, but I find it helps the rise)
    1-2 T each sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds

    Wet ingredients
    350 g water 66%
    3T (64 g) honey or molasses, or a mix 12%
    1/4 c. starter (I have a spelt starter @100% hydration)
    (I sometimes augment this with a pinch or two of commercial yeast)

    I mix this in two-loaf batches and do 4 stretch-and-folds before putting the dough in the refrigerator for the night. In the morning I degas the dough a bit more (to get fewer big holes) as I form the loaves, place them in 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pans, cover and let rise until they’re 1.5 times their original size (this can take as long as six hours on some days). I score the loaves lengthwise (which you can see in the picture), then bake 1 hr. at 375° F to an internal temperature of 200°. My family loves the flavor and texture of this bread, and with the seeds it’s a little homage to Dave’s Killer Bread, which is made here in Portland, Oregon. 🙂

    As you can see from my photographer daughter’s picture, we couldn’t quite wait the full hour before cutting into this loaf, but it should give you an idea of the crumb.

    Thanks, Eric, for this terrific bread recipe!

    Toneweaver (Brent)

    • Maria from Pennsylvania

      Hi Brent, I made the bread with your recipe and it is to dye for. I love it. I have been trying to make 100% whole grain bread but I did not like the consistency, yours is perfect. Have you tried with other grains other than spelt? I hope it works with hard red wheat.
      Thank you for posting your recipe.

      • Maria from Pennsylvania

        Sorry I want it to say die for.

    • Linda L Costa

      could U share this recipe :~) it looks SOOOOO good I have IBS and I need new things in my diet.

    • Brent I have the bread in the oven and so far smells heavenly. I have been trying to bake with sprouted flour for our everyday sandwich bread and have baked several recipes, this one is bookmarked and saved.
      Thank you for the tweaking 🙂
      I used dry yeast as I just got my starter from Eric and is still in the process of refreshing.
      Love this website!

      • Ok bread is out of the oven, cooled and it is just perfect!
        Thank you again Eric and Brent for this fabulous healthy recipe 🙂
        Eric I am refreshing the starter with the spelt, is it ok right?

        • Yes, your starter will love spelt ☺.

          • Awesome, thank you 🙂 and thank you for all the cool informative videos too.

    • Andre

      Hi there,

      Can you give the recipe in cups?
      What is VitalYeast?

  7. carolee

    Hi Eric
    I want to try the spelt bread and was wondering how much yeast should I start out with as I don’t have a sour dough starter. Thank you.

    • I’m guessing somewhere from a 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tsp. I’d start with 1/2 and see how it goes.

  8. siuflower

    Hi Eric,

    what is the best way to bake bread use fresh grind berries like spelt and kamut. I heard of green flour, can I milled the berries and use it right away or should I let the fresh flour to sit and oxide for awhile. I’m confuse about the green flour issue.


    • I’m not too sure there is a “best” way. I almost always mill just what I need at the time and use it right away. I’m happy with the results and don’t notice much if any difference if the milled flour sits in the fridge for extended periods of time.

      Supposedly fresh milled (green) flour retains more of the inherent nutritional value and many report better flavor. Whereas aging improves the gluten forming properties so should help with more loft in the bread.

      Take your pick. If you experiment and come to a conclusion of your own, I’d love to hear about it.

  9. Hi Peggy,

    You could use a pair of standard loaf pans. You don’t have to bake in a covered baker. A pair of oblong cloches is nice but pricey.

  10. Peggy

    What do you bake the divided loaves in? I have tried dividing the loaf in 2 before I bake, but it turns into 1 loaf anyway. I usually cut the loaf in half and freeze half until we are ready for it. I store the loaves in plastic bags and keep in the refrigerator.

  11. Hi Sophie,

    Nice pic!

    The question of how to best store the bread is a good one. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution. After the bread is sliced you have the option of storing in something non plastic which tends to promote staling or storing in a plastic bag which keeps the bread fresh longer but makes the crust soft.

    Sometimes, I’ll just cover the cut end of the bread with foil and store the whole loaf in a paper bag. That seems to be a decent compromise. Or I’ll use the toaster or toaster oven to crisp it up again. I also like to bake smaller loaves and, like you, don’t have much trouble devouring them quickly :).

  12. Sophie

    wow this bread is amazing i was so excited making this and it worked beautifully! i didnt have a ceramic baking vessel so i improvised and used a ceramic casserole dish with our pizza stone as a lid and a couple of random bricks in our massive gas oven for extra thermal mass, achieved a lovely crust and ‘oven spring’ 🙂

    What is the best way to keep homemade bread? (not that i have to keep it long, it gets devoured pretty quickly!)

    • Gloria

      Yum! Looks good enough to eat.
      I’ve tried two methods of storing that work fine. I divide dough into two loaves in aluminum bread pans and this time, baked both. I sliced one after it cooled and put the slices in the freezer. I keep the second one on the counter, cut side down and covered loosely with a towel. Each day I cut the pieces as needed and return it to the cutting board, stored on the counter. This is the third day after baking and I’ve got about 1/2 loaf left since I’m the only one eating it. It is still fresh and when I toast it, put olive oil and garlic on a slice, it is sheer heaven. Hope this helps.

  13. Andrew Chan

    I suppose every oven varies- mine is set to 235°C. It is more important to reach the required temperature inside the bread.

  14. Peggy

    Are you sure your oven temperature is accurate? My bread is always in the 210 range with the top on.

  15. Andrew

    I use a Romertopf as in Eric’s video. When I baked with the lid on, I find the spelt bread a little too wet in the middle and the temperature does not reach the required 200°C.

  16. Peggy

    What problem were you having that leaving the top off the baker fixed? What kind of baker were you using?

  17. Andrew

    I forgot to include a photo. Here is the one I baked earlier.


  18. Andrew

    Hello Eric,
    Thank-you for yet another wonderful recipe .Followed your advice and baked the spelt sourdough with the lid off. Turned out great!

    Warmest regards,

  19. Toneweaver

    This is wonderful stuff — I’ve made it several times now (measuring by weight) and have had great results. Has anyone modified this for a sandwich loaf variation?

  20. Hi Dean,

    Your experiences sound like normal bread baking to me. Results vary all the time even when you think you’ve done things the same as before. It’s often difficult to pin down what causes variations.

    As for thawing frozen bread, I just let it sit out at room temp until it’s thawed. If there’s a better, I don’t know it.

  21. Dean

    Once frozen, what’s the best way to thaw it?

  22. anna

    Does this bread freeze well if I made some up in advance to have on hand?

    • Sure, just wrap it well.

  23. Dean

    To clarify–by “dense” in my last comment/question, I mean airy but substantive, it holds together nicely and can be sliced thinly without falling apart.

  24. Dean

    I have made this bread several times now, but I’m a little puzzled by the variability in the results. The first time I made it, it was perfect, but of the many times I’ve made it since then, I’d say half the time it turns out just as well as the first time, but the other half the time it still tastes good, and the bread still hangs together, but it isn’t quite as dense–it is more crumbly, and the crust is more likely to separate from the loaf easily, including when I am cutting through it. I thought that the first time I had the “crumbly” problem it might have over-proofed, but on subsequent times making the bread, I’ve been careful to time it precisely and to keep an eye on it so that didn’t happen. Now I’m wondering if the problem is that I have needed to do more stretch-and-folds. Maybe there is another element at play that I’m not considering. I’d appreciate any insights into what might be causing the results to be less than stellar.

  25. deb

    Roxy, I spray my bread pans with PAM and it works great!

  26. Roxy

    Okay, so I have been trying rather unsuccessfully to make sourdough spelt for about 1 month, and the time and effort for awful bread nearly had me beat. Then I came across your page and followed the instructions to the letter (except I added 1/3 cup of starter by mistake). The bread was amazing, light, fluffy and really tasty. My only problem was that the loaf stuck quite badly to the loaf tin I was using and I was wondering what I could do to avoid this next time ?
    Thanks for giving me and my family great spelt sourdough at last !!!!!

  27. Hi Darren,

    Yes, you can scale the recipe down as much as you want. I probably wouldn’t alter the baking temp, just the time. I’d only be guessing at how much to shorten the baking time. This where an instant read thermometer comes in especially handy. You can check the temp for doneness at about 20 minutes (or whatever) and every few minutes thereafter until you know it’s done.

  28. Darren

    The recipe and video have been a wonderful intro into the realm of spelt. Family and friends who don’t take well to gluten have reaped the benefits.

    One friend wants to start making the bread, but the size of this recipe makes more bread than a single person can eat in a few days. Could she simply use half the ingredients to make a smaller loaf? If she did, how would she adjust the baking time and temperature?

    Many thanks for your work in putting all of these videos together.


  29. I did the 100% spelt bread with a SD made from 25gr. Rye SD that I feed with Spelt flour 3 times, every time with 50 gr. of spelt as I wanted to have a bigger quantity than I needed for the recipe. It went very well and very fast. I also used water yeast water to do it.
    Then I followed the recipe scrupulously. The whole story is on my website with photos (that I will try to upload here.)
    Although the crumb is tight it look much better than any spelt bread I ever saw in health food shops, and the one that I bought months ago and was so dry and unedible that I gave it to the various animals I have around the house….
    This one is perfectly edible and the only thing I think to change to my next try will be to put more salt.
    Thank Eric for the video that was very instructive for me as it’s a long time that I didn’t deal with dough that need to be strechted and fold. My rye bread is a wet dough as well as my tries with glutenfree flours.
    Bea the Bee

  30. Peggy

    Have been making this sourdough spelt for nearly a year. Have continuing varied results – the bread is gummy alot. Temp always indicates it is done. Doesn’t seem to rise much. Frequently sticks to the proofing basket. Any suggestions?

  31. Hi Beatrice,

    You sure can use a spelt sourdough to make the all spelt bread. I usually just keep one (white flour) starter culture and use that for everything since it’s a lot easier to manage. But any healthy culture would work. Just depends on how much of a purist you want to be.

  32. Hi Eric,
    I read your posts on TFL but never visited your website… I get hooked by the subject of gluten free and water yeasts and found the link to your 100% spelt bread. People who has intolerance to gluten but not suffering specifically from Celiac, seem to be able to have spelt flour.
    My question is about the SD. Would you use a Spelt SD for your recipe when you say 100% Spelt ? I made one yesterday and it’s ready ! I didn’t expect such a rapidity since I remember the full week it took to make my first attempt with Rye and the 10/12 days it took to make a rice SD lately…
    It’s now bubbling like made. I could use it straight away. What would you do ? Bee18

  33. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the link. Beautiful photos. Your sisters photography talent, technically and artistically, shines. Looking forward to the next installment.

  34. Eric

    Hey Eric,
    I’m Eric too. I’ve been trying out your recipes for a while and have really enjoyed myself. My sister is a photographer and took photos while I made the spelt dough a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately she was just over for the evening so she’s going to shoot some more pictures the next time a make this bread.
    I used yeast since I didn’t have a starter going; I’m not sure exactly how much I used.
    Here’s a link to her blog post:
    Hopefully we’ll be able to get together soon for the rest of the process.

  35. gulia

    where can i purchase the baking pans for my sourdough bread?

  36. Deb

    Dean, yes, I use the same technique but just use Hard Read Wheat. I am experimenting with the amount of flour I prefer. So far I’m down to 8 cups. With 8 cups, my bread turned out fabulously!

    Concerning the technique, I follow Eric’s methods until the second day. I do not have proofing basket, so I just place my dough in a bread pan (glass) and let it rise for about 1 1/2 hours then pop it into a preheated (375 degree) oven to cook for 45 minutes.

    hope this helps!!

  37. Ben Wattum

    My spelt bread is turning out great, but comparing it with Spelt that I purchase in the local store, it doesn’t seem to be able to absorb liquid as well as the commercial stuff. My wife’s favorite breakfast is a poached egg on bread, with hot milk poured over it, and my bread just doesn’t seem to absorb as well. Any suggestions. Guar gum?

  38. Dean

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I tried it over the weekend and am thrilled with the results. I had been trying various whole grain sourdough recipes recently with mixed success, but now that I finally tried this one, I’m wishing I had tried it sooner.

    Deb–I’m curious about your comment. Are you using the exact measurements and techniques in this recipe with the wheat flour instead of the spelt flour? I was so happy with the results with the spelt flour, I will keep using this recipe, but it would be good to know about a more economical alternative which would still be a whole grain sourdough.

  39. Deb

    Hi all! Interestingly, I made this sourdough bread for a year or so using spelt as recommended but decided about 2 months ago to try hard red wheat instead of spelt. My family actually likes it better! Since the red wheat is cheaper (a lot) than spelt, it’s a win win! I did have to make some adjustments to amounts of flour though.

    Also, I’m considering trying to make this recipe in my dlx mixer. If I do, I plan to use the dough hook and kneed the dough for a minute on and 15 minutes off for the stretch and pull portion. What do you thing about doing this? I’ve learned over the years that trying different methods sometimes leads to surprising results; some good/some not so good!

  40. Linda

    Thank you Breadtopia, made my first ever starter and after feeding it every day with a different flour and water ONLY….. EUREKA !! I used up all the wee bits of flour left in bags. Strong Bread, White spelt. wholegrain spelt, Rye and wholemeal and on the 6th day I used some mongrel starter to make your spelt recipe. i also mixed white spelt, wholegrain spelt and strong white bread flour to make up the flour volume in the recipe…………..Well it worked a treat Ive never tasted bread so good and it will obviously get much better with more practice. ………….another random add was New Zealand Bio Thyme Honey. I could not believe how the bread turned out. I know breadtopia are purists but my carefree starter making proves that as long as you tend to your starter with love and care and follow Breadtopias great directions your starter can succeed ONLY ONE PROBLEM my hubby and i polished the loaf off before it was cool…………hopefully the first of many sourdough loaves.

  41. JeanBean

    Can I use Farro, instead of Spelt???

  42. melanie

    so i made another starter and baked my first loaf using this recipie and it is crumdiddly!!!!!!! thank you so much….lip smackin good!!!

  43. alli

    Here’s my report on retarding the dough, for anyone interested. I mixed the dough up in the evening, then put it straight in the fridge and let it proof slowly for 24 hrs, and even then it hadn’t done much. I removed it from the fridge the following evening and left it out at (mostly cool) room temp for another 16 hours. The dough never did get all puffy and bubbly like my previous efforts, but it had increased in volume and looked somewhat bubbly. I was worried about it overproofing – and I was eager to eat it – so I baked it early in the afternoon on day 2. The dough stuck to the banneton, and flopped out when I transferred it to the dutch oven. All good reasons for the relatively poor final volume of the finished loaf. Oven spring was ok, but not as good as earlier loaves. Taste was more sour; I actually preferred it to the non-retarded spelt sourdough. Oh, and we added pumpkin seeds when we mixed the dough – really excellent. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  44. melanie

    my starter is soupy, is that ok? it does smell sour like yeast but its not the airy bouncy dough like consistency. did i make a boo-boo? 🙂

  45. If you mean freeze the starter itself, that may kill it. Otherwise freezing the bread after it’s baked is a good way to store it.

  46. melanie

    Have you ever tried to freeze the spelt sourdough?

  47. Lloyd


    Just had to tell you that I love your web site and baking techniques. It has inspired me to make sourdough bread again and it is better than ever before. I just wanted to pick up on one thing you said in at the bottom of the written instructions. You said you left the bread in the covered baker for 45 minutes without taking off the cover. I have been doing that for years with my la cloche bakers and consistently get beautiful crust and crumb. My theory is the fewer the steps and ingredients the better.


    • Thanks Lloyd!

      To Melanie: Go ahead and use the pans for now. Your bread will be a whole lot better than anything you can typically buy in the store. If you can get into a covered baker down the road, you’ll likely get a better crust and more oven spring.

  48. melanie

    Hi there, I dont have a dutchoven or anything like that yet. Up until now I’ve been using regular baking pans. How much difference will it make if I start off using a baking pan until I get a clay vessel? Thanks Mel

  49. Susan Speigel

    Can’t wait to try spelt or spelt and kamut sourdough bread! I get so inspired watching these wonderful videos! Thank you!

  50. Hi Pete,

    There is no certain number of hours that’s best. There are too many variables that impact proofing times, most notably temperature and humidity but also potency of starter or yeast. Fortunately, you usually don’t have to fret the times too much and still get good results. With practice (experience) you get so you know by look and feel the more optimal ways to manage the whole thing.

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