Maurizio’s Whole Grain Spelt Pan Sourdough Loaf

Maurizio’s Whole Grain Spelt Pan Sourdough Loaf

I feel like I keep going through Maurizio’s recipes. They are so nicely written up and presented, it’s difficult to avoid the temptation.

I wanted to try to make bread that would really highlight the spelt grain. And at the same time I have been thinking that I’ve never made any pan loaves (with exception of rye bread, of course). And it seemed like a perfect combination to try: 100% whole spelt pan bread! And of course Maurizio has a recipe for that, so instead of reinventing the wheel I just followed his recipe:

Here is the formula scaled to two of my small bread pans:

I simply followed the recommendations as closely as possible. Despite 100% whole grain flour, and the very extensible nature of spelt, the dough was very nice to work with, only mildly sticky, which was easy to counteract with a little water on my dough scraper and hands.

What, however, didn’t go as planned, was the proof. I shaped the dough into quite tight rolls, just like I shape for batards, and the top of the dough was barely reaching around half of the pan. And there it stayed for hours! I did not see any visible increase in the size of the dough. I suppose, it slowly filled in the cavities around the dough, so for it to stay the same height it did have to increase in volume a little, but nothing like what I expected, say 50% increase maybe. So I was a little worried, after proofing it for waaay longer than Maurizio writes (I didn’t time it exactly, but it had to be over 3 hours instead of 1-2 hrs). In the end it did seem like it passed the poke test though, with an indentation that didn’t get fully refilled after a few minutes, so I decided to bake it.

And boy, did I get nice oven spring. Should have scored them, I guess would have gotten even better spring!

Very flavourful (100% whole grain, after all!). I’d say the whole grain flavour is less strong than I expected, and nicer than regular wheat. Although I’ve never tried 100% whole wheat bread. In hindsight, should have added some sesame seeds together with the spelt bran on top, can’t go wrong with that!

So I think the verdict is that it’s a great bread, but why did it not grow during proof? I have to mention again, I’ve never made wheat pan loafs, and moreover I always do overnight retard, so probably have a lot to learn on these fronts!