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Spelt Sourdough Bread

MAKES 800g loaf
PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours rising and making the starter.
COOKING TIME: 25 minutes



    Lightly oil a baking sheet.Mix the flour, salt and sourdough starter with 600ml/21fl oz/scant2½ cups lukewarm water in a large bowl and knead for 10 minutes to a soft dough. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

    Fold in each corner to the middle and turn the dough upside down, then cover and rest again for 30 minutes. Repeat the folding, turning and resting.

    Mould the dough into a loaf, put on the prepared baking sheet, cover and prove for 30-40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the bread is hollow-sounding when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sourdough Starter

There is a lot of angst about creating a 'mother' - a sourdough starter - and sustaining her, but it is actually incredibly simple. Once your starter is working, you can gradually add to it and it will improve in flavour. Use this starter to make a classic Sourdough Bread (see page 24 of the book), or the festive Sourdough Stollen (see page 37 of the book) at Christmas.

MAKES: about 600g/1lb 5oz starter


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5


    Put 150ml/5fl oz/ 2/3 cup lukewarm water in a 500ml/17fl oz/2 cup glass preserving jar with the Day 1 ingredients, stir well, then cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

    Add the Day 2 ingredients and 55ml/2fl oz/4 tablespoons luke warm water, stir well, cover and leave again at room temperature for 24 hours.

    The mixture will start to change colour, the raisins will start to dissolve and there will be a bubble or two on the surface.

    Add the Day 3 ingredients with 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup lukewarm water,stir well, cover and leave as before for 24 hours.You should be able to sniff the fermentation. Throw away three-quarters of the mixture and add 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup lukewarm water.Strain to remove the raisins, then return the liquid to the preserving jar.Add the Day 4 flour, mix well, cover and leave as before for 24 hours.

    Repeat on Day 5, when you'll notice an acidic tang to the mix.

    On Day 6, the mixture should be bubbling and ready to use.

    Each time you remove some of the mother, simply replace it with the same quantity of flour and water. As time goes on, the mother will become more acidic and take on more flavour and character.

    Extracted from Spelt by Roger Saul © Roger Saul 2015
    Published by Nourish Books, London.
    Hardback £16.99
    Commissioned photography by Lara Holmes & Neil White

Don't forget to buy your Sharpham Park ingredients :

Organic Spelt
Wholegrain Flour
More info>

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