Rye & Spelt Sourdough Loaf

After my adventures in sourdough post last week (which has now been updated with starter feeding and maintenance tips), it is time to share a sourdough recipe. I’ve chosen my every day loaf of bread to share first, light rye spelt sourdough, a recipe from Yoke Mardewi’s ‘Wild Sourdough‘ (I love how primordial it sounds, what a great title for a book). I really must branch out though, there are at least 20 loaf recipes in Yoke Mardewi’s books that I want to try and don’t get me started on the non-loaf recipes in the books.


I’m going to give two recipes, firstly, Yoke’s complete recipe as she is the master and then my butchered, quick, version.

Ingredients: (1065 g makes two free form loaves or one small sandwich loaf, I put mine into a 30 cm loaf tin and have a shallower large loaf)

  • 300 g of rye starter culture (with a 1:1.5 flour to water ratio)
  • 500 g of organic unbleached white spelt flour (I buy mine online, 5 kg at a time)
  • 250 g of fitered water, room temperature
  • 3 tsp (15 g ) of fine sea salt

Yoke’s recipe

  1. Weigh the ingredients into a large mixing bowl in the order water, starter, flour and finally salt.
  2. Stir the ingredients for a couple of minutes with a spatula or wooden spoon until you have a cohesive mass.
  3. Cover the bowl and let the ingredients rest for 15-20 minutes, this allows the ingredients to absorb the water.
  4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Yoke suggests oiling the work surface and then tossing the dough in the air and slapping it onto the work surface. I prefer to keep the dough in my hands for the whole 5 minutes and knead it that way (a great arm work out too, which is a bonus).
  5. Allow the dough to rest for 20-30 minutes. The stickier it is the more towards the 30 minutes it should be.
  6. Let the dough rise until almost doubled, 4-6 hours (or in the fridge overnight).
  7. If making free form loaves, divide the dough into two and shape each dough portion into a ball. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Then place on making paper, onto a baking tray.
  8. If making a sandwich loaf, stretch the dough into a rectangle approximately 20 x 25 cm. Roll it tightly, like you’d roll a Swiss roll and press the edges together to close the seam.
  9. Lift the roll into a loaf tin and roll it to fit the bottom of the tin.
  10. Mist the surface of the dough with water and sprinkle with any grains or seeds, optional.
  11. Preheat the oven to 235°C.
  12. Bake the loaves for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 210°C for a further 20-25 minutes. Knock the bottom of the tin (with oven gloves on), it is sounds hollow, it is cooked, if not cook for a further 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from the tin immediately and leave to cool on a cooling rack. Once cool, slice and enjoy.

My quick method:

  1. Steps 1 – 4 as above.
  2. Lightly grease the loaf tin(s), two standard or one 30 cm tin.
  3. Place the dough in the tin(s) and cover with oiled clingfilm.
  4. Allow the dough to almost double in size, 4-6 hours or place in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to as high as it will go.
  6. Reduce the heat to 220°C and then bake the loaf/loaves for 30 mins.
  7. Remove from the tin immediately and leave to cool on a cooling rack. Once cool, slice and enjoy.

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