Almond chia spelt express loaf

Almond chia spelt ‘express’ loaf

vegan, no added yeast or sugar*

We welcome chef & author Yoke Mardewi to Appetite by Kitchen Warehouse this month to share her knowledge on sourdough baking with new techniques and recipes like this moist & ‘light’ express loaf.

What could be better than the smell of freshly baked bread…well, frankly, freshly baked sourdough bread made by your very own hands! This recipe is based on one of the favourite sourdough breads in my third book, Wild Sourdough By Hand. I have used homemade almond milk to add softness to this already moist and ‘light’ loaf. I prefer to use Australian grown black chia seeds but white chia is fine too. The crumb has a deep caramel brown colour due to the use of wholemeal spelt flour, and is studded with tiny black specks of chia seeds. This loaf will rise faster than the basic loaf as it has double the amount of starter. Start the night before to soak the chia seeds and activate the starter culture. If you don’t already have a starter culture, you can make your own or purchase my 35+ year old starter culture from my website:

For those of you on a FODMAP or low GI diet this bread may be suitable for you, but consult your health practitioner for advice.

*Note: if you are using bought almond milk, make sure you use one that is as close to as just almond and water as possible, beware of the many added ingredients including gum and sugar.

Ingredients for 1 medium size tinned loaf or a freeform loaf

Activate Starter, 6-12 hours prior to making dough:

  • 50g sourdough starter
  • 120g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 180g filtered water

Whisk/Stir well and leave covered in the warmest spot in your house, but not in direct heat.
Use when bubbly (see photo)

Chia seed gel:

  • 20g chia seeds
  • 120g filtered water, at room temperature

In a clean jar with a lid, add the chia seeds and water, stir a few times to make sure the seeds are well distributed in the water. Soak for 6–12 hours.

Wet ingredients

  • 300g wholemeal spelt starter culture, active/bubbly (see above)
  • 250-275g almond milk, homemade preferably (you can use dairy milk, other nut milk, soy milk)
  • 140g chia seed gel (see above)

Dry ingredients

  • 300g wholemeal spelt flour (finely milled if possible)
  • 300g white spelt flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt, finely ground

optional toppings

  • chia, sesame or poppy seeds
  • Method

    1. Measure ingredients
      Beginning with the starter, weigh and place the wet ingredients into your bowl. Then weigh and add the dry ingredients, adding the salt last.
    2. Mix ingredients
      Mix with a strong spatula or a small scraper until well mixed. The mixture will look dry at the beginning but the final dough mixture will look slightly wet and homogeneous.
    3. mixed dough, before resting

    4. Rest
      Turn your bowl upside down and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
    5. Knead
      Put your dough back inside the bowl and knead your dough using the air kneading technique. The resulting dough may stick slightly to your fingers, but it should not be overly wet.
    6. Final dough, before first rise

    7. First rise
      Unload the dough into a container with a lid or inside a freezer bag to rise for 1-2 hours in a covered container at a comfortable room temperature, around 20–25°C (68–77°F).
    8. Stretch and fold
      Stretch and fold your dough two or three times (and no more than three times). Your dough will feel taut.
    9. stretching the dough folded dough, as part of stretching and folding the dough

    10. Rest
      Let the dough sit for 15–20 minutes to relax the gluten.
    11. Divide and shape
      Shape the dough into a ball and put it into your medium tin or floured banneton. If your tin is uncoated please brush tin with coconut oil and line with baking paper.
    12. shaped dough, seam up inside the banneton

      shaped dough, seam up inside the banneton

    13. Final rise/double the dough volume
      Rise the shaped dough at a comfortable room temperature, around 20–25°C (68–77°F), until almost doubled. This will take 3-5 hours or longer if your room temperature is colder. Mist dough with water using a water spritzer then cover with a sheet of freezer bag or put it in a covered container. Mist with water frequently to prevent drying. Sprinkle with chia, sesame or poppy seeds if desired.
    14. Preheat your oven to 235°C (455°F) when your dough is almost doubled.

      Insert Images:

      risen dough inside the banneton, and ready for baking.

      risen dough inside the banneton, and ready for baking.

      risen dough inside the banneton, and ready for baking.

    15. Bake
      Bake for 10–12 minutes at 235°C (455°F), then reduce the oven to 205°C (401°F) for a further 20-25 minutes. If you are unsure if the loaf has cooked through, turn the oven off, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Or insert a thermometer, the inner temperature of the dough should be 90°C or higher. Remove loaf from the oven, unload to a cooling rack taking care not to burn your fingers!
    16. Rest
      Let the bread cool before cutting.
    17. Suitable for freezing and will keep for a couple of months frozen.

      Final loaves. Can be produced in a tin or banneton

      Final loaves. Can be produced in a tin or banneton

    What Equipment you need:

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