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Spelt Bread

Feed leaven around 3 pm in the winter, 5 pm in the summer.
2.5 cups water (about 560g)
2 tablespoons honey (40g)
1/4 cup active leaven (60g)
4-5 cups (freshly milled, but not warm) integral spelt flour (576g)
2 teaspoons salt (14g)

At 5 pm in winter, or 7-8 pm in summer:

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve honey in water. Add leaven, testing to be sure it floats before dissolving using a danish dough whisk. Add flour, beginning with 4 cups. Mix together to create a shaggy dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Add salt and fold several times to distribute. Stretch and fold dough (lift the outside edge by scooping under the dough with four fingers, gently grasping, pulling upward and folding to center of the bowl) one time each direction (E, N, W, S). You will do this 3 separate times, separated by about an hour if possible; it is not absolutely formulaic.  At final stretch and fold, flip dough over, lifting the center with two hands to smooth top.

Around 6 am or so, scrape dough out onto nonporous surface. Fold inward once from each of four sides; bench rest 10 minutes. Repeat, flip dough over and pull/drag against surface toward you, moving dough around on surface (using hand and bench scraper) to tighten dough surface. Prepare a proofing basket* with flour, tighten dough one last time and sprinkle lightly with flour before lifting (with bench scraper) and flipping into proofing basket. Allow to proof 15 minutes before preheating a Romertopf, dutch oven or combo cooker to 450℉ for 45 minutes. 

Place a sheet of parchment onto a thin cutting board, lay on top of the proofing basket. Flip dough and basket over, gently lift basket off of dough. Score, then transfer into hot baking vessel.

Bake 18 minutes at 450℉; 36 minutes at 425℉. Remove from baking vessel to wire rack to cool.

*You may also use a colander lined with a thick tea towel/birdseye weave cotton cloth diaper. Be sure to apply plenty of flour into the weave to prevent sticking.



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