Sourdough Saturday – Caraway Spelt Bread

One advantage of this sourdough series (other than a fresh loaf of bread every week!) is that I get to experiment with flavors and flours I might otherwise miss. This week I combined caraway, most commonly found in German-based rye breads, with the ancient grain spelt. Spelt is considered an old wheat variation and as such is not gluten-free. It is however, a whole grain with a very different texture than our traditional wheat flour. Apparently in Europe spelt flour is used almost exclusively in sourdough breads. Are there any European readers out there who can confirm or deny this? We’d love to hear from you!

This particular recipe is adapted from World Sourdoughs From Antiquity by Ed Wood.

Start with two cups of our revived starter (see how to keep a sourdough starter bubbling here).

In a large bowl or the bowl to your stand mixer combine the ripe starter with 1/2 cup water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp molasses, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp caraway seeds. Stir to mix well.

Add 2 cups spelt flour and 1 cup rye flour.  Stir to combine.

Knead until fairly smooth and slightly tacky. I like the dough to be just dry enough to hold together. This is easier if you are using a stand mixer. If you are making this dough by hand you may have to add a little more flour in order to handle the dough.

Gather the dough and make it into a ball. Grease a large bowl with butter or oil, place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, and let ferment/rise in a warm (70-80 degrees) area for 2 hours.

Gently fold dough to deflate. (Never punch dough like we were taught to in the old days – it deflates the loaf too much.)

Place the dough in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 –  2 additional hours or place in the refrigerator overnight. Keeping the dough in the refrigerator gives you a more sour sourdough

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Before baking quickly slice the top of the loaf with a razor blade or very sharp knife. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 200 degrees.

Let the bread cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This bread is wonderful served warm with real butter (none of that chemical margarine stuff!). My husband ate it all week as sandwich bread. The caraway lends itself to ham and cheese or corned beef. I liked it with hummus, sliced pickles and lettuce.

Don’t forget to feed your starter and tuck it away for next Saturday’s sourdough recipe.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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