Golden Flax and Spelt

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Artisan Sourdough Made Simple: A Beginner's Guide to Delicious Handcrafted Bread with Minimal KneadingFor this loaf, spelt joins forces with golden flax seeds to create the ultimate superfood sourdough. Spelt, an ancient grain related to wheat, has become increasingly popular in baking. Its mild, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor lends itself well to a variety of applications. It’s also not as bitter as some whole-grain flours. Flax seeds, high in omega-3 fatty acids, add a playful, springy texture to the dough. Once the bread is baked, its aroma will tantalize your senses with its deep earthy notes.

About the Dough: Because spelt flour is low in gluten, bread flour and all-purpose are added to create volume and support. Also worth noting: Flax seeds must be soaked prior to using. Otherwise, they will drink up all the water in your dough.

  • Yield: 1 Loaf


  • 50 g (¼ cup) bubbly, active starter
  • 365 g (1½ cups plus 1 tsp) warm water
  • 180 g (about 1¾ cups) whole spelt flour
  • 150 g (1¼ cups) bread flour
  • 150 g (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 9 g (1½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 60 g (about ⅓ cup) golden flax seeds
  • Oil, for coating
How to Make It
  1. A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
  2. Make the dough
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the starter and water together with a fork. Add the flours and salt. Mix to combine, and then finish by hand until a rough dough forms. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, and store according to preference.
  4. Meanwhile, soak the flax seeds in just enough warm water to cover while the dough is resting. Rinse and drain well before using. They will feel very sticky and gelatinous.
  5. Add the flax seeds
  6. Add the flax seeds to the bowl. Knead them into the dough, using both hands if necessary to incorporate. The dough will feel very slippery, but after about 1 minute or so, it will  feel less sticky to the touch.
  7. Bulk rise
  8. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise at room temperature until double in size. This will take about 6 to 8 hours at 70°F (21°C). Optional Step: About 30 minutes into the bulk rise, stretch and fold the dough for added structure and height. Repeat this technique, about 2 to 3 sets, spaced 45 minutes apart.
  9. Shape
  10. Remove the dough onto a lightly oiled surface. The oil helps to combat any residual stickiness from the flax seeds. Shape the dough into a round and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Line an 8-inch (20-cm) bowl or proofing basket with a towel and sprinkle with flour. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape. Place the dough into your bowl, seam side up.
  11. Second rise
  12. Cover the dough and let rest until puffy but not fully risen, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pot.
  13. Score
  14. Place the parchment over the dough and invert the bowl to release. Dust the dough with flour and rub the surface gently to coat. Poke your finger into the center of the dough, going about three-quarters of the way down. Then, make eight 3-inch (8-cm) cuts around the dough using the tip of a razor blade or knife. Use the parchment to transfer the dough into the baking pot.
  15. Bake
  16. Bake the dough on the center rack for 20 minutes, covered. Remove the lid, and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Lift the bread out of the pot, and finish baking directly on the rack for the last 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 1 hour before slicing.
  17. This loaf is best enjoyed on the same day it’s baked. Store at room temperature for 1 to 2 days in a plastic bag.

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