Rustic loaf with spelt and rye

To be honest, this probably doesn’t qualify as a pure sourdough bread. There’s the tiniest bit of yeast in there, but taste-wise it’s just about perfect for me. This recipe is a keeper.

My starter had passed its prime, and rather than risk nothing happening – or at best happening slowly – I decided to add 3 grams of fresh yeast to the mix. This turned out to be an excellent idea. Fermentation and proofing times were more or less identical to breads based purely on an active sourdough starter. And guess what? It tastes as good as the best sourdough breads I’ve ever made. The recipe is quite close to this one, which is based on whole grain wheat and rye, but tastier and with far better crumb structure. This might be due to a better and more active starter.


The crust is dark, but still glass-like and has the tiniest hint of sour that goes really well with the earthy crumb. As you can see on the shot below, they split a little on the bottom. My mistake, as I should have scored a little deeper, or waited about 20 minutes longer before baking. Makes for excellent toast after three days – I’m munching while writing this.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
Patience, young jedi, or your bread will split.


650 g water at tap temp
200 g starter
3 g fresh yeast
150 g wholegrain spelt
50 g rye
800 g flour

20 g salt mixed with 50 g water

Then do this…

  1. Mix water yeast, starter and all the flour and leave to autolyse for half an hour
  2. Add the salt/water mixture and knead it all well together
  3. Stretch and fold at 30 minute intervals for 3 1/2 hours
  4. Divide and let the dough rest on the table for 15 minutes (bench rest)
  5. Shape loosely and rest for 5 minutes
  6. Shape one more time, making sure the dough is nice and tight
  7. Proof for about 2 hours or until almost doubled in size
  8. Score and bake for 35-40 minutes at 230°C using your preferred method. Pour some boiling water into a pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam (remove the pan after about 15 minutes). You can also use a cast iron pot and bake with the lid on for 25 minutes and off for about 15-20.
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