An Evening with Bread

Our first PJ taste cookery demonstration and meal took place on Friday evening.  Great fun and our guests took home their own embryonic spelt sourdough starter.  In a few days  we hope that using our simplified recipe they will bake their first spelt sourdough loaf – we look forward to hearing about their experience.

Kneading the dough

In the meantime here’s the recipe that we have developed to fit in with a busy work schedule which produces a very acceptable loaf.  It does away with a few steps which may improve the end result but as a trade-off against demands on time is certainly worth a try.  As always given this is not an exact science some experimentation in your own environment will help fine tune.

PJ taste Spelt Sour Dough – designed for easy preparation stages.

Stage 1 – making a sour dough starter.

a)       On day one mix 25g of organic spelt flour with 50g of warm water (30 degrees C) in a plastic pot, covering with its lid and leaving it out in the kitchen.
b)       Every day for 5 days thereafter add a further 25ml of warm water and 25g of flour.  Over this week it should start to bubble and produce a pleasant beery, fruity and gassy smell.  It is getting ready for us to use it for the first bake.
c)       If baking daily the starter can be left at a cool kitchen temperature and “feed” daily with 25ml of warm water and 25g of flour.  The starter can be made dormant and a little less demanding by storing in the fridge, in which case it requires only a weekly clean.  In extreme cases a freezer can be employed when your starter is not going to be required in the short term.  Obviously waking it up is best done gently over a few days with appropriate feeding until it is bubbly and active again

Stage 2 – Making your Spelt Bread – broken down into easy stages to fit around a working day.

a)  Before going to bed make a sponge starter by mixing the ingredients below and leave overnight at room temperature, covered in a plastic bag.  The timings here are based on winter temperatures where the kitchen temperatures are low (approx 10-15 degrees C).  In the warmer months the fermentation times will vary and it may be necessary to use a larder or cooler place to maintain the same speed of processes.

200g Organic Spelt Flour
80g sour dough starter – ensure you stir thoroughly before using
240ml warm water (35 degrees C)

If you have a food mixer with dough hook you could mix this in the mixers bowl, so that the next stage can be completed with the minimum of fuss (and washing up) in the morning.

b)  In the morning before leaving the house:

Add 240g white bread flour
Plus 5g sea salt

Knead for 5 minutes on either with your food mixer or by hand.
Shape by hand and place into a greased 2lb loaf tin leaving in a plastic bag at room temperature.  Leave the house.

c)  On arriving home – say 8-10 hours later – and put oven onto its highest setting.  Your bread should have gradually risen and have doubled in size.  Once up to temperature bake in the oven at maximum heat for 7 minutes, then turn heat to 180 for 30 – 40 minutes before checking that it has a hollow sounding bottom and is hence done.

Turn out to cool and then enjoy.  It will have a great shelf life of 10 days to 2 weeks.

Ready to eat


Following the demonstration and opportunity for our guests to have a go themselves we enjoyed a meal incorporating some of the fresh-baked bread.

PJ taste Hot and Sour Soup with local Jews Ear fungus served with fresh baked breads.


Main Course
Local meat platters including PJ taste cured Bresola with Parmesan, Rocket and Olive Oil, Rivelin Valley Chicken Liver Pate, Rillettes from Local Pork, Marinated Mackerel Filets, Stilton and Leek Tart

Spelt sourdough, rye breads, focaccia.
Fennel and Beetroot Salad with a garlic Aioli
Red Cabbage, Apple, Carrot and Walnut Salad


Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding with PJ taste Marmalade served with a glass of PJ taste Mead