Flushed with my success with the Short and Tweet challenge 6 – Wholemeal bread, I was irresistibly drawn to the bread on the next page, a Spelt and Ale loaf.

The leading players

The combination of a traditional British  beverage (Porter) coupled with an ancient grain (Spelt) proved too much and I rashly blogged that I was going to launch into my own challenge with the baking of this loaf.

Everything appeared to be going to plan until the final prove. Dan had helpfully pointed out that it was important not to let the loaf over-proof due to the presence of malt, but did I listen? No Seree Bob! I left it for the usual 1/2 hour and on my return a rather nasty looking fissure had opened up in the side of the loaf.

Needless to say I ploughed on and following about a 10 minute extension to the recommended 40 -45 minute baking time I end up with this.

Rather rustic don't you think?

Not quite the beautifully formed loaf as pictured in the book (p33), but as they say the proof is in the eating.

Well I have had a first tasting and whilst the crust has a certain biscuity quality and is separating from the crumb (overcooked?) it is not dissimilar to wholemeal in its taste.

Not sure if that is what it should taste like but I am sure someone out there will put me straight.

Crumbs!

So what have I learnt? Not all loaves behave the same and keep a close eye on what’s going on. Now where did I put the Cheddar and Branston Pickle?

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