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Sourdough honey spelt bread interior

Sourdough Honey Spelt Bread

This earthy and hearty artisan spelt bread may just be the best whole grain bread in the world!
Course Baking, Breakfast
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 day 45 minutes
Servings 10 people


  • 4 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. Spelt flour (or Sprouted Spelt flour) 696 grams or 24.65 oz
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp Bread flour 232 grams or 8.25 oz
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp sourdough starter (ripe) 148 grams or 5.25 oz
  • 3 cups plus 1 Tbsp Water (room temp) 668 grams or 23.85 oz
  • 2 tsp salt (preferably sea salt) 18 grams or 0.65 oz
  • 4 tsp Honey (or maple syrup for vegans) 37 grams or 1.35 oz


For the Sourdough Starter

  • Feed your sourdough starter about 8-10 hours before mixing your dough to ensure it's ripe and ready to use.

For the Dough

  • In a large bowl, mix the spelt flour, bread flour, and salt together.  Mix the water and honey in another bowl. 
  • Mix the water and honey mixture with the flours until it starts to combine.  Add the sourdough starter and continue to mix with your hand or a wooden spoon until it forms into a ball of dough.  It will be wet and sticky.
  • If you want to develop the gluten a little more, you can knead it by hand for about two more minutes, but it's not necessary.  
  • Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and add it to the bottom of the dough.    Give the dough a fold as shown in the photos.  
    Give two more folds 30 minutes apart for a total of three folds.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let it bulk ferment for about 8 hours.

Shaping the Dough

  • Scrape the dough from the bowl onto your counter and for two large loaves cut the dough in half.  Shape into rounds or loaf style. Since I had one 9 1/2 inch cast iron skillet and one small one, I cut the dough so that one piece was two thirds of the dough and the other was one third the size.  You can also shape into two equally-sized rounds and bake one loaf at a time.
  • Line two large salad bowls or bannetons (or bowls of that size) with linen couche or two clean linen or tea towels.  Sift lots of flour on the couche or towels to prevent the dough from sticking.  Place the shaped dough bottom-side-up and wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap to prevent air holes from getting in.  You can also use clean shower cap to cover the bowls. Buy shower caps to use only for bread so they are sanitary.
  • Let the dough ferment again for about 12 hours in your fridge. If your fridge is colder than 37-38 degrees Fahrenheit it will likely stall fermentation. If after 12 hours it still needs to proof more, finish proofing in a warm spot in your kitchen until it's almost double in size.

Baking the Spelt Sourdough

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a sheet pan, or oven-safe skillet on the bottom rack to allow it to heat up.
  • When you are ready to bake your bread, remove the plastic wrap from the dough.
    To prevent sticking, cut out a piece of parchment paper that is the size of the bottom of the round and stick it to the dough before inverting into the skillet.  Use a pizza peal or a cutting board to invert the dough.  Then slide the dough into the cast iron skillet from there.
  • If you only have one cast iron skillet that is 10 to 12 inches wide, then bake each dough separately.
  • If you wish to bake two rounds and you only have one cast iron skillet, then just bake one round at a time and keep one piece of dough covered in the fridge.
  • For a large round loaf, score the dough with one line down the middle and diagonal lines down the sides.  You can also score with a Plus sign too with small diagonal lines in between.
  • Place the loaves or the rounds in the middle rack of the oven.  Throw in one cup of ice onto the sheet pan or skillet on the bottom rack and close the oven door imediately to trap the steam. 
  • Bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until the top is a deep brown.  For the round, you can check for doneness by removing it from the pan and tapping the bottom.  If it sounds hollow, it's ready. 
  • Let cool for at least 30 minutes to one hour before cutting into the bread.  
  • You can cool the bread completely, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for future use.


This sourdough bread will stay fresh at room temperature for three days week.  Once you have cut into the bread, cover it with plastic wrap.
You can also cut in in half and freeze the extra bread until you are ready to enjoy.
Using a digital kitchen scale makes it really easy to measure your ingredients.