Rorie’s Spelt Flour is organic, non-GMO, US-grown, cold-milled and non-irradiated. Unlike most spelt flours, it can be used cup-for-cup in place of wheat flour in every recipe without compromising the outcome’s texture. Top choice for veteran and beginner spelt bakers!
Plus, while most of the spelt flour in the US is heat treated to kill the naturally occurring bacteria in the grain, Rorie’s Non-Irradiated Cold-Milled White Spelt Flour has not been exposed to heat or radiation and is therefore is the ideal flour for building and maintaining a spelt sourdough starter, which depends on bacteria to thrive. Pair this flour with Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix for a perfect spelt sourdough every time! Below you will find Step-by-Step written instructions, a full series of FREE spelt sourdough tutorials and 40 FAQ videos to guide you along your spelt sourdough journey in a perfectly doable way.Birchas Hamotzi. Sweet baked goods made with this flour are Birchas Mizonos.
All you need to start your spelt sourdough journey:
- INTRO TO SPELT SOURDOUGH
- GET READY, GET SET
- STARTER FROM SCRATCH: BIRTH TO BUBBLE
- REFRESHING SPELT STARTER FOR BAKING
- MAKING RORIE’S MULTIPURPOSE DOUGH
- MAKING HINDA’S ARTISAN SPELT LOAF
- DISCARD RECIPES
Meet spelt. Think of spelt as your gentle grain. It’s easier to digest than wheat because there is less gluten in spelt and the gluten in spelt is water soluble: Read limits, or for some eliminates, the bloat and sluggishness often associated with wheat! Want the optimal value of spelt flour? Ferment it! Fermenting spelt flour gives you a fantastic, delicious, health-promoting product called sourdough. Spelt sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than most other bread, and it’s practically gluten free: the fermenting process activates dormant bacteria in the grain, which then break down the lectins, phytates and gluten in the flour so that your body doesn’t have to. It is an ideal choice for those with wheat, egg or yeast intolerance, those with insulin resistance and irregular blood sugar and even for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disease. Because it’s so energizing, it is a really healthy food for people without sensitivities, too. For me, spelt sourdough was the breakthrough I always dreamed of. It took 1 loaf of spelt sourdough, tasted in Jerusalem, to convince me that this bread was one I could enjoy every day and feel even better than I do eating any gluten free bread I ever tried. After 2 days in Jerusalem with Esther Black (@EstherBlack.health), then 27 failed batches of sourdough and countless hours on the phone with Esther over the following months, the world of spelt sourdough was finally and permanently unlocked for me. With the help of Esther’s endless knowledge and advice, I am thrilled to be able to welcome you inside. For my full sourdough story, click here. The key to successful spelt sourdough baking is in the starter. Starter is the fermented dough that becomes your natural yeast substitute. It’s the essence of sourdough baking. And the key to a starter that will get and stay strong for years of faithful baking is choosing the right spelt flour for the job. In contrast to most spelt flour sold in the US, Rorie’s Organic Non-Irradiated Cold-Milled Spelt Flour is not heat treated, and because it is US-grown, it does not undergo the irradiation that imported flours do. These practices ensure that the naturally occurring bacteria in the flour remain intact. Those bacteria are critical to long-term starter success. Unlike wheat starter, which can flourish even without a full load of natural bacteria, spelt relies on all that bacteria to grow and stay strong. While it might seem to flourish initially, using a heat-treated or irradiated spelt flour to maintain sourdough starter means that your spelt starter will begin to die after 6-8 months, as it is continuously diluted with more low-bacteria flour each time you refresh it for baking. A spelt starter that is built and maintained with Rorie’s Organic Non-Irradiated Cold-Milled Spelt Flour is naturally fortified to last for years. It is the ideal flour for building and maintaining a spelt sourdough starter. Pair it with Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix* and my free treasure trove of online tutorials, and you’ve got the most foolproof way to work with spelt sourdough. * Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix cannot be used to feed starter because it contains ingredients other than pure spelt. LET’S GET STARTED! But first, a major disclaimer. Sourdough starter is ALIVE! Working with starter is a science with a specific method, but each starter is influenced by factors like the temperature in your home, the humidity of the environment, the unique nutrient content of the batch of flour you use (can you tell I work in the flour industry?!), and even the time of year. Like all living things, each starter is unique. Just like different children in the same family have different needs, milestones (my daughter’s first word was “bear,” not “Mama!” Go figure!) and hunger levels, each and every starter will assume its own unique pace and rhythm. The recipes and methods you will learn here are as simplified and clear-cut as they can possibly be. If you follow the instructions right, chances are that your results will be great. But if you follow the instructions and don’t get great results, don’t panic. The first few times will be sloppier, and they might even – gasp – flop. Getting to know your starter is part of the sourdough adventure. Hang in and be patient with your starter, your dough and yourself. You will learn as you go. You will follow the path I’ve set out and get into your own signature rhythm of sourdough baking. My FREE video tutorial series and written instructions will cover everything you need to know to: (1) Build and maintain a spelt sourdough starter with Rorie’s Spelt Flour, how to refresh your starter for baking, and what to do with discard. (2) Create mouthwatering sourdough baked goods with Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix. Take it with a grain of salt! It’s an adventure. Time to dive in and get your hands wet!
- Starter! A strong starter is the key to excellent sourdough bread. Learn how to make your own starter in the next tab, or find a sourdough baker who can share.
- If you are using a spelt starter, simply add 80 grams water and 100 grams flour, and let it sit at room temperature until it gets bubbly, about 10-12 hours. This active starter can be left in your fridge and will become your new starter source for all your sourdough baking. Feel free to refresh it as many times as you need to build it up to as large as you’d like.
- If it is a wheat starter, you can convert it to spelt by following these instructions by Esther Black, CHC: Measure 20 grams of wheat starter into a clean mason jar. Add 80 grams water and 80 grams spelt flour, then leave on the counter for 10-12 hours, until it gets bubbly. Then measure 20 grams from that mixture into another clean jar and feed it the same ratio again; discard the leftovers and wait 10-12 hours until the new mixture is bubbly. Repeat the process once more. Bubbly mixture #3 is your new wheat-free spelt starter, and you can refrigerate it until you are ready to refresh it for baking. Email Esther at firstname.lastname@example.org with any wheat-to-spelt starter conversion questions.
- Unchlorinated Water Chlorine can make it difficult for the good bacteria to grow and flourish, so this one’s important.
- Rorie’s Spelt Flour , for building and feeding your starter
- Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix , for foolproof spelt sourdough baking Never attempt to feed your starter Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix! Aside from spelt flour, Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix contains coconut flour and salt, which will thwart your starter’s growth. On the flip side, don’t use Rorie’s Spelt Flour in my spelt sourdough recipes – my recipes were developed specifically for the Spelt Dough Mix and will not work with pure spelt flour. (Yes, I’ve tried it!) The blend of spelt and coconut is what creates the ease of shaping and the texture that is so unique in the outcome of my spelt sourdough.
- Good-quality digital kitchen scale that measures in grams
- Mason jars These are a must! I suggest getting a few. You will need one for storing your starter once it’s established and at least one additional one for when you want to refresh starter to use for making a batch of dough. I suggest having a few extra and getting a 2-, 3- and 4-cup jar so that you can make bigger or smaller batches.
- Very clean wooden, metal or plastic spoon, or a Danish whisk (if you like it – it’s not necessary!)
- Large glass or plastic bowl, preferably with a lid I like this one for a single batch. In the larger size.
- Large plastic tablecloths or unscented garbage bags , to “tent” or cover shaped baked goods as they rise
- Razor blade or very sharp knife for scoring
- Parchment paper
- A banneton (a round proofing basket) or similar-size bowl, approximately 8-9 inches
- Dutch oven
- Rice flour, for dusting
- Disposable shower caps (optional) – perfect user-friendly tent for covering your artisan dough in the banneton while it rises!
- Raw honey
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- Baking sheets
- Oval metal challah pans or loaf pans for challah
Add 40 grams water and 50 grams Rorie’s Spelt Flour to the mixture. Mix to combine, cover loosely and leave in a warm place for another 24 hours.
Add 20 grams water and 25 grams Rorie’s Spelt Flour. Mix to combine, then cover loosely and leave in a warm place until the next feeding. Repeat this feeding every 12 hours until your starter is established, which means that it’s very foamy and frothy and grows to about double its size by 8-12 hours after a feeding. This can take anywhere from 5-14 days, but usually happens at around 8-10 days. This step is where consistency comes in. Choose a time of day that works for you, whether it’s 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, 9 am and 9 pm or anytime that works with your schedule, and stick to it. You’ll know you got to the finish line – or starter line! – when after a number of days your starter starts looking like a frothy cup of beer, like the way mine does on the video demo. Oh, and about that smell – see below!
Making it Work!If it seems like getting a starter off the ground is way too complicated, my sample timeline can help! Here’s how I fit starter-starting into my *ahem* somewhat busy schedule. (At one point, while trying out different brands of spelt flour, I had 7 starters going at once, all at different stages!) Personally, I like to take care of Step 1 at night. Then I feed it again the next two nights, and after that, I begin feeding it twice a day, at the same time AM and PM. Choose a time that you can consistently stick to. (Psst – if you miss a feeding, just feed at the next feeding time and continue as usual.) Sample Timeline Saturday 8 pm Place 40 grams water and 50 grams flour in the jar, mix and loosely cover Sunday 8 pm Feed mixture another 40 grams water and 50 grams flour, mix and loosely cover Monday 8 pm Feed mixture 40 grams water and 50 grams starter, mix and loosely cover Tuesday 8 am Feed mixture 20 grams water and 25 grams flour, mix and loosely cover Tuesday 8 pm Feed mixture 20 grams water and 25 grams flour, mix and loosely cover Wednesday 8 am Feed mixture 20 grams water and 25 grams flour, mix and loosely cover Wednesday 8 pm Feed mixture 20 grams water and 25 grams flour, mix and loosely cover … And so on! Keep at it until you hit that starter sweet spot: frothy, active and all geared up to make your dough rise. Check my starter video to make sure your starter is ready for baking. What about Shabbos? Starter is muktza - it cannot be touched, moved, or fed on Shabbos. You should start your starter as early in the week as possible so that it will be sturdy enough by the time Shabbos comes to withstand a skipped feeding. (My favorite time to start a starter is motzei Shabbos.) On Friday, do your regular morning feeding. Feed your starter again right before Shabbos, even if the full 12 hours have not yet passed. Skip the morning feeding on Shabbos. Follow up with another feeding right after havdalah on motzei Shabbos, then revert back to your regular feeding schedule on Sunday.
Bumps on the Road!Watery Starter If you feed your starter the regular 20 grams water/25 grams flour ratio and you see that it still seems more liquidy than usual, it means that your starter is still hungry. (The live bacteria give off a liquid called “hooch” when they need food.) Simply add an extra 5 grams of flour and mix again. You might need to add that extra 5 grams of flour for a few feedings before your starter regulates. If your starter just keeps looking liquidy, that’s your signal to start feeding it 30 grams flour every time! (Remember, each starter is different. Yours might just be a hungrier starter, always.) Why is My Starter Not Growing? Here are a few possible causes for a starter that stops growing:
- The water used was not unchlorinated, or the water filter was contaminated (i.e. hasn’t been changed in a while)
- Spoon or jar was not squeaky clean
- Environment is too cold
- Environment is too hot! Sometimes people put their starters near the oven or stove, where the temperature can be hot enough to slightly cook the outer parts of the jar.
- First, take a look at the recipe you want to make and identify the hands on vs. hands off times. Hands on times need to be scheduled for daytime when you will be around, while hands off times are usually best scheduled for overnight. Once you choose your recipe, you will decide if you’re making your dough in the morning or at night.
- Multipurpose dough needs minimal hands on time to make the dough, then at least 12 hours of hands off time while the dough ferments and rises. After that it’s hands on until the dough is ready to bake. I always put it up at night, so that I can sleep while it rests and then wake up for hands on time.
- Artisan dough needs hands on time right away for a good few hours, then a period of about 8 hours of hands off to rise, followed by another hour of hands on until you can refrigerate it for a nice long chunk of hands off time. I suggest you start it off mid-morning when you can be home and available to work with your dough for about 2 hours (actually, you're only working with it for 2 minutes, but there is time in between), then go on with your day for about 8 hours of hands off time, topped off by 1 hour of hands on time again toward evening. At this point, you can leave it overnight while you sleep during hands off time and be up early with your dough for the final hands on and baking steps.
- Once you decide when you're making your dough, you need to rewind and place your first refreshing session about 20-24 hours before that. If you’ll be starting your dough making at night, refresh your dough for the first time the night before, then again the morning before. If you’ll be starting your dough in the morning, refresh once the morning before, then again the night before. (Keep in mind that if need be, you can cut out the first refreshing feeding. A double feeding is optional but often produces a fluffier outcome.)
- Rorie’s Multi-Purpose Spelt Sourdough recipe requires one bag of Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix, water, honey and oil, plus 150 grams of active starter. To achieve about 180 grams of active starter (enough for making the recipe + replenishing your refrigerated jar), place 50 grams of starter in a clean 3-cup mason jar. Add 80 grams water and 100 grams flour. Mix with a clean spoon until a thick pasty dough forms. Lightly cover the jar and let it sit in a warm place for 7-12 hours until the mixture at least doubles in size and is covered with frothy bubbles.
- Hinda’s Artisan Spelt Sourdough Loaf recipe requires 500 grams of Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix, water, and 40 grams of active starter. To achieve enough starter for making the recipe and replenishing your refrigerated jar, place 25 grams of starter in a clean 2-cup mason jar. Add 40 grams water and 50 grams flour and mix with a clean spoon until a thick pasty dough forms. Lightly cover the jar and let it sit in a warm place for 7-12 hours until your mixture at least doubles in size and is covered with frothy bubbles.
Is It Supposed to Smell?Wheat starter and spelt starter have several differences: spelt is thinner, it usually does not have such big bubbles like wheat does, and… the smell is less pleasant! While wheat starter smells more like dough with a tinge of sour, spelt starter has a more sour smell that hits you strongest right when you open the jar. Don’t get scared off – it’s supposed to smell like that. Remember, wheat and spelt don’t look the same, react the same or smell the same.
Too Much Starter!You’ll always have some leftover starter. And after a while, you might find that dumping all that leftover starter back in your refrigerated jar has left you with way too much starter altogether! I love extra refrigerated starter because my family eats lots of sourdough pancakes and crackers. Those are the absolute best uses for extra starter! Just don’t attempt to use frothy or room-temperature starter in a discard recipe – only refrigerated starter will work! You can find some of my favorite discard recipes in the discard recipes tab. There are lots of discard recipes online that work just fine with spelt too, but no guarantees. If you don’t want your extra starter (and don’t have a friend who can use it), you can throw it away, which is why it’s called discard, after all.
What’s All That Liquid at the Top?!Once active starter is refrigerated and not fed, it will lose most of its bubbles, get thicker and in essence go into hibernation. Sourdough starter can hibernate in the fridge for years! The brown liquid that may form on the top of the starter is called “hooch.” It is a sign that the microbes in your starter are hungry and want to be fed. Hooch has a strong smell and sour taste that you don’t want to mix into your starter. When you’re ready to take some starter from your jar to activate for baking, simply pour off the hooch liquid first.
Old StarterIf your starter was sitting in the fridge unfed for a long time, it might smell extremely sour – or the bread you tried making with it might have come out extra sour. Either way, you’re wondering what you can do to freshen it up a bit. Esther Black’s tip worked for me: you can “clean” your starter by measuring 10 grams of it into a fresh mason jar and feeding it 100 grams water and 100 grams flour. Mix it together and leave it on the counter until it bubbles (about 10-12 hours). After it does, Esther says to just use that cleaner version as your new starter source. If you have any questions about cleaning your starter, please email email@example.com.
Rorie’s Multipurpose Spelt Sourdough(this recipe can be found on the spelt dough mix bag) Yields 3 medium challahs or about 20 rolls or pitas Note: I highly recommend working with a kitchen scale. Sourdough can be sensitive, so exact measurements are helpful, especially because grams are so tiny! You will need:
- 600 grams unchlorinated water (2⅔ cups)
- 100 grams raw honey (⅓ cup)
- 150 grams refreshed sourdough starter (spelt or wheat)
- 1 bag Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix
- 45 grams olive oil (¼ cup)
RollsLine 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape about 20 100-gram pieces of dough into balls using a “pinch and tuck” method (check my video demo for details). Place rolls on the baking sheet a few inches apart. Completely cover the baking sheet in a tented plastic bag. Keep rolls covered for 2 hours if not refrigerated, or 3 hours if the dough was not refrigerated, or until the rolls close to double in size. Preheat the oven to 425°F at least 30 minutes before baking. Dust and score each roll (check the video for instructions), then bake for 10-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
PitaFollow rolls directions until you get to preheating the oven. Then do this instead: preheat the oven to 500°F at least 30 minutes before baking. After the rolls have completed their rising time, gently roll out each one with a rolling pin to form a thick round pita. Bake immediately for 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Braided ChallahMeasure 3, 4 or 6 even-sized balls (depending on how many ropes you like to braid for your challah). Press each ball down gently, being careful not to rip the dough, until it resembles a flat, wide strip. Take one long side of the strip and fold it over, then repeat on the other side to create a rough cylinder. Roll out the cylinder until smooth, keeping the center fuller and the ends more narrow. Do not add any flour. If it feels slightly sticky, add just a bit of oil onto your hands and surface. Once all ropes are ready, quickly re-roll each one if they have shrunken, then pinch all together at the top and braid as usual. (A single recipe of dough should yield 3 medium challahs.) Place challahs in a metal oval pan and “tent” in a large plastic bag or clear plastic tablecloth. Let rise for 2-3 hours, until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 12 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. All baked goods can be wrapped and frozen once completely cool. Defrost uncovered at room temperature or in an oven set to below 350°F.
- 40 grams refreshed starter (see Refreshing Your Starter tab)
- 345 grams unchlorinated water
- 500 grams Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix
- Brown rice flour, for sprinkling
Spelt Sourdough CrackersYou will need:
- 1 cup unrefreshed spelt starter
- 1 cup Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix *
- 3 tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
Sourdough Pancakes/WafflesFor this recipe, you will need to use pure spelt flour, not Rorie’s Spelt Dough Mix; the salt will disturb the recipe. You will need:
- ½ cup unrefreshed starter
- 1 cup Rorie’s Organic Spelt Flour *
- 1 ½ Tbsp. raw honey, dissolved in ¼ cup hot water
- ¾ cup almond milk (or milk of choice, water can also be used)
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil