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Saturday, May 14, 2011

A 50:50 Triticale and Spelt loaf

Triticale and Spelt Together in One Bread

The other day I had some sourdough from the triticale and spelt bake-off left over, so I decided to bake a loaf that used both Spelt and Triticale.  My limiting factor, it turned out, was not the sourdough but the triticale flour.  I only had 579g of it left.

I combined that with 579g of spelt flour to make a 50:50 mix, and likewise used half and half of the 2 sourdoughs.


  • 50% Triticale flour 579g
  • 50% Spelt flour 579g
  • 100% Flour total 1158g
  • 68% water 788g
  • 1.58% salt 12g
  • 20% starter 232g

Spelt kernels

Triticale kernels

I also cracked some spelt and triticale seeds to put on the top of my loaf.  I used 3 T of spelt, which turned out to be 45g; the same volume of triticale was only 38g, so I bumped that up a bit to the same weight of 45g.  I tried to crack it in my blender, but that doesn't work, so I ran it through my hand-mill on a loose setting.


Same as before.  I put sourdough in water then water in the mixed flours.  A 30 minute rest then mix in the salt.  A 2 hour bulk fermentation in a warm place. 

At this point I did a few stretch and folds in the bowl, sprinkling the cracked seeds on top before beginning.

I intended on making one single large boule, but I found this dough really difficult to work with, retaining all the gooeyness of yesterdays's spelt loaf without any of the nice structure of the triticale loaf.
It was as if the two flours had brought out the worst in each other, in terms of workability.

So I ended up dividing the dough just to make it somewhat manageable.  The boule was not well shaped, and I had my doubts whether it would hold its shape on the hot stone: I was afraid that it would flatten out like yesterday's spelt loaf did.  I had liberally coated the cloth with flour this time, but still, I had no confidence in the dough to firm up.

So the second half of the dough I did a few more stretch and folds on the counter and then flopped it into a buttered tin.  These were given another 2 hours to rise back up, and then were baked as before, at 460 degrees for 45 minutes, the first 30 of which was under a roasting pan.


As suspected, the free-form loaf spread out too much once it left the confines of the basket.  It turned into a giant, thin pancake.

The loaf in the tin, on the other hand, stayed erect, and both loaves turned this rich brown colour when taken from the oven.  The scent of the freshly baked loaves was interesting -- quite different from either of the loaves yesterday.  I thought of freshly sawn wood, the same scent I knew as a child while standing in my grandfather's saw mill, watching him cut logs.

The next day I sliced into the best of the two loaves, and found a nice interesting crumb, a nice moist bread.  I popped some in my mouth, expecting the wonderful nuttiness of the triticale to lend a special note to the unique spelt taste.  And…


How can two flours that produce wonderful bread on their own combine and cancel out each other's tastes? 

I don't get it.  I am chewing the 50:50 triticale and spelt loaf and it is like I am eating something tasteless, something mealy.  What is up with that?

I'll eat it, with gratitude for the sustenance.  But I'll never make this particular combination again.

I might just as well be eating the sawdust from my grandfather's mill.

Inside the house, the colour of the loaf is suggestive of rich chocolate.  Outside in the light of day, even the dull light after a rain, the loaf merely looks washed out.

Notes to Myself
  • While it looks good, this is a tasteless bread.  Don't combine spelt and triticale together, at least not in a 50:50 ratio.  Blah.
  • Seeds really ought to be soaked well, or boiled before being added to dough.  Added 'raw' like this, they don't add anything of interest.  More Blah.
  • Hey, why don't you try to grow some triticale in your garden to see how it fares?  I understand that chickens will eat it (unlike rye, which apparently chickens are not partial to), so even if you don't end up harvesting it yourself, it certainly won't go to waste.

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