Loaf 19

Spelt and white sourdough (*****)

Now I have what is looking like a reliable baseline recipe and a workflow that suits me (starter straight from the fridge and overnight bake on timer), perhaps it’s safe to experiment. Not so much with the timings and method, but a little on the ingredients. Cut back a little on the salt. Fine with the EVOO; I think it’s a healthy addition, although I’m not sure what difference it makes to texture or ‘shelf life’. Since a lot of what drives this is health and a desire to minimise UPF, I’m going to tweak in favour of the wholegrain, a bit less salt, a bit less white.

This was last night’s loaf. The timings are getting a bit easier now. Fitting in quite nicely with other commitments, like having a cup of tea, watching Gardeners’ World and going to bed. Ok, GW finished last week, but the fundamental timings are sound. They work well for me.


At some time during the evening, timing not crucial, get the starter out the fridge, at around, say …


  • 80g strong white flour (going with 80g instead of 75g because I like round numbers)
  • 80g water (warmish from tap)
  • 88g starter (straight from the fridge)

Note for next time: Now that I’m keeping and using starter straight from fridge, it’s nice and thick and easier to spoon straight into the pan (as outlined in Elly’s YouTube video), it’s also trickier to get precise amounts and weights, especially if you’re as sloppy as I am. And as I like a bit of symmetry in this bit, next time I’m going to put the starter in first, then however much slops in, I’ll match that with water and flour. Might even try wholegrain next time too.

Set it off on menu 29. It’s a 2½ hour program but has a pause after an hour. Which seems about fine. Might try Pizza dough menu next time (let it run its 45 minutes) and see how that works out.

While that’s twirling away refresh starter. What I’m trying here is refreshing the starter with however amounts seem about right, then leaving it on worktop at room temperature while machine is working.


The slightly anti-climactic bit where menu 29 has a siesta. Give the starter a sniff and stir, then put back in fridge. Cancel Menu 29 and reset it to Menu 30. Pretty much, nothing happening followed by nothing else happening. Menu 30, left to its own devices, is a 24 hour 30℃ snooze, but I give it a 2 hour nap.


Cancel menu 30.

Now some tweaks to the baseline recipe. To the mix, add …

  • 200g wholemeal spelt (Gilchesters organic) (increased)
  • 230g strong white flour (M&S Organic) (decreased)
  • 250g water (decreased)
  • 3g salt (decreased)
  • 20g EVOO (increased)

Nothing particularly scientific going on here. A preference for simple rounder numbers and a tweak in favour of wholegrain and downvoting the salt. EVOO is, in general I think, a good thing, and worth having in there.

On to menu 32 for a bit. Menu 32 is the pizza dough menu and lasts 45 minutes, with a pause in the middle. I must pay more attention to the display in future, because I’m pretty sure it does switch from knead to rise somewhere on the journey.

Another tip I’ve picked up from Elly’s YouTube video is to be unafraid of looking in (although it always feels a bit voyeuristic) on the dough and nudging bits back into the mix if they’re looking a bit left out.

It’s a bit irrational but I don’t like cancelling the menu in mid twirl, and it always seems more, ‘appropriate’, to wait for a dignified break in the performance. Which seemed to be about 20 minutes in.

20 minutes later …

Time for bed. On to menu 10 on the timer overnight.

The next morning …

Pretty pleased with this. Often a bit of experimentation goes wrong. I like the thick tasty crust but curious if its possible to make it softer/thinner. But all good.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits