There’s nothing better than a beautiful crusty loaf cooked in the casserole pot. For this bake I’ve used one of my favourite recipes, Transitional Rye Hearth Meteil, from Peter Reinhart’s book Whole Grain Breads, but this time I have substituted the rye flour for spelt. Spelt has a great flavour and is rich in many essential nutrients. The recipe uses a mixture of both white spelt and wholemeal spelt flours with a biga made from white wheat flour. As I always do with my favourite recipes, I have doubled the mixture to produce two loaves in the final bake. But I am doing something a little bit different, I am adding Diastatic Malt Flour to one of the loaves so that I can compare the rise and crumb between the two, as well as the flavour and aroma. Diastatic Malt Flour makes a great addition to loaves that use wholemeal flour as it will improve the rise and produce a more open crumb and you only need a tiny bit to make a difference.
Rye Hearth Meteil
I prepared the biga and the soaker the day before the final bake and left them in the fridge overnight, however, these can be left for up to three days. This process of allowing the biga to do an overnight proof improves the overall flavour of the final loaf as more flavour is obtained from the flour the longer it is left due to the chemical processes taking place inside the dough.
As per the recipe, the biga and soaker are taken out of the fridge and chopped into small pieces two hours before starting the final mix to allow them to come to room temperature. Because I am using Diastatic Malt in only one loaf I now need to make up two separate mixes, one with it and one without, and split the biga and starter in half.
After the doughs are thoroughly mixed I knead them for ten minutes each using a stretch and fold motion, then use a French kneading technique for a further ten minutes. I shape my two doughs into boules and let them rise in my proofing baskets. I like the rustic country look that the baskets offer to the final baked loaf.
After an hour long rise they are ready for the bbq. The casserole pot has been heated for half an hour at 500’F so it is scorching hot when the boule is placed inside. The loaves are baked at 450’F for 30 minutes with the lid on, then a further 10 minutes with the lid off, allowing the top of the loaf to colour. During this last 10 minutes I do a couple of temperature checks to ensure that my loaf comes out with an internal temperature of 200’F.
They have both risen beautifully, but the loaf with the Diastatic Malt definitely has more height to it and a more uniform circular shape.
The loaf without has expanded rather more outwards and less upwards. The aroma and flavour from both loaves are also different. The Diastatic Malt produces a fresh earthy quality that complements the natural flavour of the spelt nicely.
Article submitted by guest writer Emily Reaver.
Written by thebbqbaker.com