Dutch Oven Whole Spelt Coconut Kefir Sourdough Bread
OK, so I recently started making kefir from coconut milk. I also recently started cutting out all sugar, white flour, alcohol and gluten products to give my liver a break. So not having eaten any bread for almost 4 weeks, I heard that spelt flour has an ancient form of gluten that is not quite as powerful as the modern hybridized wheat varieties. So I thought I would give the spelt flour a shot with a loaf of bread.
But...I also have been trying to temporarily avoid yeast and yeast products. So my next thought was, since kefir has active cultures, why couldn’t I just use kefir to make bread? So I turned to Google and ”Voila!”, there were a handful of kefir bread recipes. There wasn’t so much to choose from at first glance for a “spelt coconut milk kefir bread” search. So, I read through several recipes and took what I learned and the result is the recipe below. I’ll include a quick recipe for the coconut milk kefir at the end as well.
On my first try the bread came out really delicious. There were a few ‘gotchas’ but I was able to remedy those successfully. So let’s get on with the recipe.
5 cups Whole Spelt flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1.5 tsp salt
2 Tbsp raw agave (the dark bottle at Trader Joe’s) *you could try 3 Tbsp molasses or 3 Tbsp sugar
1.5 cups coconut milk kefir (you could use regular store bought milk kefir)
0.5 cup water
- Mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients, then combine the two.
- Knead for about 5 minutes until well combined.
- Make sure that the dough is still moist on the outside, but not too sticky.
- Place dough in large bowl then cover with saran wrap for 12-24 hours (or until doubled in size).
- Once its doubled in size, scrape dough out with a dough scraper or spatula, onto a floured work surface.
- Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand, then pull all the edges and corners together and up; pinch them together until you have a nice seal. If the dough has risen properly, the edges will seal well together.
- Now the dough needs to proof for about 1.5 hours. How you want to proof the dough depends upon how you want your loaf to be shaped.
- Just pick a container that is the shape that you want your loaf to be.
- Line the container with parchment paper. Flour the parchment paper.
- Place the dough with your newly pinched seam facing up. This way, when you flip the dough into the dutch oven for baking, it will be right side up.
- For the last 30 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with your dutch oven inside so that it can preheat.
- After the dough is fully proofed for the 1.5 hours (be careful that the dough doesn’t proof for too long), you are ready to bake it.
- You’ll know if its done proofing if you make a dent in the dough with your finger and it doesn’t stretch back into place.
- Carefully flip the dough out of your proofing container and into the floured and preheated dutch oven.
- Place it in the oven for 35 minutes.
- After 35 minutes, take the bread out and use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the loaf. It should be between 195-200 degrees Farenheit. When it is, you’re done!
Some people like to bake the final 5-10 minutes with the lid off to get more browning on the loaf. But, since this is already a whole grain bread, its plenty brown for me, and we liked the crust just fine without taking the lid off.
As promised, here is the kefir recipe.
Coconut Milk Kefir
- 6 cups of coconut milk (unsweetened, the kind in the carton, not the can)
- 3-5 large kefir grains
- Add the coconut milk to a glass container with a lid. I use a large, mason-jar like glass container with a clasping lid and rubber gasket.
- Mix in the kefir grains and close the lid, but not airtight, to let gases escape.
- Put it in a warm, dark place and wait 12-24 hours.
- Pour it all through a strainer and remove the kefir grains. They should have multiplied.
- Now, shake the kefir a little bit and close the lid air tight and put it back in the wam, dark place to “ripen” for another twelve hours.
- When that’s done, you’re ready to drink it or use it to put in a kefir sourdough bread.
- Stick it in the fridge at this point and use it over the next 3 to 4 days.