Homemade rustic sourdough bread
Why You Should Use More Than One Kind Of Flour To Bake Sourdough Bread
Though white bread flour is the traditional go-to for making sourdough bread, mixing it with another flour like rye or spelt can improve the bread’s taste and texture.
Using a ratio of 20% rye flour to 18% white flour can create a deep, earthy taste with a hint of malt, whereas spelt flour can introduce a nutty undertone with a subtle sweetness.
Sourdough can also benefit from hard winter wheat. It’s robust, slightly bitter, and can make the crumb chewier and more substantial due to its higher protein content.
Kelson Herman, a sourdough aficionado behind the Instagram account @starteright, tells Tasting Table that alternative grains need some special prep in order to make good sourdough.
Herman emphasizes the hydration needs of certain grains. When using whole grains, soaking them helps to soften and break down their tougher starches, making them easier to digest.
He adds, "I like to use rye sometimes, but usually don't exceed 20% since it has a lower gluten content." An unbalanced gluten content can inhibit the bread's rise and elasticity.
A good rule of thumb, says Herman, is to begin with no more than 20% of an alternative flour as part of your sourdough mix, then experiment with the amount as you bake more loaves.