I love corn and I love spelt and thanks to my wonderful island neighbor, Kristi (who schlepped bagfuls of grains up to the little house on the big river where we have been spending the summer for the last 25 years), I have spelt galore to mill. So when I read Dan Lepard’s original recipe in the Guardian, I knew these rolls would appear on our table.
They offered the added benefit of baking rather quickly which is an important consideration when the temperature is hovering around 90° F/32° C. But given the surplus of levain (both firm and liquid) which I need to deal with everyday, I decided not to use yeast as he does and to go for liquid levain instead.
Also Lepard calls for strong flour which designates high-protein flour in the UK. I didn’t have any on hand as I always use all-purpose. Since corn has no gluten and spelt much less than wheat, I decided to add a little bit of gluten flour.
Finally I used maple syrup instead of honey because the honey we have here has spent winter on the island and is still a bit crystallized, so it would have been harder to mix in).
The rolls came out a little moist (even though their internal temperature was 210° F/99° C, so they were fully cooked) and wonderfully flavorful. They were a snap to make with nothing else than a bowl and my bare hands and I will definitely make them again. The kids loved them!
75 g cornmeal or polenta
200 g boiling water
225 g cold water (I adjusted the original water amount to make up for the water in the levain)
20 g maple syrup
150 g levain (liquid starter at 100% hydration rate)
300 g whole spelt flour (I milled the grains right before starting on the dough)
125 g all-purpose flour
20 g gluten flour
11 g salt
Oil and flour, as needed
Please refer to the original recipe.