[From http://articles.urbanhomemaker.com/index.php?article=266 : “Sprouted grain is easier to digest and contains more nutrients than unsprouted grain. Some persons who are wheat sensitive or allergic to wheat can tolerate it in the sprouted form. This makes delicious French Bread. Spelt or Kamut may be substituted, increasing the amount of sprouted spelt flour in step #5 as needed.” Used with permission, “This recipe is copyrighted from Yeast Breads by Sue Gregg, author of Eating Better Cookbook Series.”]
This sprouted whole wheat loaf is fat free and naturally sweeter than any other whole wheat bread, though it contains only 1 tsp. of honey. That is partly because the grain sugar, maltodextrin, is awakened when the berries sprout. So is vitamin C.
Serve as you would a hearty bagel, with cheese or cream cheese. Try it plain (no butter) with apple butter or with an all-fruit spread. Topped with cream cheese and an all-fruit spread, it is practically dessert. Buttered or plain, it makes a great accompaniment for soup.
4 c. Wheat berries (and lots of well water)
1/4 c. lukewarm water
1 tsp. honey
1 T. active dry yeast
1 c. hot water
2 c. moist sprouted wheat berries (part of 4 c. berries, above)
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ascorbic acid powder or other dough conditioner
3+ c. sprouted whole wheat flour (part of 4 c. berries, above)
large mixing bowl for pre-soaking berries (3-4 quart)
large colander and bowl for sprouting berries (2 gallon size works well)
dehydating system–oven or dehydrator
2-3 cookies sheets for drying berries in an oven
loaf pan—either 1# or 2# size works (I use a 8 ½ “ X 4 ½ “ glass pan)
unbleached parchment paper
A. 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread::Preparing Sprout Flour
1. Sprouting, Day 1, early a.m. :: Soak 4 c. Wheat Berries at least 7 hours.
- Hard red spring or winter wheat berries work well. Remove any stones or weed seeds. Wheat sprouts like cool temperatures.
- Place 4 c. berries in large mixing bowl and cover with about 3 qts. water. Cover bowl and let soak 7-12 hours at room temperature.
- If water is alkaline, you may wish to add a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or ascorbic acid. I usually don’t.
2. Sprouting, Day 1, p.m. :: Sprout the soaked berries
- Pour berries and soaking water into a large colander–one that fits just right in a 2 gallon bowl works well. Discard soaking water. (It contains phytates from the hull.)
- Rinse berries once by filling bowl with clear water and dunking colander filled with berries into it. Discard the water.
- Set colander back into empty bowl to catch any excess water. Let damp berries sit like that for up to 24 hours, rinsing as above every 8-12 hours, until short sprouts show—1/16” sprouts, with no roots, is just right. (Once roots show, dried sprouts become harder to grind, and the flavor changes.)
3. Sprouting, Day 2, p.m. :: Reserve 1 pint moist sprouts and dehydrate the rest.
Sprouts should be thoroughly drained of excess water before continuing.
- Set aside and refrigerate 2 cups sprouts in a covered pint jar. This will be used later in your bread recipe. Wheat sprouts like cool temperatures and will continue to grow in your refrigerator, so do not delay too long before making bread.
- Spread rest of sprouted wheat berries in a thin layer on 2-3 cookie sheets. Stagger cookie sheets at different levels in oven, allowing for good air circulation. Set oven at “warm” and brace door slightly open. This lets dampness escape and facilitates air movement. Berries should be dry within 6-8 hours. It may help to stir them at least once half-way through the process. A note about dehydrating the sprouts: You will need to experiment and test your oven for this. The temperature at “warm” should be suitably low—around 110 degrees. Some ovens may take longer; some may be hotter. If drying with door closed and only the oven light on, it may take 24 hours, and you will have to stir them periodically. A food dehydrator may also be used.
- Store cooled, dry sprouted wheat berries in a cool, dark place until ready to grind them. Refrigeration is best if you do not plan to bake right away.
4. Baking, on Day 3, (a.m.) :: Grind dried sprouts and bake bread
- When sprouts are thoroughly dry, grind in grain mill at finest setting. (If the sprouts are not quite dry enough, my grain mill refuses to grind them.)
- It is ok to wait a couple of days before grinding the sprouts for baking.
- Bake loaf according to recipe below. Extra flour may be stored in the refrigerator.
B. 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread :: Baking Instructions
For 1 Medium Loaf—8 ½ X 4 ½” pan, lined with unbleached parchment paper.
Oven: 325 degrees F, 60 minutes, glass pan. [May bake in 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Metal pans may take longer than glass pans.]
1. By now, you should have prepared 4 c. wheat berries per the sprouting directions above, reserving 2 c. moist sprouted wheat berries for use in this recipe, and drying and grinding the rest into flour, beginning at least two days in advance of baking day. (I start Thursday a.m. to bake Saturday a.m.)
2. Dissolve yeast with honey in warm water in a glass container; let stand 5-10 minutes until it bubbles.
- ¼ c. lukewarm water (100-115 degrees F , warm to wrist)
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 T. active dry yeast (powder)
3. Meanwhile, pulverize in blender or food processor:
- 1 c. hot water
- 2 c. moist sprouted wheat reserved from Day 2 of sprouting process. (may use berries that were only soaked 7-12 hours, rinsed and drained, though they have not sprouted yet)
4. Stir together in bread mixer bowl:
- Water and pulverized sprouts mixture
- Proofed yeast mixture
- 1 ½ c. ground sprouted whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. Ascorbic Acid powder or other dough conditioner(optional)
5. Add 1 ½-2c. of the remaining flour* and knead until dough in electric bread mixer clears sides of bowl and starts to look “satiny,” or as needed to prevent sticking while hand kneading 8-10 minutes.
6. Shape dough and place in loaf pan lined with parchment paper, let rise until doubled (usually 45 minutes, at most), and bake 60 minutes at 325 F. When loaf internal temperature is about 205 degrees F, it is done. (May bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes.)
7. Immediately remove bread from pan, peel off parchment paper, and thoroughly cool uncovered on a wire rack.
8. Slice only when completely cool. Bread will be very moist, and typically sticks to the knife a bit. It helps to use an electric knife and bread slicer frame. Sliced loaf keeps well in the freezer.
*Any extra flour may be stored in the freezer or refrigerator and used in pancakes, waffles or quick breads as you would any other whole wheat flour.