The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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ElPanadero's picture

Decided it was time for my first foray into the world of sprouting grains.  Rather than jump straight into a bake from PR's latest book I decided to conduct an experiment to firstly see if I could actually sprout some grains and secondly to bake some test loaves with different quantities of sprouted flour.  Here's how it went.

The Sprouting

Took a bunch of organic spelt grains, rinsed them thoroughly 2-3 times and then put them in a pot and covered with water.


They were left this way for about 5 hours after which time they were rinsed again and then spread out on my baguette trays thus:

I kept these in the oven (more for space than anything else) and with the oven light on to provide gentle ambient warmth.  Periodically I sprayed the grains with water to keep them from drying out.

There now followed a longer period than I was expecting.  There seemed little or no activity for 2 days.  The odd grain started to sprout but not much else.  I kept spraying and kept the grains gently warm and waited.  By day 3 things had improved greatly and by day 4 I was as far as I dare go since I didn't want to start malting the grains.   This is how the grains looked at this point:

This looked perfect.  Not fully sprouted but simply "chitted" as DA likes to say.

At this point I rinsed the grains once again and then spread them onto the special plastic sheets that came with my food dehydrator.  3 trays in all and there I dried them at 100 degrees F for a full 12 full hours.

When finished they were crispy dry, and I would guess they were probably drier than the normal organic grains that hadn't been sprouted.   Job done !

The Baking

For my experiment with this new sprouted flour I decided to make 3 separate mini-boules with slightly different quantities as follows:

Loaf A -   50g normal spelt, 50g white flour, 66g water, 2g salt, 1g fresh yeast

Loaf B -   50g sprouted spelt, 50g white flour, 66g water, 2g salt, 1g fresh yeast

Loaf C -   25g sprouted spelt, 25g normal spelt, 50g white flour, 66g water, 2g salt, 1g fresh yeast

Nothing special, just 3 simple loaves at 66% hydration, Loaf A being the "normal" benchmark.   I was put off doing a 100% sprouted flour loaf due to other people's reports of difficulties.  In the event, I honestly think I could have made one without any difficulty and I will try it soon.

The sprouted spelt berries went through the grain mill without incident, just like ordinary berries.   I mixed up the loaves and left them to proof and this is where notable differences began, as expected and as documented by others.   Loaf B, the one with the most sprouted flour, was clearly proofing ahead of the others and Loaf C was ahead of Loaf A.  I was pleased to see this, it meant my sprouted flour was good.   Here's a picture of the proofed boules where you can see the difference:

Thus I baked them separately in the order B, C then A as and when they were ready for baking.  They all rose in the oven just fine, no problems at any stage with dough structure.

The crumbs were all good and from the shot below you can see the slightly extra height of Loaf B, with the 50% sprouted flour in it.

The Tasting

My wife & I ate small samples of the 3 loaves in the order Loaf A, Loaf B, Loaf C.   All the loaves tasted just fine, however we both agreed that loaf B was the best tasting.  However, the taste surprised me.  I'm not sure what I was really expecting, perhaps too much from all the good things I have read.   Loaf B turned out to have the mildest taste of the 3 but at the same time it had it's own unique taste.  Regrettably I find myself hopelessly unable to put into any words what that taste was like.   I think I need to eat a lot more of it to frame a description.  Either way though, the 50% sprouted loaf was our preference.

Summing Up

Was it all worth it?   The jury is out here for me at the moment.  Yes the loaf tasted better with sprouted flour, but, it took some 4 days to soak, germinate and dry the grains and all that needed space in the kitchen that was frankly . . .inconvenient.   On pure taste alone, I would not make grain sprouting part of my weekly regimen, I would certainly do it occasionally but not religiously.  However . . .  if the additional health benefits and claims of sprouted grains are proven to be correct then I would certainly create my own sprouted flour for all my breads.  As mentioned in another recent thread though, I would not buy commercial sprouted flour because at this time it is so ridiculously expensive.  Therein lies a significant problem for the future of the "sprouting revolution".    Not everyone will have a grain mill or a food dehydrator at home to grind and thoroughly dry the grains.  It's a bit of a "faff" all round but if the nutrition and health benefits are there then it's worth it.

For those of you who have already sprouted your own grains, do you know how long the sprouted and dried grains can be stored for at room temp?  I understand than once milled it's best to store the flour in the freezer but I'd like to understand how long the sprouted/dried grains will last.  If I can make up a large batch and leave them in a sealed mason jar for weeks then I am much more likely to use sprouted grains.

isand66's picture

This is my third attempt of the Pain Au Levain formula from Peter Reinhart's new book "Bread Revolution".

The first 2 did not come out correctly.  I now suspect the main culprit was that I did not dry out the sprouted winter wheat berries enough and the flour was too moist.  This time I let it dry out using a fan for a day and half and the bread came out much better.


I used my AP starter and did not add any yeast.  I also let the bulk dough rise for a bit in my proofer set at 80 degrees before refrigerating.  The next day I let it sit out for an hour before shaping and proofing at 80 degrees for around 3 hours.


I did not achieve much oven spring but the crumb is nice and moist and not gummy like the last bake.

This tastes like nothing I have baked ever before.  The sprouted grains really do add such a unique flavor.  I can't wait to start experimenting with different sprouted grains when I return from my annual pilgrimage to North Carolina for Thanks Giving.

Happy Holidays to everyone.




Cari amici,

quest'anno nell'attesa di iniziare a produrre i regali e le dolcezze da donare, per le festività ormai prossime, mi sono regalata un nuovo Corso di Pasticceria che prevedeva alcuni prodotti tipicamente Natalizi qui in Italia.

Io ne sono rimasta entusiasta la cosa vi incuriosisce e può esservi di spunto per le vostre produzioni, date un'occhiata qui sotto e fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate:

Sarò lieta di aiutarvi anche con qualche nuova ricetta...pensateci.

Un affettuoso saluto a tutti voi, a presto.

Anna G.

Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

Thank you Hanseata for the croissant recipe & instructions - they turned out wonderfully even in Hawaii's 80 degree weather!

Julianna Hsueh's picture
Julianna Hsueh

Cranberry Muffin

It has the taste of cranberry, and it's soft and very delicious.


Unsalted Butter  90g

Castor Sugar  70g

Egg  1

Milk  80ml

Vanilla  a little 

Low Protein Flour  110g

Baking Powder  one tea spoon

Cranberry  some


1. First put the unsalted buttering the bowl and stir it, and put three spoons of castor sugar and a little vanilla.

2. And put the egg into the mixing bowl and mix it. 

3. Then sieve the low protein flour and baking powder. put some milk and low protein into the mixing bowl and mix it.

4. Finally put cranberry into the mixing and mix it, and then spoon the mixture in to muffin mold. Then put it in to the oven which is preheated to 180˙C, and bake for 30~35 minutes.

Grobread's picture

Hi! I just got a copy of "Tartine" (it might be a little outdated, but what the hell). Anyway, this is the first attempt at the basic country loaf recipe. I think the crimb should be more open, at least according to the pictures, but I still liked it very much.

What do you think is causing the crumb not to be as open as desired? Is it a problem of shaping or fermentation/proofing? I followed the instructions as closely as I could, but in the morning the levain was a little mre ripe than I expected, and I couldn't control the temperature very well, I used water at room temperature and put the dough in the oven with a pot of hot water during the bulk fermentation, by the time I shaped the loaf, my kitchen was at about 75°F so it wasn't really necessary. It proofed for about 3.5 hours; eventhough the book says to proof for 3-4, I think its possible that it was slightly over-proofed since as I said, I think the levain was a bit more active than desired. Also, I still have to practice the whole idea of being very gentle on the shaping and last turns to avoid degassing; I was doing it all wrong, thinking that the most important part of shaping was to get the gluten very tense before the final proof, but it was the other way around, am I right?

Anyway, I'm liking it very much, I think I can learn a lot from the whole method. I also got a copy of "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast", so I'll be experimenting with that soon too. I get the impression that the community around here actually prefers FWSY, right?

Cheers and happy baking!


PY's picture

Baked my seeded SD loaf again this weekend. Decreased hydration, still slow activity during bulk fermentation. But got a bit more oven spring than last week.

taste is fantastic as previously using BF, WW heritage and rye. 3 seeds sesame, poppy n sunflower.

leslieruf's picture

After two years of trying (and failing) to make various sourdough starters I have finally succeeded!  I used Maggie Glezer's firm sourdough starter (from zolablue's post).  I started in September and it was a little slow, then a family member got very sick so I just put it in the refrigerator for probably 5 weeks before getting it going about 10 days ago.  I managed to get it to double, then treble in size in 24 hours but remained frustrated that I couldn't do it in 8 hours.  So even though my kitchen is reasonably warm, I set up a heating pad inside a large plastic container which maintained a steady 21 degrees Celcius and inside 2 days I had a lovely firm starter that quadrupled in 8-9 hours.  Today, a wet and windy day here, I finally made two 400 gram boules using Jeffrey Hamelman's pain au levain (Bread).  I am so happy and exited and when I finally cut it tonight the crumb is great!    Reading Zolablues posts have been a huge help.  

kacy's picture

Quite airy and evenly sized pockets dotted with added sunflwr sesame and walnuts..

kacy's picture

Where i live daily temps exceed 32 celsius. Working with dough is a challenge. I hv followed ur site for quite a while and felt its time to begin sharing...

Took mths and mths to figure out what goes on with flour yeast and water and their interaction with so many other variables. I now hv my fav method which seems to work quite often tho not always.

Today i share with you my kitchen offerings- a seeded  loaf made with one third rye, seeds and nuts and sourdough.

Hoping that others in the tropics may find this useful.


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