The Fresh Loaf

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Problems with bread using 100% sprouted flour

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milofarm's picture

Problems with bread using 100% sprouted flour

Hi. I have been sprouting and drying my own wheat and grinding it for flour to use in my bread. I have always used a whole wheat bread recipe and it has always worked for me.

However, I wanted to try to make the same bread but instead using sprouted flour. I first soak the grain for 8 - 12 hours. Then I drain it and let it sprout for 24 -36 hrs. Then I dehydrate it around 115F until it is as dry as unsprouted wheat. I then grind the grain.

So, when I substitute the whole wheat flour to sprouted flour without changing anything, it rises well as usual. <b>The problem is that when I take it out of the oven as usual, the bread sinks imediatly. When I open the bread it is pure dough on the inside even after baking. I even tried baking it longer until the crust was very dark and hard, but still the inside was dough.</b>

My question is, does sprouting the grain change the baking properties of it. And if so, what should I change for it to work? Or am I doing anything else wrong?

Thank You for the help,


Nickisafoodie's picture

Not sure that I can answer your question but my experience was similar ending up with a gooey middle.

I sprouted the wheat as you did for two days.  Instead or drying and then grinding into flour, I pureed the sprouts for several minutes in a food processor.  It looked like very stiff oatmeal. 

I did this thinking that is how the ancients would have done it as I was trying to make Ezekial and found recipes that I followed.  It rose less than expected but yet ok given it was 100% whole wheat.  After the bake it was dark and nice looking on the outside and smelled wonderful.  I baked the breat at the same temp and length I would for other rounds and used steam early on.  So it looked great when it came out.  But my result turned out just like yours - dough on the inside!  Very dissapointing as all looked great up until that point.

I said to myself next time I would add a cup of flour and water as needed to get a better feeling dough and knead longer - but have not yet tried.  Mine ended up in the garbage even though the crust tasted wonderful...  Like you I welcome the input of others...


Janetcook's picture

has a recipe that does what you are describing.  When I first began making it I got the same results you have but my kids LOVED it all gooey so it didn't end up in the trash...they ate every last bit of it.

PR recommends using a sourdough starter to slow down the enzyme activity due to the acidic nature of a sourdough.  I think buttermilk or yogurt can be used too.

Now that I have had success with it turning out 'right' (though my kids favor my old method...) I can make 2 suggestions.

1 -Use sourdough instead of commercial yeast

2- Knead it a lot longer.  I knead by machine and can get a pretty strong windowpane if I go long enough...just watch dough carefully so you don't over-knead.  It will fall apart on  you and turn into a gooey mess BEFORE baking!

Don't be afraid to add extra flour so the dough has body.  The soaked grains have a high moisture content.  

Good Luck and don't give up.  It is worth getting it right though my kids would disagree with me on that one....they still gobble up the loaves I make now...

nicodvb's picture

they take very high temperatures to denature. At 65°C both are near their top activity, with the consequence that starches ... turn to sugars and dextrins that dissolve in water and the dough liquifies instead of gellifying. Alpha amylase (the most dangerous for the dough) stops beyond 80°C (according to a source I'm reading just now it must get closer to 100°C!!).

There's a reason why malted flour is used in tiny percentages while prepairing breads.

milofarm's picture

So, does this mean that unless I dry the grain at 176 - 212F (80 - 100C) then I will have a grain that is mostly "sugars and dextrins?" I really didn't want to dry the grain that high because I read somewhere that heating the grain over 120F will kill the enzymes that are produced from sprouting.  ....but, maybe that doesn't matter since the bread is getting cooked at over 350F (176C). 

nicodvb's picture

the general reccomendation is to initiate baking the bread at a temperature as high as you can get. I read here in TFL that there's a bakery in Germany that begins at 350°C or somewhere near (in order to denature amylases), then goes down to 200-200°C. Well, you could let the oven reach the highest possible temperature, put the bread in the oven and keep at peak power  for 15 minutes with lot of steam, then lower to 200°C.


I guess it's a difficult game to play.

Yes, the starches in your bread should be converted in large part to sugars and dextrins. Do you feel it sweet and very aromatic, like malt?


milofarm's picture

Hey everybody. Thanks for all the good comments.

I will try the recommendations here.

Two more questions. Should I denature (at 662F (350C) the grain before grinding or when I bake the bread? 

And, will raising the temp destroy all the nutritional benefits from sprouting the wheat?




nicodvb's picture

it's easier (using the highest possible temperature). There's no reason not to keep your sprouted flour around for when you need it.

As for the nutritional value I don't know,  but I guess that just ordinary baking already destroys most of the nutrients.

CClaire's picture

Hey Javier,

I feel your pain as I too tried for years to sprout and mill my own sprouted flour. There is definitely some magic to it and the folks at Essential Eating have figured it out because I can use 100% of their sprouted flour in all of my baking and it turns our amazing.  Breads especially.  I buy it in 50# bags from Shiloh Farms.  In my opinion, it is the best flour made.  

Conventional baking wisdom says that only small percentages of malted or sprouted flour can be used in baking.  It's time to jump into the new mellinium and recognize that there is a new generation of sprouted flour available. 

Considering the variables of heat, light, soaking time, air and water temperature, rinsing time and amount, drying, grain content and then the milling - that's a lot of magic!  Read about the falling number test they use to determine the quality on their website.  Maybe you could to test for the falling number?

Janetcook's picture

When I read your procedure you are describing the process of malting grains which is how diastatic barley or wheat malt is made. (Process is discussed in Dan Lepard's book - The Handmade Loaf.)  Too much in a loaf will turn it into 'mush' as someone stated due to all the enzymes.  

The recommended amount for most recipes is 1 -2 tsp. per loaf...kinda like what will happen if you add too much vital wheat gluten to a get rubber!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Need to denature the flour to use in large quantities otherwise it is like using active diastatic malt.  

Dry at low temps only if you want to make diastatic malt.