The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wheat Berries in a soaker?

JOHN01473's picture

Wheat Berries in a soaker?

i am hoping for some guidance on using Wheat Berries in a soaker for a multi-grain loaf.


has anyone had experience of using Wheat Berries in such a way?


i wondered if they would have to be cooked rather than soaked?


are these the same items that people use to sprout and add to dough?


Warm Regards to all

John - The Baking Bear.

dabrownman's picture

with a soaker.  There are many ways to do it.  I boiled mun for 20 minutes and then let then sit on the counter for 6 hours before refrigerating  You can let them soak for 24 hours but they won't be as soft in my opinion.   Scalds and soakers are fabulous for any bread but whole grain ones and mulitgrain ones they shine and much more prevalent than sprouts which I too like very much. My friday bake is only 20% whole mulitgrain but I put them in because they are so fantastic.

Happy baking John

JOHN01473's picture

i knew you would have the right guidance as usual. i will bear in mind what you say. i always add soaker to my loaves these days - just gives it that extra dimension - i use cut grains or malted grains, look forward to use whole grains.

 i hope to get some "Organic Hard Red Wheat ~ Winter Wheat" 

i will let you know how i get on.

thanks again


dabrownman's picture

Monday - about 1 square foot' worth.  Also did some rye, spelt and Kamut.  Happy baking John

JOHN01473's picture

i think i saw a story somewhere about a grain, maybe Kamut, that was saved from extinction because it was being grown by a small group of farmers in America, do you know or anyone else know the story?

Kamut is available locally to me as well as Organic Wholegrain Spelt Flour, Wholegrain Buckwheat Flour and Gram Flour. the choices get better and better thanks to farmers at

they have a great range of Organic Flours.

Kind Regards.


cooltubnoac's picture

It might have been the Turkey Red.


dabrownman's picture

what Italians call Farro.  They are classified by how long the grain berries are. Short is einkorn,medium is emmer and long is spent  Kamut is longer than all of them and is a Durum variety of wheat.    It was saved from a batch of grain being grown in the middle east somewhere I think.  Will have to check again.

hanseata's picture

If you soak wheat berries (any of the wheat family) for 24 hours, and then do an overnight bulk ferment of the dough, the berries will be soft enough.

Rye is harder, I soak it first for 24 hours, and then cook it for 30 minutes.

For an example of soaked kamut berries (an ancient wheat) in bread, you might check out Aroma Bread.

Happy Baking,



Janetcook's picture

My objective is to soften the grains that I use and there are many ways to achieve that end as you have read above.

I soak overnight.   In the morning I boil the grains until soft which is usually about an hour on a gentle boil.  They then get refrigerated until used in a dough.  Once in a dough they get an overnight bulk ferment along with all the other ingredients.

Have fun finding out what works best in your kitchen :)

Take Care,


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi John.  I have used wheat berries in my soakers with great results.  I have to say that pre-boiling, then blotting dry prior to adding to a soaker has produced the best results for me.  See my past post:


Bake2Basics's picture

I have also used wheat berries in soakers. I boiled it for about 1 hour until about slightly hard but edible, then soaked in a room temperature liquid (milk/water/beer) for 12 hours and train well before use. This resulted in some of my favourite breads containing a wholegrain soaker.

Happy Baking,


JOHN01473's picture

Thank you all for your comments - on Thursday I visited Linda at Stanton Windmill and stocked up on flours and grains. She gave me some wheat berries to try for my soaker.


I have taken all your comments into consideration and I think I am going to go for a mid-ground method that combines boiling and soaking. 


I plan to boil for 20 - 30 minutes, and then let them cool in the boiling liquor on the counter top before refrigerating overnight.


This will give me a good starting point - I will let you know how I get on.


Thanks all

John the Baking Bear.