As much as I love making and eating light, open crumbed french breads I have always had a soft spot for a nice dense rye. There is something about holding a brick of pure whole grain goodness in your hands that is, in many ways, more satisfying than a delicately scored baguette. For one thing a baguette starts to stale in a matter of hours while vollkornbrot can stay good for weeks. Then there is the level of nourishment. There is really no comparison between the two. Vollkornbrot is packed with all sorts of nutritious grains and seeds while a baguette contains nothing but highly refined white flour. This week I decided to push vollkornbrot's nutrition and flavor even further by adding sprouted rye to the mix. The results were more than I could have hoped for.
I started with a formula I have used in the past that I have gotten great results from. This formula really has it all, soured coarsely ground rye, a coarse rye soaker, soaked stale bread crumbs and toasted and soaked sunflower seeds. I decided to modify the formula in a few ways: 1) I replaced the coarse rye soaker with ground up sprouted rye berries. I was a little nervous about making this switch but it ended up working beautifully. 2) Instead of using only sunflower seeds I used a combination of sunflower, flax and sesame seeds. 3) I darkly toasted the bread crumbs before soaking them. 4) I used agave nectar instead of honey. On top of all this I ground all the flour and grain for this bread myself using the methods I describe here. I have never ground my own flour at home as I could never justify the expense of a flour mill but using a coffee grinder worked great! I'll probably be grinding much more flour at home from now on.
The process for this bread requires a lot of prep as there are so many components but the reward is very much worth it. I highly recommend you dedicate a weekend to making this bread if you have any interest in rye at all. This is the best vollkornbrot I have tasted and even though it was a lot of work it I will definitely be making it again.
For the formula, process and more photos visit aBreaducation.