The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

wheat berries

kmcquade's picture

Organic Sprouted Wheat Berry with Whole wheat and Rye & 50% Sourdough Starter.

 400 gm.  Organic AP flour

  60 gm.  Organic KA WW

  30 gm.  Organic Medium Rye

  11 gm.  Kosher salt

1 TPSP Brown Sugar (Just cause I thought a little sweetness would go well with the wheat berry taste)

300 gm. H20

250 gm. 100% hydration starter fed twice

~ 1/8 tsp instant yeast (just to help in my cold damp Seattle kitchen J)

~ 1 cup sprouted wheat berries


I soaked Wheat berries over night, then spread them out between wet paper towels for another 24hrs or so until they began to sprout


I started to mix up the flours at about 8pm after dinner and between episodes of “The Protectors”  (a Netflix Danish series I got hooked on ).  I Autolysed the flour combo and H20 for ~1 hr.  - At this point the dough was fairly dry (60% hydration)


Flour and water after autolyse


About 9:30PM I mixed in the starter by hand, added the salt , and a pinch of  instant yeast – This was a lot of starter ( 50% of the total flour) which made a very wet dough requiring a fair amount of stretch and folds to get in mixed well and under control – In another hour, I did  a couple more stretch and folds.  According to my calculations the final dough adjusting for the Starter Hydration and high amount of starter was ~ 82% hydration.


Stretching and folding


Bulk ferment overnight on the counter  ~ 10 hrs ( room temp was ~ 65F)

Sunday morning at 7:30am, I folded in the sprouted wheat berries as much as I figured the dough could handle – Then into a cloth lined banneton for proofing for about 2.5 hrs. ( its cold in my house). At 2hrs, I turned on the oven with the cloche in it .  I like to use my bannetone but when the dough is too wet it will stick to it so I need to line it with a floured cloth.


Score & Bake in a covered Cloche 475F for 15 min then uncover reduce to 450 for 15min  - I checked the temp and feel, at this point and decided it could use another 10 min, but I reduced the temp to  425 F. Lately I have found that serial reduction in the temp results in a longer lasting crispy crust.


Results – Take a look Great crust and crumb Crunchy with the wheat berries With just a touch of sweetness J






jarkkolaine's picture

This spring, in the preparation for the most recent issue of my online magazine, Bread, I sowed a handful of wheat seeds in a small metal tub on my balcony. As a fun experiment for the whole family (dad, mostly) to see if it’s possible to grow wheat on your balcony. It was. The wheat grew well, and throughout the summer, I watched the grass grow, make grains, and finally turn golden. 

Last week, it was finally harvest time!

My field was very small so I didn’t get nearly enough wheat for making flour for even a small loaf, not even for a small bun (I suppose had I ground the wheat berries it would have lead to something like two to three table spoons). But even if making flour was out of question, I wanted to use the wheat in some way. 

This summer, I have been mostly experimenting with yeast water and sandwich bread, but for this loaf, I knew I had to go back to my true love, sourdough.

After manually picking the wheat berries from the spikes, I put them in fresh tap water to soak overnight. At the same time, I also took my starter out of the refrigerator and refreshed it with my regular 100 grams of whole wheat flour and 100 grams of bread flour. As we ended up spending the whole Saturday in Helsinki, I refreshed the starter again in the morning and left to wait for my return.

In Helsinki, we visited a local food event, Herkkujen Suomi, which presented real food from small producers all over the country. I got to meet Teppo from Viipurilainen kotileipomo again and the owner of their (and mine) mill of choice, Vääksyn mylly, Kari Savola for the first time. And look at what we found at a museum stand!

I need to get one of these…

And Here's Teppo sharing samples of their bread:


When we came back in the evening, everything was ready for bread making. The wheat was very soft and the soaking water had turned somewhat yellow, so I decided to use the liquid for bread making too. I mixed 500 grams of bread flour from Vääksyn mylly, some 50 grams of very coarse rye flour (from Vääksyn mylly as well) and a total of 400 grams of water (including the water used for soaking the wheat) and left for a one-hour autolyse.

After the autolyse, I mixed in my wheat berries, worked the dough on the table for about five minutes and left for another half hour. Then, I came back to the dough, added 11 grams of salt and kneaded for a further 5 minutes. 

It was rather cool outside already, about 8-10 degrees Celsius, so I let the dough rise on the balcony. In the morning, I preshaped and then shaped the dough into one boule which I baked a couple of hours later using my Tartine Bread inspired cast iron pan + clay pot ”cooker”.


The bread is delicious, and some grains that have baked on the surface of the bread bring a very nice addition of a roasted nut like aroma. With this bread, I feel the grains got a treating worthy of the attention that went into growing them. 

Now, as the weather gets cool, then cold, I will be spending the winter thinking of where to go from here. My balcony isn’t getting any bigger, but maybe I could sacrifice some other crops in favor of cultivating some more wheat… Or I could try rye next?

dabrownman's picture

This fancy French named bread is really a Rustic Country San Francisco Sourdough.  It originally started out as a Glenn Snyder Country SD bread minus the rustic and the sweetbird, that she is,  took the recipe and tweaked it some and came up with the most amazing crust on a bread I have ever seen.   I just had to try my hand at it and converted it further to more my liking by; using a rye sour starter,  grinding my own WW and rye, increasing the rye to equal the WW, reducing the AP accordingly and then adding 50 g of whole WW and rye berries that were boiled in water for 30 minutes and then drained.  The berries were put back into the pot with 1 tsp of olive oil and then sauteed until caramelized.  I was hoping for a bread that would be more rustic, have a deeper more flavorful taste, a deep brown crust and crumb that was soft, moist and still somewhat open.  Well, I think all but the somewhat open crumb was achieved.  I guess you can't have everything.  It is the one of the best textured and tasty breads I have ever eaten.  It, like most breads, is much better toasted with butter and I'm guessing the flavor will be better tomorrow as well.  I can't wait to try this on a new sandwich creation tomorrow.  Here are some pix's.  The recipe follows the pix's

 Rustique Pain Comté de San Francisco

Yield: Two 750g Loaves


Levain Build

86 g AP flour

25 g Whole Wheat flour

25 g Whole rye flour

175 g water, cool (60 F or so)

30 g active culture (72% hydration)


   Final Dough (68% hydration, including levain)

600 g AP flour (77.5%)

87 g whole wheat flour (11.25%)

87 g whole rye flour (11.25%)

440 g warm water (80 F or so) (57%)

14 g pink Himalayan sea salt (1.5%)

313 Levain (40%)

Scald and Caramelize: 50 grams of WW and rye berries boiled in twice as much water as berries by volume for 40 minutes.  Drain berries and return to pan with 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté until the berries caramelize and start to leave color on the bottom of the pan.  When color starts sticking to the pan they are done.


 1.  Levain : Make the final build 10-12 hours before the final mix.

2. Mix: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt or the scalded berries. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary. Cover the bowl and let stand for an autolyse phase of 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and knead 4 minutes with dough hook on KA 3. The dough should have a medium consistency.  Add the scalded and caramelized  berries and mix on KA 3 for 1 minute   

3. Ferment with S&F: 3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl once 10 strokes at the 30minute mark. Stretch and fold again, 5 strokes, at the one hour mark folding it into a ball in lightly oiled bowl.  Leave to ferment 1-2 more hours until the dough is at least 75% larger than when you started the ferment.

4. Retard: do 1 S&F in the lightly oiled bowl forming the dough into a ball again.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on how much time you have and sour your taste.

5. Divide and Shape:  take dough out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature about 1 ½ hours.   Divide the dough into what 2 pieces and pre-shape, then shape into boules or batards 20 minutes later.

6. Proof: Approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.

7. Pre-heat: oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place - 45 minutes minimum.  I use a loaf pan half full of water and a dry12”cast iron skillet that go in the bottom rack of the oven at the beginning of pre heat and the stone on the rack above.  When the loaves go in, I throw 1 cup of boiling water into the cast iron skillet right after loading the bread on the stone.

8. Bake:  Slash loaves. Bake with steam, on stone. Turn oven to 450 F when it hits 500 F after loading loaves. Remove steaming apparatus after 15 minutes. Bake for another 15 minutes more or 30 to 35 minutes total. Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary. When done (205 Finternal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar, oven off for 10 minutes.  Move to cooling rack until loaf is room temperature.


tsaint's picture

decent inexpensive grain mill

April 14, 2011 - 5:24am -- tsaint

I just got some fresh wheat berries and I want to grind them into flour. I tried using my beer grinders but they didn't work at all so I had to use my coffee grinder. 

Please take a look at my blog site!

I just made some fresh wheat bread, it's awesome! But the coffee grinder takes forever..

mete's picture

REAL Organic Wheat

February 5, 2010 - 10:37am -- mete

I'd like to get back to making my own bread.However I require that the wheat be true organic due to allergies to chemicals .I had been using Wheat Montana until they changed some years back.As far as I could determine they added a mold inhibiter.Other sources may use pesticides in storage or shipping.It's also tough to have to buy large amounts to test it. Many of the chemicals will penetrate packaging .A plastic bag is no deterent to these chemicals. I've got many years experience baking and have a mill , all I need is pure wheat. Do any of you have the problem and can help me ?

Big Brick House Bakery's picture
Big Brick House...

My friends thought I was crazy when I started grinding my own flour, but my love of baking I couldn't shake and I open my award winning bakery.  Any one should be able to live their dream!  I get a lot of inspiration from everyone loving the same thing - bread, and the baking of it.  I sell the supplies or my bread I don't care as long as you have a passion for it... 

 The Big Brick House Bakery is a small family bakery in Wabash Indiana.  Freshly milled flour began with Leigh 5 yrs ago; it came to her attention that once a grain has been milled, the nutrients evaporate over time.  She purchased a Stone-mill, a miniature version of the ones that use to set along the rivers, and began on this adventure to incorporate the fresh flour into her bread and pastas.  The Big Brick House Bakery stone mill is used daily to grind small batches to provide you with the freshest and most nutritious whole grain products in Wabash County and the surrounding areas. Their fresh flour makes the integrity and flavor of their Artisan bakery products.   The Big Brick House Bakery now offers 14 different types of grain, some organic, purchase a kit that Leigh has developed for the home bread machine.  Leigh makes several of her breads on a daily basis.  These same breads won her the Indiana Artisan award in October of 2008.  At this time she is now offering flavored breads using cheese, herbs, and vegetables.  Leigh also makes pies and cakes from scratch, just the way they were done for several generations.  Now Leigh is offering Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free items, recreating recipes to work with any dietary needs.  

The quant retail store opened in June of 2008 in the sun room of their Eastlake Victorian home. Locally produced eggs, honey, maple syrup, fudge are also sold here. 

On Facebook you can also interact with Leigh and other fans. 


fleur-de-liz's picture

Grain Millers: What type of wheat do you prefer?

October 6, 2007 - 7:48am -- fleur-de-liz

For those of you who grind your own wheat, what type of wheat berries do you prefer?  Winter or spring wheat?  Red or white?   Do you prefer different types of wheat for diferent types of bread? 

I just purchased a Nutrimill grain mill and bought 25 lbs of organic red winter wheat from Utah from my local health food store.  Also purchased 25 lbs of organic Canadian rye.  I haven't used the wheat yet, but the rye has been wonderful.    Would be interested in your experiences.  Thanks! Liz

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