The Fresh Loaf

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Sprouted Wheat Bread

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xaipete's picture
xaipete

Sprouted Wheat Bread


sprouted wheat bread


I've been feeling a little guilty about all of the refined flour breads we've been eating lately, so on Friday, I decided to make a batch of our old standby, 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread. I've made this bread dozens of times but not once in the last four months. I began soaking the grains on Friday and sprouted them this morning. After they were sprouted, about 6 hours, I ground them with the meat grinder attachment to my KA. I had had the brilliant idea that if I knew the weight of the KA bowl, I could add the ingredients to the bowl and save myself a little clean up. So I proceeded merrily along. When I got to the adding the water, the last ingredient, the scale read "err" but I didn't worry. After all I've made this recipe so many times. Well that was my second mistake (the first was thinking my scale could handle the weight). To make a long story shorter--or day of cleaning up a whole bunch of devices--I put way to much water in the bowl. I don't usually add more than a few tablespoons of whole-wheat flour to this bread and that is solely for the purpose of getting my "C" hook to pick up the dough and knead it properly. I also don't usually keep much whole-wheat flour around since I grind my own as needed. Well 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of bread flour later, having now made a mess of my KA, my kneading counter, and my large capacity food processor, I finally got enough flour in the mix and got it kneaded. I ended up using my food processor to knead it in two batches.


I knew it would come out OK because it looked like bread dough after being processed. It is a pretty warm day here today, so its first rise went pretty fast and its second, even faster. One batch of dough normally makes three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaves, but because I had to put so much flour in the dough, I opted for four loaves. Everything looked pretty good so I popped them in the oven. Why I thought they should be on a rack positioned in the middle of the oven is now a mystery to me but that was my third error for the day. When I checked them at 20 minutes I didn't notice that they were browning too fast, but it was pretty evident when I pulled them out of the oven at 40 minutes.


These are not the tastiest or prettiest loaves of sprouted wheat to come out of my kitchen, but in spite of everything they taste fine--perhaps a little more like whole wheat than sprouted this time--with a crumb that's not bad considering what they've been through. I eventually got all the paraphernalia that I used cleaned up too. Well so much for trying to save having to wash a bowl!


The recipe is here.


sprouted wheat bread

 

Comments

blackbird's picture
blackbird

I'll study this subject although it seems a brand new idea to me.  I've found a formula for 2 breads on pages 189-194 in Reinhardts WGB so I'll be in class, so to speak.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I have to soak the berries for 48 hours before sprouting them or they won't go through my grinder, I only use half the vital gluten that WGB uses, and I knead it for a lot longer than WGB does.


--Pamela

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I have to soak the berries for 48 hours before sprouting them or they won't go through my grinder, I only use half the vital gluten that WGB uses, and I knead it for a lot longer than WGB does.


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

They came out fine and the crumb looks good so all that effort was not lost and you have some nice loaves.


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

What you say is true! We had several pieces of toast tonight to make sure the bread was OK. It tasted great; we are able to sleep in peace tonight knowing that are breakfast toast is secure.


--Pamela

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Those sprouted wheat loaves look very nice, Pamela! It's not possible to tell from the photos what kind of hardship you made them go through ;)


You baked these in tins, right? Is it possible to make them free-form too, or are they a bit too fragile for that?

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Hi Hans. I baked them in glass bread pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2). We prefer glass because it makes a relatively light and soft crust; this bread is primarily used for sandwiches and toast. They have plenty of body and could be baked free form, esp. when not loaded up with excess water!


Also, the vital gluten is optional; the loaves won't be a light and rise as high without it but they will still taste good.


I guess I enjoy this bread so much because it doesn't taste anything like whole wheat--has its own sprouted wheat flavor.


--Pamela

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Pamela,


I love the idea of a sprouted grain bread, and although I've read them a few other places, I never really grokked that it's almost all sprouted wheat. What a revelation that you normally use only a little extra flour to help the dough hook knead the dough!


Would you mind outlining your recipe with approximate amounts and times?


Thank you!


Patricia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Hi Patricia. Here is what I do to make this bread. --Pamela


1340 grams sprouted hard red spring wheat berries
67 grams vital wheat gluten flour
18 grams sea salt
14 grams active dry yeast (you can also use instant yeast, which doesn't require activation in water)
57 grams honey
1/2 cup water



a little whole wheat flour for kneading

To sprout grains: generously cover wheat berries with water and store in a dark, cool place for  about 36 hours. Change the water every 12 hours. After 36-48 hours, drain the wheat berries, place in a covered container, and let them sit on the counter for about 3 to 6 hours until they are just beginning to sprout (until you just begin to see a little white tail form). At this point you can process sprouted grains to a fine pulp with fine meat grinder disk of a KitchenAid mixer. You can also store the sprouts in the refrigerator overnight and grind them the following day. I have also ground them right away and then stored the grind overnight in the refrigerator.



Mix all ingredients together in your mixer (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant, you will have to activate it with some of the water first before putting it in the mixer) with the paddle attachment for a few minutes, then switch to the dough hook. It takes quite a bit of coaxing and scraping and hand-kneading to get the dough to knead correctly on the dough hook (in other words, I have to move it in and out of the bowl and reposition it multiple times before I'm able to get it to sit in a kneading position on the dough hook). Once the mixer really starts to knead it, I begin tapping tiny amounts of whole wheat flour in the side of the bowl whenever needed so as to keep it sliding around in the bowl. My mixer (4.5 quart 1976 vintage Kitchenaid) takes about 20 minutes to develop the gluten properly; I can tell when the dough starts to really develop because it makes a "slapping" sound as it hits the side of the bowl and undergoes a significant texture change. You have to make it several times until you get the feel for what is going on. I can knead the entire batch of bread at once in the 4.5 quart bowl.

When it is well kneaded, form it into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, 45 to 60 minutes in a warm, humid environment (about 80º). Gently degas it and knead for a few minutes to redistribute yeast action, cut in three parts, form into three loaves and place into three lightly greased loaf pans (I use pyrex loaf pans). Let rise again until nearly doubled, about 50 minutes, in a warm, humid environment (about 90º). If you don't want to mess with the proofing box, just let it rise on the counter at room temperature; this seems to work almost as well.

Place in a preheated 425º oven on middle lower rack position, and immediately turn oven down to 350º. Let bake 20 minutes. Rotate loaves 180º and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until center of loaf reaches about 205º. Let cool 1 hour before slicing.

Makes three loaves.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Pamela, thanks for posting your sprouted wheat bread here. About how much, in volume or weight of dry wheat berries, does it take to make 1340 grams, sprouted? I don't have any spring wheat, but I do have hard red winter wheat berries on hand, and I'd like to try this :-)


Thanks!
dw

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I fill my container to the 1 qt. mark; that usually gives me what I need plus a tad extra after they are soaked.


When I drain the berries I don't drain off all the water, but treat them sort of like pasta with a good shake.


--Pamela

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Time to start soaking :-)

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

I'll let you know how it goes...it sounds and looks great!


Patricia

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Guess I should have sprouted my kamut berries!  Maybe I should be following the same recipe.


Mini

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Even with your troubles Pamela, they still came together. I especially like the way the crumb looks. Can't wait to try your recipe.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

You can also use sprouted wheat flour. For more info on sprouted flours go to www.organicwheatproducts.com


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I never thought about using flour from sprouted wheat. Bread made from grinding the berries has a really nutty, chewy texture. Think using flour would change the texture, but thanks for the idea.


--Pamela

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Pamela, the wheat berries sprouted just as you described. What really surprised me, was how glutenous the mixture was. Honestly, it came out of the grinder looking like marshmallow treats made with brown rice cereal. The sprouted grain smelled very nice---nutty, but also like sweet corn. It just smelled fresh and healthy. Even more pleasant was the fabulous, roasty, nutty aroma it gave off in the oven. The flavor was wonderful too.


The bread was very light, and soft, and... really, really rubbery. It took a bit of sawing to cut through. I weighed everything, and I have to admit that I was skeptical about the VWG. It looked like a shocking amount to me (and I'm not a fan of VWG). I was tempted to leave it out, but decided to follow the amounts given, at least the first time. Is that the right amount? Otherwise, sprouted wheat makes a wonderful whole grain bread, and I will do this again. I think the key for me will be to find a finer grinding disk for my machine. If the sprouts are ground finely enough, I don't think any extra gluten will be necessary.


Thank you for the instructions :-)  Here are some pics of the sprouted grain before and after grinding, and the finished dough...


   


                       

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

I couldn't find wheatberries at the local Whole Foods. They had wheat groats. Does anyone know if these will work for sprouted wheat bread? I think they've been processed some way, so maybe not...


Thanks,


Patricia

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Wheat groats are wheat berries that have been steamed, then dried and crushed, so they would not sprout.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I cut the amount of VWG to one-half of what the WGB recipe specified. We don't find that amount too rubbery, but I can understand if you do, but then we were backing down from double! You could try reducing by one-half more and see if you still get enough rise. I think it really comes down to a personal preference at some point. We really like the nutty flavor of the bread. It tastes totally different than whole wheat to us. I hope other people will try this bread. The next time I make it i'll try reducing the VWG a little further and see what happens.


--Pamela


PS We just sliced into a loaf of this bread this morning. I really don't notice any rubbery texture.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I'm posting here so that I get any updates. I hope to give this recipe a try. Your bread looks so good but I've never heard of grinding sprouted wheat and making bread with it. So you don't think you would get the same thing using sprouted wheat flour?


 


Thanks,


weavershouse

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I've never made bread with sprouted wheat flour so I don't know what the results would be. Perhaps they would be similar, I'm just not sure. It is not that unusual to make bread with sprouted wheat berries; there is a recipe for it both in Laurel's Bread Book and WGB.


--Pamela

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

With sprouted wheat flour you replace the regular flour cup for cup. It makes a really nice soft bread. You won't see the grains like you do in breads made with grains that have been sprouted as they are dried and ground in the flour making process.

carrtje's picture
carrtje

Could I probably pulse the sprouted berries in my food processor?  I don't have a meat grinder.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Yes, you can do it in a food processor. Just make sure you use very small batches and the metal blade. After you get it all ground up, put it in your mixer.


Resist the temptation to knead it in the processor. It isn't worth the trouble you'll find yourself in. I tell you this from experience with three different processors.


--Pamela