The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using wheat berries

paulav's picture

Using wheat berries

Can wheat berries be used whole in bread like cracked wheat (bulgar)?  Or must they be ground first? 

PaddyL's picture

I believe you should soak them first, though, or you could sprout them which only takes a couple of days, and they make beautiful bread.

paulav's picture

Thank you for your answer- it was what I was hoping to hear.  I did soak them for an hour in boiling water, then mixed them into some sourdough wheat bread dough.  It is now on hold in the refer until morning.  Hopefully the berries will be tender enough for a nice bite in the finished bread!  I'll try sprouting the remainder.

flourgirl51's picture

Don't use boiling water if you are going to sprout them as you will kill the germ and they wont' sprout.

paulav's picture

No fear of boiling those little sprouts to death- one of my other favorite things is gardening.  The idea of sprouting them in beer also sounds interesting, hmmmm

UnConundrum's picture

Doesn't the boiling water destroy the enzymes?  I think you're better off just soaking them in room temp water over night.

subfuscpersona's picture

I'm really curious how a bread containing entire wheat berries that have only been soaked in boiling water for one hour will turn out.

Do post back. Include pics if you can. TIA.

drhowarddrfine's picture

I've done this before from a recipe in "Bread Alone". It gives the bread a wheaty/nutty taste with a little bit of chew and crunch from those that didn't absorb as much water. Very nice.

paulav's picture

Here are photos of my finished sourdough-wholewheat-wheatberry bread.  The dough was very wet, so I think it contributed to the berries being tender and nutty on the inside.  The ones on the outside are a bit too crunchy for most I think, so the next 1/2 cup of wheatberries are soaking to hopefully sprout in a couple of days as suggested by PaddyL.  The loaf is quite moist and tasty so I'll stick to my recipe.  Thanks for all your imputs- this is my first posting; a valuable site for bread bakers!  (not sure if I've gotten the pix sent-pls le me know if not)

Steve H's picture
Steve H

No photos are showin' up here.

paulav's picture

I have 2 photos in jpg format to send on my pc, but am challenged to get them posted... I did print & try to follow directions, but no luck.

paulav's picture

OK, once again I'll try to post the photos of my bread.

Pablo's picture

Lovely bread.


yozzause's picture

I'ts taken a while to get the hang of putting pics up but here we go

this is a batch of sprouted wheat and dark ale 50% wholemeal bread baked last week.

the wheat berries are soaked for a couple of days you start to see the 2 little white roots appear first at one end followed by a little green tip.

If you taste the wheat berries they will be quite sweet because the wheat berry is growing and lots of complex changes are takeing place.

I am doing another batch tomorrow, this time it will be GUINESS and sprouted  wheat. I will be adding a bit more sprouted wheat that will have had an extra day sprouting.


i soak the wheat for 24 hours under water i then tie the berries up in a cloth cheese cloth or panty hose works well and let it drain, every time i go past i dunk the parcel of wheat into fresh water and let it drain sprouts are evident in 2 days.

I do a similar thing for the finches that i keep, they love sprouted seeds also, but they are of course much smaller seeds. the chooks (chickens - fowls) also love sprouted wheat even more than the dry berries.   

sprouted wheat and dark ale