The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Questions about baking with sprouted flour

  • Pin It
Kroha's picture
Kroha

Questions about baking with sprouted flour

Hello everyone,


If you bake with sprouted flour and have some tricks to share, I would greatly appreciate it.  I made my first bread with sprouted flour today, Multigrain Struan from Reinhardt's Whole Grain Baking.  It is a recipe that uses biga and a soaker, and proceeds to combine the two with other ingredients (flour, yeast, honey, oil, salt) during the final dough mixing.  then bulk fermentation, dividing the dough and final rising.  The loaves start out in 425F oven with normal steam, but once the loaves are placed there, the temperature is lowered to 350F.  Loaves bake about 40 min and are rotated half-way through the bake.  I followed the recipe and baked on quarry tiles.  I made two loaves (one batard in La Cloche and one loaf in a loaf pan) with organic stone-ground whole wheat and two with organic sprouted (also one batard in La Cloche and one loaf in a loaf pan) for comparison. 


Sprouted flour loaves of either shape did not rise much in the oven, and the scored area sort of sank in.  Stone-ground flour loaves of both shapes had great oven spring and the scoring worked out fine as well.  Now, the taste...  Sprouted loaves were chewy and a bit "wet" to the taste, a bit sweeter than the stone-ground ones, with a more pronounced nutty flavor.  Yummy and delicous is the only word to describe them!  Now if I could only make them more visually attractive.  So, if you have secrets to share, I am eager to learn! Thank you so much in advance.


Kroha

shakleford's picture
shakleford

I believe that Peter Reinhart says in Whole Grain Breads that the sprouting process reduces the amount of gluten available, as some of it is converted into other things during the sprouting process.  That's why he lists such a large amount of vital wheat gluten as an optional addition to his sprouted wheat loaf.  I think that adding gluten to your multigrain struan dough would probably be the best way to increase rise.

Bread Buddy's picture
Bread Buddy

What is sprouted flour?  This is somethiing I a have never heard of before and never seen at the bulk foods establishments I purchase flour from. 


Why would one use sprouted flour?  What are its properties?


Thanks.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

There is a lot of information about sprouted flour on my website www.organicwheatproducts.com


I have used sprouted flour in my standard wheat bread recipe with great results. It actually rose higher than regular whole wheat flour. Maybe it is the technique that is causing the problem. As sprouted flour is already soaked when it is made then maybe you wouldn't have to soak it again. Just a thought.

katecollins's picture
katecollins

Kroha,


It really depends on what sprouted flour you are using.  I made my own sprouted flour for years and had the results you mention...chewy, dense.  But the folks at Essential Eating have figured it out and opened the first certified organic commercial sprouted flour mill.  Their organic, controlled process makes the most amazing sprouted flours that produce beautiful baked goods.  They told me that they are able to capture the sprout at it's peak and gently dry and mill it into sprouted flour that performs like all-purpose.  They also told me that they clean the superior grain they use, test for vomitoxin (a fungus found in grain) use the falling number test to assure sprout action and sift our foreign matter (present in all grain).  All the things that I couldn't do in my home operation.  I feel their flours are safe, stable, sanitary and have great baking characteristics.  Not to mention that great taste that comes through when baked.


They have sprouted spelt and sprouted wheat and it is the best sprouted flour I have ever baked with...and it deigests like a vegetable and is a nutrient dense food.  Check out their site for more about sprouted flour properties at essentialeating.com.   

laceyloo's picture
laceyloo

Hi Kroha, I too am on this site in search of sprouted grain tips. The person above me, katecollins, mentions Essential Eating..I have the book and I have the flour they recommend from Shiloh Farms. It doesn't really make a difference. I've not seen anything in their book that gives any tips regarding baking with it, with the exception to follow it verbatim as with all baking.


I just made no knead olive bread with the sprouted flour. This is the second time I've tried bread and I find the same things you have. No knead bread is supposed to have a thick crust and a bubbly crumb inside. The crust on my bread is average and the crumb is moist and thicker than other pics I've seen where people use regular bread flour or all purpose. I'm going to make another plain loaf of no knead bread tonight and see if I can get any difference.


My loaf turned out gorgeous, but definitely not as "fluffy" as I would like it to be. I might fool around with the amount of sucranat, salt and yeast in the recipe and see if that makes a difference.


 


Good luck! Lacey

katecollins's picture
katecollins

Need recipes and explanation for sprouted flour...I suggest Essential Eating Sprouted Baking by Janie Quinn(Azure Moon Publishing 2008).  I love the Sprouted Quinoa Whole Grain Bread page 51.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

There is information regarding sprouted flour on my site www.organicwheatproducts.com


We do everything that Essential Eating does plus we grow the organic grains ourselves. I use conventional- not sourdough recipes using the sprouted flour and it rises a bit higher than the non-sprouted. I am thinking that it is the method that may be causing problems.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

There is information regarding sprouted flour on my site www.organicwheatproducts.com


We do everything that Essential Eating does plus we grow the organic grains ourselves. I use conventional- not sourdough recipes using the sprouted flour and it rises a bit higher than the non-sprouted. I am thinking that it is the method that may be causing problems.

katecollins's picture
katecollins

Here's why I believe that Essential Eating has set the standard for sprouted flour and that thiers has the best baking characteristics (how it is milled makes a huge difference).  I called all the other sprouted flour producers and ask questions.  So far none of the other companies, including the one above, take the extra steps mentioned below to assure it is a safe, sprouted, sanitary food product.


Essential Eating Sprouted Flour Process
- uses the milling industry falling number test to assue the grain is in fact sprouted and not drown
- they organically rinse the grain to stop the enzymatic action at its peak
- they test for vomitoxin (a fungus found in most grain)
- sift the flour to remove foreign matter. 
- their certified organic facilitiy is rated Superior by the American Institute of Baking. 


And if you have questions, use this list to ask your sprouted flour producer.


The way sprouted flour is milled makes a huge difference in the baking outcome. You can read about that on the Essential Eating web site.


I used to make my own sprouted flour at home, but since switching to the Essential Eating Sprouted Flour, my bread has so much more rise.


 

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

The falling numbers test is done to determine the quality of the grains and storage ability. Our organic  grains have very high falling numbers and are of  very high quailty and high protein.  Our grains are triple cleaned and also sifted before sprouting, rinsed with filtered water multiple times during the sprouting process  and also tested for vomitoxin as are ANY grains that are suitable to be sold to a commercial grain mill. These are standard tests done at all mills that take in grains commercially and not just done for sprouting. We also grow what we sprout so we know how the seeds were handled and grown from the planting stage to the final product. We also process custom orders to insure freshness.


www.organicwheatproducts.com 

katecollins's picture
katecollins

Wow, flourgirl, this sure set off a nice discussion.  Not sure this is the correct forum, but education is good and we're talking about flour so we'll continue.


There is some misinformation that needs clarification about the falling number test used in milling.  Here's part of the definition of sprouted flour from the Essential Eating website -


To assure a high quality Sprouted Whole Grain Flour it must result in a Falling Number one half of its original Falling Number prior to sprouting.  The health benefits can only be obtained when the Falling Number has been reduced by half (plus or minus 10%), confirming that the optimal amount of endosperm has been transformed into a simple sugar.             - www.essentialeating.com/ResourcesSprouted.asp


The falling number test is used in conventional milling to determine if grain is damaged, as a high falling number is unfavorable indicating the grain has begun to sprout and had lost its integrity.  In sprouted milling, a high falling number test does not mean anything unless the test was performed on the grain prior to sprouting, the grain then sprouted under controlled conditions and results in the percentages above.


I understand it is very hard to achieve this level of quality and that is why the Essential Eating flours are so superior.   


It is great that you grow you own grains, but who is grading them?  I read on the Essential Eating web site that their grains are the highest quality #1 and #2 grains. 


I have found that the true test of quality sprouted flour is to test them.  I spent a lot of time and resources doing just that and that is why I'm such a fan of Essential Eating's sprouted flours.