The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is it possible to do a sprouted grain starter?

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hortstu's picture
hortstu

Is it possible to do a sprouted grain starter?

If so can someone point me in the direction of some info on this?



I'd do rye, wheat, or spelt, but I would like to have a spelt starter if possible for the gluten free members of my family and friends. 


Thanks,


Mike

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a non gluten flour.  You just have to be aware that it will act a little differently. 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14476/excellent-gluten-free-bread


Part of this thread has been deleted however you will get an idea.  Spelt does contain gluten.  I had to move away from my flour source so I stopped my project.

hortstu's picture
hortstu

Thank you,



I'm new to baking bread so forgive my ignorance.  I thought spelt was gluten free but I guess it's just one of the lower gluten grains?


 


So what you're saying is that using sprouted grain is no different than unsprouted in terms of making a starter provided it still has some gluten in it?



Thanks

silkenpaw's picture
silkenpaw

...at least not in theory. You just need to provide food that the yeast likes to eat. The yeast does not feed on the gluten, gluten just happens to be a part of wheat flour. The wild yeasts exist in the air as well as on the grain. My suggestion would be to try getting a starter going with whatever grain you plan to bake with.

If you are new to baking, you may not know that gluten is what is responsible for the bubbles that allow regular bread to rise, so baking raised breads without gluten calls for a whole new way of working and for some additives. You can't just take a wheat-based recipe and substitute your gluten-free grain; it's not going to work. You need recipes specifically developed for gluten-free flours. You might want to try making some gluten free breads with commercial yeast to at least get a feel for the process before embarking on the additional complication of using sourdough.

Also be aware that if you are baking for someone with celiac disease, who may be extremely sensitive to wheat, you may need to work with a separate set of dishes and utensils than those used with wheat flours in your kitchen. And you need to be very careful in educating yourself about what foods do or do not contain gluten. A book on a gluten-free diet (specifically aimed at the celiac patient, not the person who wants to avoid gluten for another reason) is a good idea.

Hope that helps

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hortstu, I am not so sure 'sprouted' flour is 'gluten free,' depends on which grain sprouts are used.  Sprouted flour may present other problems (but we l-o-v-e problems) when used as a starter because it is sprouted and can contain a large amount of enzymes.  Maybe Flourgirl has some idea. I can't remember anyone using sprouted flour for a starter... that doesn't mean it can't be done.  (I'm trying hard to imagine feeding my starter just diastatic malt.  What would it do?) 


Sprouted flours come into my Austrian supermarket with 10% added sprouted flours (a combo of 10 sprouted grains not all gluten free) the rest AP wheat.


I'm saying that if you want to start a sourdough starter from a gluten free flour it is possible (gluten is not needed in a starter) just don't expect it to rise as an indication of strength.  It will bubble.  I suggest a coarsly ground gluten free grain not to be confused with a mixture of starches and gums sold in the store as "gluten free flour."   The starter can be cultured to produce gas, however it escapes into the air.  You figure out how to trap it later in gluten free bread. 


The starter grain should be as fresh from the field as possible.  I would still go with unsweetened pineapple juice instead of water.  Read up on starters and bacteria and yeasts (Debra Wink's Blog) and get a good understanding of what is going on inside a starter, then go for it! 


Now if your family can tollerate spelt and you know that as a medical fact, then spelt starters and spelt flour is much easier to use and bake.  Just like whole wheat only a little more delicate, don't let it rise too much (because it can) and forget sugar for the flour is sweet enough on its own.  


Spelt starter instructions: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21243/whole-spelt-cold-weather-starter-works-every-time

K.C.'s picture
K.C.

Here on the left coast there are countless bakeries offering sprouted grain breads, bagels and rolls. However you don't see sprouted sourdough and I expect that the sprouted grain breads are leavened using instant yeast. It takes some muscle to hoist those partially intact spouted grains.

Were you looking to avoid gluten or trying to use spouted grain for that assumed nutritional benefit ?

hortstu's picture
hortstu

THanks for all the tips and advice...



I am not so sure 'sprouted' flour is 'gluten free,' depends on which grain sprouts are used.



No definitely not gluten free but supposedly the sprouted grains have less gluten. 


 



Were you looking to avoid gluten or trying to use spouted grain for that assumed nutritional benefit ?



Both.


 


Thanks for the link.  My research will continue.