The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Protein level in sprouted wheat flour

bglass2's picture

Protein level in sprouted wheat flour

I have been buying bulk hard red winter wheat berries and sprouting them.  I then dry them in a dehydrator and mill them into flour.  I am going to attempt my first sourdough bread with this flour.  I would like to figure out the percent protein in the flour I have.  Is there a way to do this at home without sending it to a lab? 



mrfrost's picture

Lacking that(or lab analysis) you will just have to use general characteristics for your type of wheat(soft, hard, winter, spring, etc).

I don't know if/how sprouting would affect the protein levels. Maybe flourgirl51 will see this post and chime in.

A little quick and general searching(dangerous yes, I know) seems to suggest that some of the protein may be broken down by the sprouting. My guess is the overall protein levels will probably not be appreciably affected, but, the abilility to develop gluten will be; probably severely for an all sprouted flour bread. Expect a denser bread.

Some discussion here:

bglass2's picture

Mr. Frost

Thanks for your response.

I have used this flour in the bread machine with commercial yeast and it has turned out well, but it took some adjusting of the recipe.  I had to double the vital wheat gluten and yeast to get the results I wanted.  We'll see how it does in a sourdough.  In the thread mentioned I read about someone doing it and using 2 tbs of VWG.  So we'll see. 

katecollins's picture

I'd be happy to shed some light on that. In answer to your question, yes, protein increases slightly during the sprouting process.  But that is just part of the story,

Their is some magic to sprouting whole grain and keep the baking characteristics intact. Testing is the only way to determine that the grain has actually been sprouted and not drowned. That is called a falling number test and way too expensive for home sprouting.  Then there is a polyphenol test to determine if the antioxidants, the good stuff and the reason to sprout grain, is still intact. And don't forget that how the grain is rinsed, how the flour is milled and if the flour is sifted has a lot to do with baking results.

But alas, sprouted flour when done properly does not produce dense baked goods.  In fact quite the opposite can be true.  After years of home sprouting and milling I decided to purchase some Essential Eating Organic Sprouted Flour and I couldn't believe the difference.  I know you want to mill your own, but after experiencing the results of this sprouted flour I'm never going back to making my own. This flour is the real deal. I buy it in 50 pound bags. Good luck and here's the site if you want to check it out -

Chuck's picture

I've heard you can measure gluten content yourself at home, basically by making a dough of just flour and water, weighing it, fully developing it, gently under a running faucet washing away everything but the gluten structure, and then weighing what's left. I saw more detailed (and more correct:) instructions on the web somewhere fairly recently.

I've never done this myself, so I don't know how difficult, accurate, or repeatable it is though. If you try it, let us know your experience...