The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help troubleshooting sprouted wheat bread

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Help troubleshooting sprouted wheat bread

I really hope you all will be able to help me troubleshoot my problem.  Please bear with me as I explain this.  I have been baking bread using sprouted wheat.  I sprout the wheat myself until it is just minimally sprouted, it doesn't have a tail at all just a bud starting to show.  Then I put the wheat in the dehydrator.  When it is dry I store it, when it is baking day I mill it and bake my bread as I usually do.  Now I have done this a number of times with a locally grown purple wheat that I have access to.  The results have been beyond fantastic.  Something about the starch in the wheat being converted into a simple sugar during the sprouting process makes the yeast behave like it is on steroids and the resulting bread is so soft and tender.  The flavor of the wheat really comes through along with a nice subtle sweetness, it is really remarkable.  The best part is that friends and family with wheat sensitivities and even allergies are able to eat this bread with no problems.  Okay so that works.  So I did the exact same thing but this time I used regular spring wheat.  I sprouted it the same, I dehydrated it the same and used the same recipe.  But this time the loaves wouldn't really rise, they did swell a bit but they just tore open, leaving big holes in the loaves.  I saved it by turning the whole mess into buns.  They also tore but it wasn't as noticeable.  I baked the second time using the same sprouted wheat.  I was very careful to do every thing right and I had the same result.  What is going on here?  Am I missing something?  That spring wheat I am using is a good quality wheat, I have baked bread with it without sprouting it and it works just fine.  I really would like to figure this out.  I am going thank you all right now for all your help.  There is such a great bunch here and I really value your opinions.

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

This  is a guess on my part: the link below talks about diastastic malt which is used as a sweetner rather than non-diastastic.  When sprouting wheat (or barley or other grains) followed by drying, the link says if you are below 130° you will end up with diastastic malt- the sweetner.  If you are above 130° certain enzymes are killed which then turns into non diastastic malt- which I think is what you would want for baking flour.  Thus my question that perhaps the first batch that performed so well was dehydrated at greater than 130° and the latest batch as less than?  I could be off base here, curious what others can add...

http://brianbradley.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/diastatic-vs-non-diastatic-malt/

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Maybe the sprouting on the new kind of wheat favors a lot of protease activity, with the result that your bread can't rise because the gluten proteins get destroyed. The big wholes you see are the evidence, in my opinion. Is it hard or soft wheat? Soft wheat flour is lower in gluten and weaker.

 

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Thank you for your comments.  Wow I didn't realize I was going to have to take a science class to figure this out.  That was a very interesting article Nick about malt.  You may be on to something with that because I know for sure that this last batch I dried the wheat at 95 degrees trying not to destroy the enzymes.  But the first couple of batches I just turned the dial right up so it likely was over 130 degrees.  But I am still confused because according to that article it says to use only 1 teaspoon per loaf.   I just replaced all my flour with that sprouted wheat flour.  Also according to that article it says that the non diastatic malt could be used one to one for sugar.  But if we were right about my first couple batches of sprouted wheat being non diastatic then they shouldn’t have worked out at all, but they did, they were beyond fantastic.  So I am more confused then ever. 

    Protease, wow nicko could you explain that a little more or refer me to some articles so I can learn more about it.  You asked about the wheat, it is hard wheat.  I have baked bread with it before without sprouting it and it works beautifully.

Thanks again for your help.  I really would like to figure this out because I like the idea of baking 100% sprouted wheat bread but I want to do it consistantly without any surprises.

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

What I am saying is I think you need to dry above 130 to use as aprouted flour.  And if less than 130, that malt powder can be used as 1tbs per loaf as a sweetner/nutrient blast for your yeast.  Again a guess on my part, hopefully others chime in...

Bisnilo's picture
Bisnilo

I do hope someone does "chime in" with a logical explanation.  I am in the process of drying out my sprouted wheat grains and am wondering if the flour I make from them should be used sparingly as instructed for diastatic malt (1 tsp per loaf) OR as 50% or more of the flour content as seen in many sprouted wheat bread recipes.  I must be missing something...