The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sprouted Wheat Sourdough Boules

bakinbuff's picture
bakinbuff

Sprouted Wheat Sourdough Boules

Hi Everyone!  I have tried two times to make a sprouted wheat sourdough boule, and both have tasted lovely and looked amazing, but unfortunately were very very wet, despite using all my usual techniques, times and temperatures.  I can only assume that the ground sprouted wheat flour must hold more moisture and need a much longer baking time?  The first time I was taking the loaf with me out of the house so couldn't put it back in the oven, but the second time I cut it, discovered it was too wet still (after cooling period of course), so popped it back in the oven for awhile.  That helped, but overall the result was still much too moist and just generally very weak structure once I started to cut it.  I realize a loaf that isn't fully baked will have this problem, so I am hoping that giving a much longer baking time at slightly lower temps will sort out both issues.  Just wondering, does anyone else bake with sprouted, ground flour?  (I sprout the wheat berries myself over about 3 days, dry out and grind).  Thanks in advance for any replies.  :)  Pic of second boule below...

sprouted bread baker's picture
sprouted bread baker

The loaf looks great - nice score across the top. As for the issue you describe, you might be sprouting too long. All you need to do is wait until there is evidence of life - the radical or very small bud of a root system should indicate that the enzymes are unlocked and the plant is converting starches to simple sugars. If you wait too long, the sprout is developing plant structure and that cellulose is not conducive to bread making and will result in gummy texture.  24 hours is tops for us to soak, drain and grind. I would also recommend a wet grind when the berries are still very moist from soaking as opposed to drying the grain out and milling it into flour. 

baker
columbiacountybread.com 

 

 

 

 

 

bakinbuff's picture
bakinbuff

For your reply.  I had wondered if I was sprouting them too long.  There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of advice on the web about sprouted grain baking!  I will sprout just til the tails begin to appear and process in the food processor instead of drying and grinding, and report back the results!

 

utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

How do you grind the moist grain?  I grind all my wheat with my grinder but would be afraid of ruining it by putting moist grain in it. 

sprouted bread baker's picture
sprouted bread baker

Peter Rhinehart recommends a food processor. His book, "whole-grain artisan breads" has a really good sprouted wheat (wet) recipe - pretty close to what we do. Othewise, there isn't much on the web re sprouted grain bread baking. We grind with what is basically a meat grinder - I used to use my kitchen aid attachment but they will burn out pretty quickly.

Doug
baker@columbiacountybread.com 

P.S., we'd love to host a sprouted wheat bakers forum - bringing together sprouted grain bakers to compare notes, etc. Any interest?

Doughflinger's picture
Doughflinger

Hello Doug,

I am in the process of devoloping my own 100% sprouted wheat bread and would love to compare notes. You say basically a meat grinder? What do you mean?

Any information would be greatly aprecieated. Thanks!

sprouted bread baker's picture
sprouted bread baker

Primarily we use a Sam Barre model grinder - it's powerful. Hunters love them because they can pass anything through and grind it into sausage or whatever. We love it because the 1 1/2 hp engine does not strain and does not overheat the berries passing through. Our grinder plate is semi-coarse which leaves a lot of the germ intact. There are lots of less powerful models on the market and I have tried some and they all failed.

When I started grinding wet sprouted wheat berries I used a hand grinder and if you've ever tried that, you know how much force is required to grind sprouted grains. I don't recommend anything less than a one hp engine.

I never liked the food processor method because it seemed to heat the berries up and the grind was inconsistent. Plus, it's hard to imagine using that method for anything more than a loaf or two.

I'm still very interested in hosting a sprouted wheat bakers conference - we could do it at our shop. Is there any interest?

Doug

columbiacountybread.com

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Did you dry the sprouts in the oven, at say 200 degrees, before grinding?  Maybe you could let the bread bake longer and develop a darker crust too?

bakinbuff's picture
bakinbuff

I did dry out the sprouts the first two times, at about 80-90 degrees F for a couple hours until totally dry then ground them in a hand cranked grain mill.  I tried again, this time sprouting for only 24 hours so that the tips were just beginning to emerge, then ground them wet in my cuisinart food processor.  The only trouble I had was that I had only a little strong flour left and had to use mostly plain flour to add to the dough.  The baked loaf was still a little on the wet side even though I baked it about 50 minutes instead of my usual 35.  It was also not very well risen, though I definitely put that down to having to use largely plain flour instead of strong bread flour.  Will post and pic, and try again!  :)

 

sprouted bread baker's picture
sprouted bread baker

Not too bad.

But I'm wondering about gluten development - your method of kneeding, benching, proofing, etc., and, what kind of starter are you using/ Also curious to know if you have a convection oven.

 

bakinbuff's picture
bakinbuff

The loaf above was certainly edible, but not a good one in my opinion, compared to my usual loaves. I hand knead my dough after soaking the whole wheat flour (hand ground, whether sprouted or not) in water and starter for at least 4-5 hours, sometimes overnight. The starter is my own I cultured about 2.5 years ago from flour and water, and bake with it around 3-4 times a week. It is a strong and healthy starter and in warm conditions can double in about 3-4 hours. I plan to have another try this time with only strong bread flour (no plain!), and see where it gets me. I also plan to bake at lower temps for longer. My usual bake in my very standard, non-convection electric oven is to bake at 220C for the first 15 minutes and then 190C for another 20 minutes...

linder's picture
linder

This link to a previous post seemed interesting re: sprouted wheat bread

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6677/100-sprouted-wheat-bread

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

The effects you describe (wet and sticky crumb, and probably gummy too) is typical of an excess of alpha-amylase activity (due to sprouting). This enzyme breaks starches to sugars and dextrins, preventing the gelatinization of the starches and the formation of a crumb as we know and like it.  You could have baked your bread for 24 hours in a row and still you would have obtained that wet crumb.

Probably you should reduce a lot the amount of sprouted flour in your bread. I've never seen a recipe requiring  more than 4% sprouted flour.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

RobynNZ sent me this great link on sprouted grains and breads, in this case 80% sprouted spelt with 20% whole spelt to make a really nice loaf of bread.  It also has the water buzzed with raisins too!

There are all kinds of sprouted breads up to 100%, not just spelt too.  I am amazed what great bakers like Larry can do with just about anything .  Maybe not as inventive and daring as Ian but still ......

http://www.farine-mc.com/2012/12/larrys-sprouted-spelt-felicitous-case.html