The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

how and how much wheat germ to use? Soak?

katyajini's picture

how and how much wheat germ to use? Soak?

I have never used wheat germ in cooking and baking.  I am just discovering it and love the flavor (of the toasted, that's the only version I have tried so far), and it is of high nutritive value I gather.

If I want to add it baking bread, how should I do this?

When measuring white flour take out 1 Tbs by weight of the flour and just add 1 Tbs of the wheat germ? Can you substitute more in bread baking or this amount is a good place to start?

In general, when a recipe calls for wheat germ can one use toasted or untoasted? Or is it untoasted unless specified?

And is it best to soak the wheat germ (add it to a soaker)? I have been having much success using a soaker both for flavor and the final texture of dough but don't know if this is important for wheat germ.

I would great welcome and appreciate your experiences using this ingredient.


Many thanks!


MichaelH's picture

Wheat germ is part of the wheat berry. It is the embryo, the life force inside the seed. The germ, along with the bran, is removed during the milling process for white flour. It is about 2 1/2% of the weight of the wheat berry . If you are using whole grain flour, it has not been removed but you can add more if you like. 

Wheat germ is oily and thus goes rancid in a few months if stored at room temperature, which is probably the main reason it is usually removed. Raw wheat germ will go rancid in few months, but toasted wheat germ will keep for longer periods.I use both, and I store them in the freezer to be sure. Germ is usually added directly to the flour along with the yeast and salt. I have added it to the soaker at times, but I don't think there is a benefit. I use it often because I like the nutty taste, many people sprinkle it on their salads. You should try it if you are interested and gauge the results for yourself.


mini_maggie's picture

The recipes I've made with wheat germ use 2-3 tbsp. wheat germ to ~ 3 cups flour (I usually have 1/3 - 1/2 whole wheat if using wheat germ).   More and the loaf is heavy, flat, gummy.  Bread machine recipes advise to keep it on top of the flour, away from liquids so I would keep it out of the soaker and just knead it into the dough.  I've only used toasted when a recipe calls for wheat germ, no idea what raw would do! 

katyajini's picture

thank you so much!  I am going to start with 1 Tbs toasted wheat germ per cup of flour and knead it into the dough as you advise. Should be good!

katyajini's picture


I did my first trial.  I added 2 Tbs toasted wheat germ to a 3 cup flour recipe during the last few moments of kneading. I made no adjustments by taking out flour or adding liq. 

The dough is a soft moist dough and worked just fine with this amount of addition.  It definitely adds a soft sweet wheat flavor, without the heavy flavor of wheat bran and changes the flavor of the bread even at this small amount.  But most noticeably it adds a fine spray of tiny crunchies through out specially on the crust. 

I like it.  Definitely a welcome change or addition. Since I don't have to adapt this current recipe at all.

Thank so much!