The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sprouted flour experiences, mixed...

sheep1's picture

Sprouted flour experiences, mixed...

Our Whole Foods store is now carrying sprouted flours from One Degree.  My local library has Peter Reinhart's Bread Revolution.  I've made 4 recipes from the book:

1.) Sprouted Whole wheat pan loaf using just instant yeast (no sourdough), and lean, no oil, sugar, just sprouted whole wheat flour, salt, instant yeast and water.  The bread proofed okay, but had no oven spring.  The crust was a little chewy, not in a good way, the inside crumb was very tight, baked until 210 degrees inside.  The loaf went stale in about 2 days in plastic bag.

2.) Yesterday I made the Sprouted Rye bread, pan loaf, which contains a mix of spouted rye and sprouted whole wheat flours, and uses sourdough starter.  The loaves turned out terrible- very flat, in addition to no oven spring, I swear that the loaves deflated in the oven, the top didn't brown (the sides and bottom did) and the inside is a little chewy yet crispy crust is kind of weird- like sugary gummy feeling, which I cannot describe. The flavor is okay, but the texture is not.  Another loaf for toast...

3.)Sprouted multigrain crackers using sprouted whole wheat flour and ground pumpkin seeds- these tasted pretty good.

4.) Sprouted whole wheat pancakes- of the 4 recipes I've tried, this one was the winner.  Wonderful flavor, a bit of sweetness to the pancakes, I didn't even use syrup, just some butter.

So far, I'm not too impressed with these sprouted flours for breads, although do like them for quick recipes like the pancakes.   

The One Degree flours are not cheap, I'm going back to my regular whole grain wheats with sourdough fermentations for my breads... although may occasionally buy some sprouted flour for making pancakes...

Your experiences?

dabrownman's picture

sourdough breads only for a year now but sprout and make my own flour since the sprouted flour you can buy is very expensive and in my way of thinking has quality issues.  I know exactly how my flour was handled and it performs much better than the store bought - i also use it within 24 hours of milling,  i don't have PR's bread Revolution but hope to get a peak at it in the library one day.

It just takes a while to get the hang of sprouted bread baking.  I started out with a high % whole grain one dn it flopped too but then went back to doing lower % sprouted and whole grain loaves and worked my way backup to 100% Whole grain bread with half sprouted here. Double Levain 100 % Whole Wheat Half Sprouted At 100 % Hydration

It takes less autolyse and water in the mix for sure. I have sort of settled on 50% whole sprouted grains for now but will one day figure out a  100% sprouted bread that actually springs nf blooms like a normal bread.

You can check out my blog over the last year and see what I've tried out,

Don't give up  a half sprouted bread is better than one with none.

Happy baking 


sheep1's picture

I was wondering about home sprouting and milling- if that would make a nicer sprouted flour... it seems your experience indicates this is the better way to go.  

I was just watching a video at the San Francisco Baking Institute, and they have a recipe for 30% sprouted flour... maybe I will try something similar next, and good to hear dabrownman that you've had better success using a percentage of sprouted flour..

I have a mill coming this week, looking forward to getting used to home milled flour.  I am able to get some locally grown wheat berries of different types at my farmer's market, but also ordered a couple of types along with the mill.  Maybe I will fit sprouting in there somewhere...

The PR Bread Revolution is pretty interesting- has a little bit of everything there- quick recipes for sprouted flours, sourdough bread recipes using sprouted flours, a section on using whole milled grains, gluten free recipes, and an over the top section using things like grape skin flours...  I am glad our library had this book- I like a few of the recipes, but I probably won't buy the book...

I'll check your blog dabrownman, always helpful to know what works for others! 

barryvabeach's picture

Sheep1, I bought the book when it first came out, and tried a few recipes with home sprouted, then home milled flour and ran into some issues.  It was mostly my fault, but when you sprout the berries, it doesn't take long to get from correctly sprouted, to too much of a sprout. If you let it sprout too long, the bread just collapses and is very gummy.  One other issue involves drying.  I had read that it is best to dry at a low temp,  100 to 110 being considered low .  The problem I ran into was that it was taking so long to dry  ( i had the berries stacked in a layer about 1/2 inch deep in a perforated pan ) that some of them continued to sprout while the tray was drying out.  I have  made some progress on both fronts by getting a dehydrator, just I can dry then out one layer of berries deep, and I put them in the dehydrator as soon as I see a sprout just begin to form.  BTW,  make sure they are completely dry before you put them in the mill, or you will soon learn how to completely take apart your mill. 

vasiliy's picture

Sheep1, "I have a mill coming this week, looking forward to getting used to home milled flour" - congratulations on this step, it is a new area of bread-making if you've not done that before.  It may take some attempts to get used to home milled flour and how to bake bread with it.  It is different from what you buy in a store (e.g., bread flour) and will likely require some adjustments.  My suggestion is to start with a % of whole wheat / grain flour with the rest being regular bread/AP flour and making your way up to a higher % of home milled flour.  My first attempt was 100% whole grain wheat without sifting, long fermentation, etc. and I got almost no spring oven (the taste was great, though).  By reading dabrownman's blog, I learned a few tricks (like building up the starter in several stages, etc.) which have helped, but I still had to revert to mixing bread/AP flour with home milled whole grain flour to get better results.

Good luck!

sheep1's picture

barryvabeach- thank you for sharing your experiences.  I am unlikely to buy a food dehydrator, but your experiences with drying is something I was wondering just reading about sprouting in the book and thinking about the days when I used to make things like alfalfa sprouts for salads...

vasilly- can't tell you how excited for the mill to arrive on Friday.  I've been baking with locally milled 100% whole grain flours including some flour hand milled by a local farmer on an old hand crank mill, which was a different but positive experience for me.  After a big learning curve I'm finally gotten decent loaves, so hopefully home milled flour won't be too strange!  Thanks for the encouragement! What is new to me is sourdough- I started sourdough baking a couple of weeks ago and am addicted!  Hopefully the home milling experience won't be too big of a jump for me, I read such wonderful things about home milled flour... and also decided this is a better way for me to go- I go through slumps in the kitchen where I don't bake for a couple of months, and I don't have room in my freezer to store flour- this is how I convinced hubby I "needed" a grain mill- after I had to dump some rancid expensive whole wheat flour from last year and found out that wheat berries last so much longer, so a lapse in baking hopefully will mean the berries stay fresh enough to use... I went and bought some more large glass containers with rubber seals awaiting to fill them with berries!

hanseata's picture

The breads I made from the "Bread Revolution" turned out good, I used a mix of store bought sprouted wheat and home sprouted and dehydrated other flours. These doughs need to be handled a bit different - as explained in the book - so it was, maybe, an issue with the technique (flat bread). 

What I found somewhat disappointiing: there were no really new and interesting recipes, mostly Reinhart's breads from the older books, only made with sprouted grain flours.

My new favorite bread baking book is "Tartine No.3", for exactly that reason. Not only something new to try out, but, also, a lot of new and interesting breads.

Happy Baking,


sheep1's picture

I am beginning to think that maybe home sprouted flour makes a difference in the breads in BR...

hanseata- I was frustrated with the doughs, and yes they do handle differently, but I've been making beautiful 100% einkorn and breads with high percentage of local durum flours, both with high hydration, so I thought that I had a handle on sticky, wet doughs... it would be interesting to try home sprouted flours...

I agree about the Tartaine #3 book- our library had a copy and I have had it out for 2 weeks now- haven't had a chance to bake anything in it- but there are some beautiful looking, interesting recipes in that one.  I have baked many of the breads in PR Whole Grains book, and am a little bored...  I recently have been doing mostly sourdough the past few weeks- so the Tartaine book recipes will be up soon! Our local farmer's market has some purple barley that looks interesting and there is a nice barley porriage recipe in Tartaine... Have you made any of them yet?

exbaker's picture

I have not tried the sprouted wheat flour but I have made sprouted wheat bread.  I actually buy sprouted wheat bread from One Degree once in a while.  It is the best  sprouted bread I have tasted and the texture is pleasing.  

All the sprouted breads that do not use bread flour that I know of use VWG  including one degree.   Sprouted flour would be like diastatic malt.  Under the right conditions it would consume all the starch granules it could and turn them into sugar and your bread into a mess.

dabrownman's picture

any of my sprouted grain breads.  There isn't any need for VWG, high gluten flour or bread for that matter from my experiences.  AP flour works fine for the part of the flour that isn't sprouted in the mix just like it would for breads that use partial whole grain flour in the mix.  .

Things happen faster for autolyse, bulk ferment and proofing.  That is the biggest difference along with a bit less hydration. Like any bread, you have to feel the dough for hydration and watch the dough and not the clock.

exbaker's picture

Yes AP flour substitutes for VWG  in the right proportion.  Thats what I Meant by my words "sprouted wheat bread that does not use bread flour (white flour)  use VWG...    

dabrownman's picture

Many, but not all, commercial bakers buy cheap flour with low protein content and add VWG to it to bring up the protein content of the crappy flour they are using to keep costs low.  I have no problem with VWG since it is just the natural protein found in wheat with the starch and most of the non gluten being washed away by water,  VWG has between 40% and 80% gluten content depending on the brand you buy or if you make it yourself like I do.  There are 30 different proteins found in wheat but only 2 of them bond with water to make gluten but they are fairly abundant..  

AP flour has between 10-11% protein so 100 g of it would have 10-11 g of protein total so lets say, for example of explanation,  that half of that is giliadin and glutenin .....the 2 of the 30 proteins in flour that make gluten. or say 5 g.of the protein and make gluten.  .Lets say that you have VWG that is 50% gluten (on the low side as VWG goes).  10 g of it would have 5 g of gluten proteins - the same amount found in 100 g of AP flour.  So AP could never be a substitute for VWG. but 10 g of VWG added to 100 g of AP would increase its gluten forming ability by 82% up to the best high gluten flour..

As far as sprouting goes, when making barley malt used to improve white flours, barley is usually the grain used but red and white hard winter wheats have about the same diastatic power. Rye has about 60% the diastaic power of barley and the red ans white hard winter wheat.

Beer makers are much more concerned with diastatic power than bakers.  They have to have a diastatic power of at least 70 to make beer and why barley and whea malts are the base grains of choice since the best malts of each come in around 160-180 power  - way above the 70 threshold which allows them to come up with more recipe combinations than even bread makers have.  You should see some of Lucy's if you think some of her bread formulas are strange.

Once any grain gets much over 150 F, malted or unmalted, the diastatic power goes to zero, the enzymes are neutralized, and the grain loses its ability to convert starches to sugar.  But there are all kinds of enzymes created during germination that to all kinds of things in grain besides converting starch to sugar and these may be damaged at lower temperatures and why many bakers dry their sprouted grains at 105 F.  Also, higher temperatures convert amino acids (proteins) and other compounds into flavor enhancers which make beer and bread look and taste different, give it color and other properties.  Dark malts have no diasatic power but you would be hard pressed to make a decent looking and tasting stout, porter, ale, rye  or pumpernickel bread.  Combinations of light and dark malts make everything in between when it comes to bread and beer.

The difference between malting and sprouting and the diastatic power that is produced depends on how long the grain is allowed to germinate..  The longer germinating time, the more diastatic power the grain produces to a point..  Sprouted grain used for bread is sprouted for 24 hours or less until the rootlets just bread the seed shell, called chitting, and then they are dried.  Since the germinating time is so short the diastatic power is low, but better than ero for un-sptouted grain...The highest diastatic power malts are germinated for 4-5 days until the shoot (not the rootlets) is at least as long as the seed itself and then dried.

The result is that brewers want to extract much of the sugar they can from the starch in the grain, usually as fast as they can to eventually convert it to alcohol produced by the yeast - so they tend to want a high diastatic malt.  Bread bakers are different,

bakers aren't really interested in converting all the starch into sugar or making the bread as alcoholic as possible.  They just want enough sugar for the wee beasties to eat to make the bread rise from the yeast and or be sour from LAB acid production with enough residual sugars left over to caramelize to turn the bread brown when baking temperatures are over 350 F.  As a result, much less diastatic power is needed or wanted..  

Since most of the diastatic power in grain is stored in the bran, and this is mostly sifted out when milling white flours of all kinds, millers will put 6 tenths of 1% malt or so into the white flour mixes to give it back some diastaic power that they took out when milling, adn sifting out the bran.

Sprouted flour won't turn you dough to goo but it will make starch conversion to sugar faster adn the speed of fermentation and proofing is faster as well.

To compensate I tell people to cut back on the autolyse time so the enzymes produced by sprouting have less time to convert starch to sugar (and the sprouted flour is already autolysed during sprouting) and to use less SD, yeast and pre-fermented flour in the mix to slow things down.  Time is what develops flavor and more time makes for better tasting bread -  even sprouted grain ones - less or fewer wee beasties is better than more when it comes to sprouted grain breads.

Watch the dough and you will know when it is time to take it to the next step of the baking process.

Home made beer and bread just can't be beat or bought because only you can make it just perfect for you and making both is about as fun as it gets in the kitchen. 

Happy Baking and Brewing