The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to subsitute for wheat germ in a recipe?

peanut butter's picture
peanut butter

How to subsitute for wheat germ in a recipe?

I am new to bread baking and am attempting my second basic wheat bread. The recipe I'm following (cooks illustrated whole wheat sandwich bread) uses a soaker for the whole wheat portion of the recipe. The ingredients for the soaker are as follows: 3 cups (16.5 oz) whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup wheat germ, 2 cups whole milk.

I don't have any wheat germ and I'm not sure I am ready to buy it as I have a small very full kitchen and don't want to add more things if I can help it. What is the best way to substitute for it in the recipe? An equal weight of sifted (to remove the bran) whole wheat flour? What will I be losing from the final bread if I don't include the germ? The only note they gave on it was that it improved the flavor. I obviously don't want the bread to be bad! So I can buy the germ if I need to...but I thought maybe it wasn't strictly necessary.

Thank you so much in advance for anyone who can give me advice!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and minerals and lots of vitamins, and and and.   A lot like nuts... got any nuts?  throw half a cup of nuts into a blender along with about half a cup of the recipe's ww flour and pulse the nuts into powder.  Then toss them into the soaker.   

After reading this, I might go buy the wheat germ:

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-wheat-germ.htm

peanut butter's picture
peanut butter

Thank you for the advice! I guess I was thinking more in terms of the chemistry of the bread as opposed to the nutritional content (though obviously it is still nice if it is good for you). But it makes sense that nuts might be similar, so I'll keep this in mind. Thank you!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

be affected much if at all.  Wheat germ contains little if any gluten and soaking the whole wheat will help the 3 cups of wheat develop gluten nicely before kneading.  Oats will reduce the hydration dramatically so be prepared to add a little more water to the dough to get a nice feel to the dough.  Germ contains fat and this will give a softness to the crumb.  

I think the germ is added in this recipe for the nutritional content.  

Eclarner's picture
Eclarner

Some nuts are a good idea, Or maybe some steel cut oats or chopped rolled oats.  That's the closest thing I can think of texture-wise.  

Eclarner's picture
Eclarner

also, do you have a grocery store or health food store that sells items in bulk bins?  I like to do that for rare ingredients (such as almond flour, nutritional yeast: stuff I know I'll only use once.) so that I can get just what I need.  You may be able  find some in one of those.  

peanut butter's picture
peanut butter

Yes, I have a Whole Foods not too far from me...thank you for the idea! I'll check their bulk bins next time I go. I also found out that you should store the wheat germ in the freezer, and I think I miiiiiight be able to move things around so I have enough room there if I end up buying it. Thank you again!