The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Raw Wheat Germ's Effect On Dough

Tyler Dean's picture
Tyler Dean

Raw Wheat Germ's Effect On Dough

I feel like I once read somewhere that raw wheat germ had enzymes that could somewhat disrupt the gluten formation or something like that in your dough. Is this something of any truth, specifically relating to sourdough? Thanks friends

BreadLee's picture

FWIW..Ive been using wheat germ for a while in a few of my doughs and it seems to have no negatives so far.  The gluten forms nicely.. no problems.  

agres's picture

I grind my flour fresh, so it has the wheat germ in it. It works very well.  It is more for the bread to lift as it rises, so it will not rise as high, but we like breads with a little more density - e.g., bread that jam does not run through!

Anne Ng's picture
Anne Ng

From what I've read it's not the enzymes that prevent the gluten from forming, it's the physical shape of wheat germ/barn.

Is your wheat germ flaked? Or are they fully grounded? If they are flaked then yes, they will disrupt the gluten formation.

But if you soak them overnight before mixing, or do a long autolyse in the fridge (>6hr), the germ flakes will become softer and it's easier to form gluten strands when kneading or folding or whatever technique you are doing to get the gluten structure. 

The end result will still be a little denser than a typical white sourdough (if you bake 2 loafs side by side with the same technique, the white one will be a bit larger, about half an inch in all dimensions), but usually it will still be soft and chewy and has a great flavor. 

Happy baking! 

Anne Ng's picture
Anne Ng

Sorry for commenting twice. The webpage somehow did not jump to the post and stayed on the comment page XD