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Sprouted Wheat Flour--the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

May 19, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose


Sprouted Wheat.jpg

I have made my own sprouted wheat and added it to bread and although the results were delicious, the sprouts that rose to the surface became unpleasantly hard enough to encourage me to abandon the practice. So imagine my delight when chef/author/teacher par excellence Peter Reinhart told me that he was offering a class on bread made with sprouted wheat flour. When the sprouted wheat is ground finely the result is the incredibly silky texture of the dough and open grained springy, moist, and soft texture of the bread's crumb and is nothing short of amazing.

There are many virtues to this flour. For one thing, it flies in the face of conventional artisanal bread-making. Peter informed us that rather than requiring a preferment or long fermentation for depth of flavor, this is provided by the flour itself in much less time because the enzyme activity is already accomplished during the sprouting phase. (The dough, however, can be held for up to three days in the refrigerator.)

A bread made with 100% sprouted wheat flour will be much milder than one made with 100% whole wheat flour. It will also be sweeter in flavor and much softer and moister in texture.

Another virtue of major importance is that bread made with sprouted wheat flour is considered to be more digestible and tolerable to those with some degree of wheat allergy or gluten intolerance that is not true celiac disease. The following is a fascinating explanation from the Essential Eating Site:

Sprouting a grain actually changes its composition from a starch to a vegetable. How cool is that? When whole grains are sprouted, they are converted into a more nutritious and digestible food. As the grain sprouts, it turns into a plant, and the body recognizes it as a vegetable. Vegetables are the easiest-to-digest foods because they are broken down by vegetable enzymes, not pancreatic enzymes which are less abundant in most people's digestive systems. The sprouting conversion happens when the sprout pierces the shell of the grain. Once this process is complete, the body can digest the sprouted grains as a vegetable. Picture a grass seed that has begun to sprout into grass coming alive as a vegetable. The sprouted grass seed is then dried and milled into flour

The Organics Sprouted Flour site offers the following valuable information:

• Easier to Digest - Sprouting breaks down the starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them like a vegetable (like a tomato, not a potato).
• Increased Vitamin C - Sprouting produces vitamin C.
• Increased Vitamin B - Sprouting increases the vitamin B content (B2, B5, and B6).
• Increased Carotene - Sprouting increases the carotene up to eight times.
• Increased Enzymes are actually produced during sprouting.
• Reduction of Anti-nutrients - Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which is a substance present in the bran of all grains that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.

Peter Reinhart, who calls this the flour of the future, generously has given me permission to publish his recipe for bread using 100% sprouted wheat bread.

IMG_0265.jpg

I will also offer one I adapted from his special method which uses 50% sprouted wheat flour and 50% bread flour. The 100% sprouted wheat has a somewhat more open crumb and a more springy chewy texture.

Sprouted-Wheat-Flour_Bread.jpg

Peter Reinhart's Sprouted Whole Wheat Dough, Master Formula
(This recipe makes one loaf but can be extended to any size using the formula percentages)

100% Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour

Sprouted whole wheat flour 100% 16 oz. (454 grams)
salt 1.65% 0.25 oz. (7.5 grams) app. 1 teaspoon
instant yeast 1% 0.16 oz. (4.5 grams) 1-1/2 teaspoons
water (room temperature) 90% 14.5 oz. (411 grams)

50 % Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour

Sprouted whole wheat flour 50% 8 ounces (227 grams)
Bread flour 50% 8 ounces (227 grams)
salt 1.7% 0.28 oz. (8 grams)
instant yeast 1% 0.16 oz. (4.5 grams) 1-1/2 teaspoon
water (room temperature) 81% 13 oz. (368 grams)

Mix on slow speed with the paddle (not the hook) for one minute.

Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then increase to medium speed and mix for two minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Remove the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and perform one stretch and fold. Transfer the dough to an oiled container (or cover the dough on the oiled work surface with a bowl) and perform 2 additional stretch and folds at 5 minute intervals (these intervals can be extended to up to twenty minutes each). After the final stretch and fold place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and ferment for 60 to 90 minutes at room temperature (shorter if using a proof box).

Shape the dough for either sandwich loaf or hearth baking. For a loaf, use a 6-1/2 to 7 cup loaf pan. (The dough will be full of bubbles so dimple it before shaping to prevent large holes.) Mist the top of the loaf with nonstick cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap (for hearth baking you can use a couche). Proof for 60 to 80 minutes, or as needed. For hearth bread, bake at 450˚F/232˚C with steam for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. For sandwich loaf, bake at 350˚F/175˚C for approximately 45 to 55 minutes.

Note: for Peter's sprouted whole wheat pizza recipe check out his site.

Sprouted wheat and other sprouted grains can be obtained from the following places:

Lindley Mills (Joe Lindley) 336-376-6190
King Arthur Flour: 800-827-6836 www.kingarthurflour.com
To Your Health (Peggy and Jeff Sutton), 877-401-6837 www.organicsproutedflour.net

Notes:
Sprouted wheat flour can be stored for 90 days at room temperature and for several years in the freezer.

Bill Weekley, an experienced baking expert who works for General Mills, reports that adding 10-15% vital wheat gluten to the sprouted wheat flour results in a slightly higher rise but will also make the crumb a bit more chewy.

I suspect that challah would work well with this flour. The high percentage of honey or sugar normally requires a higher than usual percentage of yeast but the enzymatic activity of sprouted wheat flour might well serve to counteract this effect making less yeast possible and desirable. The dough made with this flour is also exceptionally extensible which would make braiding a breeze. Do let us know the results of your baking with this flour

There will be a posting on Sprouted Ancient Grains in a few weeks!

Comments

Hi Rose,

I make my bread with my own sprounted wheat flour. It rises beautifully but spreads or even caves in during baking.

What am I doing wrong?

Help. Please.

Thank you,
Sandy

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Tony Bak
06/12/2013 11:40 PM

Hi Tony,
We are happy that you are enjoying your bread making. Yes, you can simply increase the recipe to make multiple loaves. Your baking time will likely be longer.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi Rose,
Let me thank you first for The Bread Bible !! It got me interested and pretty much darn obsessed with bread making much to the families consternation !Though they have zero complaints eating the bread !
The sprouted flour is a revelation ! The bread came out soft, wee bit moist in the middle(Impatience being the cause!) and delicious !
Do I just stick to the formula and increase quantities in same percentage in case I want to make, say 8-10 loaves at a go?
Thanks,
Tony

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from B. Bachman
06/ 3/2013 10:02 AM

Hi B. Bachman,
We always suggest that you contact the Peter Reinhart for his advise, as we have not tested this recipe in a bread machine. His website link is listed under my SITES I LIKE.
Peter's recipe did not have instructions for a bread machine, but you could to try it. For the bread machine, Rose recommends to add the water first. Since its a gentler way of mixing, Rose suggests doing a 3 minute Mix and then a 7 minute Knead.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

What adaptations would you make for using a bread machine on merely the "dough" setting, i.e., to be baked in the oven. I don't have a sturdy enough mixer nor dough hooks or paddle!

Thanks!

REPLY

Hi i'm making the 100% version and i did not use the vital wheat gluten. I thought i should have but the recipe didn't say to use it. I did not look at Rose' sprouted ancient grains but i read other articles about sprouting

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Kristen
04/27/2013 01:51 AM

Hi Kristen,
We need to ask which version were you making, the 100% or 50% spouted wheat recipe?
By chance did you also look at Rose's Sprouted Ancient Grains posting?
Did you also add the vital wheat gluten?
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi i tried to make this loaf today and it was very wet and unmanageable. I couldn't get the gluten developed and when i went to put it in the pan even after my stretch and folds it was still wet and hard to handle, i couldn't shape it into a loaf i put it in my pan and let it rise baked it and it came out a brick and gluey and raw in the middle. What did i do wrong?
I am usually a good bread baker but i just don't understand sprouted flour.

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Priscilla
01/25/2013 09:41 AM

priscilla, i have only used one type of sprouted wheat flour but if you have having a problem with structure adding vital wheat gluten should help. if you are using only sprouted wheat flour i suspect it may be that you are trying to avoid the gluten so in that case you'll need to experiment with other brands.

REPLY

Glad someone asked another question because I have been having trouble with this loaf. I buy 20 lbs of sprouted wheat at a time and go though it in about 30 days. Lately my bread is not rising much in the oven and it seems to be spreading out in the loaf pan during proofing more than rising high. Have you encountered this problem and if so how have you handled it? I am using one degree organic sprouted wheat which, in comparison to arrow mills brand, is courser but also more reasonably priced. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

REPLY

Mordecai Altose
Mordecai Altose in reply to comment from David
01/25/2013 12:43 AM

Have you found a place in Israel to buy it?

REPLY

I made my own flour by soaking wheat berries, sprouting them, drying them snd grinding them into flour. But my bread turned out too moist. I am assuming thid recipe was for one loaf? Thank you for sharing Peter 's recipes.

REPLY

Thank you for your reply. I have to tell you, the cake bible and the bread bible have changed my life...literally. Keep'em coming!
Priscilla

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from priscilla Carver
10/13/2012 12:02 AM

The higher the temp the thinner the crust. 350F produces a thicker crust that keeps the sides of the loaf from caving in.

REPLY

priscilla Carver
priscilla Carver
10/12/2012 10:52 PM

Hi Rose,
I am wondering if you can comment on why the loaf is baked at 350 and the hearth bread at 450?
Thanks!
Priscilla

REPLY

Backbencher
Backbencher
07/ 5/2012 11:44 PM

Hi Rose,
Can I multiply the quantities in this recipe to bake about 20-30 loaves at a go ??? Way too many people are after me to give them a Loaf of this wonderful recipe !!
Thanks
BB

REPLY

rose Levy Beranbaum
rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Vanessa Pry
05/31/2012 01:49 PM

vanessa, i don't have the answer but i do know that the companies that produce it use varying methods which are proprietary.

REPLY

Vanessa Pry
Vanessa Pry
05/31/2012 01:42 PM

Hi Rose
I work in product development in the milling industry and getting my bosses to recognize this "new" era in baking has been hard. As you know most mills reject sprouted grain as damaged and turn it away or if they accept it, dilute it with "healty" grain. Do you know what falling number these grains were that are being used for baking? I am trying to get sales and marketing dept. here to recognize that there might be other uses for what they look at as trash wheat. Thanks for your response.

REPLY

Most likely the italian pasta you refer to called Farro. Farro is grown in this country but we call it Emmer. Emmer/Farro is an ancient wheat as is spelt meaning only that they haven't been hybridized to the extent modern wheat has. It's also possible to buy so-called heritage grains. Many, many small organic farmers in Canada and the US grow heritage grains. These grains were once popular but lacked the high yield or disease resistance that commercial growers sought. Red Fife is one example that is making a comeback.

Doug

REPLY

I feel like an alien from another galaxy and seeing the wonderful bread made with a "plant green instead of a grain" throws me off.  Sprouted wheat still contains starch or the components to gluten, which are essential to make bread!

I've been baking several things with alternatives to wheat flour with eye opening success.  For now, I am focusing on people with allergies or intolerance to wheat but not people with celiac.  Seams that the main cause of wheat intolerance in the USA is the agri industry growing the same type of wheat for decades.  The saying when eating too much of one thing u get ill.  Americans eat too much bread and pasta and cakes and cookies anyways! I am using a different variety of wheat and my wheat intolerant friends are happy!  Kamut and spelt wheat varieties.

I dont have any intollerance to wheat, but sometimes I notice when I eat too much bread or pasta or cake from regular wheat flour on an empty stomach or during days that i havent eaten as usual, I just hit the bathroom fast!

I've just heard that DeCecco pasta, which is made in Italy, can be tolerated better by people with wheat intolerance in the USA.  Italy doesn't grow the same wheat as the USA.  Jackpot.

REPLY

I have been experimenting with sprouted wheat grain flour. I made a carrot cake with sprouted wheat flour and it was fantastic! I cant wait to try the bread.

REPLY

rose Levy Beranbaum
rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Hanaa
05/21/2012 06:54 PM

hi hanaa! there are great instructions for sprouting your own wheat on the web. it's easy. but then you need to have a dehydrator to dry it and a flour mill to grind it.

REPLY

What a great discovery! And the bread looks wonderful. My friend always buys sprouted bread but it feels like brick. This looks pretty fluffy. Any idea on sprouting wheat berries yourself? And making your own sprouted flour? Thanks.

REPLY

Gary Dubester
Gary Dubester
05/21/2012 12:03 PM

Does anyone know if diabetics are more tolerant of bread baked with 100% sprouted wheat flour?
Gary

REPLY

I can also highly recommend Small Valley Milling - organic grain farmers and millers in Pennsylvania. We buy their grains but they sell a very high quality sprouted flour milled from wheat, spelt or emmer.

It's also relatively easy to sprout, dry and mill your own grains...

Doug

REPLY

rose Levy Beranbaum
rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from jeff
05/20/2012 09:33 AM

This is so new it's not yet in any of his books. Peter gave out the recipe in the class that he held during the IACP.

REPLY

for complete credit, from which of Peter's books is this recipe?

REPLY

Oops! There is a typo in the web address if anyone is interested. Look me up at:

www.breadmantalking.blogspot.com

Thanks in advance,
David

REPLY

Thanks for the enlightening article! I live in Israel and will be looking in natural food stores for this exciting new product. I like the idea of 50% bread flour to give it more volume. I will let you know the results.

REPLY

Fascinating! I'm going to clear a little time to make this bread soon, it sounds delicious. Thanks so much for enlightening us :)

REPLY

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