Sprouted Wheat Bread Recipe
We all know wheat bread is better for you than white bread. But why? It has less to do with what is added to the bread than what is removed.
White bread, made from flour from which the nutrient-rich bran and germ of the grain has been removed. Wheat bread is made by grinding whole wheat berries (wheat grass seeds), yielding a generally denser bread that retains much of the fiber and nutritional value found in the seed itself. Although it is a step in the right direction, nutritionally speaking, a component called phytic acid left in the mix makes wheat bread more difficult to digest and inhibits the absorption of minerals like calcium, zinc and iron.
Sprouted grain breads are not a new innovation, but have increased in popularity in recent years with health-conscious consumers. Actually made from a (barely) developing plant instead of ungerminated grains, sprouted grain breads are easier to digest, have more easily absorbed nutritional value and lower gluten content than conventional bread. Sprouted grain breads are hearty, flavorful and fun to make. Although sprouted breads are not gluten free (and should still be avoided by those with serious gluten allergies), they are a winning choice for those seeking a substantial, more healthful alternative to processed flour breads.
Try your hand at baking using sprouted grains with this basic recipe for yeast-raised sprouted wheat bread. The process takes some attention to make sure the berries are used before the sprouts have over-developed. Be aware that the food processor will have to work hard to adequately break down the berries and underpowered appliances may not be appropriate to the task.
Once the technique has been mastered, sprouted breads can be made using a variety of grains, including rye, millet or oats.
Sprouted Wheat Bread
- 5 cups wheat berries
- 4 teaspoons yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
Soak the wheat berries in clean, cold water overnight, then drain (volume of berries will roughly double).
Allow the berries to rest for 24-36 hours checking periodically for signs germination has begun. As soon as the berries have begun to sprout, they are ready to be processed.
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Place half of wheat berries in food processor. Add half of dissolved yeast, 2 tablespoons honey and 2 teaspoons of salt and process until seeds break down, pull away from sides of food processor and a loose ball forms (this will take several minutes).
Remove dough from food processor and repeat the process with other half of berries and remaining yeast, honey and salt.
Combine dough and knead into a large ball.
Allow to rise 3 hours.
Divide dough into two logs and place in two greased loaf pans.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in pans for another hour until height exceeds sides of pans.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
As soon as bread is cool enough to be handled, remove from pans and transfer into an airtight container or gallon sized Ziploc bag while still warm (this will prevent the crust from becoming too hard).