Natural sprouted grain flours
are reported* to be among some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can add to your diet. If you're like a lot of people who have tried to bake with sprouted wheat
and found a few challenges, you're not alone. In this post, we're going to address the benefits of sprouted grain flours, and then give you some great tips for using these flours in your bread baking that will give you great results.
Published Sprouted Grain Benefits*
"When grains are sprouted they are converted into a raw, living food with more vital nutrients which are more readily absorbed by the body. Sprouted grain companies suggest that sprouted flours are digested by the body as a vegetable not as a starch.
When grains are sprouted, enzymes are created that aid digestion. Complex sugars are also broken down and as a result, painful intestinal gases and potent carcinogens and enzyme inhibitors are neutralized. This is especially beneficial for those people with intolerance to wheat as they often discover that they can digest sprouted grains without any problem (this may not apply to those with celiac disease). Grains are normally digested as starches using pancreatic enzymes but when grains are sprouted the starch molecules are changed into vegetable sugars which the body then digests as a vegetable.
According to research done by the University of Minnesota, sprouting increases the total nutrient density.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin) increase of 28%
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) increase of 315%
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) increase of 66%
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic) increase of 65%
- Biotin increase of 111%
- Folic Acid increase of 278%
- Vitamin C increase of 300%
These studies also demonstrated a significant increase in various enzymes including amylase, lipase and Protease.
Sprouting grains also helps with the body's absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc as reported by the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation."
*Resources: www.organicwheatproducts.com, www.healthyflour.com/about-us/why-sprouted
If you're like a lot of people who have tried to bake with sprouted wheat and found a few challenges, you're not alone. Our seasoned pastry chef struggled with this flour through several experiments in our test kitchen before she finally found some tips to increase your success.
Knead more or add gluten. Sprouted hard wheat flour is slightly lower in viable gluten-content for easy dough structure. Increase the kneading time in your standard recipes by a few minutes, or add a 1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten per cup.
No long fermentation needed. Classically trained bread bakers know that long slow fermentation gives dough the deepest flavor and character. During this fermentation, the enzymes in the wheat go through some changes similar to the sprouting process. That being said, the depth of flavor can be achieved in a very short amount of time with sprouted flours. Longer fermentation will actually cause sprouted flour to not raise as much as it would with a short raise.
Cup for cup. You can use sprouted flour the same as you would use un-sprouted flour, cup for cup.
Sprouted spelt is different. Though it is a a wheat variety, it contains less gluten than all other wheat varieties. Spelt does not rise as high as other wheat varieties due to the low gluten content.
Avoid rancidity. Sprouted flours should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container and is best consumed within 12 months. The freshness can be extended by at least 6 months in the refrigerator and another 6 months in the freezer.
The recipe below is one that our chef perfected after many loaves. We think you'll agree, it is really great for bread! Keep coming back to the blog. We'll also be posting some sprouted wheat hamburger buns, dinner rolls and many more ways to use this versatile dough. It's a quick recipe. The bread is ready to bake in about an hour!
No-Fail Sprouted Wheat Bread
Vital Wheat gluten powder*|1/4 cup
Active Dry Yeast| 1 Tbsp