A reader recently inquired about making bread. To learn about making sourdough, click here. Below are instructions for making sprouted wheat bread.
Before you begin, you may want to know that sprouted wheat berries can be ground wet in a Vita-Mix or you can dehydrate them. (FYI – dried, sprouted wheat berries, when coarsely ground, are called “bulgur” which is what is used to make “tabouli”, the Middle Eastern dish). When the grain is wet, you will need a heavy duty blender, such as a Vita-Mix. Even then, you can only grind about 1 to 1-1/2 cups at a time because it is so sticky. If using a Vita-Mix, be sure to use the tamper to help it to circulate. If you find that it is clogging, you can also add about 1/2 cup water to make it less dense and then add a little flour to your final mixture to make it the right consistency. To dry the berries, spread them out thin on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I’ve found this helps to keep them from getting too hot on the bottom, but if you don’t have any, use stainless steel or stoneware. Set your oven to it’s lowest setting and let them dry for about 8 hours or until dry. Once dry, let them cool and then put in the refrigerator. Mason jars work well for this. You can also grind them to make flour.
Here’s a simple recipe to make Sprouted Wheat Bread. As with any recipe, make adjustments to suit the tastes of your family. For example, you may want to add dried fruit or nuts. See below for some ideas.
- 2 cups Wheat Berries
- 2 cups Filtered water
- 1 teaspoon baker’s yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dried fruit and/or nuts
- bulgur flour (if needed)
Wheat berries, just like any other seed, need a moist environment to germinate for a few days. However, you have to rinse them often so they will stay fresh. To begin, put the wheat in a quart-sized mason jar and cover with water. Cover with cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band. Rinse 2-3 times per day by turning upside down and then refilling with water over the cloth. Within about 1-1/2 to 2 days, they will begin to sprout. You will notice small white spots at the end of the berry. Drain most of the water. Put 1/2 of the berries in the Vita-Mix. Turn on high and use the tamper to push down the berries. After they are blended, repeat with the second batch. In a bowl, combine honey and 1/2 cup warm water and yeast. When it gets bubbly, add the ground berries. Mix together and add the flavoring.* Add enough flour to knead it into a loaf (bulgur flour is preferred) Place in a buttered non-aluminum and non-Teflon pan such as glass or stoneware. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes or until expanded in size. Place in a preheated oven of 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes or until done. Let cool on rack before slicing. Store in the fridge.
*Try any one of these 5 flavorings below:
- 1/2 cup dates and 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 1/2 cup carrots, handful of nuts, dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dried cherries and 2 tablespoons orange peel
- 3 Tablespoons poppy seeds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Also, there are many other seeds/grains that can be sprouted such as millet, quinoa, lentils, barley, spelt and others. For an overview on sprouting, you may also want to read this online article http://chetday.com/sprouts.htm