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100 % Sprouted Wheat Bread

March 5, 2012

I’m amazed at the price of really good bread at the grocer. With bread labels reading like a chemist’s shopping list, it spurs me on to bake my own bread.

The past few weeks have been so fun! A bunch of ladies and one gentleman from the church suggested we get together to learn how to bake bread. I say the term “learn” but all of them know the basics of bread making and just wanted to upgrade their skills. So we have been meeting and baking together and amid the talk and laughter, we’ve baked some really great bread.

We started with White Whole Wheat Bread then on to Flax and Bran Bread. This week was the hardest recipe of the bunch to master, 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread.

For homework, we all sprouted our own wheat to bring to class, each having various success stories and some sad ones as well. It’s really important to have fresh winter wheat and to read the directions well.

The sprouting process isn’t exact because of the warmth of each kitchen is different but to know the signs of when it is ready really helps with that. It may take a try or two to finally figure out exactly what works in your kitchen but when that happens, you will be rewarded with a beautiful nutty flavored bread that is very healthy for you.

As a novel twist, try baking this bread in a Number 5 can, it’s the size that canned juices, such tomato juice, come in. Baking this or any bread in a cylinder can will produce bread slices that perfectly fit those large size garden tomatoes (just one slice will do you) from the Farmer’s Market. I also like the round bread slices as an alternative to hamburger buns. It’s just a fun idea.

They say that bread baking is an art form so below is the recipe that works for me. Give it a try or maybe a couple of tries if need be, to perfect a loaf of bread that keeps you healthy and really tastes wonderful.

Sprouted Wheat Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Note added 3/14/2012:  Last month we installed a humidifier for the house and set it at 35%.  Little did I know what a difference it would make in this recipe.  I had to delete 1/4 cup water, the amount of water used to process the sprouts.  I just let my processor run a bit longer and found that some whole sprouted berries and some cracked ones actually made the bread better.

2 cups dry organic hard red winter wheat berries, Clovers or Natural Foods carry them.
¼ c warm water for processing sprouted wheat in food processor. If the wheat is damp, try using as little of this water as possible)
1 tsp yeast + 1/4 cup warm water (below 115 degrees) to dissolve the yeast
⅔ tsp salt
2 T olive oil
2 tsp honey
¼ cup vital wheat gluten

Sprout the wheat:
At least two days before you are going to bake the bread, rinse the wheat and cover with water. Set aside at room temperature overnight (approx. 24 hrs).

The next morning, drain the wheat, rinse and place it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and a thick towel so the wheat is in the dark. Wait until the wheat begins to sprout and is chewable. Rinse and drain every 12 hours. As soon as a tiny sprout (looks like a white string)is just starting to show, it’s time to grind the wheat and bake a loaf of bread. This part can happen rather quickly or not. Depends on the room temp. and how fresh the wheat is.

Grind the wheat in a meat grinder or a food processor with ¼ c warm water until it’s like a mash.

Please be advised that room temp. mash will facilitate the rising of the bread. Yes, you can refrigerate the sprouted wheat to use later but I prefer to time my sprouts to my bread baking time so the sprouts are fresh and room temp, 44 hrs for my kitchen. I start at noon one day, continue sprouting the next day and bake bread the morning of the 3rd day.

It’s best to have room temperature sprouted wheat for the bread to rise well. Process or grind the sprouts in the food processor with ¼ cup warm (115 degrees or less), then place the mash into the bread mixer. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ c warm (115 degree) water and add it to the mash along with the rest of the ingredients. Knead the dough (it will look very strange and will be sticky!) for at least 15 or more minutes. The dough will clean the bowl but will be sticky and wet but keep going. This dough needs to be kneaded more than regular bread because the gluten strands develop slower. Kneading is the real key here. Error on a longer knead time.

Proof the dough in a clean bowl, covered with loose plastic wrap that has been oiled or sprayed, allow it to rise until doubled. (I use a sink filled with warm/hot water.)

Wet your hands and the surface you will use before pressing the dough down and shaping into a loaf. Place in a greased or sprayed bread pan (4 x 7 inch size). Cover and allow to rise until doubled. About 1 inch above the side of the bread pan. There is a pretty big oven spring with this type of bread.

Bake the bread at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Remember that this is a wet dough, thus the longer bake time. Internal temp should read 200 degrees if you want confirmation that it’s done.

Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing. If you want a warm slice of bread, an electric knife always cuts warm bread into perfect slices. Because this bread is very tender inside, it’s best not to slice it hot because the whole loaf looses the crispy structure that holds the bread into shape while it cools. I’m amazed at how long the bread feels soft and tastes fresh.

Note: The oil may be deleted from the recipe but the bread will not brown very well.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2012 4:14 pm

    I have been making my own bread lately. I agree that the store prices are high. I have only been brave to do plain whole wheat bread. Your bread looks so delish!!

  2. March 5, 2012 5:19 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    Thanks! So good to see your name pop up and then your face in my mind! Hope you are doing well.

  3. March 6, 2012 2:34 am

    Oh gracious, that looks absolutely delicious.

  4. March 8, 2012 5:36 pm

    Anyone still needing a help with baking bread, I went on a course in scotland where they even make their own flour!

    The courses are run by Rami who will share his knowledge gained from milling and baking over the last 12 years.

    The aim of the course is to provide you with the confidence and knowledge to produce your own bread at home. Using different types of flour and yeast, you will learn how to bake different kinds of bread in the traditional manner and take home what you baked with your own hands.

    • March 11, 2012 5:26 pm

      I checked out your web site. How fun!! Would love to come bake bread with you but it’s just a bit too far to travel at this time. Maybe sometime in the future!

  5. Juanita permalink
    June 17, 2013 3:08 am

    I was wondering about the vital wheat gluten, what its’ purpose is and if it’s possible to make the bread without it.

    • June 17, 2013 12:16 pm

      Generally you can make bread without vital wheat gluten but with this bread it is an important ingredient. Gluten strenthens the structure of the bread which helps it rise and makes a lighter loaf of bread. Other types of bread may have enough gluten in the tyoe of flour you use, such as bread flour. Hope this helps!

  6. October 27, 2014 1:21 am

    hey i am getting ready to sprout my hard red wheat. Reading over your directions I can’t seem to find when and where you add your olive oil, honey, salt and vital wheat gluten when you prepare your dough. I have not had much success on sprouted wheat rising in other recipes but I really would like to make yours!

    • October 27, 2014 1:29 am

      Just add the ingredients to the mash when you add the yeast but before you do the kneeding and rising. It’s the same as with all bread recipes. Good luck with the bread. It can be tempermental to make sometimes but the bread is so good it keeps me making it!

  7. Miranda permalink
    November 4, 2014 8:32 pm

    mine did not raise:(

    • November 4, 2014 8:50 pm

      So sorry to hear. Like I said, it is very tempermental! Don’t give up too soon. Once you figure it out you will really enjoy it.

      • Miranda permalink
        November 19, 2014 2:58 am

        Is there a special yeast you used, I tried to follow the recipe to the “T”. I’m
        not sure what I did wrong.

  8. Miranda permalink
    November 19, 2014 3:03 am

    it still tasted great though lol

  9. Christina permalink
    March 13, 2015 5:22 pm

    Hi Pat
    Help! I’m about to grind my wheat berries, but the measurement calls for 2 cups dry. I did a lot more than 2 cups dry, and now I don’t know how much I should use. Do you have a measurement for after they’re sprouted?

    Thank you!

    • March 13, 2015 5:33 pm

      Do you remember how many cups you started with (dry)? If you put 4 cups into soak then just divide your mash in half. It really doesn’t swell so much that it guess it will measure to 3 cups before mashing them up. I never have measured it so I can’t be certain. Good luck!

  10. Heather permalink
    April 16, 2015 12:09 am

    Wow this looks great! What type of yeast do you use? I’m new to baking.

    • April 16, 2015 12:19 am

      I use rapid rise yeast. I haven’t come across a dry yeast that gives poor results. Good luck on your adventure. Baking is very rewarding but failures do happen and they always help me learn why baking is called an art form.

      • Heather permalink
        April 16, 2015 3:49 am

        Thanks! I’ve yet to make a great loaf of sandwich bread. I think I’m trying too many different kinds so I can’t track down where my errors are from. Your bread looks amazing though and perfect ingredients so I’m gonna give it a shot…or 10 😉

  11. Mary permalink
    August 10, 2017 7:39 pm

    Hi. I just took my loaf out of the oven. It sunk in the middle. I had a perfect rise in the bowl and again in the pan. I was so excited. It is chewy but the flavor is good. Very damp loaf. It was really brown after only 30 minutes. Took it out, the internal temp was 120. Also hard to slice had to grease my knife. Could I have left my sprouts too long. Approximately 48 hours start to Bread making. Please help this seasoned bread maker. Would I love to try this again. Mary

    • August 11, 2017 11:41 am

      Hi Mary, yes, I agree that this bread can test your baking skills but once you find the key to success it will be a favorite.

      I found that I needed to mix and bake the bread as soon as I ground the wheat. My master baker could grind and freeze the mash for later use but I couldn’t figure that out. Guess that is why he is called a master baker. If I let the mash set overnight it would get wet.

      Extra gluten is a must.

      Long mixing to develop the gluten is a must.

      It sounds like you did that part right!

      Next time bake it the required amount of time even if the crust is hard. It is a crusty bread but so tender inside. If too brown, use a piece of foil to sheild it.

      I use an electric knife or a really good.bread knife to slice my bread.

      I hope your next loaf is perfect.Let me know because. I’m interested in the outcome.

      • Mary permalink
        August 11, 2017 11:15 pm

        Thank you, Pat. Can’t wait to make my next loaf. I may become addicted.

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