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Old 04-21-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
Tirzah Harper
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sprouted wheat bread

Sprouted Wheat Bread

I am a cook who canít follow a recipe exactly to save my life. I read cookbooks avidly, but somehow they are more likeÖguidelines, I guess. The Laurelís Kitchen Bread Book was my main source of guidelines for this process.

So that said, I donít have a recipe for the bread. Iíll just talk about the process. So far Iíve made maybe a half-dozen batches, each one a little different, all yummy.
For my method, you need a food processor, a slow cooker, and a crockery/pottery/oven safe bowl that will fit in the slow cooker. I use about a quart of wheat berries and it makes a loaf thatís maybe two quarts in volume??

First you need sprouted wheat berries. I use a two-quart Mason jar for this process and fill it about half full of dry wheat berries to begin with. Then I fill the jar about 7/8 full of water and leave overnight (or 24 hours, depending on my schedule) to soak the wheat berries.
Then I drain and rinse the wheat several times. I know they make sprout lids for jars to help people with this, but I just have a little handheld strainer the same diameter as the jar Ė I use it to keep the wheat in the jar while draining it. Youíre supposed to rinse sprouts three times a day. Sometimes I actually do this. Usually I just rinse them a few times whenever I remember. The jar sits on my counter along with lentils for cooking and/or sprouting, almonds soaking in preparation for milk, mousetraps (country house), etc.

After maybe 48 hours (always when I donít have time to deal with it) the wheat berries are bristling with little sprouts about half the length of the grain kernel. This is my time! Usually theyíre a little longer than this by the time I get to them though. You don't want to let the sprouts get longer than the kernels, I think, or it supposedly does something nasty to the bread texture.

One final rinse, and I pour the little sprouts onto a towel to drain them for a little while (ten minutes?). the one time I skipped the draining step, I had to add a lot of flour to get the bread consistency right.
Next I grind them up in my food processor a couple of double handfuls at a time, whatever the machine can handle well. each batch gets chopped until it sticks together in a ball. Then I grab the ball of dough out and drop it in a big bowl, and keep going.
When Iím all done with that step, itís time to knead the bread. You can just knead the dough all by itself at this point, but I like it better with yeast: one packet of yeast dissolved in less than half a cup of pretty warm water; a few tablespoons of honey to feed the yeast; a little salt. It tastes great with or without yeast, honey, and salt, but itís a little less dense with the yeast.
So I knead that stuff in and then knead the dough for ten or twenty minutes, as long as I can sit around doing that. itís my favorite part of the process.
The dough then goes in my greased pottery bowl and I sit it in a warm place to rise for a while, until it just barely rises back when I poke it gently.
Then it goes in the slow cooker on low for eight hoursÖhey presto! Bread!

Itís got a very thick and chewy crust on the bottom, from the bowl; a fairly thin crust on the top, because of the steam in the slow cooker; and a very dense and chewy overall texture. It stays fairly sticky in the middle compared to regular bread - more like a very dense cake, I guess. Itís great toasted or plain. It WILL mold fast!

The batch thatís sitting on my counter now will go into the cooker tonight. I have fast-rising yeast right now (need to get to the grocery store!) so Iím going to try just plopping it into the cooker after kneading without a long rising step.

Unchopped sprouts add excellent texture to the bread, if your food processor is cheap like mine. Next research: sourdough sprouted-wheat cultures!
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
Kelly Moore
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Re: sprouted wheat bread

Thanks Tirzah!

I have been wondering what to do with the sprouted rye berries after collecting the liquid to make Rejuvelac....I've been feeding them to the birds. (I use rye berries rather than wheat as the liquid tastes better).

I very rarely eat any kind of bread anymore due to the gut troubles I usually experience. The sprouted bread I've purchased at the Co-op gives me far less trouble and it would be nice to enjoy a slice once in a while.

I'll give this recipe a try after Nationals.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:26 AM   #3
Tirzah Harper
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Re: sprouted wheat bread

Next research #2: sprouted rye bread!
I'm a little curious to see how well that works - rye behaves differently than wheat, especially as far as developing the gluten by kneading goes.
If you try that before I do, let me know how it goes!
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:29 AM   #4
Kelly Moore
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Re: sprouted wheat bread

Will do!

I frequently pitch experiments gone bad, and since I know nothing about gluten and bread making I'm sure this will be interesting.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
Bob Guere
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Re: sprouted wheat bread

Funny this thread started when it did; I just purchased my first loaf of sprouted Rye from TJs yesterday, and I'm eating some right now. I think it's delicious, and a great alternative for those occasions when I really want some bread. I can't comment on the process since TJs made it.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
Tirzah Harper
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Re: sprouted wheat bread

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Originally Posted by Kelly Moore View Post
Will do!

I frequently pitch experiments gone bad, and since I know nothing about gluten and bread making I'm sure this will be interesting.
Basically just make sure you knead it for about twenty minutes. Whole grain bread takes a while to develop a good glutenous texture or whatever you call it.
My new batch is in the cooker! It'll be a good breakfast tomorrow...
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
Carrie Russo
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Re: sprouted wheat bread

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Originally Posted by Bob Guere View Post
Funny this thread started when it did; I just purchased my first loaf of sprouted Rye from TJs yesterday, and I'm eating some right now. I think it's delicious, and a great alternative for those occasions when I really want some bread. I can't comment on the process since TJs made it.
Hey Bob....I know this is an old thread but I was reading through and noticed you are from Cal City! I just moved from Tehachapi. It's a small world, heh?
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