I learned a lot from the process so I decided to give it another try. One of the main things I learned was the trick to sprouting the wheat berries. I paid special attention to this on my second attempt and as you'll see, it made all the difference.
Here is the process for making sprouted wheat bread with no flour that works. This method produces a light loaf that doesn't look or taste like a brick. Tanya, this one's for you!
Yeasted Sprout Bread
Makes: Two Loaves
Adapted from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole Grain Breakmaking by Laurel Robertson.
You can grind the berries in a meat grinder or your food processor. After my last attempt, I decided to get a meat grinder to see if that helped. Well, it didn't so I just used my food processor again. This time it worked really well.
- 6 cups (2 1/2 lbs or 1135g) wheat berries (hard-spring or winter wheat berries) . This will make a little more than 3 quarts sprouted and weigh about 4 1b. I used hard red spring berries.
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1/4 oz or 7g)
- 1/4 cup warm water (60 ml)
- 1/3 cup honey (80 mil)
- 4 teaspoons salt (22 g)
Sprouting the Wheat Berries
Be very careful to only sprout the berries until the tiny sprout is just barely beginning to show and the grain itself is tender - about 18 – 24 hours. If the grain is not tender, your grinder will heat up, making the dough too hot.
This is very important: If the grain sprouts develop long enough for diastatic enzymes to get started, it will make the bread very gooey and it won't bake through. This is what happened the first time! I didn't want to do that again or I would end up with another brick.
It was very hot when I started sprouting the wheat berries so I knew it wouldn't take very long. This time instead of soaking the grains for 18 hours, I only let the grains soak for about 12 hours.
This photo is rather fuzzy but it shows the tiny sprout just beginning to appear.
At this point, I rinsed and drained the sprouted grains and put them in the refrigerator to rest until I was ready to make the bread. My schedule was a little bit crazy so the grains sat in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Making the Bread
The evening I decided to bake the bread, I took the grains out of the refrigerator and rinsed and drained them again.
Then I removed the excess moisture from the sprouts by patting them with a paper towel.
Then I ground the grains using my food processor. As I mentioned, I tried using the meat grinder, but I couldn't get it to work right so I nixed that idea. This time the grains were not sticky or gooey so my food processor handled it perfectly.
I ground about half the grains at a time. I kneaded each batch a little bit in the food processor. Then I put both batches together in the bowl.
Then I continued the process of making the bread. First, I dissolved the yeast in the warm water. Then, I added the honey, salt, and yeast to the ground sprouts and mixed it together really well with wet hands.
It was a little bit gooey but it really wasn't that bad doing it by hand (or with my hands I should say).
After I had mixed it really well, I placed the dough on the counter and kneaded it for about 15 minutes. Even though I had kneaded it somewhat with the food processor, it still had to be kneaded by hand a while longer.
It finally came together like a normal yeast dough. So, I placed the dough in the bowl, covered it with plastic and let it rise for 2 hours.
After two hours, I poked the dough gently with two fingers. The holes didn't fill in at all, so I was ready to move on.
I divided the dough in half using my dough scraper and shaped each half into a round. Then I flattened and spread each round into a rectangle and rolled each rectangle up jelly roll style.
To form a loaf. I pinched the seam together, then rolled it around until the seam was on the bottom and placed the loaves in two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2- inch glass pans.
I really like using glass pans because you can see what the bread looks like. See, isn't that cool! I let the loaves rise in the pan until the dough crested the top of the pans.
I baked the loaves at 350 degrees for about an hour. Just look at that oven spring! No bricks here!
After the loaves finished baking, I removed them to the cooling rack to cool for a few minutes. Then, I brushed the loaves with melted butter and let them finish cooling.
These sprouted wheat loaves actually look like loaves made with flour.
Here is a shot of the first attempt.
This sprouted wheat loaf looks much better than the first attempt, don't you think?