A few weeks ago, a visitor to my blog commented on the sprouted wheat bread with no flour post. She wanted to know if I had experimented with and had any success with sprouted bread lately. Well, now that you mention it, it has been awhile since I’ve made bread using only sprouted wheat. So you know what that means… it’s time to experiment again. For this experiment, I used the ancient grain Einkorn rather than hard red spring wheat.
I really enjoy making sprouted wheat bread. The sprouting process is fun and it provides a host of nutritious benefits. Sprouting the grain produces vitamin C and increases the vitamin B and Carotene content, and neutralizes phytic acid, which is a substance that inhibits the absorption of calcium and a number of other minerals. Complex sugars are also broken down and enzymes which aid in digestion are produced during the germination. All good things in my book.
I’ve made this Sprouted Einkorn Bread with no flour two times so far. The first time, I let the grains soak for about 12 hours, then rinsed and drained them and let them sprout overnight at room temperature. The next morning, I rinsed and drained them again and put them in the refrigerator for a day before I baked the bread. In this heat, that turned out to be a bit too long to let the sprouts grow, particularly since they continue to grow a bit in the refrigerator. I also used the wrong size loaf pan for the first attempt. I used a 9” x 5” loaf pan, but should’ve used the smaller 8” x 4” size.
Here is a photo of the first attempt. I took photos of the sprouting process for the first bread, but somehow I lost them. I do have photos of the 2nd attempt. This bread was a bit dense, but had great flavor. It tasted good with Spicy Peach Butter and with cheese.
The key to success with this bread is to only let the grains sprout until the tiny sprouts are just barely beginning to show. So for the second attempt, I only let the grains soak about 16 hours. The sprouts were just barely peeking out. After the 16 hours, I drained the grains thoroughly and put them in the refrigerator overnight. I started the process of making the loaf the next day.
This is the process I used for the 2nd loaf.
Sprouted Einkorn BreadMakes: One Loaf
Adapted from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole Grain Breakmaking by Laurel Robertson.
- 3 cups (575 g) Einkorn berries (makes about 6 cups sprouted)
- 1 teaspoon (3.5 g) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) warm water
- 2 teaspoons (11 g) salt
- 3 scant tablespoons (40 ml) honey
Step 1: Sprouting the Einkorn Berries
Tip: Only sprout the berries until the sprout is just beginning to show and the berry is tender. In hot weather, it doesn’t take very long.
Begin by rinsing the grains and covering them with tepid water. Let them soak for about 12 to 18 hours at room temperature.
Here are the Einkorn grains after soaking for 16 hours. The sprout is just barely peeking out.
This is a close up of the tiny sprouts. Aren’t they cute! The grain is soft and pliable at this point. Place the sprouted grains in the refrigerator until they are cool. You can leave them in there a day or two, but keep in mind that the sprouts will continue to grow in the refrigerator so don’t leave them in there too long or you’ll end up with a sticky and dense bread that doesn’t bake through all the way.
Step 2: Mixing the dough
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until foamy. Then add the sprouts, the dissolved yeast, honey and salt and process in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, not the dough blade. You can do this part in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size/power of your food processor. I just got a more powerful food processor so it was able to handle the whole batch at one time.
Process until the sprouted grains form a ball. This will take about a minute. Then scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process two minutes more. If you’re doing this in several batches, divide the ingredients by thirds and process each batch, then knead the dough balls together.
Step 3: Bulk Fermentation
Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and place it in a warm draft-free place. Let the dough proof for about an hour and a half.
Gently poke the center of the dough with a wet finger. If the hole doesn’t fill in, then the dough is ready. If is does fill in, let it proof a little while longer.
Note: At this point, I ran out of time so I placed the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
I took the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours to warm up to room temperature.
Continue Step 3: Bulk Fermentation:
Press the dough flat and form it again into a smooth ball. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and allow it to rise again. This second rise shouldn’t take as long as the first rise since the dough will be warmer.
Step 4: Shaping the Dough:
Using water to prevent your hands from sticking, gently spread out the dough into a rough rectangle.
Shape the dough into a smooth loaf and place in a greased 8” x 4” loaf pan. This time I used the appropriate size loaf pan.
Step 5: Proofing the Dough
Let it rise about 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place (such as your oven with the light turned off).
Step 6: Baking the Loaf
Bake the loaf for about an hour at 350 degrees F. If your bread rises really well, it may not take that long. It didn’t take mine quite an hour to bake through.
Step 7: Cooling the Loaf
Remove the loaf from the oven to a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing.
Step 8: Slice and Enjoy!
This bread rose better than the first attempt, but I think it would’ve risen better if I hadn’t put the dough in the refrigerator overnight. It was dense, but not as dense as the first one. It had a great flavor. I gave this one to my taste tester to enjoy.
I hope you’ll try this bread and let me know how it works out for you. I plan to try it again sometime without placing the dough in the refrigerator overnight to see the difference. It should rise a little bit better.