Categories
Bread Cookbook

SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD

A variety of approaches are found on the web; try several. They’re all easy, but it takes half week from grain to loaf! Here’s the procedure I settled on:

3 cups wheat berries (or other grain of your choice–rye, spelt, kamut, einkorn, barley….) Water to cover Oil or a sprinkle of cornmeal for the pan

Rinse your grain and drown it with cool water in a bowl or mason jar; cover with a clean towel and soak about 12 hours. Drain the grains into a large strainer or colander (cheesecloth lining if the holes are too big). Cover the colander with a large lid or plate and set it in a shaded area. Rinse the grains three times a day, keep them covered, and watch for tiny white tails to emerge. Wheat or spelt will take two or three days for the sprouts to grow to an ideal quarter inch, depending on the ambient temperature and moisture. Longer tails are not good. Other grains will take shorter or longer times.

If you want dried fruits in your bread, soak them half an hour before you process the grain. Nuts and seeds don’t need soaking.

Don’t rinse your sprouted grain when it’s ready to process; it should be nearly dry when you grind it. A hand food mill works but a food processor does the grinding very nicely. You can tell it’s ready when pulsing with the S blade draws the “dough” into a ball. Wet your hands and put the ball on a board, knead a little to get air bubbles out, and add in any nuts, seeds, and soaked fruit you want. Form a round or oval slightly flattened loaf and put it on a Pyrex pan, either oiled or dusted with cornmeal. Some people sprinkle the loaves with water before and during baking to prevent them from drying out; I put a pan of water on the shelf next to the loaf to create a moist environment.

Maybe setting the pan in a pan of water would help to keep the bottom from getting hard.

Put your loaf in a cold oven and turn it to 250º for 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 hours till the outside is firm and maybe a little cracked but not hard (my first attempt resembled a brick because I baked it too long). The inside should be quite soft, but it firms up when it’s cool.

Success with sprouted bread takes practice. It can come out too hard or too soft before you get it just right. Store in sealed plastic bags. It keeps for a month in the fridge, but why would you eat it so slowly?

It can also be cooked in a crock pot set on low for eight hours. I substituted a dutch oven on top of the stove with a sturdy but edible result. I haven’t tried a very long and low temperature “cook” to approximate “raw.” My daughter who lives near Denver has used a solar oven.

Submitted by Eleanor