Sprouted Grain Bread
submitted by Ann-Marie Hunter
makes two loaves
- 4 1/2 cups Assorted Whole Grains (any of wheat, oats, spelt, … or combinations)
- 1 ¼ cups Vital Wheat Gluten
- 4 ½ tsp Active Dry Instant Yeast
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ¾ to 1 cup warm Water (in parts, as much as is needed)
- ¼ cup Honey – dissolved in ½ cup of the water. Use the remainder ¼ to ½ cup of water as needed in the recipe to make a smooth, cohesive ball of dough
- 1 cup Mixed Sesame, Pumpkin, Sunflower, or Flax Seeds, … (your choice)
- ½ c. oat bran (optional)
- Vegetable oil (for the bowl)
- Butter (for the loaf pan)
- Prepare the 4½ cups of grains by rinsing them, then soaking them in water overnight. Sprout them by putting them on a screen that you cover with plastic (I use large closed Ziploc bags laid on top of the sprouts, to keep moisture in during sprouting) for 24 hours (winter) 14 -18 hours (summer), rinsing about twice a day. Check carefully to ensure the grains do not sprout past about 1 mm long – no longer! I seem to have the best luck with grains that have sprouts just peeking out! The sprouted grains should now measure about 9 cups.
- Blend sprouts in a food processor or blender until they become like a pulp. Add some of the ½ cup water/honey mixture from the recipe to help the sprouts to blend smoothly.
- Mix the gluten, salt and yeast together. Put the pulp in a large bowl and add in the gluten mixture. Knead it by machine or by hand, until all the ingredients are well combined, and the dough sticks together well.
- Add the mixed seeds (and optional oat bran) and continue kneading. Add a little more water, if required, to make it a smooth, cohesive ball of dough. Some of the seeds will still be dropping off the ball, but that’s not a problem – just press them back into the dough. The moisture is the most important aspect of the mixing – not too sticky or too dry.
- (I’ve done all the kneading in a mix master with a dough hook) but you can also sprinkle some dry wheat flour on a counter, and place the dough on it, wet your hands and knead the dough, for about two minutes. Shape into a ball, and allow it to rest on the surface for about five minutes.
- After five minutes of resting the dough, knead the dough again, for about a minute with wet hands (or in the mix master). The dough should become strong, but still feel soft.
- Now put the ball of dough into a slightly oiled bowl, and roll it. Cover it loosely with a clean T-towel and let it rise for about an hour, to at least 1½ times its size. I use the bread-proofing setting on my oven.
- Butter loaf pans lightly. Separate the dough into two parts. Roll out the bubbles of each half, roll up into a loaf, pinching the seam and ends, and place it in the pan, seam side down. Let rest, covered with the towel, for about 25 minutes. Brush the loaves with egg white and garnish with oatmeal or other mixed seeds, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the loaf pans in the oven, cook for about 3 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350ºF, allowing it to bake for about 30 minutes more. Check for doneness by tapping the bottom of the loaf to hear a hollow sound.
- Once done, place the loaves on a wire rack, and allow them to cool for at least an hour before storing in plastic bags. Freezes well.