Sunday, November 15, 2015

Making Sprouted Wheat Bread Without a Grain Mill or Dehydrator (Wet Sprout Bread)

A friend asked me the other day if it was possible to make sprouted bread if you didn't have a dehydrator or a grain mill. I honestly didn't know - I'd tried a recipe for Ezekiel Bread once that used wet sprouts, and it turned out a heavy, crunchy mess, so I hadn't tried again. But my friend's question got me thinking . . .
This time I wanted to start out with a tried-and-true recipe (my 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour Light and Fluffy Sandwich Bread) and tweak it to see if I could make it work with wet sprouts.
First, I needed to make the sprouts. I weighed the amount of flour called for in the original recipe, then measured out the same weight of unsprouted grain. It came out to about 2 1/2 cups of grain weighed the same as 3 cups of flour. Then I mixed the dry grain with the 1 1/2 cup of water called for in the recipe and let this sit in a bowl, covered, overnight.
The next morning, the grains were sprouted nicely - you can see the tiny root "tails" in the picture.
The first time I tried this, I just ran the sprouts through my meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen 
Aid mixer without adding anything, but it made my machine bog down worrisomely. So I tried it again, this time mixing the oil called for in the recipe into the sprouts, and that made the process go more smoothly.
NOTE: The second time I made this recipe, I stripped out the gears on the top of my mixer. I can still mix things in the bowl, but now I can't use the tools that attach to the front. One expensive lesson learned.
Instead of my now-useless meat grinder attachment, I use my food processor, which works just fine.
After mixing in all of the ingredients and mixing the dough until it formed a rough ball, I placed it in a bread pan to rise. After an hour, I pressed it out into about a 10x15 rectangle (I used my Pampered Chef Baker's Roller, but a regular old rolling pin should work, too), rolled it up jelly-roll style, and put it back into the loaf pan to rise a second time.
After another hour, it had risen a little (not nearly as much as the loaves I make with sprouted flour), but I popped it in the oven and hoped for the best.
When the finished bread came out of the oven, it was not very tall (although it had gotten some oven spring), but it smelled heavenly. Once it had cooled for about an hour, we cut into it and the kids and I all tried some (slathered in butter, of course).
Every single one of the kids exclaimed about how good it was! It was slightly sweet from the sprouting, a tiny bit crunchy because of the coarse grind from the meat grinder, and it had all of the flavor of a hearty whole wheat bread. That first loaf disappeared in minutes, and the kids were begging me to make another!
I should mention that this wouldn't work well for a sandwich loaf - it's quite crumbly. But it's a great snack or go-along bread (my kids love it warm out of the toaster with breakfast).

Simple Wet Sprouted Bread
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups wheat berries
3 Tbsp oil of choice (I usually use butter or lard)
3 Tbsp sweetener of choice (I like honey or maple syrup, but sugar works fine, too)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
Soak grain in water overnight. In the morning, mix in oil and run through meat grinder twice. Add all other ingredients and knead until dough forms a ball. Let rise one hour, then press into a 10x15 rectangle, roll up jelly-roll style, and place in loaf pan. Let rise another hour, then bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Let cool for one hour before slicing.

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