Sprouted Wheat Bread
Sprouts give this delicious vitamin-rich bread a most unusual flavor and fascinating texture (it looks as if it needs a shave). Although you can buy wheat sprouts, it’s more fun (and very easy) to grow your own (see Notes).
NotesGrow Your Own Sprouts:
1. Place about 4 tablespoons of wheat berries (or kernels) into a colander, and rinse them under cold running water. Set the colander in a large bowl (to catch the water drops), and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm out-of-the-way corner of the kitchen.
2. Ever day, water the berries three or four times (after meals and at bed-time is an easy routine to remember). Simpy hold the colander under running water for a few seconds to rinse the berries, then return it to the emptied bowl. Keep the berries warm and dark under the towel.
3. By the end of the third day, the berries will be well sprouted and ready to use.
As the berries sprout, much of their wheat starch is converted to sugar Take a taste. You'll be surprised by their sweetness. If you have more sporuts than you need for a recipe, keep them in a plastic bag or in the refrigerator, where they will keep for several days. Much on them as snacks, toss them into salads and omelets, or add them to sandwiches.
You can use the same method for sprouting many kinds of seeds and beans—sesame and sunflower seeds, lentils, soybeans, alfalfa, and chickpeas. Sprouted mung beans are commonly used in Chinese-style dishes; they are also great additions to egg, meat, and seafood dishes, as well as breads.
2 large loaves
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Type of Dishbread, yeast bread
- 2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 cups wheat sprouts (see Notes)
- 3½ cups unbleached white flour
- 4-5 cups whole wheat flour
Place the yeast, water, honey, salt, sprouts and white flour in a dishpan or large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour, and continue to beat, adding more flour, a little at a time, until the dough is too stiff to beat.
Add 1 more cup of whole wheat flour, then squeeze the mixture with your hands until the flour disappears. If it is too wet to pick up, add a little more flour. As soon as you can handle the dough, sprinkle with a bit more flour and begin to knead directly in the bowl (or on a floured board). Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is easy to handle and feels springy, although somewhat sticky. Shape into a ball.
Spread a little oil on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the ball of dough, then turn it over, oiled side up. Cover and set in a warm spot for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in bulk. Thoroughly grease (with oil or butter) two 9-x-5-inch bread pans and set aside.
Punch down the risen dough, knead for a minute or so, and form into a ball. Cut in half, and pat each half into a flattened rectangle that is a little longer than the pans. Starting at one of the long sides, tightly roll up each rectangle. Pinch the seam together, turn the loaf over, and tuck the ends under neatly. Place seam-side down in the prepared pans, cover, and let rise about 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in bulk.
Place the pans in a preheated 350°F oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until the loaves are very brown and hollow-sounding when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
2007 Bernice Hunt