Thursday, 19 June 2008

Bread Baking Day - Sprouted Wheat Berry Bread

Bread Baking Day #11 - Sprouted Bread.
For this month’s bread baking challenge, we had to make a sprouted bread. This was something that I had not heard of and it immediately struck fear into my heart. I found a recipe for sprouted grain bread in one of my mother’s old recipe books - Breadcraft, published in 1974. (Now out of print but available used in some locations) I can honestly say that I can’t remember her ever making bread but I did manage to inherit 2 great bread books from her - this one and the Tassajara Bread Book, published in 1970. (Updated and available at Amazon) I imagine they were required reading for the hippie set whether they actually baked or not. I went online to find a guide for sprouting grain and found a simple one at Bob’s Red Mill for sprouting wheat berries. Mine were not red, not organic and I used tap water but they turned out great anyway. Between the sprouting wheat berries, sourdough starters, rising breads and fermenting yogurt, my house is looking like a science lab.
The Original Recipe - now out of print
From Breadcraft - by Charles and Violet Shafer.

¾ cup warmed ground sprouted wheat
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp yeast, dissolved in
¼ cup lukewarm water
1¾ cups unbleached flour

Combine sprouted wheat, sugar, salt and butter. Add dissolved yeast and flour. Knead well. Place in covered bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and shape into round loaf and let rise in a buttered ovenproof casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

My Version

I used all the wheat berry sprouts. I pulsed them in the food processor and left them a bit chunky for texture.
I added about 1 cup of my home starter. It is a bit of a Frankenstein sourdough starter that gets fed mostly rye flour but also some whole wheat and white flour.
I added some more flour while I was kneading, just enough to get it to knead well.
I did the second rise and baked the bread in a Nordic Ware Sunflower cake pan which I sprayed with canola oil and sprinkled with poppy seeds.
I served the bread on father’s day with a whipped herb butter. My mother ate half the loaf. It was so moist and chewy and sweet, it was one of the best loaves of bread I have made yet. And to think, I was frightened of making sprouted wheat bread!

Thank you Zorra, for helping me challenge myself once again.
Click here for the BreadBakingDay round-up for more awesome breads baked with sprouts.