Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread
I did it. I conquered the intimidation of baking my own sprouted wheat bread. Sprouted wheat attracts me because of its nutritional make-up: less carbs, more protein, more vitamin C and B vitamins. I can't say it was easy, or even that it's bread I would want to serve to unassuming guests, but DANG! I think it's goooood. Maybe that's because it took me several hours and days to make. But maybe it's honestly good. Mark will be the judge. (And if anything, he'll be a little partial because it took so much time and kitchen space.)
Note: I'm a bread making virgin, and I pretty much abhor following directions exactly. I like to do things my own way, which is usually great when cooking, but I've been told bread making is a bit more scientific, and can be easily ruined. However, if you read on (even if you don't want to bake the bread!), you'll learn that my adventures in bread-making broke just about every rule there is...Nonetheless, I'm scarfing down buttered bread slices, and honeyed bread slices like they were...well, warm bread. =)
3 cups of wheat berries
3 cups of freshly ground wheat, millet, flax, oat groats, and barley
milk ~1 cup
1 t salt
2 1/4 t yeast
1/4 plus 1/8 c warm water
1 t honey
Sprout the wheat berries in a jar. You can use one with a screen lid, or just cover loosely and drain over a seive. They should be covered with warm water and rinsed several times a day. It took me about 3 days to see the 1/4" sprouts.
I put the sprouts in an oven for the day, because they needed to dry out before I put them in the grinder...which in the end I decided not to do. So the sprouts just sat in a cold oven for the day.
Next, too late at night, probably, I decided to just process 3 cups of wheat berries in my Kitchenaid food processor. That worked until I started to hear a noise akin to the broken axle on our car. From there, I put the 3 cups of wheat berries in a large measuring cup, and poured milk over them to reach the 3 cup mark. That's supposed to compensate for the liquid in the berries. I just like milk, so it sounded like a good idea.
While mixing the wheat berries, milk, and salt in my Kitchenaid mixer, I realized I should probably proof the yeast. I did, and it didn't. So I tried again. And again, not much luck. By this time it was around 8pm, and the dough hadn't risen, so I just threw the yeast in there. At that point (a soupy mess), I decided I had better ground up some flour if I wanted this to resemble dough. One large mess and 2.5 cups of whole grains later, I had all the flour I felt like grinding. (My grinder is a coffee grinder, and has a big hole at the top, so I have to McGruber a towel stopper to keep flour from ending up everywhere.)
After I had added the flour, I let the Kitchenaid do it's magic. Ten minutes later, the dough still looked sticky and not very much like bread dough, but like the yeast incident, I wanted it to be over, so I just stuck in a warm oven for an hour and a half.
Nothing happened. It didn't rise more than a little bit. I started thinking outside the box and found some website that gives instructions for the "cool" rise. You stick the bread in the fridge for a few days. Sounded good to me - especially because I was so over cooking loaves of bread at 9:30pm.
Twenty four later. I had some dried sunflower seeds around, so I folded them into one of the loaves and baked the cold loaves at 350 for about an hour and a half. I thought they were going to be nasty. I was fully prepared for nasty.
I was not prepared for moist, delicious, and half gone after 30 minutes. =)