Thankfully, my hubby likes science. So do I. Because we looked like we had a science fair project growing in my kitchen…all in the name of delicious whole grain bread. Totally worth it!
It’s been over 10 years since I last made bread, and we jumped right back in with both feet by making Sprouted Grain Bread. It turned out so delicious- wonderful flavor, texture, and color…I could go on. This recipe takes about 4 days, though; not to mention I was growing sprouted grains in my kitchen for 3 of those 4 days. It reminded me of grade school when we sprouted lima beans in ziploc bags. Except these are grains. Many, many more grains. The recipe is rather involved, so it’s given in stages to make it easier!
Sprouted Grain Bread
3/4 c. wheat berries
1/4 c. quinoa
1/4 c. brown lentils
2 c. cool water
Combine wheat berries, quinoa, lentils, and cool water in a bowl & cover for 12 – 24 hours (to soften the grains). After 12 – 24 hours, drain the water out of the bowl, leaving the grains in the bowl, and re-cover for 1 – 3 days, rinsing once a day. Once each type of grain has sprouted small green stems, you know they are ready. *Don’t be fooled by the quinoa- as it softens, the outer layer unravels. Look for little green stems.
Once they are all “stemmed,” toss them in a food processor and puree into a paste, scraping down the processor often (1 – 2 minutes). Now prepare the dough.
1/4 c. Sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. Pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. Sesame seeds
1 3/4 c. bread flour (like King Arthur)
1 envelope instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. warm, not hot, water
3 Tbsp. honey
Olive Oil spray
1 large egg white with 1 tsp. water, for brushing
Toast the Sunflower, Pumpkin, and Sesame seeds until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine the sprouted grain paste from the Sprouted Grain step, flour, yeast, and salt in a stand mixer with a dough hook (or by hand, if you’re awesome/crazy). In a liquid measuring cup, measure warm water, and add honey to the warmed water; whisk. Slowly, pour honey water into the flour mixture; mix on low for 2 minutes, or until sticky and combined. Turn off the mixer & cover the bowl with Saran for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes have passed, uncover the dough & knead the dough with the mixer on med-low for 10 total minutes. At 4 minutes, check to dough to see if it is sticking. If it’s sticking, add 1 Tbsp. flour & recheck. Can add up to another 1 c. of bread flour if needed (I only needed 1 Tbsp. extra). After 8 minutes have passed, add 6 Tbsp. of the toasted seeds & continue to knead for 2 more minutes.
Pull the dough out onto a floured board & knead by hand until smooth & elastic, just a couple of minutes. Return it back to the mixing bowl, cover, and put the bowl in a warm (not hot) place until twice it’s original size (2 hours). (Since it’s a frozen tundra in PA, I had some trouble with a warm spot…but I found a solution that worked like magic: turn on the dishwasher & put the dough on the counter above the dishwasher. Humid & warm = beautiful results! Plus, there are clean dishes…)
Dig out your 9″ x 5″ bread pan & spray with Olive Oil. Pull the dough gently back out onto the floured board & knead, gently this time, into a square. Pinch the seam closed & pull into a cylindrical shape, roughly fitting the bread pan. Place the bread into the pan, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap until twice its size again, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, unwrap the Saran from the bread, and brush the top of the bread with egg whites. Sprinkle the remaining seeds over the top of the loaf. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes & cool it for 15 minutes before turning it out. Cool another 2 hours before eating…and finally, crack into the yummiest sprouted grain bread you’ve ever had!! Whew!
So…it’s beautiful, right?? Guess what? I babysat this sucker for 4 days; it came out of the oven looking just like you see above. I waited the 15 minutes for it to cool, and when I returned to turn it out, it fell. 🙁 What happened?
What happened, indeed! I clearly hallucinated that the recipe said to bake at 210 degrees F for 40 – 50 minutes. Needless, to say, it wasn’t done, and it had fallen. I popped it back in, and Chris stayed up with it for another hour plus, and then he took it out. The bread was finally done, but the damage was done – it never recovered from the fall. Boo hoo. As Chris said, it’s no use crying over fallen spelt! The bread was still other-worldly fantastic. I just made it last night/early this AM, and already we’re down to half of the loaf!! Incredible with PB! I haven’t tried at PBJ yet- but it’s got to be amazing! I can’t wait to see how good it is when I’m not attempting to bake bread at 11:45 at night, and (hopefully) have the mental capacity to follow a recipe!