You may have noticed bread labels sprouting “sprouted wheat flour” as an ingredient. It’s even now available for home bakers! This fall’s baking season is a great time to explore the world of sprouted wheat flour baking, but you won’t have to repeat my mistakes! Start your adventure with HBA member Panhandle Milling Company‘s Pastry Chef Stephanie Petersen’s guide and recipe!
Natural sprouted grain flours are among some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can add to your diet. If you’re like a lot of people who have tried to bake with sprouted wheat and found a few challenges, you’re not alone. In this article, we’re give you some great tips for using these flours in your bread baking that will give you great results. Our seasoned pastry chef struggled with this flour through several experiments in our test kitchen before she finally found some tips to increase your success. Hopefully these will help you on your journey!
- Knead more or add gluten. Sprouted hard wheat flour is slightly lower in viable gluten-content for easy dough structure. Increase the kneading time in your standard recipes by a few minutes, or add a 1-2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten per cup (depending on the baked product).
- No long fermentation needed. Classically trained bread bakers know that long slow fermentation gives dough the deepest flavor and character. During this fermentation, the enzymes in the wheat go through some changes like the sprouting process. The depth of flavor can be achieved in a very short amount of time with sprouted flours. Longer fermentation will cause sprouted flour to not raise as much as it would with a short raise.
- Cup for cup.You can use sprouted flour the same as you would use un-sprouted flour, cup for cup.
- Sprouted spelt is different. Though it is a wheat variety, it contains less gluten than all other wheat varieties. Spelt does not rise as high as other wheat varieties due to the low gluten content.
- Avoid rancidity.Sprouted flours should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container and is best consumed within 12 months. The freshness can be extended by at least 6 months in the refrigerator and another 6 months in the freezer.
- Be safe. Treat all flour like it is a raw product. Store raw flour away from ready-to-eat foods. Keep the measuring of unbaked dough away from areas where baked products are stored. Clean work surfaces with hot soapy water before and after baking with raw flour and doughs. Wash hands after handling raw dough and before tasting any baked goods. Bake all bread to a safe internal temperature (190°-210° F).
No-Fail Sprouted Wheat Bread
This recipe is one that our chef perfected after many loaves. We think you’ll agree, it is great for bread! There are many more ways to use this versatile dough. It’s a quick recipe. The bread is ready to bake in about an hour! Yield: 2 loaves.
Filtered water| 2 cups
Olive Oil| 1/4 cup
Honey| 2 Tbsp.
Sea Salt| 2 tsp
Sprouted Whole White Wheat Flour |6-7 cups
Vital Wheat gluten powder*|1/4 cup
Active Dry Yeast| 1 Tbsp.
- Wash and sanitize all work surfaces and tools.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sea salt and vital wheat gluten*.
- Measure liquid ingredients into a second large bowl. Add the yeast using only half the flour and adding yeast last.
- Mix gently until the flour is moistened. Continue mixing, adding flour until the dough comes away from the sides and bottom of bowl.
- Knead 8–10 minutes by hand or 4-5 minutes with a mixer using the dough hook on medium speed. Form into a ball and place in a gallon-sized bowl. Cover with plastic and allow to raise about 30 minutes. Deflate dough. Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape into loaves and place in greased 8 inch by 4-inch loaf pans.
- Wash and sanitize hands and work surfaces again.
- Let rise until doubled or 1″ above pan (we suggest covering it loosely with a tented plastic grocery bag or misting with water and placing in a cool oven.) Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until at least 190° internal temperature. Cool on racks. Slice after 15 minutes, store or freeze after 2-3 hours.
* Use of vital wheat gluten is optional, but our test kitchen has found this addition to give the most consistent results without having to knead excessively. If you omit this, increase your kneading time by at least 3 minutes by hand, if not longer.
by Stephanie Petersen
Pantries in the United States are blessed. We have so many types of whole grains and seeds to cook and bake. An excellent new resource includes the ingredient pages with images and descriptions of ancient and specialty wheats, corn, grains and seeds found at PanhandleMilling.com. Baking formulations are also being added by Chef Stephanie Petersen for a plethora of savory and sweet biscuits, tortillas and breads.
The health benefits of making at least half of the grain foods eaten every day “whole grain” are many. The WholeGrainsCouncil.org offers teaching resources and infographics to illustrate what “whole grain” is and how to recognize whole grain foods using the foods label and with their Whole Grain Stamp. The many benefits of eating cooked whole grains and baking with whole grain flours, rolled grains or meal are illustrated using their infographic.
Another helpful guide to define what grains are “ancient,” and what are “pseudo” is Ancient Wheat and Pseudo Grain prepared by the Wheat Foods Council.
Cooking and baking with whole grains, the flour and meal produced from them can be fun as well as challenging. In baking, if too much non-wheat grain is substituted, results may be disappointing. Access Baking with Whole Wheat Flour 101, and make a note: Almost any recipe that is already great could be baked with a mixture of non-wheat whole grain flours or meal if it is no more the ¼ or 25% of the flour in the recipe.
- Example: A pancake recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour—you can use 1 ½ cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour plus ½ cup of a multi-grain mixture like cornmeal, flax meal, oatmeal, sorghum, spelt or other flours
The Home Baking Association members include many historic, regional mills. Stone-Buhr Flour buys regionally and mills soft Pacific Northwest Wheat, ideal for flat breads, crackers, Asian noodles and pastries. Bake your own whole grain cracker to celebrate whole grain month.
Bake your grand finale to September by choosing another historic flour to bake whole wheat biscuit whole grain, biscuit and breakfast celebrations.
What if there were one day when, everywhere you went, there were opportunities to try delicious whole grain foods?
You’d stop into the cafeteria at your workplace, and you’d be offered a taste of quinoa salad. Your teenager would duck into a quick-serve restaurant, and they’d ask, “Would you like that on a whole grain wrap, instead of the usual bun?” In the park downtown, a food company would be passing out granola bars to joggers. At dinner, as you serve whole grain pasta to your family, your fourth-grader would report about the whole grain pizza in her school lunch.
That’s what happens every year on the last Wednesday in March, when the Whole Grains Council holds its annual Whole Grain Sampling Day. Our goal is to have people everywhere saying, “That was great! Where have you been all my life?”
According to a 2014 survey by the International Food Information Council, 72% of consumers are seeking more whole grains. Whole Grains also feature strongly in the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Culinary Forecast. This year, give customers what they’re looking for by celebrating Whole Grain Sampling Day!
More information here
More than 2/3 of the educators we survey tell us they want to bake more whole grain recipes. Both achieving and enjoying the goal to eat “3 or more servings or 48 grams of whole grains daily” becomes easy with so many wonderful whole grain resources found among HBA’s member test kitchens.
Kelly Toup, MS RD from HBA’s newest partner, The Whole Grains Council highlighted these resources from www.wholegrainscouncil.org.
Plan to teach others by celebrating “Whole Grain Sampling Day April 1, 2015.
Whole Grain Sampling Day (WGSD) is an opportunity to have people everywhere saying, “That was great! Where have whole grains been all my life?”
Any activity, no matter how big or how small, can be a part of Whole Grain Sampling Day, so long as it encourages whole grains. The Whole Grains Council offers tons of resources for WGSD, from downloadable brochures and handouts about whole grains, to a Whole Grain Grocery Store Tour Kit, to Whole Grain Trivia Contest Kit, to a database of sample Tweets for WGSD. Looking for ideas?
If you’re interested in joining the movement to promote whole grains this April, get in touch with Kelly Toups, RD (Kelly@oldwayspt.org, or 617-896-4884). Kelly will help you brainstorm ideas, and let you know how the Whole Grains Council can support your nutrition education efforts. We love to hear about fun, new ways to encourage whole grains, so reach out to Kelly to share your whole grain event, whether you’re a teacher, a dietitian, a manufacturer, a chef — or simply an individual planning to do something special!