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"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.

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~ Julia Child

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let it Rise... Sprouted Grain Bread

Eating healthy is a passion of mine.  I would say that at least 80% of my eating is healthy. (we will not talk about this past holiday season tho) ;)  I also have a passion for bread making and love to try a challenge so when I found this recipe for sprouted grain bread in The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook: A New, Healthier Way to Cook Everything from America's Most Trusted Test Kitchen I just had to try it.  Keep in mind that this recipe takes up to 4 days to start.  It involves sprouting grains so if you want to make it today you are out of luck.  However it would be super fun to do with children because of the sprouting process and the rising process as well.  Good hands on kitchen science here folks!

All of the grains can be purchased at Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market or other health food store.  I chose Sprouts because you can buy them in bulk.

Sprouted Grains
3/4 cup wheat berries
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup lentils
2 cups water

Kinda looks like bird food. No?

Combine all the grains in a large container and add water. Cover and soak from 12 to 24 hours.
Drain the grain through a fine-mesh strainer and return them to the container. Cover and let sit at room temp, rinsing and draining the grains daily until small sprouts appear on each type of grain. This takes 1-3 days.  The wheat berries took the longest.  The lentils were the fastest.
This is the fun part for the kids.  They can help you check on the grains and see how they have sprouted.  Kitchen science doesn't get better than this! (well unless you count the green fuzzy stuff in that container in the back of the fridge, come on you know you have had one of those)
Now this was the tricky part, at least for me because I do not have a full size food processor.
Process the sprouted grains in a food processor for 2 to 3 minutes to form a smooth, sticky paste.  As you can see my paste was not that smooth.  I  really need a big food processor! It still worked but my bread was crunchy.  

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons pepitas, (shelled pumpkin seeds) toasted
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 3/4-2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 envelope instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
vegetable oil spray
1 large egg whisked together with 1 teaspoon water

Whisk the water and honey together in a liquid measuring cup.  Combine the sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Combine the processed sprouted grains 1 3/4 cups of the bread flour, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted  with the dough hook.
With the mixer on low speed add the water mixture until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (you don't need to take it out of the mixer) and let sit at room temp. for 20 minutes.
 Remove the plastic wrap and knead the dough on medium-low speed until it is smooth and elastic. This will take some time, about 8 minutes.  If the dough is still sticky after 4 minutes add the remaining 1/2 cup flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom.  Add 6 tablespoons of the seeds and continue to knead until incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball. Place the ball in a greased bowl and turn to coat.  Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the bread.  Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Hint: don't rush this, go shopping, go for a walk, something, anything just leave it alone for 2 whole hours.  Whole grain bread like this takes time.  So does 100% whole wheat bread.  You will be happy with the end loaf if you just let it rise!

Sorry folks, I did not take photos of this next step.  I really should have! :(
Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Turn dough out onto a lightly flowered surface and gently press the dough into a 9-inch square, gently roll into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed.
Place the loaf seam side down in the prepared pan.  Spray the loaf lightly with vegetable spray and let rise for 45 to 75 minutes.  Remember, just let it rise.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees with the rack on the lower middle position.
Brush on the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of seeds.  Slash 1/4 inch deep diagonally across the loafs (sorry you cannot really see it in the pic) Use a razor blade, sharp knife or a Scaritech Bread Scoring Lame Green.  This is a cool little bread tool that is not expensive at all.
Then spray your loaf lightly with water and bake until the crust is golden and the center of the bread registers 210 degrees on an instant read thermometer. About 40 to 50 Minutes. Rotate the loaf halfway thru the baking process.
Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temp for 2 hours before serving. (the bread is still finishing up the cooking process, I know you want to cut into the hot loaf but the crumb will be better if you let it cool completely before cutting. Just heat it up later.)

This was the best bread I have created so far!  It is wonderful and nutty!  Soooo good for toast or a PB&J!  Yum! Yum! Yum!


  1. Oh my goodness...I"m so very impressed. I buy expensive Ezekiel bread every few weeks because I've always been scared to try making my own sprouted bread at home. I am going to try this as soon as I can! Thank you for sharing with me tonight. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

  2. Hi! I'm very excited to try this bread, but my husband is allergic to wheat. Is there something else you would recommend I replace the wheat berries with? Thanks much.

    1. I guess you could sprout anything. But the bread contains bread flour and that is wheat.

  3. You could try rye or barley grains. Rye flour is not as sweet as wheat. Neither barley or rye will rise as much as wheat, making for a denser bread.