Monday, January 27, 2014

Perfectly Wonderful Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

Let's get back to basics.
It's my life. My weakness. My world.
I'm constantly trying new recipes and since I make bread about every 5 days,
I make a TON of bread.

Now that I'm on the Real Food way of eating and preparing,
I sprout every batch of whole grains.
It is a little more time consuming, but not difficult.
I usually have a batch of grain at one point or another nearly every day of the week.
I just put a fresh batch of grain in to soak this morning.
It will soak for 24 hours.
Then I drain it and leave it in the container for another 24-36 hours to sprout.
Then in the dehydrator to dry for about 8-12 hours, usually overnight.
This means my grain is ready to be ground into flour in the morning which is when
I like to make bread.  
Usually while I'm getting the kids ready for school.
And since this recipe is whole grain it is fairly quick to make, 
no double rise, like normal white bread.
I can have fresh bread coming out right about the time 
the youngest kiddos are ready to walk out the door.  
Let me just say that I love the smell of fresh baked bread.

I better.  I make it all the time.

So this is my new favorite.
It is a remake of a King Arthur Flour recipe that you can see here.
But of course I "Shell-i-fied" the recipe to make it suit my tastes better.
I tried making their version and it just didn't work for me. 
Honestly I'm not sure why.

But here's my version.

Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

I soak 10 cups of grain for each batch.  It gives me enough for bread and a few cups leftover for other uses like waffles, cookies, tortillas, crackers, etc.. etc...

Here's my blend of grain:

3 cups hard red wheat
2 cups soft white wheat
3 cups hard white wheat
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup kamut

Place grain in large container and cover with water.

I know this next picture is a little gross, 
but I discovered another benefit to soaking and sprouting your grain.  

Let's face it. 
Grains get bugs.  

In a perfect world, 
I'd have a huge walk in freezer and refrigerator to keep all my grains in.  
I do have them in the house in a cool dark room, 
but inevitably the little buggers get in there.  
Some people would through out the whole 25 lb bag of grain.  
I don't have that luxury, 
or they would just grind it all up and 
never know they were getting a little added protein in their food.  

Not the ideal.  

So when I started soaking the grains, 
I realized the huge added benefit.  
I can fill my container all the way up.  
Swish my hand inside the grain a bit 
to loosen up the grains and allow all the buggers to float to the top.  
Pour off the top.  

Bye Bye Buggers!  

Let the grain sit drained and covered for another 24-36 hours to let the berries sprout. 
It's ok if you forget and let them get longer tails.  
I actually like the end result better than just the little nubs in the picture below, 
but I wouldn't have known that had I not been sprouting on a weekly basis.  
Put it on dehydrator trays.  
I had to cover my trays with parchment paper 
because the holes are too big and the wheat berries would fall through.

Dry in the dehydrator for 8-12 hours.  I usually let mine go overnight.
They need to be completely dry or they will gum up your grain grinder.
I cannot be held responsible for messing up your grain grinder.

Grind the grain as usual.

Now that's done, let's make Bread!

In a Bosch or Blend-tec mixer combine the following:
(if you're using a Kitchen-Aid, you will need to 1/2 the recipe)

5 1/3 cups warm water (if its comfortable for you, it will be for the yeast)
(Optional: if you have some tomato juice, I sometimes reduce the water to 4 cups and add 1 1/3 cups tomato juice.  The acidity of the tomato helps calm down the grainy-ness of the whole grain and makes it more,... well just better.)
1 cup applesauce or oil
1 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp dough enhancer
2 Tbsp vital gluten
5-6 cups fresh ground sprouted flour
4 Tbsp yeast

Mix for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Cover and let the mixture sponge for about 10 minutes.

Uncover the mixer and on speed 1, slowly add more whole grain flour.
As the dough starts holding together, I add about 3 cups unbleached white flour.
I wish I could be a purist, 
but unfortunately I have yet to find the perfect 100% whole wheat recipe that doesn't fall flat.

When the dough cleans the sides of the bowl, 
cover, increase the speed to 2 and let knead for 10 minutes.

Prepare the loaf pans with non-stick spray.  
Coconut oil spray is my favorite.

Put a little olive oil on the counter and on your hands when the kneading is done.
Turn out the dough and separate into 4 balls of dough.
Shape into loaves and place in bread pans.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until about 1 inch above the rim of the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When the oven is ready, uncover the loaves and place in oven.
Turn heat down to 325 degrees and let bake 35-37 minutes depending on your oven.
I have found that sprouted wheat tends to be 
a little more moist than traditional wheat flour 
so I bake my sprouted loaves longer to make sure they aren't dough-y in the middle.

When they are done baking, remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.

Slice a little piece of heaven, or store in airtight bags or containers.

My favorite is a fresh slice of homemade bread and real butter!

Mmmm.... is it lunch time yet?

By the way, this is perfect sandwich bread.  
Not too crumbly and holds up well for my kiddo's lunches every day.

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