Making Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour

May 26, 2009 in baking

vita-flour-450-1

(Freshly ground sprouted wheat flour in a Vita Mix blender container)

I grew up eating rather dense loaves of homemade whole wheat bread that my mom made for us with love. It was the 1970s after all! I NEVER feed my family white bread (pure sugar bombs, straight into the blood) and always brown bread, preferably with flax added.

I make our own bread when I have the time and I have usually used King Arthur whole wheat bread flour and also whole wheat pastry flour.

If your a foodie of any sort you likely do these things too, not hard to do.

The thing is, these are STILL a problem with these “healthy breads” and I didn’t even realize or, put better, know it until very recently.

It all comes down to the grain and the obvious fact that we humans are NOT ruminants and do not have the 4 stomachs (rumens) necessary for the proper digestion of grains.

Grain Anatomy (NOT MINE)

(Wheat Grain Anatomy – source)

Grains are seeds of grasses and they are the genetic carrier that is tasked with getting the genetic legacy from one growing season to the next. The grain must be able to foster growth, rapid growth, once the correct conditions have been met. The grain is exquisitely evolved to jump into action. Upon sprouting, various grain components are acted upon by enzymes to change from one form to another.

One of those things is called phytic acid, found in all parts of the grain plant but especially in the bran (there are three parts to grain: bran, endosperm, and germ).

The problem with phytic acid, as found in the unsprouted grain, is that it is like a sponge (a chelator) of critically important minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron. It also sucks up niacin (a B vitamin). Heating can knock down this activity slightly but industrial bakers side step this issue by doping these minerals and vitamins, in synthetic form, back into the bread but this doesnt mean that that whole grain bread you are eating isnt still robbing you of needed minerals and vitamins. The “enrichment” that the bread companies do is mostly legal CYA action so that we dont sue them for pellagra.

pellagra

(Some mornings I wake up feeling JUST like this guy looks but I am just getting old, not pellagra – wiki source)

This process takes a little of time but it is WELL worth it. I didnt shoot the first bread I made with this (was night time and the family ate the bread before morning) but I can tell you that the bread was VERY different from other whole wheat breads I have made. The sprouting process makes the grain sweeter and the bread had more loft than other loaves I have made.

I hope you will give this a try soon!

How to make sprouted whole wheat flour

Step 1

Soak wheat berries at room temperature overnight. Rinse a couple of times and then drain. Put into a drainable container (mason jar, bean sprouter, etc) and keep at room temperature until the smallest of sprouts, say about 3 mms, have formed.

Raw Food: sprouting wheat berries

(Sprouted wheat berries)

Step 2
Spread the wet sprouted wheat berries out onto a dehydrator tray with a teflex sheet. Dry overnight at the lowest heat setting (95 F), until dry.

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Wheat berries going into dehydrator)

Step 3
Decant dried berries and use to make flour or freeze immediately.

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Dried berries)

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Pouring off the berries, notice the cat, he was fascinated by all this)

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Berries ready to grind)

Step 4
Add no more than 2 cups of dried berries to the smaller dry container for your Vita-Mix. Read and follow the directions for grinding flour. Essentially, you turn it on to high for no more than 1 minute. It comes out beautifully!

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Berries ready for grinding)

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Berries in mid-grind)

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Done grinding!)

Step 5
Either use your freshly ground flour or freeze it, it can go rancid quickly.

Making sprouted whole wheat flour

(Ready for bread making!)

Let me know if you try this or if you have other ways of doing this!

Vita-Mix blender