Baking With Sprouted Grains

Dear Readers,

I recently started baking with this sprouted whole wheat flour from One Degree.  It's my first foray into sprouted flours, and so far, I'm a fan.  

Basically, One Degree is producing their flour in a way that mimics (as closely as possible, with modern agriculture) the way grain was grown and harvested for centuries.  

Prior to industrialized agriculture, wheat was harvested by hand with a scythe (see: the Grim Reaper), and then stood up in the fields in bundles (called "shocks" or "stooks") to dry before the threshing process began. At this point, the grains would often start to sprout, making the wheat more digestible.  After the grain had dried, the process of hand-threshing began: it was a laborious task where the wheat berries were separated from the chaff (the inedible parts of the wheat plant).  If you're familiar with the stories of the Bible, look no further than the Book of Ruth for a lovely romance that takes place around an ancient wheat harvest.

Today, less-romantically, conventional wheat is often sprayed with a probable carcinogen, glyphosate, prior to harvesting, in an effort to dry out the grain in the fields (also called "desiccation") so the wheat will be dry enough to harvest. Glyphosate is icky stuff: please click here to read a very detailed report from November 2016 covering the pesticide.  Regardless of the known or potential side-effects of glyphosate, it's just unappetizing to think about eating food sprayed with pesticides, no matter what they are (or what they could potentially do to your body).  

Sprouting wheat after harvesting is about the closest most of us will ever get to the nutritious wheat grown and harvested according to the traditions of the past.  One Degree's flour packaging states,

Once harvest is done, we sprout our grains, triggering an explosion of taste and increasing vital nutrients. We retain 100% of the grain’s bran and germ, and preserve nutrients by keeping temperatures low when processing our raw flour.

You can also buy organic wheat berries and sprout them yourself, and then grind the wheat berries once you've dried them in a dehydrator.  It's a bit time-consuming, as you can imagine, but definitely something worth looking into if you're a purist and want to control the whole flour-making process from start to finish.  

My experience with sprouted wheat flour is that it is even denser than most organic whole wheat flours, so you have to compensate by allowing for longer rising, or the results can be a bit brick-like.  This particular variety from One Degree has a pleasant, nutty taste and turns out delicious results when used to bake my Honey Whole Wheat Bread.

Yours Truly,

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Sarah