Just like when I was a child the thrill of growing sprouts is intoxicating, No sponge was involved this time (which was probably good since mine always dried up), but as you can see my sprouts flourished (they actually did a little too well, but I am not sure if that was a problem or not.) The half a cup of wheat berries I used made enough sprouts for two and half loafs with plenty of left overs for the bird and bunnies (all of whom loved the unexpected treat).
How to Sprout:
Sprout the wheat (takes about two days). Easiest way is to put the
wheat in a container with holes in the lid. Fill it with water and let
it set for a few minutes then drain the water. Repeat this process
several times a day. When the sprouts are about 1/2 to 3/4 the length
of the grain they are ready to use. If the sprouts are ready and you
are not store them in the fridge. If you do not change the water very
often it just takes them longer to sprout.
I did two versions of sprouted bread. The first was a failure and a waste of good dates (even the bird wasn't impressed), the second was a success of a limited nature. I was not at all disappointed though, just chalked it up to a learning experience.
The first loaf was Manna Bread from Barb Beck
2 Cups of wheat sprouted
1 lb dates
1 Cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
OPTIONAL: 1 T chopped filberts
Drain the sprouted wheat well.
Place in food processor with the dates and buzz until a dough ball forms. You may need to add a little water.
Stir cinnamon and cloves. Note this version is not very spicy.
Stir in raisins.
Shape into two loaves.
Sprinkle the chopped nuts on the outside.
Bake for 2 - 3 hours at 300 degrees.
Note: If you have problems getting the dough because the mixture is too
wet add a little whole wheat flour.
I love dates I just don't care for 'date loafs' like this. I resented the use of my dates on this and will not be making it again, It did smell great while it was baking though.
For the second batch I used a recipe from the Sprout People, with a name like that they have to know what they are doing, right? (and they were the first link to come up on Google for sprout bread.)
Whole Grain Sprout Bread
Makes 2 - 3 loaves
To soften yeast - combine in a large bowl:
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 scant Tbs. active dry yeast
Allow the yeast to proof (bubble) for 5 minutes
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbs. salt
2 Cups Sprouted Grains - whole or ground lightly
4 cups flour (any combo of wheat, rye and white you like) Beat well. Cover and let this “sponge” sit 45-60 minutes.
Stir down and gradually add:
3-4 cups flour (any combination)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Place dough into a greased bowl - turn it over and around to coat the whole of the dough.
Cover and let rise until doubled (60-90 minutes).
Knead dough down in the bowl, divide and shape into 2 - 3 oblong loaves. Place in well greased loaf pans and cover.
Let rise 60 minutes or until almost doubled.
Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire racks.
I used wheat sprouts and all purpose white flour for my loafs. The only change I made to the recipe is to assume that the 2 Tbsp of salt was a typo and use 2 tsp, cause that was a heck of alot of salt. In retrospect I may have been wrong.
My leavening action was outrageous. It may have been the salt thing, but then again it might have been me trying to do to many things giving the bread a longer time to expand. Or it could be my hot and humid kitchen making all those yeasts extra happy. Who knows.
The bread turned out beautiful, light and with the best crust I think I have ever had (I used leftover eggwash on it). The honey in the recipe really came through well and the whole loaf was very light. I liked the texture of the wheat berries and sprouts and I could definitely smell them while the bread was raising and baking.
Unfortunately I think the sprouts gave the bread a sort of raw flavor I really couldn't get over. Maybe if I didn't let the sprouts get so long in to tooth, or dried them out a little before use it would have been better. I am going to try some slices with honey and jam tonight and see if that covers the taste.
This is a bread I would make again, just not with the sprouts.