Saturday, February 2, 2008

bread making experiments.

We have been experimenting with different grains for our breadmaking. With our grain mill we can grind anything, so we have been trying out different techniques such as soaking, sprouting, drying, and grinding with many different types of grains.

We have been sprouting a grain mix (organic wheat, rye, barley, triticale, oats, kamut, quinoa, sesame, millet and amaranth) and soaking spelt berries this week. Today the sprouted grains were all ready, so we drained well, placed on a cookie sheet, and dried them out. After a few hours in the oven, they were ready to mill into flour.

We baked bread from that freshly ground flour today. It is a little hard and I have to say I don't think I like the flavor of spelt much - a bit strong for me. We will have some of a terrific sourdough starter in the next few days here, and I also have some groats and chestnut flour to try out. Can't wait!

*Note: Click here for a little info about why sprouting grains for bread is good!

“The process of germination not only produces Vitamin C, but also changes the composition of grain and seeds in numerous beneficial ways. Sprouting increases Vitamin B content, especially B2, B5, and B6. Carotene increases dramatically – sometimes eightfold. Even more important, sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all grains that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc; sprouting also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all seeds. These inhibitors can neutralize our own precious enzymes in the digestive tract. Complex sugars responsible for intestinal gas are broken down during sprouting, and a portion of the starch in grain is transformed into sugar. Sprouting inactivates aflatoxins, potent carcinogens found in grains. Finally, numerous enzymes that help digestion are produced during the germination process.” (excerpt from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon).


Will & Kate said...

So why do you sprout the grains first before using them to make bread? Is it for more nutrients or flavor?

denise said...

Nutrients & digestibility! There are certain chemicals present in grains which are not as easily absorbed by our bodies and can cause problems. By soaking or sprouting grains, there are enzymes and chemical changes that occur which make the bread/grains much more digestible, and which are actually a lot better for us.

Historically, most cultures have some type of sprouted or soaked grain bread that was prepared that way for those reasons.

So I have been experimenting with different ways to soak or sprout the grains--making the bread healthier and more digestible. Most of the time I do mix flour with the sprouted grains just to get a lighter loaf. I figure the more I practice, the better my bread will become! :) As with anything, I suppose!

Julie said...

Hi from AZ. I was doing a search for sprouted bread and here I am. What kind of grinder is that you use and are you happy with it ?

denise said...

Julie -
We have a Marcato hand crank mill. It is nice for the boys, as they can participate in making flour. The flour in a hand crank/metal burr mill is more course, so we run it through twice. I don't mind milling by hand, and as we bake only a loaf or so at a time, it does not take long. If I want finer flour for pastry or something, I sift it a bit. That said, I have heard some people don't like cranking...but I don't mind. Our mill also does roll/flake cereals (we can roll our own oatmeal!).

Hope that helps!!