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Whole Wheat Sprouted Bread, Practice Makes Perfect

Yes, baking bread can become enjoyable and therapeutic. It's really true what you hear: There is nothing like homemade baked bread!

bread

Photo: Diana Bauman

Once you start making bread, this process begins to become familiar and you'll intuitively know by the feel and touch of your dough if you've added too much flour or not enough.

As garden beds are being put away and colder temperatures are keeping us indoors, it’s the perfect time of year to try your hands at homemade bread. I’ve been hesitant to share my whole wheat sprouted bread recipe as their are 3 factors involved when it comes to baking bread:

  1. The temperature in your house
  2. The humidity in your house
  3. The type of flour being used (store bought versus freshly milled)

These 3 factors can alter the recipe a bit. This is why each baker in each home will have to customize and work around the base recipe keeping this in mind.

What I would like to encourage you is to practice, practice, practice. With the slower days coming ahead I’m looking forward to trying artisan sourdough boules, baguettes and paines. Yes, baking bread can become enjoyable and therapeutic. It’s really true what you hear: There is nothing like homemade baked bread.

Diana’s Whole Wheat Sprouted Bread

I use freshly milled sprouted flour, made from sprouted wheat berries. Click here for a tutorial on sprouting grains. Freshly milled whole grains end up being lighter in weight, flavor and has considerable more nutrients. (This recipe works just as well with regular unsprouted flour)

Ingredients:

  • 5 tsp, regular active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 27 ounces whole wheat sprouted flour (hard red wheat), (this equals 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
  • 10 ounces plus a little extra, whole wheat sprouted pastry flour (soft white wheat),  1 1/2 cups plus a little extra

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    Sprout wheat berries and grind. Alternatively, buy sprouted whole wheat flour or use regular unsprouted flour.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    In a large bowl, mix honey, butter and salt in the hot water. Let this stand and cool for five minutes.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    To the cooled honey mixture, beat in 18 ounces or 3 cups of the whole wheat flour with the mixer on low speed until moistened, scraping the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
    Beat in remaining 9 ounces or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and the dissolved yeast. Mix in 10 ounces of the whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat) and knead in with your hand or a spoon until everything is incorporated.

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    Now, wait for 10 minutes.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    With the dough attachment set on low, knead for 8-10 minutes. If your dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl after 3 minutes, add 1 tbls at a time extra whole wheat pastry flour until it forms a ball without sticking to the bowl.
    *Your dough should still be tacky, sticky, soft and pliable. Adding too much flour will make a crumbly bread. So don't overdo it.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    Once the dough has finished kneading, remove from the bowl. Shape it into a ball by pulling it down into a nice firm shape. Place in an oiled bowl and brush olive oil over the dough as well.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a cloth towel. Place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (This phase will depend on the temperature and humidity in your house)

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    Once doubled, it's time to shape your loaves. To learn this technique, see the YouTube video below.

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    Once you've shaped your loaves, allow to rest for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover and bake loaves for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 10 - 12 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped.

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    Photo: Diana Bauman

    Immediately remove from pans; place on wire racks and cool for 30 minutes to an hour.

Once you start making bread, this process begins to become familiar and you’ll intuitively know by the feel and touch of your dough if you’ve added too much flour or not enough.  It takes practice but the final results are worth it.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.  I’m not claiming to be an expert bread maker, I still have a lot of learning to do, but my family is quite happy with our home baked sandwich bread.

Best wishes on your bread making endeavors.

Kid with bread

Photo: Diana Bauman

It's really true what you hear: There is nothing like homemade baked bread.

More: Diana Bauman’s Blog: A Little Bit of Spain In Iowa

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Diana Bauman

Diana Bauman created A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa to preserve her family's traditional Spanish recipes. She is an advocate of our local foods movement and spends her time urban homesteading and blogging about whole (REAL) foods.

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