How to Make Sprouted Flour

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Now that I finally have a grain mill, I can dive into the world of sprouted flour!

Why would you want to worry about sprouted flour in the first place?

Well, many people are of the opinion that grains are most optimally digested when they are prepared in a certain way. Since grains and wheat are seeds, they were designed to pass through any “predators” that might consume them. Unfortunately, that can make them difficult for us humans to digest.

It is thought that by allowing the whole wheat flour to soak in an acid medium, or ferment through the process of souring, many of the substances that cause folks to have digestive upsets from whole wheat can be eliminated. There is a lot of debate and science surrounding this topic, and I suggest doing further research before jumping into any big changes for your family.

All debates aside, I know for a fact that my husband and I have much happier tummies after eating properly prepared whole wheat products. That is why I pursue traditionally prepared wheat foods.

While I prefer to use sourdough when I make whole wheat breads, muffins, cakes, or tortillas, the downside of that method is that is requires planning ahead. There is no last-minute-bread-baking when using sourdough! Plus, some things like cookies, lose their classic texture when they are soured or soaked.

And that is where sprouted flour comes in! By sprouting the wheat berries, you are reducing the anti-nutrients in the wheat, allowing it to be digested easily. Then after drying and grinding, the sprouted flour can be substituted 1:1 for regular flour in recipes. No planning ahead required. Plus, making it at home is much more cost effective that buying it in the store.

How to Make Sprouted Flour

You will need:

  • Your choice of wheat berries. I used Hard White and Montana Gold this time around.
  • Water
  • A Grain Mill
  • A Dehydrator
  • And some time.

 

Begin the process of sprouting the wheat berries. Check out my Starting with Sprouting post if you are new to this idea. I filled each mason jar a little over half full. And… I wouldn’t recommend doing that! But the time I soaked the berries, they were overflowing the jars!  I would suggest using big bowls instead.

 

This set-up worked much better. Completely cover the wheat berries with water and soak them overnight. Then rinse and drain the next morning. Continue to rinse 2-3 times per day.

 

In a little over 24 hours, we had sprouts. I allowed the tails to reach about 1/4″ long, although that was probably a bit longer than I needed. It always amazes me how fast seeds actually start sprouting!

 

Time to pull out your dehydrator. The trays of my dehydrator have holes that would allow the sprouted berries to fall through, so I cut pieces of parchment paper to size and lined the trays.

 

Spread the berries in a thin layer on the dehydrator trays. Put the dehydrator on the lowest heat setting (I set mine at 95 degrees) and allow to run until the wheat is very dry. I found that letting it run all night seemed to work the best for us.

If you place wet wheat berries into your grain mill, you will clog it up and cause problems, so this is an important step!

 

Fill up your grain mill and let ‘er rip! I set my Nutrimill more on the coarse side, as the berries weren’t flowing all that great when the dial was on “super fine.”

 

Store your sprouted flour in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge, as newly ground flour looses it’s freshness quickly at room temperature. This can replace regular flour 1:1 in your baking.

Making Sprouted Flour

Ingredients

  • Your choice of wheat berries (I used Hard White and Montana Gold)
  • Water
  • A Grain Mill
  • A Dehydrator
  • And some time

Instructions

  1. To sprout wheat berries I suggest using big bowls
  2. Completely cover wheat berries with water and soak overnight
  3. Rinse and drain the next morning
  4. Continue to rinse 2-3 times per day
  5. Allow sprout tails to reach about 1/4" long
  6. Pull out your dehydrator and make sure the trays don't have holes that would allow the sprouted berries to fall through (I cut pieces of parchment paper to size and lined the trays)
  7. Spread berries in a thin layer on the dehydrator trays
  8. Put dehydrator on lowest heat setting (95 degrees) and allow to run until wheat is very dry (overnight worked for us)
  9. Wet wheat berries will clog your grain mill, so make sure they are thoroughly dry!
  10. Fill grain mill and let 'er rip! (I used the coarse setting rather than super fine because it flowed better)
  11. Always store sprouted flour in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge.
  12. This can replace regular flour 1:1 in your baking
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/01/making-sprouted-flour.html
My final thoughts:
While this process is definitely not difficult, it takes a couple of days to complete the task. So, I can see why store-bought sprouted flour is so expensive. I still prefer using sourdough for the majority of my baked goods, but I think I will start incorporating this process into my weekly cooking routine, as having ready-to-use flour is worth the extra bit of effort when we are in the mood for cookies!

Stay tuned for my first sprouted flour cookie attempt!



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Comments

  1. You're so right about sprouted flour! Can't wait for the cookie recipe.

  2. We also love sprouted flour — I do mine exactly like you, and over the months it's become less of a "thing." I just use mine for quick breads, pancakes, etc., though, since I don't like making bread with sprouted flour (this also means we don't go through a ton of it, so I only make it about once a month).

  3. Very cool. I need a grain grinder.

  4. Sense of Home says:

    Very interesting, I have wondered how sprouted flour works.

    -Brenda

  5. i too have been curious about sprouted flour. my mom and i were actually just talking about it yesterday. i'll be giving this a try this spring… i'm still in the process of trying to get some pinto beans to sprout. they're taking forever!!

  6. Mexico in my kitchen says:

    I love sprouted flour and ever wonder about the process. Thanks for taking the time to capture all the steps. I will be back for the cookie recipe.

    Mely

  7. I find that sprouted wheat grinds much more easily if I don't let the sprouts get too long…when they are 1/4" or so, they really hang up in my grinder. Of course, I don't always get them in the dehydrator before they are that length. You're right–they sprout so fast!

  8. I was just thinking about starting to do this. I haven't yet made sourdough bread and I don't really like the idea of soaking the flour. I have sprouted grain and then used it in my bread recipes. I think I will start making sprouted flour. Thanks for the post :)

  9. Thank you for this! I've been wanting to do this forever- this is the motivation I needed!
    My nutri-meal doesn't work all that well on the fine grind either. I've heard that from a friend as well.

  10. I just left a moderate life, stopping by to say congratulations on winning your award.

  11. We have done this for quite some time and we don't even grind until we are ready to use- we just sprout, use a dehydrator and put it in the 'sprouted' bucket….

  12. Very good post to inform people – our modern culture has lost all touch with the traditional ways of preparing ALL grains before consumption – because grains are absolutely not ready for us to consume right off the plant. The fact is that the science IS there to show all the problems we humans have with the digestion of un-treated (soured, soaked or sprouted) grains and many a persons ills (and i am not talking only celiacs) are due to hi-carab refined UN-treated grain flours! If you would like more information, we have done quite some posts about grains and wheat over at DaiaSolgaia (http://daiasolgaia.com) and we welcome you to come by and check them out.
    Please take Prairie Homestead advice here and sprout your grains before consuming!
    Ravi
    Disoveries for a Full Life

  13. I can't have wheat and do this for brown rice also, works great and actually makes your baked goods a bit lighter! I have heard things lately about the phytic acid levels not being helped with the sprouting though, that soaking was much better, which kind of bummed me because I haven't had much luck with my non-wheat sourdough experiments. Have you heard that?

  14. Grinding sprouted grains in the Nutrimill will void the warranty. It states that very clearly in the instruction manual, plus I called the company to double check.
    I use the grain mill attachment on my Kitchenaid, which I can take apart if it gets sticky.

    • Shelley- I double checked my owner’s manual and can’t find anywhere that it states that grinding sprouted wheat will void the warranty. What page is it on?
      I saw where it says not to grind wet grains, which is why I make sure my wheat berries are very dry before putting them into my Nutrimill.

      • Jill, Thank you for such an informative article.
        I also thought that Nutrimill had a ban on sprouted grains. Your answer makes a lot of sense. Have you experienced any problems with your mill so far? I’m hoping your answer is no so that I can try your recipe.

  15. You honestly don’t know how excited I am to find this post! And your blog! Wow, where have you been all my life?!

  16. I was looking at some sprouted flour the other day and wondering if I should try it.

    Does it taste different, once baked? Different texture? Anything different at all?

    • Hi Valerie,
      Since writing this post, I’ve done a little more experimenting with sprouted flour and found that it’s a little more complicated to use than I originally though (at least for me).
      I tried a pizza crust with it, and it turned out pretty grainy and gross… And the cookies do work, but the dough needs to be stiff when you plop them on the cookie sheets, if it’s too “batter-like”, you’ll end up with a runny mess. The texture of the baked goods can be a little more fragile and “grainy” than typical flour. I’m assuming that’s because a lot of the gluten has been broken down in the sprouting process. The taste is pretty much the same.
      So, I would recommend doing some experimentation and finding recipes that specifically call for sprouted flour. I know a lot of people use it and love it, but there is definitely a bit of a learning curve. ;)

      • some of that dough behaviour is common even if you simply switch from empty white flour to whole grains. It would make sense that the glutenreduction will result in a less solid baked good. maybe mixing in some traditional flour (not a lot) might even solve this issue. When I make bread I tend to mix flours…If I had a mill, I might totally try it, but as things stand, I won’t spend that money (plus anything running on electricity is not a good investment for me as we plan to return to Europe eventually)

        • Yes, you are definitely right about whole wheat flours acting similiar sometimes. I still plan to play around with my sprouted flour a bit. I really like the idea of it!

  17. You do realize that you can have your sourdough in your refrigerator, yes? I am currently on a batch that is going on its second year. (started it half a year after coming over) I have one that is wheat and one that is rye (HMMMM the flavor) I am from Germany we used sourdough primarily in rye/wheat misture breads and it is delicious. YOu need to *harvest/feed* it about once a week (now that it is older, start at 4-5 days when it is still young) and then you have it always read. so you throw your dough together in the evening let the SD work its magic and then you add whateever else you need mix it in teh morning and let it proof in your form or rise freely whatever you prefer, bake it . Anything but white flour yeast breads will take that long. Bread simply requires it foor the best of flavor. also, If you presoak flaxseed (,milled or hole) your bread will stay moist for two weeks even without stupid plastic bags around iit (the best bread container remains the birchbark container…I really like your page, Jill. everything is an easy read and your *voice* is quite lovely. :D

    • Thank you for your kind words Sonja! I’m so glad you are enjoying the page!

      I actually have used the fridge to store my SD starter here and there. When I’m regularly baking, I like to leave it on the counter. But otherwise, I stick it in the fridge.

      I’m really curious about this birchbark container. Do you have more info on this? I’ve been using the stupid plastic bags up til this point, and I hate them! Would love to find something that keeps my bread fresher!

      • Birchbark containers were the tupperware of the stoneage (the frozen man in switzerland even had one on him for hier provisions) and the middle ages. Aparently birchbark is naturally antifungal and antibacterial (doesn’t mean you CANNOT get mold, but makes that occurance a rarity and unlikely. Some of teh united states native american communities are still making some, but they aren’t exactly what I want. My last kitchen wasn’t big enough but I am hope for one of these http://www.ebay.com/itm/Russian-Art-Wooden-Natural-Birch-Bark-Bread-Basket-Box-ASHBERRY-/310368162053?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4843625105 now that I have more space, before I used a tubous design. some as small and undecorated like this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Russian-Handmade-Birch-Bark-Trinket-Jewerly-Box-NATURAL-/310368108213?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4843617eb5 others charmigly decorated. they are a bit prices though….but since you say your husband is very crafty, If you have birchtrees on your property you might be able to make them yourself. When I got my first, we didn’t have a lot of money, so the expence hurt and I had no idea what they would do for your bread (it really keeps much longer. You will, however, loose the crusty ness of the crust. it will soften, But I don’t mind. If I want fresh crust I bake fresh bread. but the container will have it retain moisture much better. also try to soak grains, oats even nuts in a cold waterbath for up to 12 hours before baking (YOu can also take hot water, but that will render the remaining gluten in those grains useless for brigding it is MUCH faster though) and mix it in the dough. FLAXSEEDs (possibly even milled) is the best, I take half a cup and soak it well, incorporate it in my bread, and that extends the life by a good week (keeping the dough moist and soft, even if I keep the bread basically on the table – found that out by accident, as you can imagine) Flax aparently retains much more moisture than other grains but even just oat work great.

        firt getting the container is an investment. but Plastic bags outside of the freezer are not necessary: for starters try placing your bread into a simple cotton tote for the supermarket. that is how my parents work and they love it. You really actually don’t want your bread to be ‘sealed’ from air, just from critters. also if you regrigerate (had to teach that to my husband) it goes stale really fast even with sourdough) until I realized just HOW expensive freezing is, I have recommended: if you know you wont finish it: freeze the slices then you can take out as many as you need they’ll thaw in two to three minues or in the toaster . I love those containers. I always wish for them (but I guess I have to claim to ‘collect’ them ) I am using them for my herbs and spices. sadly I don’t have nearly enough counterspace to display them and the people who make the containers are in russia: so asking if instead of a cutsy bear they could make work rosmary, chamomille, thyme or skullcap into their designs (very obvious for me but aparently not for the them or at least not for teh foreign market)is out of teh question. maybe if somesbody asks you what you wish for for your birthday or somthing like that you can try a smaller conatainer first ans try it out with a roll ;)

        As I said aparentyl they are not pre se difficult to make yourself if you have access to birchbark. http://www.jonsbushcraft.com/birchcontainer.htm here are some native american designs http://www.nativetech.org/brchbark/barkmaka.html this is where I got my first one: http://www.birkenrinde.de/ I don’t know what else to say…they keep light away, they keep pests away they container without suffocating your stuff and allegedly in russia they are even used to contain things like creamcheese and quark… I hope that helps. (substituting plastic at least in the food supply area is surprisingly difficult in this country)

        • Melisa Brown says:

          Sonja – this is great information about birch bark containers. Thanks for all the websites too.

  18. Have you tried grinding flour then sprouting it? Does it result in the same thing?

  19. amanda gargulaz says:

    i badly have to have a go at this i have all the tools
    i am soooooo excited about your blog i love love love it!