Thursday, August 20, 2009

Home-Sprouted Flour

In the process of experimenting with soaking grains for added nutritional benefits, I have come across some instances where it is not always possible. Sometimes a little more flour is needed at the end or there is no liquid in the recipe to begin with, other times I have just not thought ahead sufficiently. A healthy solution is to use sprouted flour which is whole grain that has been sprouted, dehydrated and ground, preferably right before use.

Sprouting changes the composition of starch molecules, converting them into vegetable sugars, so the body recognizes and digests sprouted grains as a vegetable. Enzymes are also created that aid digestion, complex sugars are broken down which can eliminate painful gas, and vitamin and mineral levels increase. Furthermore, sprouting neutralizes carcinogens and enzyme inhibitors, as phytic acid that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.

I have stayed away from sprouted flour because it is expensive to buy/ship and hard to find. Mostly, I am skeptical of the quality because I know how quickly flour looses it's nutrition once milled and going through a storage/buying/shipping/process takes a lot of time. Not to mention keeping it on hand for months as you need it. So when I found out I could do it at home, I decided to go for it.

The steps are simple if you have ever sprouted any grain. I used kamut and spelt my first time because I have had great success in sprouting those. I started in the afternoon and soaked the grains in half-filled quart jars, covered with filtered water. In the morning I rinsed them 3 times, swirling each time. I put a cut piece of cheese cloth held on by a jar band (could also use clean pantyhose.) This made it easy to dump the water each time while keeping the grain in the jar. I then let them drain tilted top down in a large bowl. I repeated the rinse in the afternoon and just before bed they had sprouted. Just a short white tail growing out of one end. I rinsed again and spread out in a thin layer on sheet pans. I set my oven to the dehydrate setting at 110 degrees and left them overnight. In the morning they were completely dry and ready to mill.

I only mill as needed and store the rest whole to preserve nutrition. Under these instructions, this flour is a raw food. Most ovens do not have a setting under 170. While this cooks the grain, which effects the enzymes, I feel this is still a worthwhile process. Most flour you are using for baking purposes, thus cooking the flour in the end anyway. I have not experimented much with the end result, but as I use this nutritious flour in recipes I will report back.

Do you use sprouted flour? If so, do you have any tips?


  1. Sus larco5@verizon.netAugust 21, 2009 at 5:13 AM

    i do soak millet before cooking. works out great, but in hot weather, i leave it in the fridge overnight instead of on the counter or it can get funky. i also soak nuts to sprout them and then dry them in the toaster oven or the dehydrator. this allows them to sprout which has higher nutrient value (proteins i think). sus

  2. FYI- We learned in Jacques last class that if you drink the water off soaked wheat (12 hours) it contains great probiotics.

  3. Any suggestions for those whose oven only lowers to 170? I have been wanting to try sprouted grains for bread....this is a good start! Thanks!!

  4. Here's what I have learned from talking with Essential Eating Sprouted Foods, the makers of the first artisan organic sprouted flours available in your health food store distributed by Shiloh Farms 800 829-5100. I used to sprout and make my own flour, but no need now that this amazing flour is available and is soooo much better than I ever made at home. One mis conception. When whole grains are sprouted the germ cell, the part of the grain to go rancid in unsprouted grains, is eaten by the endosperm, creating a stable flour. Sprouted flour is in a form and does not go rancid like unsprouted flour. So it has a shelf life of probably a year, but they say 6 months. And most home sprouters are drowning the grain, not sprouting it. I know I was. Check out the Essential Eating web site for more info. These gals and guys are the real deal and have educated me about sprouted flour.

  5. I have been soaking my nuts with water and salt and dehydrating them. I love the flavor, especially walnuts. I have never sprouted them though. Thanks

    I wonder if I could use the soaking water in something, it gets pretty sour after 24 hours!

    I am a big advocate of do-it-yourself, but that company looks like a great source for those who do not have the time and energy to deal with it.

  6. In hot dry weather, you can do it outside like it was traditionally done. Most of the time you are cooking the flour anyway, so keeping it "raw" at 140 is not an issue.

  7. I don't soak grains, but I will definitely try it. Can I just say I love your blog? I love your blog! I'm so glad you are writing about this stuff.

  8. I like to sprout grains for my salads. I'll have to try sprouting, drying, and milling. Looks interesting.

  9. do you run your sprouted/dehydrated grains through your grain mill? or are they still too moist?

    i just bought a wonder mill and was wondering if it would harm it do run the dehydrated grains through it.

  10. I bite them to make sure they are completely dry. They run through my wondermill perfectly.

  11. Can I use sprouted four for my yeasted bread? I tried doing 100% sprouted flour for my bread- they never rose, and they were still raw inside. Should I try halving the amount of sprouted wheat I used? Or can it even be used in yeasted bread? I have seen it used quite a bit with baking powder & sourdough starters but not with yeast...any info would be awesome! brandonfam at cox dot net

  12. I have not baked bread with sprouted flour, though I know that sourdough is a wild yeast, so commercial yeast should work as well. Sprouting breaks down part of the gluten, so you may need to add gluten when baking risen breads with it

  13. Hi Kara-
    Still following your blog from afar, and I think I have caught up with reading your posts while I was too busy to be blogging, but have you been making bread with your sprouted flour? I am happy I read these comments because I was convinced I was a failure at both sprouting (is that possible?) and baking bread!! But some of my first attempts at making bread (since your classes- I took a break to focus on gluten free cooking for my husband) have been with sprouted flour. I can't get a rise with my bread! But also, I'm not even sure that my kamut berries sprouted- some started to get tiny tails but then didn't seem to progress, and they seemed to get kind of stinky also!
    So, I guess my questions are: 1) is it possible to screw up sprouting? I changed the water approximately every eight hours, I did not use mason jars but instead just a big bowl because I was doing a lot. It is much colder here so I finally stopped and dehydrated them after 3 days. They sort of looked as though they just cracked open, and only a few had small sprouts.
    2) Not a question, but just curious about your bread making with sprouted flour.

    Thanks! And sorry for the long comment!

  14. Great to hear from you!

    Are you soaking the grains for 3 days? I have been doing mine is a strainer and rinsing twice a day. They take 24 hours after an 8 hour soak. They shouldn't be stinky and should all have visible tails.

    You are not going to get a good rise on 100 percent sprouted flour bread. Fluffy bread comes from high gluten and sprouting breaks down some of the gluten in the grain.

  15. Okay, please excuse my stupidity! So, are you saying that they are only supposed to actually soak in the water for approximately 8 hours, and then drain/air out the rest of the time? I thought they were supposed to be soaking the whole time....I would drain them every 8 hours but then fill the jar back up with water!

  16. well, you figured out the problem!

  17. Update: I have successfully sprouted :) love your method.
    Now if only my water kefir would turn out... I loaned my grains to my friend who has well water and she is going to give it a shot!

  18. Great way to do it, the best from my experience. Love your blog, thank you for that and for your way to spread good vibes !

    BUT: ( :-) ) for people who wouldn't have the time or the envy to sprout the grains over several days and for avoiding the milling stage, you also can soak the flour.

    The result is going to be a flour without any enzyme blockers anymore ( like the famous phytic acid and oxalic acid ) AND the advantages of the fermentation that you described so well ( destruction of some dangerous toxics, explosion of vitamins and mineral potentials, .. ). So you can use the flour for everything as if it was a normal flour but without damaging your health and having the benefits of the fermentation processes over the grains.

    Method 1 ( "on-the-go" ):

    - The day before you make your recipe, simply mix any liquids of the recipe with the flour ( do it fast, the fermentation will take care of the " well-mixing " of the dough for you ! )
    - Let it rest on a non-reactive pan for at least 12 hours ( 24 is better ) with a wet tissue over it to protect it from drying and from particules of the air for the fermentation process to take form
    - Follow your recipe from where you let it ( making the dough )

    Method 2 - making stocks of fermented flour ( not to have to repeat the soaking for each recipe ):

    I have a lot of imagination and I was very curious to see if that trick I was thinking of from some times could be effective or not so I tried it and WoW! it not only works but it is so helpful.. Please let me know your opinion if you try it !

    - Rapidly make a dough with clean water ( or kefir, .. ) and flour
    - Let it seat for 12 to 24 hours ( 24 is better ) with a wet tissue over it to protect it from drying and from particules of the air for the fermentation process to take form
    - Dehydrate it
    - Store the flour in its original bag and use it when needed like you would do with any normal flour !

    With Love.


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