Why, you might wonder, would anyone want to make sourdough bread with sprouted flour? Maybe they want to super-DUPER charge the nutrition and digestibility of their bread? Maybe they know some secret that the rest of the world isn’t yet in on? Maybe they’re just a little crazy? Actually, I just love sourdough, and all I have on hand right now is sprouted wheat berries!
So I’ve been making everything lately with my freshly milled sprouted flour. Including sourdough. The only problem is that I was getting really gummy bread. Even with conventional yeast and an overnight soak, it was turning out really gummy–and that was with over an hour and a half in the oven at 450, coming to an internal temperature of over 205, and a long cooling period after baking.
Why was it getting gummy? I googled around a bit and learned that not many people are making sourdough with sprouted flour! Huh. With these gummy results I could understand!
But I was spurred on in my research by a couple of comments mentioning alpha-amylase. I still don’t have the full story, but one thing alpha-amylase can do is break down gluten, causing–you guessed it–a gummy crumb. Some recipes suggest adding like a teaspoon of sprouted flour to a recipe to improve alpha-amylase production, thus improving the ripening speed of the dough. A teaspoon. And here I was trying to make a whole loaf with this stuff! And sourdough at that, with two prolonged rises.
But I was not to be deterred! I googled around some more and came across one nifty recipe on the blog Girl Meets Nourishment (http://girlmeetsnourishment.com/easy-sourdough-bread/#more-99) for a sourdough bread made with sprouted flour–and calling for only ONE RISE! This was my key!
The reason for long rise times is to unlock flavour and nutrition in the grain. Sprouting unlocks all that potential and more, so that part is done for you! The reason for the punch-down is to re-distribute food for the yeast so they don’t start producing off flavours before the grain has given up all the goods. But if you don’t need that further unlocking time, you don’t really need the double rise.
So here is my very loose “recipe” that turned out some very nice sprouted flour sourdough sandwich bread.
Sprouted Flour Sourdough
The night before, refresh your starter so you have about a cup or so of fresh starter in the morning.
At mixing time, I added 1 cup of water and gradually mixed in enough sprouted flour, plus 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten mixed in to the flour, to make a dough. The recipe I was working from says the dough will become less sticky as you knead, but mine stayed pretty sticky. I kneaded until it was nice and smooth, using unbleached white bread flour during the knead.
Once the dough was smooth, I formed it into a nice loaf shape and panned it right away. I covered it with a damp tea towel and left it to rise for about six hours, until it was nicely cresting above the pan sides. Once it was risen, I slashed it and baked at 350 for about an hour and a half.
I let it cool for several hours before slicing, then had some for breakfast this morning. It is delicious! Not too sour, nice and soft with a chewy crust.
Actually, this is Just the bread I have been looking for my whole life! I will be doing further experimenting with it, so please stay tuned for a better recipe coming soon–one with actual measurements in it ;)
I welcome any questions below!