Tuesday, October 6, 2009


It is easy to sprout wheat berries or other grains to create sprouted flour to use for baking perfect bread!

Here is my latest 100% Whole Wheat bread using home sprouted Prarie Gold Hard Spring Wheat berries and Spelt. After a few mediorce loaves I got the feel for it again.

I use Prairie Gold Hard Spring Wheat Berries and Spelt berries from Wheat Montana. They produce chemical free wheat, they are beyond organic, since they do not use manure on their wheat they are not “certified” organic. They do not use any chemicals at all to grow their wheat. I suggest you read over their website so you know more about their operation.

They ship, but I order 25 pounds of the berries through Rainbow Natural Foods at our local health food store. You can find distributors at the Wheat Montana website here. I also get spelt berries too and use a ½ and ½ mix.


  • One .5 gallon mason jar for soaking and sprouting the berries.
  • Wheat Berries (I use the word “berry” and “grain” interchangeably)
  • A strainer top that fits the mason jar. I took a splatter screen made of stainless steel and cut it into circles which fit the 2 part jar lid. Or you can cover the jar with cheese cloth and fasten it with an elastic band or the screw band of the mason jar lid.
  • An oven thermometer and a meat thermometer. It is good to know what your actual oven temprature is. The meat thermomter is for checking to see when the bread is done.
  • a good digital scale that measure in grams and other units also. It is very important to WEIGH your ingredients - ESPECIALLY when using fresh grains because the hydration rates are SO different from store bought flours. This is a must, truely.
  • 1 or 2 cookie sheets for drying the grains
  • A way to dehydrate the grains, here is picture of my homemade dehyrdator
  • Fill the jar about 1/2 full with berries.
  • Add cold water to fill the jar and risen well a few times. I use my stainless strainer/sieve top to strain off the water.
  • After they are well rinsed add cold filter or spring water to fill the bottle, screw on the strainer lid or regular lid.
  • Put aside and let soak 8-12 hours. I soak overnight so it is usually 12 hours. I put them up at dinner time and then in the morning the berries are ready to be sprouted.
Once the berries are done soaking it is time to rinse them and set them to sprout. This takes about 9-12 hours. They may sprout faster or slower (depending on the time of year and warmth/humidity in your home). My spelt/wheat berries sprouted in 9 hours in August. In September they took about 10.
  • Rinse the berries well and set to drain: Securely screw on the strainer top. You want to allow the remaining water to drain off totally so turn the jar over and put it in a container that will keep the jar from falling over.
  • Place in an out of the way place, I put mine in the cupboard.
  • Rinse 3 times during the sprouting. This is important and you should not skip.
  • Try to leave an hour or so between the last soak and when the grains are sprouted so they are already starting to dry out. They will dry faster that way.
After 9 hours or so check for sprouts by holding up the bottle to get a good close look. The sprouts are ready to be dehydrated when they are just barely visible, look for small white buds appearing on the ends of the wheat kernals. If you can see tiny sprouts on most (90%- that is a guesstimate), even if you can’t see them all with the naked eye, if most are visible they have all undergone the unique transformation that neutralizes the phytic acid (enzyme inhibitors) in the grains and they are ready to be dehydrated. If you can’t see any sprouts put the jar back in the cupboard and check again in an hour or so.

You can use your dehydrator or the oven. If using the oven pour out the sprouted grains and spread them evenly out on a large cookie sheet. You want them to have room to dry so use a second tray or pan if they seem crowded. I use a homemade dehydrator, here is a picture of my homemade dehyrdator, it hangs over our woodstove. I used to dry them in the oven but with the rack I don’t have to remember to cycle the stove on and off.

If using your oven, put the trays and turn it on the lowest setting. My lowest setting is 190 so I cycle it on and off once or twice 2 days. My oven is pretty hot; I don’t want to cook my grains. I always keep the oven door cracked open a bit for good air flow. Air flow is INCREDIBLY important during dehydrating. If you heat the oven and then open the door, this will create air flow as the heat escapes through the open door. I prop it open with a dish rag. I check on them berries periodically, moving them around a bit with my hand so dry evenly. This gives me a feel for how dry they are. The berries are dehydrated when they crunch between you teeth – totally dry and hard. If they are not then let them dry out a bit longer. We live in a dry climate so they dry in 2-3 days in the oven. If you live in a damp climate you might need to do some more research about how to dry them thoroughly.


Once the grains are completely dry store them in clean dry mason jars or plastic bags. If storing in jars it is harder to minimize the amount of air in it. So plastic bags are not a bad idea. Remove as much air as possible and store in the refrigerator for months? Need to check on that. Don't store in the freezer.

When you are ready to bake a loaf of bread just grind what you need in your grain mill. We use a Family Grain Mill. But we used our little coffee grinder with decent results. At least it will give you and idea. But you will need a decent grinder at some point. The family grain mill is working well for us, has both a motor and a hand-crank in case the electricity goes out! I bake off 2 loaves at a time and grind the berries twice to get a really fine flour. This takes about 20 minutes.


I used a bread recipe that calls for creating a soaker, a biga and a final dough which is proofed twice and baked in a loaf pan. It was surprisingly easy! I found the recipe online by Peter Reinhart. I have since purchased and read his book on Whole Grains. Although the soaker/biga method looks difficult and strange. All you do is mix the biga and soaker separately the night before you want to bake the loaf, 12-24 hours later, mix and knead everything together. Even without a kitchenaid it was simple and the results where extraordinary. I used a scale to weigh my ingredients and a thermometer to test for doneness.


3/4 c + 2 T (7 oz) buttermilk :could also use milk, yogurt, rice milk, soy milk (I used very fresh raw whole milk and also a raw milk with a little raw milk kefir)
227 grams [or1 3/4 c or (8 oz)] spouted flour.
4 grams (1/2 tsp) salt or 1/2 t (.14 oz) (I used Celtic Sea Salt)
Mix together in a bowl about one minute, leave at room temp. for 12 to 24 hours covered loosely with plastic wrap. Any longer than that, place it in the fridge.
227 grams [or 1 3/4 c] spouted flour
1 gram [1/4 t (.03 oz)] instant yeast
170 grams [3/4 c (6 oz) ]filtered or spring water, at room temperature

Mix all ingredients into a ball then knead with wet hands 2 minutes. Dough will be tacky. Let rest for 5 minutes, then knead again 1 minute. Place in fridge covered tightly with plastic wrap for minimum 8 hours to 3 days. Remove from fridge 2 hours before mixing dough.

Final Dough:
all the biga
all the soaker
56.5 grams [or 7 T (2 oz)] spouted flour
5 grams [5/8 t (.18 oz) salt
2 1/4 t (.25 oz) instant yeast
42.5 grams [2 1/2 T (1.5 oz)] honey
14 grams or 1 T melted unsalted butter
extra spouted flour for adjustments.

Chop up the biga and soaker into 12 pieces each and place in a mixing bowl. Add in all other ingredients except extra flour and mix together until combined-(if using a mixer- one min on low, then 2-3 mins. on med. low.) if mixing by hand 10 minutes or until you get a smooth elastic/tacky dough.Remove from bowl to a floured work area and knead for 3-4 minutes adding extra flour as needed to get a tacky, but not sticky dough. Let rest for 5 minutes, then knead another 1 minute. Place in an oiled bowl and let it rise for 45-60 mins until it's about 1 1/2 times the original size.

Form into whatever type of loaf you wish. If using a pan, use a greased 4x8 1/2" loaf pan (grease liberally with coconut oil for best results). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again 45-60 mins. until 1 1/2 x's it's original size.

Preheat oven to 425° and place loaf pan in the oven. Immediately turn the temp. down to 350° and bake for 20 mins. Rotate the loaf a complete half turn and bake another 20 to 30 mins. or to 195°.

Publishing to Yeast Spotting.


  1. This is GREAT, and thanks for posting about your wheat source. I've been looking for a good source of wheat berries like this. And your instructions on dehydrating the sprouts are great, too!

  2. Wow! I have always been interested in making bread with sprouted grains. How interesting that you sprout, dry and mill the grains.

    The resulting loaf looks great! My kind of wheat bread! (I buy loaves of sprouted wheat that look like that)

  3. I love sprouted wheat bread! Thanks for sharing on YeastSpotting.

  4. Thank you, I found quite a few references to Wheat Montana on The Fresh Loaf, and specifically Prarie Gold came recommended for baking.


  5. Thanks Mimi! From what I have read about the problems with whole wheat flour - namely rancidity I decided to try baking it with fresh grains instead. What an amazing difference! Baking with whole wheat flour was not working out for me, I live at high altitude so I need all the help I can get. Sprouting came after that step. I am saving a lot of money too, which is my motivator really. I have the price per loaf at under $3.00 using premium ingredients. And it lasts forever. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Just a FYI, I used to sprout and mill my own flour, but it took too much time and the flour was dense. I just want to bake! So for those bakers who what the benefits of sprouted flour without the hassle, I now buy my organic sprouted flours from Shiloh Farms who sell the Essential Eating Sprouted Flours. Great info at essentialeating.com. I'm going to figure out how to take a picture and upload it as the results are wonderful. Thanks, can't wait to try your recipe.

  7. Have you tried making bread without dehydrating the sprouted grain? I just sprouted a bunch of wheat berries and was looking for a good bread recipe when I stumbled upon yours. Very interesting recipe. I will have to try it. I also buy my grains from Wheat Montana and have had consistent results. I am not a baker and so my bread always comes out different every time, its very frustrating.

  8. I just sprouted my wheat berries and was looking for a bread recipe to make and came across yours. Why do you dehydrate the sprouts before you make into bread? Can you just make the bread right after you have sprouted the grain without dehydrating them? I am new to this whole bread making thing and can use all the advice I can get. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Hi Topedyas, Thanks for becoming my first follower! Making bread from sprouted grains that I did not dehydrate, that is called Essene Breads. They are delicious! But I was looking for a sandwhich bread since we stoppped buying it at the store and we really missed sandwhiches. As for why sprouted flour instead of unsprouted I was looking to enhance the bread by sprouting the grains and dehydrating them then grinding into flour for the nutritional benefits gained from the transformation that occurs as a result of the sprouting process. There is information about "why sprouted flour" here on this blog.

    As for consistency, I am a new baker myself, I don't include the years I used my bread machine of course! In the spring of this year I decide to try baking bread by hand and went in search of a recipe that appealed to me. That was how I found the Peter Reinhart recipe. I liked that he calls for real food ingredients (I disagree strongly about his suggestion for using agave nectar if you like, I have read it is dangerous and besides it is too processed for my taste). He does not talk about sprouted grain flours in his books but I figured, after reading about sprouted flour, that I would try my hand at it.

    I have been baking off 2 loaves a week of this same bread since then. I decided to just use this one recipe and bake it over and over again so that I learned about the process. I have had really consistent results, I believe it is the fresh grains but I see that your bread is coming out different every time and you are also using fresh grains. Are you grinding just what you need for your baking that day? That is what I do. Just what I need for my bread that day. I also use grams to weigh my ingredients and am very exacting, I am thinking this is part of my consistent results. I try to do everything exactly the same each week so that I am learning and take notes if I make changes or mistakes. I also add 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to my final dough, I have not even tried the recipe without even though I keep saying I am going to try leaving it out next time to see what happens. I live at a high altitude so I am nervous about the rise, that is why I add the VWG.

    Thanks again for the post! Happy baking!


    ps - I watched kneading, shaping and proofing videos on utube to learn about those steps since I had never made bread by hand. That helped me understand the "feel" of the dough etc.

  10. How long can the dry sprouted grains last in the mason jars before you have to grind and use them? Thanks!

  11. I read awhile back that the sprouted/dehyrdated grain is very stable and can last a long time in an airtight container on the shelf but I keep mine in a ziplock in the fridg. Mason jars are tough cause you can't get the air out. It sounds like you are planning on storing them and grinding as needed? That is best. I will look for more exact information and get back to you. Just don't put them in the freezer, have you ever noticed when you take things out of the freezer water condenses very quickly on the surfaces, this is happening on each grain too when you take the bag of wheat berries, this refreezes when it goes back in.