Prep 72 hrs
Cook 50 mins
I was searching for a recipe for sprouted wheat berry bread, and I FINALLY found one from the Boston Globe. I made several minor changes, and for the sake of the nutritional analysis, that is how I am going to post it; but you can use any combination of grains, like some combination of wheat berries, rye berries, barley, spelt, lentils, soybeans, mung beans, or chickpeas. The weird measurement for the yeast is because I halved the original recipe, which called for one envelope. I used an eight-inch loaf pan, but that gave me a pretty flat loaf; next time I'd use a smaller one. If you use the measurements listed, you will get sixteen 70-calorie slices, or eight 140-calorie slices. This bread is dense and chewy; if you're looking for a light sandwich bread, this isn't it!
- Two to three days before baking, soak the wheat berries in a container of cold water for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.
- Drain them, return them to the container, cover with plastic wrap, and leave on the kitchen counter. Wait 2 to 3 days until the grains begin to sprout, rinsing and draining them once or twice so they are always damp. As soon as little tails appear, the wheat berries have sprouted and are ready. You can store them in the fridge until you are ready to make the dough.
- In a food processor, work the sprouted wheat berries into a pulp. If the processor starts to generate heat, give it a break before continuing.
- Combine the water with the almond milk. (You want the liquid to be room temperature, so if the almond milk was refrigerated, use boiling water.).
- Using the dough hook of an electric mixer, combine the sprout pulp, ALL of the vital wheat gluten, salt, yeast, honey, and half of the liquid. Mix on slow speed for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together into a ball, adding additional water as needed. Continue mixing 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally scraping down the bowl. The dough should form a sticky ball.
- Mist a work surface with a spray of water. Place the dough on the surface and knead with wet hands for 1 to 2 minutes. Although the dough will be sticky on the surface, it should have the strength and feel of normal bread dough. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil a bowl.
- Resume kneading the dough for 1 minute with wet hands to strengthen it. The dough should have strength yet still feel soft, supple, and very tacky. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to the bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes or until it is about 1 1/2 times its original size.
- Line a loaf pan with foil (not necessary, but makes for an easier cleanup!), and / or spray with nonstick spray. Form the dough into a loaf shape and place it in the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes or until it is about 1 1/2 times its original size.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When you put the loaf in the oven, turn down the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the loaf, and then bake for another 30 minutes, until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped.
- Let cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before slicing.