With most of Peter Reinhart’s books scattered around the homestead, I have a collection of bread recipes that can often seem daunting. And, as I’ve worked through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, his other books end up on the back burner more often than not. However, when Wendy from Silver Hills Bakery contacted me about trying their sprouted breads, it finally pushed me over the edge to bring Peter’s Whole Grain Breads back out of hiding and give this recipe a go.
Inside Whole Grain Breads, you’ll find two sprouted recipes. One that utilizes whole wheat and one that is straight sprout goodness. Thinking I should make my first foray in into sprouted breads easier on myself, I decided to make the version that includes whole wheat flour. Requiring at least three days (but easily 4), this isn’t something that the average baker is probably going to have time for.
The wheat berries were easy to find at Planet Organic, where they offer both Bob’s Red Mill and bulk varieties. With only pennies the difference for my needs, I bought a package of Bob’s and set to soaking down the berries. After a night in the water, I drained, rinsed, and sealed the little nuggets of wheat until their tails started to show. It was quite the process to see this happen and surprisingly simple. Grinding everything into a paste, the rest of this adventure wasn’t much different from other involving breads.
I think my years of bread baking have actually paid off as the results were truly fantastic. Considerably airier than I would have imagined, the bread was also moist, and soft which is great when you consider I had a fear this bread would be like a rock. It’s not that I don’t believe I’m growing, it’s just that some of these big leaps, or bread jumps of faith if you will, are bigger signs that all my work as paid off. It’s time to work a bit more on this one, and I’ll make sure my next attempt is 100% sprouted wheat; all in hopes that I can master my own version of this premium style bread.