“Sprouts represent the point of greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant.”
Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods
When I read this today, I thought that’s what I want to make bread out of….not flour that has been sitting around in a shop for god knows how long.
Most people don’t love sprouted bread. They envisage a heavy, sticky and dense loaf that is annoying because it breaks in the toaster; then never try it again. The bread I made today is moist and cakey with a rich malty flavor. Actually, I don’t think of it as bread, I think of it as a great way to eat a nutrient dense whole grain that’s easy to digest too!
And there is a way to toast sprouted bread – on a griddle or skillet, over medium heat….. I think the reason I like it made this way is because it takes me back to cold winter mornings as a child, huddled around the combustion stove toasting bread directly on top. The toast got a delicious charred flavor; a skillet gives that same effect and prevents annoying breaking.
The spelt in this bread is sprouted first, then ground to form a dough. To begin the sprouting process you have to soak grains overnight (as you did here). Pre-soaking removes phytic acid which interferes with the assimilation of minerals. Sprouting takes it a step further and increases the vitamin and nutrient content dramatically.
I know you’re probably thinking: no way, I’m not going through the whole process of sprouting grains before I make bread! Well, the thing is it’s so easy; all you have to do is rinse the grains twice a day for two days then blend and bake, no kneading or proofing required!
Fresh from the oven, it needs no toasting and since I love a savory breakfast my favorite toppings are a smear of chickpea South River Miso (out-of-this-world, handmade miso that I’ll have to get into another day) avocado and some kind of kraut. This is so satisfying and will keep you well nourished for hours.
Sprouted spelt bread with seeds
2 cups spelt berries
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
extra virgin olive oil, for oiling the baking dish
For variation try adding dried fruit, nuts or spices instead of the seeds.
Wash grains and place in a large wide mouth jar (Mason Jar works well), cover with 2 inches of filtered water and soak overnight.
Strain, rinse and cover with a cheese cloth or gauze-like fabric secured with a rubber band.
Place in a dark, cool place (like a cupboard) on a 45 degree angle (top end down) I usually place a folded cloth under the mouth of the jar to absorb any liquid that drains off. Rinse grains twice a day, you will see tiny sprouts by the end of the first day, very exciting!
Once the sprout is almost the length of the grain, nibble on a few and then put them in the fridge until you want to make bread. Use within 3 or 4 days.
Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees (Fahrenheit)
Generously oil a baking dish and set aside.
Place sprouts in the bowl of a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until mixture resembles a dough. Add the seeds and pulse a few times to combine.
Gather dough and shape into a log and place in oiled baking dish.
Bake for 2 hours. Bread will smell sweet and rise a little, since the bread is made from sprouts that can be eaten raw, you don’t have to worry about whether it is cooked through.
Allow to cool before removing from the baking dish.
Slice carefully as this bread crumbles easily. Well wrapped, it will keep up to two weeks in the fridge and can an be stored frozen for months.