Sprouting grains and legumes increases the availability of nutrients, and may make them more digestible. You can use sprouted whole grains similarly to how you might use seeds in bread, like in this recipe for sprouted wheat with maple and beer and this Danish rugbrod. Sprouted wheat berries also make delicious porridges and wonderful savory dishes like this Italian farro (emmer) salad.
Sprouted wheat berries can also be dehydrated and milled into flour for baking. For example, follow these links to recipes for sprouted wheat ciabatta, honey whey sprouted spelt braided bread, and artisan-style bolted sprouted wheat bread (bolted means some of the bran has been sifted out). You can see Breadtopia’s selection of sprouted dehydrated wheat berries and milled sprouted flours here, or learn about dehydrating sprouted wheat berries to mill in a home kitchen through discussions in our forum here.
Sprouting grains and legumes is surprisingly easy, takes at most a few days (often less) and doesn’t require specialized tools.
- Tea towel
- Optional: A jar with a perforated sprouting lid
- Soak wheat berries in water, covered, for 6-12 hours.
- Drain the water and rinse the berries. If you have a sprouting lid and jar, rest the jar inverted at an angle in a bowl for drainage. If you do not have a sprouting lid, pour the berries into a colander for draining and rinsing, and then rest the colander in a bowl and cover it with a towel or loosely with plastic. The berries should be at room temperature and in a relatively dark place.
- Repeat the rinsing and draining every 8-12 hours until little sprouts emerge from the berries. Let the spouts grow to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. The sprouts will be of different length, so go for a loose average. The entire process should take 24-48 hours from the start of the soak.
- Store the sprouted berries in your refrigerator, drained, for up to 5 days. If they get white fuzz in that time, it is because they are thirsty and growing mini shoots to extract moisture from the air. This isn’t mold. Make sure you smell the wheat berries early in the process to get a sense of what fresh smells like.