A MESSAGE FROM PEGGY
Jeff and Daniel at Expo West in Los Angeles.
I’m excited to share this month’s newsletter with you. We receive lots of great questions from our customers and love to answer them. One of the most important things we can do here at To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co., besides providing you with quality sprouted grains and flours, is to inform you about our products, our process, and to be able to answer your questions. With all the information and opinions available to us, sometimes it’s hard to judge fact from fiction.
This month’s recipes are from two of our customers who bake with our sprouted whole grain wheat flour to make sprouted wheat bread and pizza dough. We’d love to share your favorite recipes, too.
I hope you glean some new information from our Q&A this month. Please keep your questions coming and also your knowledge and resources of what’s circulating in the news and on the web. Networking and sharing knowledge can only make us wiser when trying to make sense of all the information that is “out there”. Here’s to your good health this spring. As my husband Jeff always says, “Eat healthy and enjoy good health.” I believe he’s on to something!
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Do sprouted beans cook faster
No. Sprouted beans are still raw and because they've been dehydrated, they need to be soaked overnight before cooking. Also, the sprouting process breaks down the starch in the beans so they will not be as creamy textured once cooked, but much more digestible and flavorful. The fast-cooking dried beans and grains in the supermarket have been parboiled, then dried. Lots of nutrients are lost, not to mention that the ones left are not readily available in an un-sprouted state.
Your web site says that your sprouted millet is not suitable for cooking. Does this mean that I can’t bake with it?
Our sprouted millet is un-hulled millet and will not cook like hulled millet you would purchase in a store for tabuli or soups. Most common millet is de-hulled using steam which inhibits sprouting, so we purchase un-hulled millet that will sprout. Our sprouted whole millet is great for grinding into fresh flour for gluten-free baking. Hopefully we'll soon find hulled millet that has been thrashed, not steamed, to remove the hull which will produce a good sprout percentage. Sprouted millet flour has a pleasant sweet taste. I love to make sprouted millet herb bread.
Do I need to soak your new sprouted hulless barley before cooking or adding
to my soups?
Yes. Our new sprouted hulless barley has a fabulous taste and is great for breakfast porridges, salads, or adding to soups; but, please soak them overnight to reduce your cooking time. They are still raw, dehydrated grains that must be re-hydrated before cooking.
There’s been a lot of media coverage
on the hybridization of grains, especially wheat. Do you offer any sprouted ancient grains?
Yes, we offer several. Our sprouted spelt, amaranth, KAMUT®, and sorghum are considered ancient or heirloom grains because they have not been hybridized. We’ll also be adding sprouted einkorn wheat, considered to be an un-hybridized wheat variety, later this spring. Wheat has unfortunately received a less than stellar reputation in the last year from all the publicity via mainstream media and grain-free diet proponents, but to make wheat the only "bad" food when most of our foods are hybridized (even most of the organic ones) is leaning too far in one direction. My organic seed catalogs showcase new tomato, lettuce, and broccoli varieties almost every spring. These new varieties are from cross-pollination (hybridization), whether in the lab or naturally by the bees in a garden or field. We certainly understand that folks with certain conditions, chronic illness, and allergies cannot tolerate common wheat, even in a sprouted state, but wheat is still the most consumed grain in this country. And hybridization does not mean genetically modified.
What’s the biggest difference as far as baking with sprouted flour instead of conventional flour?
The biggest difference is the absorption factor. All of our sprouted flours are 100% whole grain and if you've ever baked with whole grain flours before you know that they are not as fine as conventional flour (processed) which has had most of the bran and nutrients removed with other things added for ease in baking. The absorption factor pertains to the amount of liquid needed to reach the dough or batter consistency you need. If you’re baking with lots of fat such as a cookie or cake recipe you can substitute sprouted flour cup for cup without having to add anything to the recipe. If you’re baking yeasted breads that don’t call for much fat you may have to add liquid to your dough to get a good kneading consistency. My guideline is up to 1 tablespoon of additional liquid per cup of sprouted flour; however, I’d start with 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you’re needing – not too dry, not too wet.
Does sprouted flour mean gluten-free flour?
No. While we sell several gluten-free sprouted flours, sprouting gluten-containing grain does not break down all of the gluten. To break down most of the gluten in wheat you'd have to let it grow at least into grass. We have heard from lots of customers with gluten sensitivities who seem to tolerate sprouted grains. Sensitivities are different in individuals. What works for some will not work for others.
How do I know the flour I’m receiving from you is truly sprouted?
We have our sprouted grains tested to insure that our process is achieving a high sprout rate. This is mainly measured by the difference in the grain's falling number after sprouting compared to the raw grain before sprouting. If the falling number of our sprouted grain consistently tests close to half of the un-sprouted falling number, then we're achieving a very high sprout rate. Another way we have our sprouted grains and legumes tested after sprouting is to compare nutrient increases and for our oats we test the reduction in phytic acid.
Which sprouted gluten-free flours can be used on their own to bake with?
Our sprouted brown rice, millet, amaranth, and sorghum flours can be used 100% in a bread recipe. Other gluten-free sprouted flours such as buckwheat and quinoa are best used as no more than 25% of the total flour measure in a recipe due to their distinctive taste. Our sprouted blue and yellow corn flour can also be used 100% for tortillas and corn bread. We've heard from customers who are using our sprouted garbanzo and black bean flours for tortillas and Indian breads. Culture Club 101 in Pasadena, CA is working to formulate sprouted lentil flour bread recipes that are GAP diet legal.
Is your sprouted white wheat flour like white flour found in the grocery store?
No. Our sprouted white wheat flour is made from a hard white spring wheat berry instead of a red berry. It has a more neutral taste, lighter texture and color, and much less gluten (about 9%) than our regular sprouted wheat flour (about 14-16%) that is made from a high-protein hard red spring wheat berry. I believe our sprouted white wheat flour is the best all-around sprouted flour for baking cookies, muffins, cakes, and pastries.
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Lori's Sprouted Wheat Bread
This is a slightly tweaked Peter Reinhart recipe using 100% whole grain sprouted wheat flour. I can hardly believe how light and flavorful this bread is.
- 19 ounces sprouted wheat flour
- 9g Celtic sea salt (1 ¾ teaspoon of this
particular type of salt)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 cups plus 1-2 tablespoons of lukewarm water to make a slightly sticky finished dough ball.
I make the dough in a bread machine. Once all of the flour is incorporated in the bread machine I add 2 tablespoons of softened organic unsalted butter and let that mix in and let the dough knead, but take it out before it rises. I put the dough into an oiled bowl and flip it oiled side up. Cover with a piece of wax paper and then foil lightly enough so it can breathe. Let it rise in the refrigerator overnight which improves the texture dramatically. Then I bring it to room temperature, dump it out of the bowl onto a very lightly floured board, press it down gently to remove bubbles, then form it into a loaf by rolling it onto itself, pinching as I go. I place it in a greased 11 ¾ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel, let rise until 1 ¼” above the top of the pan, and bake at 375 degrees in a preheated oven until internal temp reaches 190 degrees, about 40 minutes at our high altitude. Amazing bread!
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Maria finishes season with best performance of career. Go to Maria’s website for her thrilling victory season.
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Gerri’s Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour
(Makes five 8 oz. dough balls)
- 20 oz. (567 grams) sprouted whole grain wheat flour (approx.. 4 ½ cups)
- 4 oz. (11 grams) salt (1 ½ teaspoons fine grind, 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt)
- 11 oz. (3 grams or 1 teaspoon) instant yeast; or .14 oz. (4 grams or 1 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 oz. (56 grams) of warm water. NOTE: take the water from the total water weight
- 18.5 oz. (522grams) water, room temperature (if using active dry yeast, remember to deduct 2 oz. of this water and use it to activate the yeast).
NOTE: You can replace up to 3 oz. (85 grams) of sprouted wheat flour with another sprouted flour. If you try to replace more than that amount (more than 15% of the total flour) the dough will be too fragile to shape easily. You should also reduce the total water to 18 oz. (510 grams) if making this substitution.
If using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment (not the dough hook); otherwise mix by hand in a bowl with a big spoon. Combine all the ingredients and mix for about two minutes on slow speed, or until all the flour is hydrated and you have a wet, sticky mass of shaggy dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then resume mixing on medium speed for two additional minutes (or by hand – dip your hands in water to use wet hands to mix the dough in the bowl). The dough will firm up somewhat and become smooth, but it will still be very sticky.
Make an oily circle on your work counter (olive oil is suggested) and transfer the dough to the oiled spot. Rub some oil on your hands and then stretch and fold the dough from all four sides. Flip the dough over, cover it with the dough bowl and let it rest on the oiled spot. Repeat this stretch and fold step every 5 minutes until you have performed 4 of them. Each time you do these folds (sometimes called intermittent mixing or folding) the dough will get a little stronger and less sticky, but will still be very soft and somewhat sticky at the end.
After all the stretch and folds, return the dough to an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 90 minutes at room temperature. (if you are not planning to use the dough on the same day, place the bowl in the refrigerator after 30 minutes until the day you plan to use it – up to 3 days).
After 90 minutes of proofing, divide the dough into 8 oz. dough balls. Use a small amount of oil on your hands to form the dough balls. Place them on a lightly oiled sheet pan, or on a pan that has been covered by a silicon baking pad (Silpat) and lightly oil that. Lightly brush the dough balls with olive oil and cover them loosely with plastic wrap (or use a dough box). These dough balls will be ready to use in one hour. If you need more time than that, refrigerate the dough until one hour before you need them and then let them sit at room temperature. They will be good for about 2 to 2 ½ hours at room temperature before they over-proof, depending on how cold they are.
NOTE: If using cold, undivided dough that has been held in the refrigerator overnight in the bowl, divide it into balls 1 ½ hours before you plan to make the pizzas and follow the same procedure as above.
Bake the pizzas as you would using your regular dough (in a hot, hot oven!), topped with your favorite ingredients. Use flour on your hands when stretching the balls into pizza crusts – they will be sticky but will stretch fairly easily. Use whatever dough forming technique you are comfortable with and use enough flour under the peel to allow you to easily slide the pizzas into the oven.
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Check out these websites for great information and recipes.
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