Sprouted wheat bread is an ancient food with modern-day benefits. The flour made from sprouted grains provides more protein, vitamins and minerals than refined flours, thanks to specific biochemical changes during germination that increase the accessibility of vitamins and capture proteins and carbohydrates in enhanced states. Incorporating sprouts into bread flour or dough brings potent flavors and nutrients into old-world breads that can be called today's health food.
Sprouts Grow Up Better
Grains attain their densest nutrition during their sprouts' germination. Water-soaked wheat berries germinate in two to three days, and as their little green shoots grow, enzymes and chemicals break down the seed and prepare the wheat's germ and endosperm to nourish the growing plant. This germination enhances the availability of vitamins A, B and C; releases the elements iron, potassium and calcium; and markedly elevates protein levels. Herbs Are Special's wheat commentary states that after three days wheat sprouts' protein and vitamin contents can have increased 300 to 600 percent.
Sprouted Wheat Flour for Breads
Besides increasing their flour's protein and vitamins, germinated sprouts contribute carbohydrates that are easier for you to digest because their starches have already been broken down by enzymes. This reductive action in the presence of high protein and fiber levels does not necessarily lead to tough sprouts or dense loaves; the sprouts are finely pulverized when being milled into flour. Note that for baking sprouted wheat bread, Nourished Kitchen recommends that you buy organic flours that have been dried and milled at low temperatures and promptly marketed, since this preserves the sprouts' enzymes and nutrients.
Sprouted Wheat Bread's Benefits for Conditions
If you are sensitive to gluten, you will benefit from sprouted wheat breads' low-gluten or non-gluten options. Overcoming Gluten Intolerance details research by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig that records sprouts' enzymes effectively breaking down gluten and other difficult-to-digest wheat components. If you are diabetic, sprouted wheat bread has a low glycemic index and does not cause post-meal blood-sugar levels or blood-fat counts to spike upwards. If you are reducing calories, sprouted wheat breads provide, ounce-for-ounce, more protein and nutrition than many pre-packaged, highly-processed "diet foods." If you are vegetarian, sprouted bread can accompany any meal, toasted, baked, fried, grilled, cubed for stuffing, mashed for pudding or stretched for pizza. If you are pregnant, sprouted wheat bread, being easily digested and nutrient-dense, is likely to support your health as well as normal fetal development.
Good Types for Sprouting
You can choose certain types of wheat and grains for sprouting. The Urban Homemaker suggests that spelt offers one of the best grains to sprout. You can also use bread wheat, a soft grain. If you use durum hard wheat, you can sprout this, but the grains will be difficult to chew.