Soaked Whole Grain Bread


Yesterday I mentioned that I was inhaling the intoxicating scent of soaked grain whole wheat dough. I'm pleased to say that the two loaves turned out quite well. So in celebration of that tasty success, I wanted to share a little with you about the nourishing tradition of soaking grains, as well as the recipe I used, courtesy of Passionate Homemaking.

Before I begin though, I must confess that I am in no way an expert in this practice. These two loaves were in fact my first attempt at making bread using soaked grains. It is however something I've been reading about recently, and I fully intend to begin including soaked whole grains in our diet on a regular basis. Now ... let's get on with it!

Soaked grains are exactly that ... whole grains that have been soaked in water and an acid medium for 12 to 24 hours prior to baking. For a complete list of whole grains, click here.

Whole grains contain pyhtic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which prevent your body from being able to digest various nutritional elements deep within the whole grains. Soaking the grains prior to ingesting them neutralizes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, so we can better digest all the nutrients.

As I stated before, grains can be soaked 12 to 24 hours prior to ingestion in a combination of water and an acid medium (lemon juice, buttermilk, whey, etc.), in addition to any of the other wet ingredients called for in your recipe. Because I am not (in any stretch of the imagination) seasoned at this, please check out two fabulous articles for more information from two women who have much more experience: this article over at The Nourishing Gourmet or this article at Passionate Homemaking.

After reading about the nutritional benefits of soaked grains, I finally decided to try it for myself. I will go ahead and give the disclaimer that it IS time consuming, but it merely takes forethought. Don't expect to whip up a loaf in two hours. But plan accordingly, and you'll be rewarded with delicious bread that is packed with nutrition.

I used Lindsay Edmonds recipe at Passionate Homemaking. I also halved it, since I don't need four loaves, and my KitchenAid couldn't handle that much dough. If you try this recipe, please note one error: she omits the water that you need to soak the grains in. You do need to add the water called for in the recipe! Also note that I could not find the dough enhancer (though I later noticed that Lindsay orders hers from Urban Homemaker), so I substituted with the 3 Tbs vital wheat gluten, which is often available in the bulk section of natural food stores.

After following Lindsay's directions, I pulled this (pictured below) from the oven ... an incredibly moist, lightweight, 100% whole wheat bread. Should you try this recipe for yourself, I hope you enjoy it immensely!

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