Printable version here.
Sprouts in a bread?
That’s what I wondered when I came across the Bread Baking Day 1st Anniversary edition Zorra is hosting BBD this. She chose “Bread with sprouts” as this month’s theme. Sprouts bread is higher in protein and fibre and if made the traditional way, low calorie and almost fat free.
The whole concept of sprouts in bread is new to me. So I looked up some links Zorra had given us and did some research into the subject. Without going into too many details, what I figured out was that there were two main types of sprouts bread.
One type, also called Essene bread, has its origins in biblical times. Here wheat sprouts are ground, made into flat unleavened loaves and baked at low temperatures. This sweetish tasting bread is mentioned in Ezekiel Verse 4:9 in the Old Testament of the Bible. Typically, no oil, salt, flour or leavening agents are added to this bread, though there seem to be varieties of it with fruits, nuts and seeds.
The other type of bread is made with different types of flours to which sprouts have been added. The choice of flours and sprouts seems to be with the baker.
I was a bit confused and Zorra further clarified matters by saying that the bread was to be made with sprouts made at home. The Essene bread didn’t sound too appetizing (though many people think it is quite good) so I decided to try the other type.
The two “easily sprouting” beans I had with me were moong beans and black eyed beans. I took a handful of a mixture of both beans and soaked them in water overnight. Next morning, I drained the beans, put them in a flat plastic container and sprayed them with a little water. I turned them around in the container every few hours and by night they had sprouted. I refrigerated them and used them the next morning to make bread.
The sprouts should have "tails" about the length of the bean for an optimal result when used in this bread. If the sprouts are too short then the full nutritional benefit is not obtained and if they are too long they also spoil the texture of the bread!
I couldn’t find too many recipes for this type of bread and most of them used ingredients I didn’t have or could get easily. So I came up with my own recipe, which is below.
½ cup warm water
1 ½ tbsp honey
1½ tsp active dry yeast
½ cup sprouts (I used moong and black-eyed beans)
1½ cups flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup malted millet flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oil
Run the sprouts in the mixer-grinder/ processor to just break them up. Do not grind into a paste.
Dissolve the honey in ½ cup of warm water. Add the yeast, mix well and allow to prove. Put the flours, salt, oil and crushed sprouts into the processor and run a couple of times to mix well. Now add the yeast mixture and enough water to form a soft dough. You may do this by hand, if preferred.
Form the dough into a ball, put into a greased bowl and cover it. Keep aside till double in volume. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf, using flour if the dough is sticky. Allow the dough to rise (for about ½ an hour) and bake at 190C for about 40 minutes. When done, the loaf will sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.
I expected this loaf to be very dense, but it wasn’t. It was quite soft and slightly crusty. Taste-wise, it was slightly sweet with a nice crunch on the crust wherever there were sprout pieces. And this bread makes great toast. We really liked it.
My sprouts bread is joining Zorra's BBD #11 Bread with sprouts.