12.07.2009

sir sprouts a LOT

so, did you know that you can grow wheat berries, or almonds, or barley? WHO KNEW??!! well, my favoritest friend lacy kept telling me about sprouting this-and-that and i kinda thought that would be a ton of work, and just not worth it. i was more wrong than, well, just let your imagination run wild about the most outlandish wrong you can think of, then multiply by 100! it's so easy and fun and exciting... so here goes. you pick your berry, or nut, or grain. i chose wheat berries because they were the first thing i came across down the endless aisle of "bag your own" stuff at the health food store. here's what you do.


first things first, you get a strainer and dump in your loot. rinse it well, ensuring there are no funky looking pieces. then dump your loot into a bowl and cover with water. then take a piece of cloth, or a thin dish towel and cover the bowl. stick the entire thing into one of your kitchen cabinets and let it sit there for about 12 hours. (this isn't exact, do don't freak out if you aren't right-on-the-dot!) remember this is going to be exciting, not daunting! 


when you hit the 12-hour mark, you'll essentially have a bowl of bloated loot. it kinda looks like how you might feel during those dreaded days of the month.... i know you know what i'm talking about- don't try to act like you don't! anywho, strain the contest of your bowl, and when you are done straining, allow the strainer to sit on the bowl you were using until they are completely drained. you don't want there to be any puddles in your bowl or you'll just end up with a moldy mess. so drain it well. then, empty the bowl and dry it out. dump your soon-to-be sprouts back in. re-cover, and put them back in the cabinet.



another 12-hours have gone by. now, you'll just repeat the process. rinse. drain. by now, your loot will have little tiny sprouts, and you might just squeal a little when you see them! it's super exciting (or at least for little ol' me it was!)



you'll have to repeat this process for about two days- this will vary depending on what you are actually sprouting, but when the sprouts are about twice as long as the original loot. this is the point where they are ready to go into bread, or to cook like oatmeal, or make a fun salad. however, you can also continue the process and grow wheat grass which is both ok to eat naturally or you can use a juicer and drink up until your heart's content. 



i made bread with mine which ended up delish! i used two different recipes and we did a taste test. the fam was split down the middle on which was their fav, but liked both. i would recommend doing a taste test yourself. just be aware that the first recipe makes two large loaves, plus some rolls (or three loaves) and the second recipe only makes one loaf.

1st things first:

2 1/2 cups warm water
2 scant Tbs. active dry yeast
Allow the yeast to proof (bubble) for 5 minutes

Stir in:
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbs. salt
2 Cups Sprouted Grains - whole or ground lightly
4 cups flour (any combo of wheat, rye and white you like) Beat well. Cover and let this “sponge” sit 45-60 minutes.
Stir down and gradually add:
3-4 cups flour (any combination)


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Place dough into a greased bowl - turn it over and around to coat the whole of the dough.
Cover and let rise until doubled (60-90 minutes).
Knead dough down in the bowl, divide and shape into 2 - 3 oblong loaves. Place in well greased loaf pans and cover.
Let rise 60 minutes or until almost doubled.

Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire racks.


the result::




2nd things second:


¾ cup warmed ground sprouted wheat
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp yeast, dissolved in
¼ cup lukewarm water
1¾ cups unbleached flour

Combine sprouted wheat, sugar, salt and butter. Add dissolved yeast and flour. Knead well. Place in covered bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and shape into round loaf and let rise in a buttered ovenproof casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

the result::


happy sprouting & happy baking!!