I first began to use sprouted wheat flour when I heard that it digests like a vegetable. Wow! But, the price is a bit steep, and digesting like a vegetable was not enough to motivate me to continue purchasing it. But, as I have learned more about grains, I have become committed to only using flour that has been sprouted, or otherwise properly prepared.
Grains contain phytic acid, and phytic acid blocks the absorption of several minerals in our bodies. In addition, grains contain enzyme inhibitors which prevent our own digestive enzymes from properly digesting the grain. Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting the grain breaks down and neutralizes much of the phytic acid and inactivates the enzyme inhibitors making the grain digestible.
Soaking whole wheat flour in an acid medium and liquid is one option for making the flour digestible. However, only freshly milled flour should be used since nutrients are very quickly lost and the germ becomes rancid after grinding. Fermentation, or sourdough, is another option. Again, only freshly ground flour should be used. Wheat berries may be sprouted at home, dehydrated, and then ground into flour. At least for now, I prefer the convenience of purchasing sprouted wheat flour. When wheat is sprouted, the germ is consumed in the process and cannot become rancid. It is now a stable food able to maintain freshness and a shelf life of up to 6 months. Although purchasing sprouted wheat flour is the most expensive option, for me, it is one area where I choose convenience over price. I prefer Shiloh Farms brand; I’ve tried one other brand that was less expensive, but my bread did not rise as nicely.
Here is the recipe I use for bread, taken from the Essential Eating blog:
Sprouted Flour Sandwich Bread
4 tablespoons room-temperature butter
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cups room-temperature water
4 cups Shiloh Farms Organic Sprouted Flour (wheat or spelt)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons yeast
Place the wet ingredients in the bottom of a bread machine, and then add the dry ingredients, ending with the yeast. Use the basic cycle on your bread machine.
By the way, be sure to enjoy your homemade bread with butter. The vitamins A and D it contains help to absorb the minerals and B vitamins in the bread!