How to Make Sprouted Grains – A Guide.

Sprouted grains can contribute amazing flavour, texture and health benefits to your bread. The process is easy, takes 2-3 days and can be done with very little effort. Let’s get sprouting!

sprouted grains

What Are Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains are a versatile skill to add to your baker’s pantry. Once sprouted, they can be added to salads, cooked with other grains, mixed into soups, eaten raw or dehydrated and turned into flour. While these are often found in hearty whole-grain tin loaves, sprouted grains can make a great addition to other doughs like my beginner sourdough recipe or this 50% whole wheat sourdough.

Sprouting is the early or beginning stages of any plant. Most plants have enough nutrition in the seed to make them viable to grow without any fertilizer or help. In nature, seeds fall from trees and sprouts begin to sprout in the ground. This is one of the reasons why sprouts are considered to be nutrient-dense. Keep in mind that whole grains, seeds and legumes can be stored and dried, but once sprouted they cannot.

sprouting grains

You may have noticed that some seeds or vegetables, like potatoes or garlic, will sprout and others will not. It is important not to use anything that has been irradiated as this will prevent them from sprouting. Check the packaging and when in doubt shop locally from smaller sources to find non-irradiated foods.

sprouted grains

Sprouting Legumes

Legumes can be sprouted in the same way that grains can be. They are also very versatile and can be used in many dishes. We often like to sprout chickpeas and blend them into hummus – a smooth puree with garlic, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice. Some common sprouting grains are:

  • Chickpeas
  • Dried beans
  • Red Lentils
  • Beluga Lentils
  • Mung beans
sprouting grains

Why Make Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains are easy to make and relatively low fuss. It can take two to five days to sprout with very little hands-on time each day. While whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts can be great on their own, but sprouting them unlocks several benefits:

  • Taste – Sprouted grains often have enourmous amounts of flavour. I often find rye berries are so sweet when sprouted they go alongside some labneh and roasted carrots but also can be eaten as is.
  • Health Sprouted grains have loads of health and nutritional benefits. They are packed with minerals and are easy to digest. I do not want to make any specific claims as I do not have a background in nutrition but you can easily find many articles about sprouted grains online.
  • Versatility – Sprouted grains offer the baker or cook all sorts of versatility in the kitchen. Breads, soups, stews, roasts, salads, the list goes on.
sprouting grains
Rye kernels after a 10 hour soak

How to Sprout Grains

Grains, seeds, nuts and legumes will sprout at different times. The same grain may vary in sprouting times based on its age, origins and environment. As a general rule smaller grains, legumes or seeds can be soaked overnight while larger grains, legumes or seeds will benefit from a longer (24hr) soak. While smaller grains like beluga lentils will sprout in about two days after soaking, some larger legumes like beans and chickpeas might take closer to five days to fully sprout.

This method will work for seeds, nuts, legumes and grains just keep in mind the soaking time and sprouting times will vary.

soaking grains for sprouting grains
  1. Day 1 – Soak the grains in filtered water overnight.
  2. Day 2 – Strain the water, rinse the grains and place them in a single (or close to single) layer on a sprouting tray or colander. The grains can also be left in a mason jar but I find they have a higher chance of spoiling this way with less airflow. Cover the sprouting tray or colander with a tea towel and place them somewhere at room temperature. If you can place them in a warmer place like on top of the fridge, this will help them sprout faster. Leave the grains for 10-12 hours.
  3. Day 2 – Repeat the rinsing process and leave for another 10-12 hours.
  4. Day 3 – Rinse the grains and allow them to dry before returning the towel on top of your sprouted grain container. At this point you should see some little tails popping out of your grains. You can leave and make longer sprouts or use them as is.
  5. Once the grains are sprouted to your liking you can place them in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Note: Sprouted grains can be frozen for use at a later time. I often sprout more than I need then weigh and portion containers that have just the right amount for a loaf of sourdough bread.

Sprouting grains

Sprouted Grain Flours

Sprouted flours can be made from sprouted grains and legumes. Some commonly found sprouted grain flours are:

  • Sprouted buckwheat flour
  • Sprouted spelt lour
  • Sprouted whole wheat flour
  • Sprouted khorosan flour

Once sprouted, the grains are dehydrated and then ground into flour. For more information about milling at home, check out my article on milling your own fresh flour at home. Sprouted grains are higher in sugars and can really speed up the enzymatic activity in your doughs. In other words, keep an eye on your dough as it might ferment faster during the bulk and final fermentation stages.

If you are not into making your own sprouted grains to turn into flour, check out your local mill to see what they carry. A great source for sprouted grain flours in Canada is Anita’s Organic Mill.

More Baking Guides

If you like this guide make sure to check out a few of our other guides including how you can create your own sourdough starter and how to properly store your bread.

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soaking grains for sprouting grains

How to Make Sprouted Grains – A guide.

  • Author: Matthew James Duffy
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups of sprouted grains 1x
  • Category: sprouted grains
  • Method: sprouting
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Description

Sprouted grains can contribute amazing flavour, texture and health benefits to your bread. The process is easy, takes 2-3 days and can be done with very little effort.


Ingredients

Scale

1 cup of grains

2 cups of water


Instructions

    1. Day 1 – Soak the grains in filtered water overnight. 
    2. Day 2 – Strain the water, rinse the grains and place them in a single (or close to single) layer on a sprouting tray or colander. The grains can also be left in a mason jar but I find they have a higher chance of spoiling this way with less airflow. Cover the sprouting tray or colander with a tea towel and place them somewhere at room temperature. If you can place them in a warmer place like on top of the fridge, this will help them sprout faster. Leave the grains for 10-12 hours.
    3. Day 2 – Repeat the rinsing process and leave for another 10-12 hours. 
    4. Day 3 – Rinse the grains and allow them to dry before returning the towel on top of your sprouted grain container. At this point you should see some little tails popping out of your grains. You can leave and make longer sprouts or use them as is. 
    5. Once the grains are sprouted to your liking you can place them in a sealed container in the fridge. 

 


Notes

Sprouted grains can be frozen for use at a later time. I often sprout more than I need then weigh and portion containers that have just the right amount for a loaf of sourdough bread.

Keywords: sprouted grains, sprouting grains, how to sprout grains

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