Basic Yeast Bread, Sprouted Flour Method

Whole grain bread

Whole grain bread

By Cat, Nov 2007 (Photo, right, from University of Maryland) Includes: 1. Sprouted ‘Flour’ Yeast Bread Recipe; 2. Testing See also: 1. Bread Basics (Yeast-Leavened Breads)2. Basic Yeast Bread; 3. Pre-soak Sponge Method for Yeasted Bread; 4. Bread & Rolls Menu

This recipe uses flour make from grain that is sprouted before grinding. As such, it isn’t really ‘flour’, because the sprouted grain is no longer a seed, but a vegetable. However, it can be used much like flour, so I call it ‘flour.’ Sprouted grain has quite a different nutrient content than un-sprouted grain, and is far more nutritious and healthful.

Sprouted flours are very low in gluten (the sprouting process partially digests the gluten protein), so gluten must be added (as in this recipe), for proper rise and texture of the bread.  If you are gluten-sensitive, you can try it without the added gluten, but the bread will not rise well, and will be heavy.  You can try adding some baking soda with the flour mixture, to help the bread rise in the oven.

A better option is to make sourdough bread, which is also lower in gluten than yeast-risen bread. It will still be a bit heavy, but not as much so as sprouted-flour bread made without added gluten.

Sprouted ‘Flour’ Yeast Bread

This recipe is based on my Basic Yeast Bread, Sponge Method recipe, which I then adapted for a Pre-soak Sponge Method, and then adapted for sprouted flour based on Celia’s Everyday Sprouted Bread (1) from the Summers Sprouted Grain recipe websit.

My adaptation is very similar to the pre-soak sponge method, with the following differences:

  • No presoak is required;
  • Regular whole hard wheat flour (I used Wheat Montana Prairie Gold, a hard white-wheat grain), and a mix of yogurt and milk are used in the sponge, and allowed to rest 4 hours.
  • Sprouted grain flour is used in part 2, which provides additional phytase enzymes to break down the phytates in the whole grain flour used in the sponge, during the multiple risings.
  • Because sprouted grain flour has less gluten, I recommend adding gluten to the sponge.  A good rule of thumb is 1 Tbsp gluten for each cup of sprouted grain flour.

Sprouted flour also has the advantage of containing partially digested starches and proteins, which increases bio-availability of the nutrients and decreases chance of allergic response.

NOTE:  Because sprouted grain flours are drier and absorb more moisture than regular flours, less is required in the sponge.  If more flour is needed, this can be done when kneading in part 2.

Ingredients & Method for Half Recipe (1 loaf)

NOTE: as I am copying this post to my new blog, I wonder, “Why did I add yogurt in sponge, without first mixing it with boiling water to kill the lacto-bacteria that would otherwise compete with the yeast?” I don’t know the answer….

Part 1 (sponge):

  • ¼ cup + 2 ½ Tbsp warm water, divided
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp dry yeast (1 ⅓ packages)
  • ⅓ cup yogurt
  • ⅓ cup scalded milk, cooled
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp gluten

Proof yeast in ¼ cup water mixed with sweetener.

Mix & rest sponge: Mix yogurt, milk and remaining water; add proofed yeast.  Mix in flour and gluten; beat 100 strokes.  Cover bowl and allow to rise 4 hours in a warm place. See Basic Yeast Bread for “Warm spot for rise/rest.”

Part 2 (knead, shape & bake):

  • 1-2 tsp Unrefined sea salt (I use 2 tsp)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp butter
  • 1 – 2 cup sprouted grain flour

Mix dough: Fold salt & butter into sponge, then flour in increments.  Rest 10 min; knead until smooth & elastic.  First Rise for 2 – 2 ½ hours. See Basic Yeast Bread for “Warm spot for rise” and “Two-finger test for rise.” For my test, it rose 2 ½ hours.

Second Rise: Punch down, turn over, & rise again, 1 – 1 ½ hours (2-finger test). For my test, it rose 1 ¼ hours. Let rest 10 min.

Shape & final rise: Shape loaf.  Rise again 45 – 75 minutes while oven preheats (3500 F).  For my test, it rose 75 minutes. Brush with egg wash (opt).

Bake 50-60 minutes.  Cool on rack; may brush with melted butter while still warm.


12/14/07:  Decided to try original half recipe (no presoak), with following modifications: ⅓ cup yogurt plus ⅓ cup milk and ⅓ cup water to proof 1 Tbsp yeast, total 1 cup liquid in the sponge; rise 4 hours only (9 AM – 1 PM).  And add 2 tsp salt and 2 ½ Tbsp butter with additional flour (used sprouted wheat) after the sponge has risen. I added a bit more water, about 2 Tbsp, as dough seemed too hard.  Strictly monitor rise:  First rise 2 ½ hours (1 – 3:30 PM); second rise 1 ¼ hours (3:45 – 5:00 PM); rest 10 min; shape single loaf, rise 1 ¼ hrs (5:15 – 6:30 PM). Bake (350 degrees) 50 – 60 min. (finished baking at 7:30 PM)  Analysis:  dough very elastic at all stages, and did not fall during rise (but did fall a bit during sponge rise).  Second and final rise each took a bit longer than I had anticipated.  Result:  Bread has nice loft, good texture and the taste is just what it’s supposed to be.  Success!  10 3/4 hours, start to finish.  However, the next time I made the half-recipe, the sponge had too much flour/not enough moisture (impossible to beat my hand).  I have corrected that.


  1. Celia’s Everyday Sprouted Bread (

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