Yes, you can make a rustic and tasty loaf with nothing but sprouted wheat seeds. While this isn’t the light and airy bread you might be thinking of for sandwiches, it is a wonderfully chewy loaf that is the perfect accompaniment to soups, stews, or a plate of cheese and fruit. It has a marvelous rich flavor and is moist, with a crisp crust. Best of all, you only need ONE ingredient: wheat seeds. I do provide a few options here, however, for different flavor enhancements if you feel like changing things up. I do find that adding molasses or olive oil improves the texture, but if wheat berries is all you have, you can still make bread.
You will need to sprout wheat berries (wheat seeds) for this. Read my blog post on sprouting wheat berries here for a tutorial, and the health benefits of sprouted wheat berries over non-sprouted. And while this is not a gluten-free bread (it does contain wheat), those who can’t tolerate gluten frequently don’t have as much of a problem with this, simply because it is sprouted grain, which makes it easier to digest. I’ll leave it to you to decide if it would be a safe option to try.
Using just wheat berries for this loaf means you can make different additions easily, depending upon what you’re in the mood for. Each recipe makes about 2 servings unless you are really hungry; it’s a dense loaf and goes a long way.
When you sprout your wheat for this recipe, make sure you don’t let the tails get too long; you only want them to just sprout, not to start growing. The longer you let the tails become, the more the flavor of the bread becomes “green” and the texture ends up having strings in it, which is not all that appetizing, trust me.
- 1 cup wheat berries, sprouted (see link above on how to do this)
(Seriously…that’s it though the flavor is greatly enhanced with other ingredients…)
- 1 cup wheat berries, sprouted (see link above on the how-to)
- 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses, honey, or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- dash of salt (optional)
- 1 cup wheat berries, sprouted (see link above for the how-to)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- dash of salt (optional)
I do this either first thing in the morning for an evening loaf, or at night for a morning loaf. Using the slow cooker means you can leave it cook all day or night while you’re away from home doing other tasks.
Take your slow cooker, line it with some tin foil, and pre-heat it on the low setting. The tin foil will help you to easily remove the loaf when it is done cooking.
While the slow cooker is preheating, grind your sprouted wheat berries. To do this, take your well-drained sprouted grains and place them in a food processor or Vitamix (it’s tough to do this in a blender). Add all of your ingredients and then blend. As you blend the grains into a paste, they will greatly decrease in volume, this is normal! I like to leave a few whole kernels in my loaf; I just like the bite they provide but you can grind the paste until almost smooth. I recommend against making it too smooth, however, as you will make the texture of the bread too dense.
Take a piece of parchment paper and lay it on a plate; the parchment paper will make removing your cooked loaf much easier. Because of how the loaf caramelizes as it cooks, it has a tendency to stick to solid surfaces, even if they are oiled.
Remove your paste and, using your hands, form it into a round loaf. Place it on the parchment paper and leave it rest for about 30 minutes while your slow cooker is heating. After 30 minutes or so, place the parchment paper and your formed loaf into the slow cooker and put the lid on. (If you want to use an oven for this, preheat the oven to 225F and leave the loaf to cook on parchment paper and a cookie sheet for about 4 hours.)
Leave your bread to cook for about 8 hours (there have been times when I’ve left it for 10 hours by accident…it was still good). During this time, avoid removing the lid from the slow cooker as this causes heat to escape and this will affect cooking.
After about 8 hours, remove the loaf from the slow cooker (I use the corners of the tin foil for this). Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then serve! It is especially tasty with winter soups and stews as it holds up well to soaking up juices. Yum!