Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Friday, January 30, 2009

Soaking Whole Wheat Flour and 100% Whole Wheat Bread

From www.thenourishinggourmet.com:

Why I soak my whole grains

Most all of us know the nutritional advantages of whole grain food verses refined flours. Whole grains retain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are vital to our well being. But what if I were to tell you that in all whole grains there are enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion and other natural substances that blocks you from absorbing all of those great minerals and vitamins?

Grains, that are not soaked, equal poor digestive worth, and blocked vitamins and minerals

Unfortunately, it’s true. But there is a solution!

It’s only been in more recent years that we have disregarded traditional methods of sprouting, soaking, and fermenting grains. Not understanding the importance, we slowly forgot these methods of preparation. But we now know better …

Phosphorus in the bran of whole grains is tied up in a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption. Whole grains also contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking, and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestive process in our own kitchens. Many people who are allergic to grains will tolerate them well when they are prepared according to these procedures. Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon, Pg 25

Soaked grains equal better digestive worth and make vitamins and minerals available to absorb

For those who have had digestive trouble when eating whole grains, this could be part of the answer for you. For the rest of us, it will help make sure we don’t develop digestive issues and insure that we are able to fully utilize all of those vitamins and minerals we eat whole grains to get!

How do you do it?

It’s quite simple. You can soak grains like rice, millet, quinoa, wheat, 12 to 24 hours at room temperature in some water with 1-2 tablespoons of whey, lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir (this gives it an acidic medium which helps neutralize anti-nutrients). You can then rinse the grains to remove any acidic taste to them, and then cook in fresh water.

Back to me now...here's why I soak my grains. I got the mill for my 40th birthday. Many of my friends had been touting the great results and health benefits of freshly milled flour. However, my little boys would have diarrhea as well as chaff in their diapers after eating the bread. I was perplexed. Did my kids have a wheat allergy? I did a TON of research. My friends Erin and Julie turned me on to a book called _Nourishing Traditions_ , which I read while doing more research. It was this website that had really caught my attention. Then I found more and more about this and am really wondering why it is our society buys the "whole grain" hype when the "whole grain" hype is bad for you.

Ignorance is bliss, as Joseph Campbell says. Lest you think I only looked at one side of the phytic acid debate, I didn't. There is some good in phytic acid in that it can lower cholesterol levels and add in moderating depression because it myo0 Inositol, a B vitamin. Inositol is also available in MANY other foods and can be taken as a supplement. Note to those with depression - if you also suffer from ADD/ADHD, just know that high levels of Inositol can exacerbate your ADD/ADHD symptoms. However, I went to the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition to find that phytic acid does indeed inhibit mineral absoption. There are articles on both sides of the debate of soaking versus not soaking. All I can tell you is that my littlest started gaining weight AND the diarrhea went away for both boys after I started soaking.

On top of the problem with the wheat, my husband was reacting to the large quantities of yeast I needed to give proper rise to the loaves of bread. When I made bread from white flour and 1/2 a package of yeast or less, he didn't react. When I needed a package of yeast per loaf, it put him over the edge. So, it was my search for bread recipes requiring less yeast the led me to _Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day_.

So - here is my dilemma. I am having a hard time getting the hydration right when I try to soak my bread AND use the ABI5MAD method. I get great tasting bread that somewhat resembles a horta (sorry for the Star Trek reference).

This is James T. Kirk confronting the mother horta....

So, first the whole wheat recipe from ABI5MAD. Then, my pictures of my soaking process and the changes I've made to the recipe.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

From _Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day_

Makes three 1 1/2 lb loaves.

1 1/2 c. lukewarm water

1 1/2 c. lukewarm milk

1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 c. honey

5 Tbsp. neutral tasting oil

6 2/3 c. whole wheat flour

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, honey and oil with milk and water in a 5 qt. bowl.
  2. Mix in remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon or a stand mixer with a dough hook.
  3. Cover, not airtight and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough collapses; approximately 2-3 hours.
  4. The dough can be used after initial rise, although it is easier to handle when it is cold. Refrigerate in a lidded, not airtight container and use over the next 5 days.
  5. On baking day, lightly grease a 9x4x3" non-stick loaf pan. Using wet hands, scoop out a cantaloupe sized handful of dough. Quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.
  6. Drop the loaf into the prepared pan. It should be slightly more than 1/2 full.
  7. Allow the dough to rest 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour the top of the loaf and slash.
  8. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a broiler pan on the bottom rack. IF you aren't using a stone, just preheat 5 minutes.
  9. Place the loaf on the rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the door. Bake 50-60 minutes or until deeply browned and firm.
  10. Allow to cook before slicing.


Soaking Whole Wheat Flour

Here are my pictures. I used 6 2/3 cups of freshly milled whole wheat flour, 3 cups warm water with an added 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (to make acidulated water - needed to break down the phytic acid). When mixed, it resembles play dough in consistency. I cover it with plastic wrap, then the lid and allow it to sit 20-24 hours on the counter. You can go as little as 7, but I still see problems in the little boys' diapers with 7 hours. I go at least 20 hours.

100% Whole Wheat Bread WITH MY SOAKING MODIFICATIONS

From _Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day_

Makes three 1 1/2 lb loaves.

Combine:

3 c. lukewarm water

3 Tbsp. cider vinegar

6 2/3 c. whole wheat flour

Stir until completely mixed. Cover with plastic wrap then a wet towel or air tight lid. Allow to sit in warm place for 7-24 hours. Then add:

1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1/4 c. lukewarm water

1/2 c. honey

5 Tbsp. melted butter

1/4 c. vital wheat gluten


  1. You will need to mix this with your hands or a dough hook on a stand mixer.
  2. Cover, not airtight and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough collapses; approximately 2-3 hours.
  3. The dough can be used after initial rise, although it is easier to handle when it is cold. Refrigerate in a lidded, not airtight container and use over the next 5 days.
  4. On baking day, lightly grease a 9x4x3" non-stick loaf pan. Using wet hands, scoop out a cantaloupe sized handful of dough. Quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.
  5. Drop the loaf into the prepared pan. It should be slightly more than 1/2 full.
  6. Allow the dough to rest 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour the top of the loaf and slash.
  7. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a broiler pan on the bottom rack. IF you aren't using a stone, just preheat 5 minutes.
  8. Place the loaf on the rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the door. Bake 50-60 minutes or until deeply browned and firm.
  9. Allow to cook before slicing.
ED. NOTE: You should really still soak commercially purchased whole wheat flour to increase it's digestibility.

8 comments:

  1. When using this recipe I am wondering about the consistency after soaking. I'm having to add quite a bit more flour to get a nice dough. Doesn't adding this unsoaked wheat kind of defeat the original purpose? What am I missing.
    Thanks
    Thomas
    El Paso

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thomas, The dough is REALLY wet. I've found that using the 5 minute a day approach and soaking don't go so well together. Here's my FAVORITE 100% Whole Wheat Bread dough recipe that is NOT 5 minutes a day, but well worth the effort:
    Softest Whole Wheat Bread (adapted to soak the grains)

    Enough to make 3 9”x5” loaves



    9 ½ cups freshly milled flour from hard spring wheat berries (8 cups of berries is enough for 10 cups of flour)

    3 ½ cups 110-120 degree water

    ¼ cup cider vinegar



    Mix until combined. Cover mixture directly with plastic wrap. Place a wet towel directly over plastic wrap. Allow to sit 7-24 hours (I wait 24 hours).



    After the wait, proof the yeast:

    ½ cup 110-120 degree water

    3 Tbsp instant yeast (or rapid rise yeast)

    Mix until combined (will take quite a bit of mixing). Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until very foamy.



    Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the flour mixture. Pour the yeast mixture on top. Then add:



    1/2 cup butter (melted)

    2/3 cup honey

    3 tsp salt

    ¼ c. vital Wheat Gluten

    1 tsp ascorbic acid



    Allow that to sit for a few minutes. The flour mixture will be VERY thick and kludge-y. Using a stand mixer and a bread hook, slowly incorporate the ingredients. You will need to run the mixer slowly until all is incorporated. If it is very sticky, add ½ cup more flour (white is okay).



    Knead for 15 -20 minutes if kneading by hand and about 10 minutes by mixer. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise again until double. (About 60 minutes) Punch down and shape in pans. Cover with a towel and let rise again until double. (30 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.



    Nutritional facts per serving (1/16 of a loaf) (daily value): Calories 135kcal; Protein 4.5g Total Fat 2.5g (Sat. 1g ); Chol. 5mg ; Carb. 26g; Fiber 4g Sugars 4g; Calcium 12mg Iron 1.5mg

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thomas, One more thing...I emailed the author of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and he said their next book would address whole grains. However, he didn't seem to understand the need to soak the grain (especially without the salt - which defeats the purpose of breaking down the phytic acid). He felt that just keeping the dough in the fridge was enough. I can tell you that it was not enough for my sensitive boys' tummies.

    Thanks for commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was doing a little research and stumbled onto this post. I'm happy to find your website! I'm new to soaking grains, but am wondering if it's possible simply to add cider vinegar to the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipe and then make sure to allow a couple of days of refrigeration before utilizing the dough. I'm curious as to whether this would give the acidulated water time to break down the phytic acid. Have you tried this?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I haven't because the salt will prevent the vinegar from breaking down the phytic acid. However, it might be worth a try to do the ABI5MAD w/out the salt for a day to break down the phytic acid, then mix in the salt....

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing! Articles like this keep my updated with the current situations in our society or different body of knowledge that a human must know especially about medicine specifically about vitamins. I admire you guys for sharing your post.


    Kosher Vitamins

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've just barely started reading NT and made my first fermented porridge. I'm so blessed to have learned about this because we have been feeding %100 whole wheat to our children since we had them and am realizing that it has actually caused harm, especially to their teeth. Thanks for your insights. We've been sprouting the past couple of weeks for baked goods. I'm going to try fermentation soon. I just need to get a start of sourdough. :O)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post. I've been trying for months to do this. My sisters and I have a blog: 2renew.blogspot.com or the health part of it: 2nourishyourbody.blogspot.com.

    I appreciate your love for God and your desire to be an influence for good with your blog and family. God bless.

    ReplyDelete