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Using Sprouted Wheat Flour

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2016

Sprouting grain is said to make vitamins, minerals, and protein easier to absorb. But how does it behave in recipes?

We’ve been spotting sprouted-wheat flour in the supermarket. Made from wheat berries that have been soaked and allowed to sprout before being dried and ground into flour, it is often sought out for nutritional reasons: Sprouting grain is said to make vitamins, minerals, and protein easier to absorb. But how does it behave in recipes? To find out, we substituted it for regular whole-wheat flour in whole-wheat pancakes, whole-wheat sandwich bread, and whole-wheat pizza. In all cases, the swap worked fine. Sprouted-wheat flour has fewer gluten-forming proteins than whole-wheat flour, so the doughs and batters were slightly wetter than the original versions, but ultimately only the pizza’s structure was noticeably affected. The sprouted-wheat version came out less airy and crisp, but not unacceptably so. As for flavor, tasters found the sprouted versions sweeter and less bitter, even preferring the sprouted-wheat sandwich bread to the whole-wheat original.

Bottom line? For a flavor that’s sweeter and less bitter (and a nutritional boost), substitute sprouted-wheat flour for whole-wheat flour, though in recipes like pizza that are heavily dependent on gluten, you might also notice a slight structural difference.