Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour

Make sprouts out of whole wheat berries/kernels and then grind it into a flour and/or cracked wheat that is full of nutritional goodness

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Did you know that India is the second largest wheat producer in the world? Different varieties of wheat is cultivated across Northern region of India and its export plays an important role in the management of India’s food economy. It is no surprise then that the whole wheat flour aka atta forms an essential part of our daily diet.

Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour

You may have heard of wheat varieties like Khapli, Bansi, Durum but when it comes to day-to-day usage, MP wheat aka sharbati is the preferred choice. Depending on the region it is cultivated, the wheat variety can range from pale yellow to darker brown. MP (stands for Madhya Pradesh as it is grown in this region) Sharbati wheat, is a reddish-brown variety that has a nutty flavour and its flour is ideal for Indian bread like roti, paratha, puri etc. Most prefer a chakki atta which is essentially a flour milled with a stone fitted machine that grinds the whole wheat, bran and germ. Besides chakki atta, another healthier alternative is to sprout the berries and then grinding them in a flour.

Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour

It is fairly easy to sprout whole wheat kernels at home. Sprouted wheat berries can be enjoyed in a salad or used as a textural component in other dishes. Making flour out of sprouted berries is equally easy if you were to own a grain mill. However, since I don’t own one, I used my regular robust grinder and it worked beautifully.

Here are few things I learnt while sprouting the berries and making flour out of them. Sharing them here to help you along the way:

  1. Using the correct type of wheat:
    • The type of wheat and the milling process determines the quality of the flour. I have used MP sharbati whole wheat here as any variety of hard, red wheat is easier to sprout against soft wheat. If you have been with me on social media, you must have seen when I put up day-to-day video on sprouting soft, white wheat. Though it sprouted well, I had to discard the entire lot as it started to smell and felt slimy on day 4. There isn’t much written on sprouting of soft white berries unfortunately but little that is there, confirmed that white wheat does not store well and also sprouts poorly.
    • Old, broken wheat does not sprout very well either. Choose firm, uniform sized kernels for sprouting.

      Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
      Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
    • If the berries do not sprout by Day 3, or start to smell or feel slimy, it is best to discard and start again.
  2. Tips for uniform sprouting:
    • Soak the wheat berries in sufficient water preferably overnight or for at least 6-8 hours as it not only increases the moisture content but also reduces the anti-nutrients present in the berries.
    • Use a wide metal, well perforated colander that allows the water to drain quickly and helps with the circulation of air.
    • Keep the colander in a warm place (not in the direct sunlight) for the germination to take place.
  3. Tips for drying the sprouted wheat berries:
    • The sprouted wheat berries can be dried in a dehydrator or in an oven or air dried. I don’t own a dehydrator and as I live in a hot country, the sun drying worked the best for me.
    • Important thing while drying the berries in the sun is to spread them out in an even layer and covering it with a muslin cloth to protect it from dust/flies. Muslin cloth is thin and therefore makes a perfect ‘lid’ for the drying to take place.
    • Tossing the drying berries once every day and again layering them in a single layer will help uniform drying as well as will deter mold from taking place.
    • Long sprouts look pretty and would work beautifully in a salad but if you aim to turn those sprouted berries in a flour, it will affect the quality of the flour. Most of the flour will be more of dried sprouts tails than the flour.
    • The sprouted wheat berries can be dried in the oven at the lowest temperature possible – at 45-50C for 10-12 hours. However, keep the oven door slightly ajar to maintain the low heat as too much heat can destroy some of its nutrients.

      Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
      Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
  4. Tips for a good quality sprouted wheat flour:
    • As I mentioned before, long sprouts look pretty but it will affect the grinding as well as the sifting process. Aim at sprouts that are about ½ cm long for an easier grinding.
    • It is important that the sprouted berries are completely dry before you start to grind them. Slightest amount of water in the grains will impact the final product. The flour can mold quickly and can also turn into a paste instead of dry flour.
    • The type of wheat as well as the milling process determines the quality of the flour. That is the reason chakki atta is preferred as the flour is milled with a stone fitted machine that grinds the whole kernel with the bran and the germ.
    • I used a high power, robust grinder to grind the sprouts as I don’t own a grain mill. Though it does the job, it is labour intensive as the grinding needs to be done in parts. Overheated grinder is not only is unsafe to use but also affects the quality of the flour. The berries get heated in the overheated jar, thus affecting the final product.
    • My personal preference is to sift the flour to separate the fine flour from the cracked wheat as I make recipes from the flour as well as the cracked wheat. However, if you prefer, you can skip the sifting and use the flour as is.

      Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
      Homemade sprouted whole wheat flour
  5. Sprouted wheat berries can be enjoyed even without drying and grinding into flour. Sprouted wheat berries tastes chewy and sweet and add a wonderful layer of texture to the salads. It can be also be grinded into a paste and used in baked goods. This process is called wet milling and gives a nutty, wholesome flavour to bread, cakes among other things.

I hope these tips help and you are able to successfully cultivate sprouted wheat berries and make the flour. You can have a look at a traditional Gujarati sweet I made from sprouted cracked wheat, Fada ni lapsi that is creamy but uses only 1 tbsp of ghee. I will be also publishing some more sweet as well as savory recipes so do subscribe to the blog and/or follow me on social media for the updates.

If you love recipes with cracked wheat/fada/dalia, you also may like fada ni khichdi; another recipe that is a one pot dish made with regular fada/dalia.

If you enjoy cultivating your own food, have you looked at my post of cultivating yeast from grapes? Cultivate the yeast from fruits at home and then bake Walnut and cheese bread with fruit yeast water and/or Double chocolate and sesame babka knots with fruit yeast water

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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