Bread++ Bakery | 415-449-0494
Wheat is a seed. Like any seed, you could put it into the ground and it would become a plant. In ordinary bread, the seeds are milled into flour. In our bread, the seeds are allowed to begin the process of germination. This unlocks a cascade of enzymes that begin the seed's transformation from a seed to a plant. In order for a sprout to grow, it digests starch from the seed, using energy it creates to break the sprout through the bran, or shell, of the wheat kernel. This makes sprouted grains lower in starch and higher in nutrients. The nutrients that would feed the growing plant are now available for human nutrition.
Our bread tastes amazing. The sprouting process transforms long-chain carbohydrates into simpler short-chain starches. This gives our bread a slightly sweet profile, with a distinct clean wheat flavor. When the bread is raised by our natural leaven (sourdough starter), it tastes like the grain, plus a thousand other flavors that make this the most complex bread you've ever tasted.
Sprouted grain provides more basic vitamins and micronutrients than ordinary flour. The enzymatic activity also disables phytic acid, which, when active, binds with nutrients in the grain in a way that renders them unsuitable for human digestion. With this "anti-nutrient" out of the way, the nutrients in the grain become available to human digestion. For some people, this bread will be easier to digest than ordinary bread.
Most of our breads are whole grain. Food like this is very high in fiber, which is vital to a healthy diet. For people who have eliminated or reduced grain products in their diet, the reduction in dietary fiber is difficult to replace with other foods. This unintended consequence can be harmful.
Because whole grains flours are difficult to transport and store (they go rancid), and because they're difficult to bake with (you can't make beautiful, tall, crispy white loaves with whole grains), most bakeries don't use them. They use refined flours to make their loaves beautiful. The result is an overall reduction in the the availability of a class of high fiber foods that our society needs to thrive. Our whole grain breads make a small dent in that wall of refined flour products.
We start with whole organic wheat berries and ancient grains. We sprout and dry the berries. The day before we bake, we make a levain, by mixing a small amount of our starter with water, whole wheat and whole rye flours. The next day, when it's time to make bread dough, we mill the wheat. Milling wheat on demand like this gives us fresh sprouted flour. Fresh flour is in a league of its own compared to pre-milled flour. It's sort of like the difference between fresh-ground pepper, or coffee, and the pre-ground stuff. We combine the flour with filtered water, the levain we made the day before, and salt. It rises twice over the course of a day, then we bake it.
If you can find whole grain breads in bakeries or stores, they're often fortified with things like honey, dates, or other forms of sugar, along with dough conditioners to make them behave more like white flour. It's unusual to find bread like ours that's made with water, whole grain flour, salt, and nothing else.