Sprouting and dehydrating wheat

I did something new this week!  Okay, so that’s not so unusual, but it’s still the first time I did it! 

About two or three years ago, I soaked, sprouted, and then dehydrated the wheat in the oven.  Oh my gosh, that was so laborious and I wasn’t happy with the end product after all of that time and effort at all.  So much so that I still have some of that wheat that has yet to be used, and not because I haven’t used much wheat.  Actually, at the rate I use wheat, I’ve gone through a number of fifty pound bags since then.  Because I felt it was a lot of energy to spend on something that didn’t give me much satisfaction or seem worthwhile, I resolved to spend my scads of excess time doing something more useful.  Until this week.

Thanks to a comment made here regarding soaking nuts back when I said it hadn’t been successful for me, I tried it again at that time and then used the dehydrator to dehydrate them.  Well, that made all the difference –  the results were great and I’ve soaked and dehydrated nuts successfully a number of times since then.

Remembering that, I thought that maybe using the dehydrator to dry the sprouted wheat would work, since it was the dehydrating aspect that didn’t work well for me.  I soaked a large amount of wheat and within a day, thanks to the warm weather and my non air conditioned indoor climate, the sprouts were visible.  I was surprised at how much wheat I was able to fit on the nine trays of the dehydrator – everything I had soaked fit easily.  The wheat dried in much less time than I expected, too.  When I got the dehydrator, I never expected it to come in handy in all the ways that it has – and if I was willing to use it for meat or dairy foods, I’d really be able to expand on the possibilities!

My reason for soaking the wheat is this: there are two ways to use flour that neutralizes the phytic acid. One is by soaking the flour, the other is by sprouting the wheat.  Until now, I’ve been soaking the flour.  But sometimes I don’t remember to soak the flour for something the night before, and it would be very time efficient to be able to prepare a lot of sprouted wheat in advance, so that I’d have it ready when I needed it.  Then all I’d have to do is grind it up right when I wanted to use some.

In the past, the sprouted wheat had a different consistency than regular wheat, so I don’t think this is something that will give me the same results in baking that I’m used to.  However, for quick breads, muffins, pancakes – that’s mostly what I soak the flour for – I think it should work pretty well.  I’ll be trying it the next couple of weeks and seeing how it works out.


6 thoughts on “Sprouting and dehydrating wheat

  1. Two questions:

    1. I’ve never soaked the flour. Can it be used the same way when baking challa or for other similar uses?

    2. My grain mill specifically says not to soak the grains prior as it might gum it up. How do you get around that? Is that what the dehydrator is for or is that only for preserving it?

    In case it’s of interest, an iridologist (sp?) gave my husband the recipe of a breakfast cereal that contains fresh fruit ground up with sprouted wheat. He even adds the sprouts to salads.

  2. I’ve never used it for challah; if you try it, let me know how it turns out. I’m thinking of making some regular yeast bread one day for a regular lunch to try it out.

    You can’t grind soaked wheat that isn’t dried, exactly for the reason you stated. When you dehydrate it, it becomes hard again.

  3. just wondering why you are unwilling to use the dehydrator for both meat and milk. I have never personally asked (dehydrator isn’t in the budget yet)but I have heard that one can use it for both due to the temperature being so low. If the trays are an issue, could you purchase different tray sets? just curious, thanks

  4. The reason I’m unwilling to use it – I haven’t asked a shaila about it so maybe it would be fine – is that it would be incredibly difficult to get the mesh of the trays absolutely clean from one item to another, and things can fall through on to the bottom of the dehydrator itself. I haven’t called about the possibility of buying replacement trays, which is probably the only way I’d be comfortable using it for meat and dairy – I keep everything totally separate in my house because with so many people using things in my home, ambivalence leads to problems! Even if I could buy separate trays, the money I’d spend would outweigh what I can project saving with it, so even though it would give me more flexibility to make jerky and fruit-yogurt leathers, for example, I can’t at this point justify it. But now that you’ve brought this up, I’m mentally putting it on my list of things to ask our rav – thanks!

  5. Thanks for checking, Dina; that’s good to know. The price I saw there is only for the tray itself, not the mesh screens placed over the tray, and so it would actually end up quite expensive to buy nine new trays and mesh screens – I’d venture a guess it would come pretty close to the price I paid for the dehydrator itself to buy new screens. Hmm, how many cases of yogurt fruit leather would I have to make to save $150? :))

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