All Things Bread No.15

Hello Friends of Sourdough!
In today’s All Things Bread we discover the exciting world of sprouted grains. And in today’s Bread Briefing we look at how to pause your starter, whose name is Starth Vader (not Luke Ryewalker)

All Things Bread
Sprouted grain bread! How does that work? Take some grains, soak them in water until they sprout, then dry and mill them into a flour. Now use that flour to make bread! Luckily for us there are companies that do all the work for us and supply sprouted grain flours. 
The idea behind using sprouted grain flour instead of standard flour is that the process of sprouting results in a more nutritious, bioactive loaf.
I’ve used these flours in the past and things to keep in mind are:
– They can be super thirsty, similar to whole grain flours, so you will have to do some testing to find the optimum hydration %
– They have a distinct flavour profile quite different to the un-sprouted grain they came from! 

Here are some additional tips I found from the “Oldways Whole Grain Council”  (I wonder what their HQ is shaped like)
– The enzymatic activity produced during the sprouting process allows sprouted wheat to form stronger gluten bonds in developing bread dough, which means less kneading is necessary.
– The more active dough also ferments very rapidly, which eliminates the need for overnight proofing and pre-fermentation, saving significant time.
– Additionally, breads made with sprouted grains tend to have a longer shelf life, and sprouted dough can take on more water than conventional dough, which makes for a more airy, open crumb (which bakers and bread-eaters love).

What’s not to love?! So go ahead and give sprouted grain flours a try when you next come across some. It might be a game changer for you!

Bread Briefing
To Pause or Not to Pause? Here’s how to press pause on your starter who you have named Yeasty Boyz :
A normal healthy Yeasty Boyz can stay in the fridge for weeks at a stretch and still come out and make an active Leaven after a few feedings.
You would only ‘pause’ your starter, who you have named Dough-ba Fett if you were expecting to be away for an extended period of time and don’t want to risk having your starter deteriorate to the point of no return (heavy layer of ‘hooch’ liquid / fungus growing / unpleasant odour…)

Here are three ways to do this!
1. The first way is what we’ve discussed already : Just put Quarantina Pintu / Doughnatella / F’afalf in the fridge! If it’s their first time in the fridge though, you will want to keep an eye on them for the first few days.

2. Turn Lord Bubblesworth / Ginny / Mukesh into a hard dough ball: At the next feeding, add all the fresh flour and little or none of the water, then mix. This will create a very firm / dry dough that you can then wrap in cling film and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

(Thank you Reshma for this one!)
3. Dehydrate Clint Yeastwood! Spread Clint Yeastwood into a thin layer on a suitable surface (something flexible and / or non-stick would be ideal) and place in the fridge to allow this layer to dry out. Once dry, you can collect the dried stuff and place in an airtight jar. This method should keep far longer than the others!

Freezing your starter: Only Freeze Fulwant Singh if you are in a hurry and have no other option! When water freezes, it expands and the ice crystals cause cell walls to rupture, harming your yeast. Having said that, I have frozen starters for weeks with no significant issues. 

See you today at 4pm Dubai!