When you’re next munching on some tasty non-wheat pizza or perhaps some sourdough toast, if you notice a lovely nutty twist to it, it may be because it has been baked with the latest baking trend, sprouted flour.
This flour is made from grains and pulses (you can use any variety) that has been left to germinate and grow shoots, then milled in the same way that traditional flour is. Gluten-phobes are fans, as the sprouting process breaks down some of the gluten, which should make its digestion easier – although please note it’s not suitable for coeliacs. Health hipsters enjoy the vitamins and high fibre. For food lovers, the appeal lies in the distinctively refreshing nutty taste of the flour and can be used instead of conventional flour in breads, cakes, pastries and even the heavenly-sounding buckwheat pancakes rustled up by Bread Ahead in Borough Market in London. The Sunday Times Style magazine reports it’s apparently brilliant for all sorts of baking.
Why now? Because it’s now readily available in Britain for the first time. Rude Health recently launched sprouted buckwheat, whole-wheat and spelt flours and by March had sold out of the buckwheat variety. Sales have now tripled and it’s available with mainstream providers such as Ocado, Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic. Now many chefs are milling germinated pulses and grains – such as sprouting chickpeas to make dosa pancakes and sprouting lentils to make lentil crisps. How? By activating the pulses, washing them and placing them on damp tea towels and wrapping them in cling film.
Happy baking and please do send us your success stories if you try this yourselves. In the meantime, here’s a delicious video recipe we’ve been sent by Abel & Cole for Rhubarb Spelt Scones, which you could try.