Left to right: Wheat berries, sprouted wheat, and sprouted wheat flour.

Sprouted wheat flour is an excellent substitute for diastatic malt.

Diastatic what?

Many years ago, when we first started baking breads, we came across ‘diastatic malt’ in the ingredient list of many recipes.

It was often cited as an ‘optional’ ingredient, but being novice bakers, we didn’t want to take chances. It was not available locally, so we got it online. We use it extensively, especially for sourdough breads. After seven years, we exhausted our stash.

Most brands of all-purpose flour in the U.S. have an ingredient list that reads like this:

Wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid

The ‘malted barley flour’ is diastatic malt. The diastatic malt component in all purpose flour is usually about 10%.

Malt can be diastatic or non-diastatic. Non-diastatic (or barley malt syrup) is heated, has no living enzymes, and is simply added as a sweetener. It’s used often in bagel recipes for that unique flavour and glossy crust. Honey is a good substitute.

Diastatic malt, on the other hand, has not been subjected to high heat while being processed, to preserve the living enzymes.

Diastatic malt powder is powdered malted grain, usually barley, but wheat, and rice may also be malted.

“Diastatic” refers to the diastatic enzymes that are created as the grain sprouts. These convert starches to sugars, which yeasties eat. Maltose, a simple sugar that yeasties love is usually made in abundance by the enzymes. (Source)

If you buy flour with malted barley flour already included, you do not need to add extra to the bread dough. If it exceeds 10%, the dough will be slack and sticky. If you buy organic flour or whole whole wheat or whole rye flour for bread making, it is a good idea to add diastatic malt. It does make a difference to the structure of the dough and its rising ability.

Do not add it to cakes and pastries that need to be light and airy. This ingredient is required only in yeasted breads that need a good gluten structure.

While they claim that diastatic malt is available in health food stores, we haven’t found it in the areas we’ve lived. There are a couple of online sources, but we don’t fancy paying 8 dollars in shipping for a 2-dollar order.

Sprouted wheat flour performs the same function and imparts a superior flavour. Commercial manufacturers use barley because it is the cheaper option.

Sprouted wheat flour is really easy to make with wheat berries (grains). These are available at Indian grocers or in the bins of natural food stores.

SPROUTED WHEAT FLOUR

Soak 1 cup whole wheat berries for 24 hours in 3 cups water. Drain and keep covered for another 24 hours. You should see little sprouts. Else, rinse, drain and keep for another 24 hours. Tiny sprouts are okay. Do not let the sprouts grow longer than the berries.

Then spread the sprouts on a kitchen towel to dry for an hour or two. Place them on a baking sheet and dry in the hot sun. In winter, preheat the oven to the lowest setting. Ours is 175 F. Heat the oven for 5 minutes, then switch it off. Put the cookie baking in and dry for a few hours. Remove the baking sheet, pre-heat the oven again. Repeat a few times until the sprouts are dry and can be powdered in a spice grinder.

If you have a food dehydrator, use it.

Pulse the sprouts a few times and grind them at low speed. The blender jar should not get hot.

It is important never to let the temperature of the sprouts exceed 130 F so as not to kill the enzymes.

Sprouted wheat flour keeps for a year or two.

It’s also a great and healthy addition to dosas, pancakes, etc.

To make BREAD FLOUR:
Bread flour is a high-protein version of all purpose flour, ideal for baking yeasted breads. It has added gluten, as well as barley malt to help the yeast.
8 cups of unbleached all purpose flour + 2.75 tbsp. vital gluten + 1 tsp ascorbic/citric acid (powdered vitamin C) plus 3 tablespoons of sprouted wheat flour (or diastatic malt).

(Add the sprouted wheat flour only if your all-purpose flour does not have barley malt added to it. A good substitute for ascorbic acid is 1 tsp. lemon juice for each loaf of bread)

To make WHOLE WHEAT BREAD FLOUR:

Replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour in the recipe above.

Sprouted Wheat Flour goes to dear Kalyn for Weekend Herb Blogging.

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43 Comments

  1. Nags says:

    whoah, that seems real healthy too.. where do you guys get these ideas?

  2. Anjali J. says:

    oh wow, i had never seen sprouted wheat. thanks for sharing!

  3. Uma says:

    Thanks for wonderful information. The pictures are awesome.

  4. Cham says:

    Healthy info & substitute about the diastatic malt flour :)

  5. Anita says:

    Wow! Who would have thought!? Except for you two. I learn so much from you guys.
    I love the second pic. The bowl is so so pretty! The rug, no somekind of fabric, in the background but still like a masthead, I could go on…
    Seriously how did you guys think of diastatic wheat flour? (Psst: I had to re-read your source and go check the dictionary for the meaning of diastatic. Just so you know the level of ignorance I am talking from).

    we didn’t want to order it online, so we poked around on the internet and realised we could make it at home.

  6. Anjali says:

    You guys simply amaze me. We get it here in Blr and luckily it is stone ground too.

  7. Suganya says:

    Diastatic malt? Seriously? Making bread flour at home is a great idea. Thanks a ton for all the pointers. Is there a significant diff b/w malt from wheat sprouts and barley sprouts? Because, I don’t get whole wheat berries here, but barley is abundant.

    we didn’t have much success with sprouting barley. it was all slimy. you can try, though. – b.

  8. musical says:

    This is too good! The tip to use the oven for drying the grains is simply fabulous!

  9. Rachna says:

    wow amazing stuff….. i’m looking for a flour here in the US with high gluten content. Any recommendations?

    bread flour is high gluten content. we buy a.p. and mix our own.

  10. sunita says:

    Thanks for the info :yes:

  11. Simona says:

    Thank you so much for a post full of interesting information. Love the photos, as usual.

  12. Purnima says:

    Bee, thats very informative post on sprout n diag…wht? :) thks for sharing!!

  13. richa says:

    wow! u guys must really bake a lot :D

  14. Meera says:

    Thanks so much, guys!! Now I know what to do with the leftover wheat berries that I have! I have used them in all the other recipes I could think of!:-) But this is great. Just the other day, I was looking at the sprouted wheat flour bread at Whole Foods. This post is really really informative, well just like the rest of yours!:-)

  15. Poonam says:

    Thanks for the interesting post!

  16. Dee says:

    Hey thats a very informative post!!! We get whole wheat berries , Im bookmarking this recipe!!

  17. Kalyn says:

    What an informative and interesting post. I need this too because I’ve been trying to make bread with all whole wheat flour. I did manage to make a batch that wasn’t bad, but I’m guessing some of this would make it better. (And I have wheatberries in the cupboard too! I’m lazy though so I’ll probably look for the sprouted wheat flour or diastolic malt first.)

  18. Manisha says:

    Wheat grass juice is as far as I have gone. To imbibe, that is. Never sprouted wheat. I tried sprouting chickpeas the other day. Yech. Must have been a cousin of your barley.

    I knew of diastasis. So I was wondering what it had to do with malt!

    i once tasted wheat grass juice (my mom used to drink it). blech!!! sprouted wheat berries are nice, actually, in salads and things. – b.

  19. jayasree says:

    Thanks for the informative post.

  20. jnirmala says:

    Wonderful! Thats a healthy tip. To reduce the heat while processing my grandma used to stone grind it in those good old days. Thanks a lot for this information! Now I am going to try out these for a my kids!

  21. dhanggit says:

    as always stunning photos!! :-) i’ve made some bean sprouting experiments but doing it with wheat..never tried..i bet they are lovely for salads or some spring roll recipes :-)

  22. Pel says:

    Wow! I knew malted barley was used in brewing and whiskey-making, but didn’t know any of this other stuff! You two did some fine research and reporting here- thanks for sharing.

  23. Dee says:

    I have another question though… can we substitute the sprouted wheat berries in salads? Do they taste good enough?

    yes. steam them lightly.

  24. Namratha says:

    Wow, sprouted wheat and its flour…never seen it before! Splendid!

  25. Vegeyum says:

    amazing. I never knew.

  26. Zlamushka says:

    this is a very informative post. I make sprouts often, but never heard of sprouted flour. Wow, I am amazed.

  27. Interesting, informative, educational post. Thanks for making the effort, and sharing it with the world.

  28. [...] making is an awfully complex science. Just look at the recent post on Jugalbandi which did my head in. I always thought I was a reasonable baker of bread, but, depressed, I lowered [...]

  29. saima says:

    hi there i was wondering if someone can help me. i want to make an indian sweet called habshi halwa and one of the ingredients is sprouted wheat. i just saw the pics above of sprouted wheat and i cant imagine adding that to halwa, is ot sproted wheat flour that i must use or sprouted wheat and wheer can i buy it from. please help

    you can buy whole wheat kernels in most co-ops or natural food stores and sprout them.

  30. [...] + 2.75 tbsp. vital gluten + 1 tsp ascorbic/citric acid (powdered vitamin C) plus 3 tablespoons of sprouted wheat flour (or diastatic malt). (Add the sprouted wheat flour only if your all-purpose flour does not have [...]

  31. HABTU SHUMOY says:

    I AM A GRADUATE STUDENT IN HARAMAYA UNIVERSITY IN ETHIOPIA.

    I WOULD LIKE TO BLEND SPROUTED WHEAT WITH SOUND WHEAT FLOUR
    TO HAVE AN ACCEPTABLE BREA AND WITH THIS I AM WRITING MY PROPOSAL. IN COUNTRY PREHARVEST SPROUTING IS VERY DESASTER BOTH TO THE FARMER AND TO THE PROCESSERS BECAUSE SPROUTED FLOUR IS NOT SUITABLE FOR BREAD MAKING DUE TO INCREASED ALPHA AMYLASE ACTIVITY.

    I WOULD LIKE TO ASK U IN WHAT PROPERTION SHOULD I BLEND THE SOUND AND THE SPROUTED FLOUR SO THAT I COULD GET ACCEPTABLE BREAD?

    PLEASE SEND ME RELEVANT INFORMATION.IF U COULD GET PREVEOUSLY
    DONE WORKS RELATED TO MY WORK I WOULD BE VERY HAPPY AND HOPEFULLY I WOULD TELL U THE RESULT OF MY RESEARCH AT THE END.

    SINCERLY,

    THANK YOU!

  32. [...] **I like to soak nuts and seeds for a couple of hours, then drain and pat them dry before using them to get rid of enzyme inhibitors. This step is optional. **If you are using sprouted grains like wheat, barley or buckwheat, you need to start the process two days in advance. Note: buckwheat sprouts release a lot of liquid into the end result, so add a tablespoon at a time. (How to Sprout Grains) [...]

  33. [...] preferably coarse grind 300 grams (10.6 oz) – filtered or spring water 1 gram (.03 oz) – half tsp – sprouted wheat flour or diastatic malt (optional) All the altus [...]

  34. [...] 1. Get whole wheat berries (preferably organic) and sprout them. (HOW TO SPROUT WHEAT) [...]

  35. Mitch says:

    Hello,

    Can anyone please tell me if it makes any difference if I use soft wheat berries or hard wheat berries for sprouting?

    Thank you.

    • jai bee says:

      since the amount of sprouted wheat powder used is so tiny for a bread recipe, it shouldn’t matter.

      soft wheat is lower in protein and higher in carbs, so keep that in mind while sprouting depending on whether you want to grow wheatgrass or want to use it for helping bread rise.

      • Mitch says:

        jai bee,

        Thanks for your speedy reply.

        I want to use it to make my bread rise. I don’t know what you mean by “keep that in mind.” With soft wheat berries do I still follow the directions at the top of this page or do I have to something differently? Or should I just be using hard wheat berries and not mess with the soft wheat berries at all?

        Thanks.

        • jai bee says:

          just follow the instructions on this page.

          when i mentioned protein content i was wondering if you want to sprout wheat for direct consumption (as sprouted wheat berries in a salad, for example). if someone is diabetic, for instance, getting the low-carb option may help. as a teaspoon in a loaf of bread, it doesn’t matter.

  36. Mrs Jawad says:

    hi i live in dubai plz kindly tell me from where i can get sprouted wheat or eaisy rasipe i ll b thankful to u

  37. Neela says:

    I just bought sprouted bread last week, so delicious and healthy.



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