Ceres Arises: A Cereal Narrative, pt. 2

fig. a: pretty fab sprouts

fig. a: pretty fab sprouts

In honour of Ceres 3.0, I went ahead and created a new loaf of bread, one that was meant to be an ode to her sheaf and the variety of forms of wheat that constitute it. Essentially, this was a sprouted wheat berry loaf with 30% whole wheat.

The Ceres 3.0

700 g all-purpose bread flour (preferably organic)

300 g whole-wheat flour (preferably organic)

850 g water

150 g leaven

25 g fine sea salt

250 g sprouted wheat berries (preferably organic) [for information on sprouting grains, see below]

For my whole wheat I wanted something with real flavour. I was pretty excited to use some locally milled flour from Morningstar Mill in Decew Falls, ON, but any locally sourced whole wheat flour would do. Of course, the optimum is to find some freshly milled organic whole wheat flour, but if you can’t source flour that was milled that very day, opt for something that’s at least distinctive. Remember, this loaf is an ode to wheat, so do Ceres proud—use the best varieties you can find.

fig. b: Nice knickers, mate!

fig. b: Nice knickers, mate!

Sprouting Grains

Here, as in the recipe above, I followed the model laid out by Chad Robertson in Tartine Book No. 3.

Most grains need to be soaked for 4-6 hours to sprout properly.

After you’ve soaked them, they should be thoroughly drained and you should aerate them by lifting, tossing them gently, and stirring them with your hand. Then place the drained grains in a clean glass jar and cover them with cheesecloth. Keep the jar at room temperature, and repeat the process of rinsing them, draining them, and aerating them twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening, preferably—returning them to the jar each time. Most grains take 2-4 days to sprout. My organic wheat berries have been taking about 2 days. How will you know when they’re ready? As Robertson notes, “The grains are ready when they have just sprouted but have not yet formed spider shoots.” At this point, you can use the sprouted grains immediately in your baking, or you can keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days. But, personally, I’ve seen no reason to use mine immediately.

You can assume that the volume of dry berries will roughly double after sprouting.

You can also expect the weight of the sprouted grains to increase by about 65% over what the grains weighed originally.

Robertson adds his sprouted grains fairly late in the mix—about 1 hour into the bulk rise phase. I’m still not 100% sure what the logic is here, but I’ve been following his lead and the results have been solid.

Just take a look.

fig. c: behold the Ceres 3.0!

fig. c: behold the Ceres 3.0!

Delicious, too.

And if you look closely, you can see a sprout or two poking through the crust, and plenty of tender wheat berries also making their presence known.