Craft bakers are experimenting with sprouted grain and specialty grain breads in all sorts of directions.
Bread and pizza expert Peter Reinhart, a Johnson & Wales University baking instructor and book author, says that he believes sprouted grains are going to get bigger and bigger in the U.S. “Sprouting the grain makes the grain taste better, in my opinion,” he says. “We are right at the tipping point of sprouted grains becoming a bigger part of the American diet.”
At Heirloom Bakery & Hearth in Kansas City, Missouri, owner Scott Meinke says one of the more unusual breads that is gaining popularity is a spent grain sourdough, made with spent beer grains from a local brewer.
Expect sprouted grains to surge in popularity, according to Baking & Snack, a sister publication to bake. A 2017 GlobalData consumer survey noted that 60% of U.S. shoppers think sprouted grains and seeds have a positive impact on health.
Jim Canterbury, director of sales for Petaluma, California-based Alvarado Street Bakery, said the grains’ digestibility and energy benefits combat any negative perception of carbohydrates in bread. The minimally processed grains used in Alvarado Street Bakery’s Black Label line of sprouted bread are easier to digest than those made with highly processed flour, create longer-lasting energy and can help control blood sugar levels. Canterbury likened sprouted bread’s trajectory to the organic trend. “Sprouted has the same journey in that it was also a strange sell a couple years ago,” he says.