On the advice of a friend, I recently purchased Sue Gregg’s 2007 cookbook, Introduction to Whole Grain Baking. I’m intrigued by the idea of using sprouting and/or soaking gluten-containing grains in baking, even for the gluten-intolerant people in my family.
Some people suggest that the soaking and/or sprouting can aid in the digestion of those grains. I can’t say that this will work for everyone. In fact, I’m not even sure it is going to work for us. We’re still trying it out. (We have two gluten-intolerant people in the family and one wheat-sensitive person.)
The method for soaking grains involves taking the whole grains and grinding them up in a blender container with a cultured milk product or a non-dairy acid milk (such as 1 cup of almond milk with 1 T of raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice). A sweetener and an oil can be added, too. The whole mixture is left to soak for up to 24 hours, which aids in the breaking down of problematic nutrients. (The main one is phytic acid. As far as I can tell, research is all over the board as to whether phytic acid is good or bad. I’m going to leave that issue alone and sort it out later. My main consideration here is to see if soaking helps my family member’s tolerate gluten-containing grains.) After the 24 hour soak, one blends the batter more smoothly (it is pretty grainy after the first grinding) and adds the leavenings and eggs (or egg-alternative such as flax seed meal). Then one bakes the bread, muffins, waffles, pancakes, etc.
Last Thursday, I made some kamut-corn cornbread, following the Blender Cornbread recipe in Sue Gregg’s cookbook. Kamut has gluten, corn does not. I soaked the grains for 24 hours in almond milk with raw apple cider vinegar. The good news: A., my daughter who is gluten-intolerant, had no reaction to the bread! The bad news: the bread had a bitter aftertaste. Very subtle; tasted much like soap.
On Friday, I made Blender Waffles using the same method, but different grains (brown basmati rice and millet, which are both gluten-free). Again, the bitter/soapy after taste. Yet the texture and initial flavor was awesome.
On Saturday, I tried 100% corn (no kamut) Blender Cornbread, only this time, I used half the amount of apple cider vinegar. Still the same bitter/soapy after taste.
The common ingredients in both recipes were: almond milk, raw apple cider vinegar, gluten-free baking powder, baking soda, salt, agave, flax seed meal. I can safely rule out the grains from being the cause of the taste because no one grain was used in all three recipes. I believe I can also rule out the flax seed meal, agave, baking powder, almond milk and salt, because I use those all the time in baking and never have this result. That leaves the apple cider vinegar and baking soda. I do use baking soda sometimes, but so rarely that I am going to include it as a possible culprit. Halving the amount of vinegar didn’t help. So, I think maybe the baking soda and the vinegar are having a reaction. In my next attempt, I will leave out the baking soda. I’m hoping for a good result. The results so far have been so promising that I’d like to make this work.
One note I would make is that I had more success with this method when I used the Vita-Mix dry container, especially when grinding/blending whole corn. In fact, the whole corn being ground in the wet container caused even my Vita-Mix to shut off automatically due to the engine heating up.
If you have any thoughts or ideas to help me, I’d appreciate it! In my next post, I am going to write about the Sprouted Kamut Bread I baked which was semi-successful.