Basic Easy Artisan Bread (with Sprouted Grains)

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Not too long ago, I began experimenting with Five-Minutes a Day Artisan Bread (and here). And adding to my joy, many GNOWFGLINS™ readers experimented, too. This whole experience has been great fun for me. I have deviated from the technique which inspired my experimentation, in at least three (no, four) ways:

First, I don’t refrigerate the dough after the first rise. I just proceed to separate it into loaf pans. Second, I bake all the dough at once. For our family’s size, it makes no sense to bake one loaf at a time. Third, I don’t do any hand-shaping. Rather, I transfer the risen dough to the loaf pans with a wooden spoon. (Edit) Fourth: I decreased the salt by one-third.

Although I prefer using sprouted spelt flour (see here for instructions on sprouting grains for flour), I am making successful  loaves of bread with a mixture of sprouted emmer and sprouted kamut flours. (Pictured at the top: sprouted emmer and sprouted kamut bread).

I focus on using sprouted grains in this bread technique because the gluten-sensitive members of my family are able to eat sprouted grains. I am interested in experimenting with gluten-free grains in this recipe, but have not gotten to that yet.

See all basic recipes.

Sprouted Grain Easy Artisan Bread
adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

makes 2 large or 3 regular loaves (pictured: 2 large loaves)

  • 6-1/2 cups sprouted spelt flour, OR 6+ cups of a mixture of sprouted kamut and sprouted emmer wheat flour
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons SAF yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Combine water, yeast and salt in a very large mixing bowl. Add flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix thoroughly, but no kneading is necessary. If using the kamut-emmer flour mixture, add up to 1/2 cup more flour, if needed. The dough should be wet and sticky.

Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, to prevent from drying out. Leave out in a warm place to rise to double or triple the original size. This should take an hour or more.

Using a wooden spoon, gently mix the dough by turning it around in the bowl and pressing down on it to make it collapse and let go of its built up gas.

Prepare two large or three regular bread loaf pans by spraying with olive oil spray.

Using the wooden spoon, transfer the dough to the loaf pans in equal amounts. Smooth out in the pans as best you can. Make diagonal slices in the top with a knife, if desired. Spray the top of the dough with olive oil spray to prevent drying out.

Put the loaf pans in a warm place (such as next to the burner that vents the oven’s heat) to rise. Preheat the oven to 350 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the dough has risen just above the top of the pan, gently transfer the pans to the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaves are browned and tapping on the loaves results in a hollow sound.

Remove pans from oven. Turn the loaves out from the pans and set them on a cooling rack. Spray the tops with olive oil spray. Freeze loaves that you don’t plan to eat immediately.

© Copyright 2009 by Wardee Harmon. All rights reserved.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Christie says

    I can’t wait to try it again. I don’t have the original recipe in front of me but wonder if you reduced the salt.

    • says

      Christie–Yes, I did reduce the salt! I guess that would be change #4. I reduced it by one-third. Thank you for reminding me of that! I hope you’re successful — let me know if you have any questions or trouble (hopefully not the latter).

  2. Sarah says

    Am I able to use freshly ground Hard white wheat rather than the sprouted or all purpose flour? I saw your adaptation to the bread and I noticed that you didn’t refrigerate and store it for up to two weeks like they did in the article. Can you not store it in fridge if you use whole grain or sprouted grain? I would like to try this recipe this week.

    • says

      Sarah, you can use fresh ground whole wheat flour and either do it the quick way like me or put it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I only cut that out because then I can bake all the loaves at the same time and put the extra in the freezer. Even then article says you can skip the refrigeration step — although the dough will be harder to handle. Well, in this recipe I don’t handle the dough at all, so that makes that a non-issue. The Mother Earth News article has a variation for whole wheat sandwich bread that follows the make dough-rise-refrigerate-rise-bake scenario. Have fun! You’ll like it! Let me know how it goes, okay?

  3. Sarah says

    Thank you for such a quick response. I am going to make this this week. I had another question about a different bread recipe. I just made the one that you wrote about on “Titus 2 Christian homekeeper” and I absolutely loved it. It is by far the closest bread recipe to the one our family loes from “Great Harvest Bread Company.” To make it even closer to our favorite, Honey Wheat Bread, I wanted to know if I should just add more honey or add evap milk etc like other sites suggest. I am asking you because we just cannot believe how good my last batch of bread was. I also like a little crunch in my bread, do you ever add anything to your bread other than the poppy seeds? Thank you, Sarah

    • says

      Hi, Sarah! I’m so happy you enjoyed my whole wheat bread recipe. I know that adding more honey will give more of a honey taste, but I don’t know about adding evaporated milk powder. I really wouldn’t recommend that because evaporated milk is a processed food product and therefore not my favorite. 😉 For crunch, I would soak a cracked cereal and add those soaked, cracked grains to the dough, as in this recipe: Cracked Grain Cereal Bread. You may make your own cracked grains or you may purchase a mix at a health food store/bulk bin. I also have added soaked rolled oats. If any of those are too crunchy for your preference, you could go with adding the cereal or oats cooked. But you’d have to play with the proportions. Other options are sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, which are delicious in breads! Have fun with it all! What are you using for your mixer, or do you knead by hand?

  4. Sarah says

    I am trying this artisan bread tonight, and so far it doesn’t look too promising. The dough doesn’t look as wet as the video from youtube. I knew it would look different because I am using hard white, but we will see the end results soon.
    I am excited to add some seeds to my regular sandwhich bread so thanks for the tips. And I agree with your comment about not adding evaporated milk. It didn’t sound like a good idea when I read it on the
    I do use a vitamix to grind the wheat and a kitchen aid mixer to mix.
    Thanks again, and I will let you know my results.

  5. Christie says

    I haven’t made anymore since my last comment. That shows how little bread we eat around here. My husband hasn’t been able to eat wheat lately, and he’s being cautious about all breads. I’m wondering if he could eat the sprouted spelt. I haven’t tried to sprout before. I use freshly ground spelt in baking and we like it.

    I also see that your bread is successful in the loaf pans. That’s how my mom is making spelt-artisan bread too. When I made it, I tried to use the baking stone and the bread just spread out quite thin. I’ll try it again using the loaf pans.

    • says

      Christie, your mom’s experience has been my own! The whole grain artisan breads spread out like a pancake, and the loaf pan gives them the definition they need! Sprouting the spelt is worth try… how does your husband do with normal spelt? Love, Wardee

  6. says

    So where do I get sprouted grain flour? I have been an avid fermenter and sourdough bread maker. Is there an advantage to using sprouted grain flou as opposed to real sourdough? Love this site. Thanks

    • says

      Hi, David.

      The advantage to sprouting is that people who are sensitive to gluten may be able to eat gluten grains. At least, that is one reason and certainly, ours. The sprouting “pre-digests” the grain, the benefit of which is that my daughter (who is gluten-sensitive) can eat the bread. There is much information on the internet about it. Two books that go into it are: Whole Grain Baking by Sue Gregg, and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell. Soaking grains is akin to sprouting in the function it provides.

      I think you can use sprouted grain flour in your sourdough recipes. Not having done it myself, I can’t advise you specifically, but I don’t see why not. I take sprouted grain flour and use it in cookies, muffins, breads, pastries, etc. with almost no changes. With kneaded bread, I’ve found the results to be more fragile. But with this Easy Artisan Bread, I can’t remember having noticed increased fragility. I highly recommend spelt, as I’ve found it to create the softest, chewiest bread!

      Now — where to find it. I know there are specialty mills. They are few and far between. I don’t think there are any in my area. A commenter once told me about one in Pennsylvania (mentioned here:

      You can make it yourself, and I’ve provided instructions here:

      Essentially, you start with the whole berry. Soak overnight. Sprout for 24+ hours, then dehydrate the berries. Then grind them into flour. The post provides more specific instructions.

      Thanks for commenting and visiting. Let me know if I can be of help to you. I look forward to reading your sourdough adventures on your blog. I have never had success with sourdough, but have always wanted to!


  7. Jami says

    Experiments – just starting….

    First, I’m so glad you mentioned about the bread spreading out, because I wanted to try make a round loaf after watching the video. So you saved me making one mistake…..

    Last night, I made up a batch of the artisan bread recipe with whole wheat flour (all I have right now). this recipe reminds me of what my daughter just did in her 4-H cooking club to make a sour dough starter….
    Buttons ‘n Batter
    I can post the recipe if you like?

    I pulled off a lump to cook right then –
    It didn’t have ‘gluten strings’ and the lump broke off easily (bad sign?) so I didn’t need a knife like the guy in the video. I used to much flour on the topside in the forming – a dab will do, more on my hands next time *smile* I let it sit in the pan in a warm place – nothing happened, Oh….. not another rock!

    I set the oven to 375 and put the bread in….. then it hit me (second guessing) would this hotter temp work for total whole wheat? I turned the oven down to 350 about 15 min. into cooking. Oh…. what to do….not another rock!

    When I started to smell the bread, I stuck in a knife (by now it’s clear -I don’t know what I’m doing!) It looked very dark, and had a hard crust, but doubled in size! Still a bit doughy inside, so I turned off the oven and let it sit in there for a few minutes more. Yikes….. I forgot to place a tray of water in my oven while cooking the bread – OH NO…. not another rock!

    I took the bread out and let it rest (What? I read that somewhere….) Okay I finally cut it…. very solid shell (nice way of saying the crust is rock-like) a bit under done inside, but not doughy. Very dense, not fluffy. Flavor is blah, nothing special, but okay with butter. I expected better taste, must be my flour. BUT…. all in all NOT a ROCK – yippeee!
    Not kneading works for me!

    With my saved dough (which I haven’t refrigerated yet – going for more air) I plan on adding some tapioca starch to see if I can get it to fluff more, and add stuff for more flavor – honey, raisins, nuts, I’m not sure yet :-)

    I’ve begun my wheat berries spouting, and hope to have some positive bread-making experiences achieved by the time they are ready to use in my next phase of Sprouted Grain Artisan Bread experiments….


    • says

      Jami 😀 You’re very funny! I am glad you’re progressing from rocks!

      Here are a few things:

      Don’t worry about the pan of water; I don’t find the pan of water to be necessary.

      It shouldn’t have gluten strings because there was no kneading to develop the gluten. It should be alot like quick bread –batter. I’ve found with whole grain doughs that hand-shaping is useless. Just use a wooden spoon to glob the dough into the pan and spread it out.

      How long did you cook it? I have ended up with doughy loaves too. These need a longer cook time than traditional kneaded dough, I think.

      Love, Wardee

  8. says

    Hi Wardah,

    I would love to try sprouting my own then dehydrating into flour since I grind my own wheat. Have you ever done that? Do you know what temp and about how long it took? I’m wondering if you can then take some and mix with coconut oil and salt and dehydrate to make a crunchy snack too (maybe add seasonings like potato chips).

    I’ve been meaning to play around with that once I’m doe tweaking the buckwheat and oat energy snacks in the dehydrator. So many things to soak and dehydrate, so little time…

    Sustainable Eats

    • says

      Hi, Sustainable Eats!

      Yes, I do sprout my own grains and dehydrate the berries and then grind them into flour. I posted how I do it here:

      Are you talking about using the whole sprouted berry and turning them into a crunchy snack without any grinding? Well, I do munch on them when testing if they are dry or not and they are certainly softer than the berry un-sprouted. But I don’t know if I would turn them into a snack whole. What I have in mind and would like to try soon, is taking the flour (or the ground up non-dehydrated berries) and make a cracker, using the dehydrator or a low oven temp to bake them. Which scenario do you have in mind?

      I know what you mean. So little time…

      Please do share your results!

  9. Katie says

    Just a beginner here! :o)
    I wondered if you have seen or know of any Sprouted grain Artisan breads that also leave out the yeast?

    Thanks! This site has been so helpful! – Katie

    • says

      Hi, Katie – No, I don’t. BUT… it is on my mind, too. I want to experiment with this. If you figure out something, please let me know. Otherwise, if I figure out something, I’ll give you a holler!

  10. Jenny says

    For doing the sprouted grains, how many cups of sprouted berries convert to how many cups of flour? For example, if I just want to give this a test try and I buy 4 cups of wheat berries is that going to give me enough flour to make 2 or 3 loaves with?

    • says

      Jenny – This is loose, but 4 cups of berries when sprouted remains at about 4 cups of berries. 1 cup of berries ground is about 1-1/4 cups of flour. So I’d say sprouting 4 cups of berries will yield 4 to 5 cups of flour.

  11. Tracy in NC says


    I followed your directions for sprouting grain and followed the directions for your sprouted wheat bread and it was a total flop. First, both of my loaves fell completely flat. I tried a sprouted recipe(from somewhere else) about a year ago and those fell too so this time I did the second rise in the oven and just turned the oven on when they were risen enough but they still come out flat as could be. I went ahead with cooking them at that point (I’ve eaten plenty of flat loaves that were still yummy) but they never would get done. I cooked them for an hour, checking on them every 10 minutes, after the initial 40, but when i finally took them out, let them cool, and cut them open they were still wet in the middle. My dough was a little wetter than yours in the video but not so much so that I thought it would be a problem. Guess I was wrong. But I just can’t figure out why they are falling so bad. Any ideas?

    Tracy in NC

  12. says

    Tracy, I would almost w/o a doubt say that this is because the dough was too wet. :( As you can see in the picture there, my sprouted loaves using this method don’t have a dome shape, but they don’t collapse in the middle either.

    Collapsing and doughy in the middle is almost always too wet a dough. I’m sorry! I recently ran into this when trying to adapt the easy-in-five-minutes-a-day method for sourdough. The dough is just too wet and never gets done in the middle.

  13. says

    psyched to find this recipe! i’ve been dabbling in sprouted grain bread for the past week and have yet to produce anything but a brick. an edible brick but, nontheless, a brick. i have some sprouted wheat in the freezer ready to grind. i’ll be trying this tomorrow and i have high expectations. thanks!

  14. Andrea says

    Could you specify what you mean by large and regular bread pans; what are the dimensions? Do you recommend any brand or finish (like cast iron or non-stick)?
    Should I slice before freezing and how should I wrap the bread? It’s only the two of us, and we don’t eat much bread. This is also my first time trying this, so any suggestion is appreciated :)

  15. Lisa says

    Wardee – I’m desperately trying to find a recipe that uses my sourdough starter but doesn’t taste like sourdough. My family is just not warming up to the idea of sour bread, despite my many, many attempts.

    Question: I have a lot of dehydrated sprouted spelt grains. I’d love to make a loaf that uses sprouted grain (already optimized for digestion), but use some sourdough starter as the “yeast” instead of storebought yeast.

    Is this even remotely possible?

      • Lisa says

        Wardee – I’ve tried that one before. I liked it, but I was the only one who ended up eating it! It, too, was too “sour.”

        Is there a way to use sprouted grain and not have to let it “sour” as long – or would you recommend switching entirely away from sourdough and use, say, the SAF yeast? Never tried that brand, but I saw it recommended here. Is it as healthy as sourdough?

        I guess here’s my basic question: do you “sour” sprouted grain to allow the yeasts to multiply so you get a fluffier bread, or do you “sour” the dough to treat the grain? Because if it’s already sprouted, then the grain doesn’t need treating, right?

        Hope I’m making sense… just trying to find a homemade bread that doesn’t taste sour.

        • Michael says

          The sourdough is used to replace the commercial yeast with “wild” natural yeast. The longer the ferment of your sourdough starter after being added to flour of sprouted or un-sprouted grains, the more sour your bread is going to taste. If you don’t like the sour taste, then shorten the time you let your dough set once the starter has been added. The yeast or sourdough’s function is to leaven the bread or make it rise from the air bubbles from the yeast/sourdough so it is not dense like a brick. Sourdough takes longer to rise than commercial yeast so you will have to experiment with the rise time with the sourdough until it is most palatable for you and still have a desirable texture. (Most sourdough breads have a 12 – 24 hour rise time. If you have a strong “fresh” (meaning fed 3 times or more just prior to using) sourdough starter you might try to just let it rise to double and bake. Have fun with it!

  16. asunda says

    When I baked gluten free for farmers market and my own use, I tried out various pans in an effort to get artisan style breads. Pyrex bowls work great and they come in all sizes. But then I tried pottery bowls and liked them even more. I used both glazed and unglazed. The doughs stuck to the unglazed no matter what I did to the pan and then the bread was not so pretty so I finally stuck to the glazed. I found that there was less moisture on the bottom of the loaves than with glass. And I could cook on a higher heat than with glass. So, maybe this will help with sprouted breads too. I have a potter friend who I enlisted and he made me some fun bowls like a heart shaped one for doing the traditional Italian bread with walnuts. I’m waiting for an oval one. And he made a french loaf pan but got that was unglazed so not so successful.

  17. Jenn Neddo says

    I’ve been making the artisan bread since it came out in MEN and like your family we go through bread quicker than a 1 lb loaf is cooked almost, just made my first loaves in pans following your suggestions came out nice and fluffy :-) thanks for this time saver

  18. Krista says

    I have tried this twice now. I can’t get it to rise the second time. What am I doing wrong? Should I put it in two loaves instead of 3? 9×3 pan I think. :-(

  19. Heather says

    What is SAF yeast? The link above doesn’t work. Can I just use the active dry yeast from a grocery store if that is all I have?

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