Red Hen Baking Company’s “Sprouternickel” is a sourdough whole grain rye loaf studded with sprouted rye berries, sprouted spelt berries, and sunflower seeds. My formula is based on the ingredients listed in Red Hen Baking’s Bread Varieties page while the ingredient proportions and baking times for this first attempt are based on Dan Leader’s Vollkornbrot formula.
In my next batch, I’ll try a longer baking time and lower temperature using loaf pans sealed with aluminum foil. The bread developed a rather crunchy exterior from baking uncovered for 3 hours at 300ºF and a crustless version is probably more desirable for this type of loaf. The interior remained moist and creamy and had an assertive sour rye flavor.
While there’s a lot of room for improvement I’m quite happy with the flavor and textures of this hearty rye loaf. The sprouted berries and whole grains also makes it densely packed with nutrients and fiber.
makes two 9 by 5 inch loaves
Red Hen Baking’s “Sprouternickel” Clone
For the Sprouted Berries:
2 cups (13 ounces) whole grain berries (any combination of rye, wheat, or spelt)
6 cups (48 ounces) water, at room temperature
For the Rye Starter:
1 ounce rye sourdough starter at 100% hydration
1 1/8 cups (9 ounces) water, lukewarm
1 cup (4.5 ounces) pumpernickel / coarse grind rye flour
1 cup (4.5 ounces) fine grind rye flour
- I used a combination of equal parts rye and hard red wheat berries for sprouting.
- The timing may be a bit difficult at first because sprouting can be a bit unpredictable, but try to have both the sprouted berries and rye starter ready at roughly the same time.
- I used pumpernickel and dark rye flour from Bob’s Red Mill.
Sprout the whole berries. For an excellent introduction to sprouting whole grain berries, please visit Susan’s guide at Wild Yeast Blog. Reserve the soaking liquid and add just enough water to make 6 cups (48 ounces) total.
Hard red wheat and rye berries before and after sprouting.
Dissolve the rye sourdough starter in the water. Add the pumpernickel flour and fine rye flour and mix until evenly hydrated. Ripen the starter in a place that is slightly above room temperature for 15-20 hours (around 78ºF – 86ºF).
Rye starter after 20 hours of fermentation. It smelled like mayonnaise for some reason.
For the Final Dough:
2 cups (18 ounces) rye starter at 100% hydration
6 cups (48 ounces) reserved soaking liquid, at room temperature
All of the sprouted berries
4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) pumpernickel / coarse rye flour
4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) fine rye flour
2 cups (9 ounces) sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon (3/4 ounce) salt
Dissolve the rye starter in the reserved soaking liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until all of the ingredients are fully hydrated and evenly distributed. The final dough will have the consistency of porridge. Cover and let stand in a place that is slightly above room temperature for 8 hours (around 78ºF – 86ºF).
Liberally oil two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans and dust with rye flour. Fill the pans with the dough and smooth the tops with a spatula. Let the dough rest for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the loaves in the center rack and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. After baking, let the loaves rest in the loaf pans for about 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pans and let cool completely on wire racks. Let rest for 24 to 36 hours before serving. The interior will be almost liquid and needs at least one day to redistribute the moisture and set completely.