Category Archives: Soaked Grains

Snickerdoodle Cake 2-Ways: Test Kitchen Tuesday

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodle Cake [Soaked Method]

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodle Cake--Soaked Method

Even with the best of plans, Test Kitchen Tuesday slid right on into What Happened Wednesday—the case of too much “life” packed into a single day. I had planned to ask my daughter to make a Snickerdoodle Cake for my birthday yesterday (part of the “life” that took over), but she had a lemon cake already sitting on the counter for me and I was grateful.

So here we are on Wednesday looking toward Easter weekend with a new recipe in hand. I have included two versions of this popular cookie-turned-cake, one using a soaked-grain method, Soaked-Snickerdoodle Cake and one regular recipe Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream. Choose whichever you like, hope you join me!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, or suggestions.  ♥ If you do focus on altering it to economize, choose healthier ingredients or techniques, make it gluten-free/allergy sensitive, embellish for entertaining, or incorporate into batch/once-a-month cooking, please mention that too.
3.  Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4.  If you are feeling especially proud of your creation, snap a photo and send it to me at so it can be included.

“Soaked” Snickerdoodle Cake

Source: Come Walk With Me
1 1/2    cups  whole wheat flour
1/2       cup  butter or coconut oil — softened
1/2       cup  buttermilk
2           eggs
1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/2       teaspoon  cinnamon
1/4       teaspoon  salt
1 1/2    teaspoons  baking powder
1/2       cup  unrefined sugar
1          tablespoon  sugar
1          teaspoon  cinnamon

In a small bowl combine these ingredients thoroughly, cover, and allow to rest at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2    cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/2    cup buttermilk (or milk + 1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, could also substitute yogurt or other soaking medium)

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350, and add to the flour mixture:
2   eggs
1   teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix well, then add in the remaining ingredients:
1/2      teaspoon cinnamon
1/4      teaspoon salt
}1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2      cup unrefined sugar

When well combined, pour into a greased pan (I used a 10×10, you could use 9×9 for a thicker cake, or 9×13 for a thinner cake).

For the topping, stir together in a separate bowl:
1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle on top of cake.  Bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Source: Always with Butter


Test Kitchen Bonus: Bacon Irish Soad Bread


Image by plusonetwo via Flickr

While preparing to tackle the Test Kitchen Tuesday recipes I stumbled across this recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet for Bacon Irish Soda Bread—honestly, it had me at Bacon (the photo is amazing too).  According to Jim Gaffigan, bacon is the fairy dust of the food world, making everything better!

I thought I would pass it along in case you were still looking for something Irish to celebrate today. The recipe calls for soaking the flour, which if you start early this morning you still have time to make it for dinner tonight, or you may decide to skip the soaking process just this once.  If you already have a soda bread recipe, you may just include this bacon technique for a new twist on an old favorite.

If you make it, let me know what you think and I will be sure to pass along the feedback.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Bacon Irish Soda Bread

Source: The Nourishing Gourmet
(makes one large loaf)

4 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup of rolled oatmeal
1/4 cup of butter, or coconut oil
1 ½ cups of buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons of unrefined salt.
8 slices of bacon

Bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes, and then 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes more 20 minutes plus ten minutes, plus ten (cover with foil), plus another ten.

1) The night before combine the flour and oatmeal and cut in the butter, shortening or coconut oil. Add the buttermilk or the water and vinegar. Gently mix together. If too dry to form a soft ball, add more water or buttermilk until the consistency is a soft dough. You do not want it to be tough or dry otherwise it will be too hard to work with in the next step. Cover airtight using a lid on a bowl or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place overnight.

2) The next morning, place your dough on the counter and flatten. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the dough and gently knead into a ball, until you feel that the salt and baking soda is distributed. Form into a ball and then press out into a round shape about 2 inches high. Cut a cross on the top and then crisscross the bacon over the top. Place on a buttered baking sheet.

3) Put in the oven for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 400 degrees. Cook for another 30 minutes. Cover with foil, if needed and then cook until done (about another 10 to 20 minutes). You will know it’s done when it’s nicely browned and the bottom sounds hollow when knocked.

4) Cool on a cooling rack. This tastes best when warm, not hot. (cool for about 30-45 minutes).Cut into thick slices, and then cut in half for a serving size.

The Ultimate Meatball Sandwich

My Ultimate Meatball Sandwich recipe was published at AT&T Food & Home, how fun is that?!  When this recipe was featured last year, I made it with Ciabatta as shown above.  Now, we make these with French rolls made from soaked grains, so this delicious sandwich just got healthier.  Tender meatballs dressed in savory tomato sauce, smothered in provolone cheese, and tucked into a toasted whole wheat garlic-cheese roll—oh, so good!

Ultimate Meatball Sandwich Recipe

The bread and meatballs can be made ahead of time and frozen for a quick, easy meal any night of the week.
Serves 6-8
1         Meatball Recipe (below)
1         recipe Whole Wheat French Bread [Soaked Method]
1         jar  tomato sauce
(any favorite, we prefer Bertolli Organic with some red wine added)
2         cloves  garlic — minced
4         tablespoons  butter
1/2    cup  Parmesan cheese — grated
8         slices  provolone cheese

Meatball Recipe

1           pound  ground beef
1           pound  hot Italian sausage
1           pound  ground lamb
1           medium  onion — finely chopped
2           eggs
1/2      cup  milk
1 1/2   teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
1/2      cup bread crumbs
1           teaspoon  salt
1           teaspoon  pepper
1           teaspoon  unrefined sugar
1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
1/2      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/2      teaspoon  ground allspice
3/4      teaspoon  granulated garlic
1           teaspoon  Italian seasoning
1           teaspoon  oregano
3/4     cup  Parmesan cheese — grated
1/4      cup  fresh parsley — minced

In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg with milk and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix in the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, sugar, cheese, parsley and spices; set aside.  Sauté onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until caramelized.

Mix meats together, add spice mixture and onion; mix thoroughly. Shape into 1″ meatballs.  Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Broil on HI until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on size of meatballs.  Break one open to be sure they are cooked through, extend cooking time if needed.

Preparing the sandwiches:

Place meatballs in sauce and simmer to meld flavors.

Slice the rolls in a manner that will facilitate the sandwich (I often slice and remove 1″ of the center of the roll to minimize the amount of bread). Mince garlic and mix into butter. Spread garlic-butter on cut side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the garlic-butter and lightly toast under a broiler.

Arrange meatballs on one slice of the toasted bread as desired; cover with 2-3 tablespoons of sauce and top with a slice of provolone cheese.

Place the open sandwich under the broiler to melt the cheese. Top with the other side of garlic-cheese toast and enjoy.

Also shared on The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania and at Hearth & Soul Hop (check them out!).

Whole Wheat French Bread [Soaked Method]

Since our soaked grain adventure began a few months ago, the one bread I have missed more than any is French bread.  Unable to find any recipe on-line that used authentic cooking methods for this type of bread which included soaking the grain, I decided to try to convert a basic recipe found on Famous French Desserts.

Understanding that whole wheat creates a softer texture than white flour, I did not expect the loaf to have the same crunch to the exterior nor the same airy interior of French bread made with white flour.  However, as much as we want to eat food that is good for us, it has to taste good too. This recipe accomplished both goals, so I was very pleased with the results. I used half hard white winter wheat and half Kamut flour for this recipe, although I did note that you can use King Arthur White Whole Wheat if you do not have a grain mill.

Baking the bread with a pan of water to replicate the steam ovens used in French baking helped to create a crust that had pull and was pleasantly chewy.  The interior was soft with a mild wheat flavor that yielded to the bright green tang of the extra-virgin olive oil we used for dipping.  Garlic bread, bruschetta, rosemary bread for warm brie, all come from a basic French loaf and I look forward to these delights once again—a healthier version that not only tastes good, but is good for us.

Whole Wheat French Bread
(Soaked Method) Yields 2 loaves

4 cups freshly milled flour -or-
King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. kefir or whey
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. dough conditioner
1 tbsp. wheat gluten
1 tbsp. active yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups warm water

1. In a bowl, mix together 4 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups water, olive oil, and kefir until flour is moistened.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot (above 70°), or in the oven with the oven light on.  Allow to soak for 12-24 hours.
2. In another bowl, combine yeast, 1/4 cup warm water (100-110°), and honey. Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes until bubbly.
3. In a mixer, add soaked flour, yeast, dough conditioner, gluten, and salt. Mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and knead with the mixer for 8-10 minutes. This dough is quite soft so using a mixer works better than hand kneading.
4. Dough will be slightly sticky; don’t be tempted to add more flour.
5. Lightly oil a bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven with the oven light on. Let rise for 1 hour until double in size. Remove from oven.
6. Place a shallow pan of hot water in the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
7. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently knead again. Divide dough into two parts. Roll each half between your hands and the counter to stretch the dough into a long loaf shape.  Place on a baking sheet or in a baguette pan (see photo). Slice the tops of the loaves diagonally about 1/4″ deep with a razor blade or sharp knife.  Let rise for at least 20 minutes.
8. Bake baguettes for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan of water, turn oven off and allow bread to remain in the oven for 3-5 more minutes of baking. Watch closely to prevent baguettes from becoming too brown.

Optional: Use 1 egg white and 1 tbsp cold water to brush on loaves after removing the pan of water and before returning to oven for 5 minutes.  This will give the crust a shiny finish as shown below.

Shaped for smaller French rolls and fishished with an egg wash.

For more info on the nutritional benefits of soaked grains, click here.

This recipe also shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday

Soaked-Wheat Dinner Rolls

Healthy Holiday Menu Choices

Adorning tables across our country during the holidays, bread is comforting and satisfying. Loving everything about bread—the aroma as it bakes, its perfect texture with butter or virgin olive oil—I wish it were as good for me as vegetables. While it will never reach the nutritional heights of the veggie tray, if chosen carefully, bread can be an enriching element of our holiday meal, rather than the empty-carb-diet-busting cheat we regret.

In the journey toward optimal health, sprouted or soaked whole grain products have become the standard in our home. As the holidays inch closer, we are determined to not compromise while also enjoying long-standing traditions. This led me to revamp an old recipe for dinner rolls into a healthier, soaked version we could feel good about.

Two adjustments in this common recipe recreate a holiday staple that is as nourishing as it is comforting.  Mashed sweet potatoes are a substitute for regular mashed potatoes. This subtle change incorporates all the added nutritional value of sweet potatoes, while also decreasing the amount of sugar needed.

Soaking the wheat flour breaks down the phytic acid, which can act as an anti-nutrient if untreated. Phytic acid in grain combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc preventing their absorption. Soaking or sprouting the grain before baking neutralizes this acid, releasing the full benefit of the grain. This simple step also aids digestion, avoiding that too-full feeling often experienced after eating bread products.

Foodie that I am, it is vital to prepare food that is not only healthy, but tastes good too.  This dinner roll recipe accomplishes that goal, ready just in time for our Thanksgiving feast.

Soaked-Wheat Dinner Rolls

5        c  freshly ground whole wheat flour
2        c  all-purpose flour
1        tsp dough conditioner*
1 ½   tsp salt
1 ½   c  warm water
3        tbsp whey, kefir, or buttermilk (warm)
1        c  warm mashed sweet potatoes
1/3    c  palm coconut sugar or honey
2/3    c  butter, softened
2        whole eggs
1        pkg  active dry yeast

1.  Peel and cut sweet potato into 1” cubes; boil until soft. Mash until no lumps remain.

2.  Grind wheat berries into flour, sift to remove any large pieces, and measure.

3.  Mix 5 cups ground flour with salt, dough conditioner, sugar, 1 ¼ cup warm water (other ¼ cup is for dissolving the yeast), whey, mashed sweet potatoes, and butter in a mixer or food processor. Mix until well incorporated.

4.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place at least 12 hours. Overnight in an oven with the oven light on is a good spot.

5.  After allowing the dough to soak in this manner, it is now ready to mix with the yeast and eggs. Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of warm water with 1 tsp. honey.  With a mixer, stir yeast and eggs into dough.  Add all-purpose flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a ball; continue kneading dough about 8 minutes. The dough will be tacky, wheat dough can become dry if too much flour is added.

6.  Place in a greased bowl; turn greased side up.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until double, about an hour.

7.  Punch dough down and shape into rolls in a 9×13 pan or use muffin tins to make clover or pull-apart rolls. Brush with melted butter and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

8.  Bake at 375° and until golden brown, 20-25 minutes in a 9×13 pan, 15 minutes in muffin tins. Makes approximately 2 dozen dinner rolls.

*Notes: The natural dough conditioner I use contains datem, ascorbic acid, l-cystine, enzymes, and wheat flour. Other natural dough conditioners include lecithin, gluten, and ginger.

On-line resources for sprouting or soaking grains:

Judy Purcell on Foodista

“Sprouted” Wheat Banana Spice Bread

Sprouted Wheat Banana Spice Bread

Who wouldn’t want Banana Bread that is good tasting and good for you?  Cooks across the country have purchased grain mills to bake better whole grain bread.  Fresh milled flour is certainly better than anything found in the grocery isles, but it stops short of releasing the full nutritional potential of whole grains.

For cooks looking to add optimal nutrition to their baked goods, sprouting grains or soaking fresh milled flour is the optimal way to go. Soaking the flour overnight increases the vitamin content and absorption of the beneficial nutrients in grains.  This important step also breaks down the phytic acid that blocks absorption of important minerals and interferes with digestion. As described in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid.

Wheat, spelt, or kamut flour works well for this recipe.  Soft white wheat is lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates than hard wheat varieties making it ideal for pastries, cookies, muffins, cakes, pancakes, and waffles.  Less sweet than traditional recipes, this Banana Spice Bread recipe produces a moist, tender crumb, rich banana flavor, and all the nutrition you would expect from whole grains. Fresh milled flour soaked overnight and loaded with six ripe bananas provides a healthy on-the-go breakfast or snack.

To print this article and recipe, click here. The print icon is at the bottom, left corner of the article.

“Sprouted” Wheat Banana Spice Bread
Yields 1 loaf


Image by RosieTulips via Flickr

1 3/4  cups fresh ground soft white wheat flour, sifted
1 1/4  cups buttermilk or kefir
2         whole eggs, lightly beaten
1/2     teaspoon sea salt
1/3     cup maple syrup
1         teaspoon baking soda
1/4     cup butter, melted
6         very ripe bananas, dark brown is best
2         teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2     teaspoon cinnamon
1/2     teaspoon nutmeg
1/4     teaspoon ginger
1/2     cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Mix freshly ground flour in buttermilk or kefir just until moist, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place 5 peeled bananas in a microwave-safe bowl, or large 4-cup measuring cup. Cover with a plate as a lid, set slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Set the measuring cup/bowl on another plate in case the banana juices run over. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes until bananas have released liquid.  Transfer bananas to a mesh strainer placed over a bowl.  Allow to drain, stirring occasionally.

While bananas are draining, combine melted butter, egg, baking soda, salt, spices, maple syrup, vanilla, and stir well.

Once bananas have released their liquid, transfer liquid to a saucepan and cook over med-high heat to reduce and concentrate.  You should end up with about 1/4 cup of liquid. Mash bananas and add to mixture of butter, eggs, and spices.  Once the banana liquid is reduced, combine with wet mixture.

Stir soaked flour and nuts into wet mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan.

Slice 1 banana into 1/4 inch thick slices. Shingle banana slices on each side of loaf, leaving a wide space down center of the loaf so it rises properly.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Begin checking loaf at 1 hour–depending on the size of the loaf pan, the cooking time will vary.  Cool in the pan on wire rack 15 minutes before removing loaf.  Continue to cool on wire rack.

Best when served warm.

This recipe can also be used for muffins or mini loaves (picture shown).  Adjust the baking time for muffins to 15-20 minutes and mini loaves 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean.  Cooking time will vary based on size of pan.

If you are not yet ready to make a commitment to buy a grain mill to grind your own, but want the benefits of sprouted grain, there are commercial sources available for purchasing such flours.  If sprouted grain flour is used, you can skip soaking the flour.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday

Judy Purcell on Foodista