This tasty variation on classic pain de mie includes whole wheat flour and ground sprouted grains. The result is a loaf that’s still soft and perfect for sandwiches, but also provides the nutrition and flavor of bread made with whole and sprouted grains.
This recipe comes to us from Richard Miscovich, a professional baker, teacher, and author. For best results, Miscovich highly recommends weighing ingredients in grams rather than volume.
First, grind the sprouts using a food mill, food grinder, or the food grinder attachment of a stand mixer. You want the sprouts fully ground, with no hard bits remaining.
Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine flour with the rest of the ingredients, except the ground sprouts, butter, and bran, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes, until everything is well combined.
Increase the mixer speed to medium, and add half the softened butter. Mix for 1 minute. Add the remaining softened butter; mix at medium speed for 5 minutes.
Add the ground sprouts, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover it, and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s noticeably puffy.
Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 13” log. Dampen the log, and roll it in wheat bran, if desired.
Place the log in a lightly greased standard (13” x 4”) lidded pain de mie pan (grease the inside of the pan's lid, as well). Cover the pan, and let the dough rise until it’s about 1/2” from the rim of the pan, about 1 1/2 hours. Don't have a pain de mie pan? See "tips," below.
Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the lid on the pan. Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and it interior temperature is at least 190°F at the center.
Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a baking sheet. Return it to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, just until its sidewalls are firm.
Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool completely before slicing.
Store leftover bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Tips from our Bakers
Soften the butter by pounding it with a rolling pin, not simply by bringing it to room temperature. The butter should be "plasticized," but not warm; if it's warm it may melt and make the dough greasy. Perfectly softened butter will easily take the impression of your finger without actually feeling warm.
To sprout wheat berries: Start with a scant 1/2 cup dried red wheat berries. Place the berries in a colander, rinse them, and cover with an inch or two or water. Allow the berries to soak for 36 hours, changing the soaking water after about 12 hours. Then rinse the berries, shake off the excess water, and place the colander back in the empty bowl. Drape the bowl lightly with plastic, and allow the berries to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Rinse the berries once or twice, but don’t let them sit in water; you want them to remain damp, neither too wet nor too dry. Rootlets will start to emerge from the berries after about 24 hours. Sprouts are best when the rootlet is no longer than the length of the berry, so try to catch them at just that point. Under-sprouted grain won’t be as sweet and may remain a little chewy; old sprouts get starchy and less flavorful.
No Pain de Mie pan this time? You can divide the dough in half and use two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans. Baking temperature will stay at 350°F, baking time will be about 30-35 minutes total.
This recipe originally called for our sprouted wheat flour, which is no longer available. We've since updated the recipe to produce delicious results using our white whole wheat flour.