Question & Answers (part1) (part2)

  • Do sprouted or germinated grains contain gluten? I am gluten sensitive and want to know if they can affect my health.

    It seems that there definitely are some false information out on the internet that is likely propagating the confusion. So here you go; the definitive answer :
    Sprouted glutinous grains (wheat, rye, barley and oats) still have the protein gluten present. I believe the confusion comes from the fact that the act of sprouting begins some enzymatic breakdown of the protein and for those who are not gluten intolerant but merely have difficulty digesting certain grains, sprouting can make that process of digestion easier. These people notice that they don’t have the same symptoms from eating sprouted bread as they do from eating non-sprouted regular bread.

    But although the gluten is transformed by the sprouting, in such a way that in many occasions pleople with conditions can have it, in NO WAY does sprouting eliminate gluten from the grains. If you are gluten intolerant, you should seek advice with your doctor in order to evaluate the possibility of eating sprouted flours for this purpose.

    We Do realize that one of the major problems associated with gluten intolerance is the “silent”, insidious nature of it. While many people notice immediate symptoms when eating gluten, about 75% notice no digestive symptoms, and some notice very little symptoms at all. Unfortunately that doesn’t lessen your chances of developing auto-immune diseases or nervous system name a few. Some of these serious conditions do develop silently and your first knowledge of the damage comes with the diagnosis of a disease.

Read this article from Guy' hospital, London : CEREAL TOXICITY IN COELIAC DISEASE pdf file

We know the association between gluten and depression in children and adults. What’s the recommendation? Diagnose the problem with gluten early in life so as to prevent the needless suffering and use of dangerous anti-depressants.

To you see the theme? It goes on and on. From osteoporosis to infertility, from psoriasis to obesity - the list of symptoms is very long and the recommendations are always the same.
So please do not fall into the trap of eating gluten (even in a slightly predigested fashion) and thinking it’s okay because it doesn’t initiate certain symptoms. If you’ve already determined that you are gluten intolerant then don’t play Russian roulette with your health.

And lastly, not to confuse the matter, but the grass of the grain is gluten-free for approximately the first 10-14 days of growth. Beyond that point “jointing” occurs which is the development process whereby the grain forms and gluten becomes present. This means that if you drank wheat juice made from the grass only (and it was less than 10 days old – pre-jointing phase) it would be a gluten-free product. But I must emphasize that would be consuming the grass only, NOT the grass PLUS the rest of the grain such as what is used in sprouted breads.

I would recommend that if you do choose to ingest a greens drink that you ensure that the company tests their products thoroughly to ensure that they are gluten-free.

Q.What is the difference between the sprouted flours in 400 gr and the ones in 2500 gr
A.We have made here a different kind of flour for the bakers : The 4 days sprouting time used for our 400 gr sprouted flours has a minimum of 4 days ! The advantages are numerous but one main "inconvenience" for bakers is that this long sprouting period has "damaged" and transformed the Gluten in such a way that bread made with them looks like malt bread, heavy and sticky

In order to get a better traditional texture we have mixed them with other sprouted Organic flours of lower or extremely short malting, sprouting time according to the grains used ( from a minimum of 1 day for the Kamut, Rye and Barley, x 2 for the Wheat and Spelt ). The result is a much better open structure and a better crust . Of course all the healthy benefits of the sprouted flours are still present (digestability) . Note that the ash content is relevant as much as the falling number .

Q.How Does Sprouted Flour Taste?
A.It tastes better than any flour you have ever tasted. One of our customers and a career baker stated, “Sprouted flour makes the most wonderful bread known to humankind!” Sprouted flour is more delicious than regular flour because it has not been bleached, refined or over processed. Sprouting removes the bitter taste found in unsprouted whole grain flour. You’ll love the flavor.
  • Q. What makes sprouted flour different from regular, unsprouted flour and why should I use sprouted flour?
  • A. Whole grains are transformed into a living food when they are sprouted. Sprouted grains contain more nutrients that are more easily digested and absorbed. Click here to read more about the benefits of sprouted flour.
  • Q. Baking with Sprouted flour : is it the same like conventional flours ?
  • A. No. The sprouting process reduces the amount of gluten available, as some of it is converted into other things during the sprouting process. That's why an amount of vital wheat gluten is an optional addition to the sprouted wheat loaf. I think that adding gluten to your dough would probably be the best way to increase rise.
  • Q. Does sprouted flour taste different than regular flour?
    A. Yes, it tastes better. Conventional flour is often bleached and/or refined and usually rancid. Our sprouted flour is milled fresh to order.
  • Q. Can I use sprouted flour as a substitute for regular flour?
  • A. Yes, you can substitute sprouted flour for conventional flour one to one. Tests should be done to determine recipes and as a general guide prooving should be made for a longer time.
  • Q. Can I make pasta and pizza with sprouted flour?
  • A. Yes. You can use sprouted flour in place of other flours for delicious homemade pizza and pasta.
  • Q. What are the nutritional benefits of sprouted flour?
  • A. Sprouting increases vitamins, enzymes and minerals in the flour and makes them more bio-available. Complex sugars are broken down, which makes digestion easier.
  • Q. Can I learn to sprout and grind whole grains at home?
    A. There are many resources available online. Try searching for “sprouting grains” or “how to sprout grains”. I suggest you get a copy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell. Her cookbook gives specific directions for sprouting, is a great source of recipes and a wonderful resource for sound, traditional nutritional information. Feel free to call or e-mail us as well. We're always glad to assist.
  • Q. I’m not interested in sprouting, but would like to use sprouted flour in my baking. Can I purchase sprouted flour from you?
    A. Yes! Breadlink offers 100% organic sprouted flour made from whole grains for those of you who love to bake. We produce whole grain sprouted wheat, spelt, and rye flours. And for your delicate cakes and pastries we make a finely sifted flour from which the bran has been removed.
  • Q. What’s the best way to keep your sprouted flour fresh?
  • A. Breadlink Company’s flours are milled fresh. They will remain fresh in the pantry 3–4 months, in the refrigerator 6–8 months or in the freezer up to 14 months.
  • Q. I have allergies. Are there ingredients in your sprouted flours that I need to watch out for? Is there gluten in sprouted flour?
    A. Our sprouted flours all contain gluten, especcially the mixes . Spelt has less gluten than wheat. However, after grains are sprouted, they are much easier for the body to digest. Many gluten- or starch-sensitive customers have reported no reactions to our sprouted flours. That said, it is an individual issue. We also use all organic whole grains so you can be assured that no chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or artificial preservatives are present in our flours. No nuts or other grains are used in our facility.
  • Q. Should I use sprouted spelt, sprouted wheat, or sprouted rye flour?
  • A. Sprouted wheat flour contains more gluten. It has a lower fiber content (2 grams per cup), but it produces a bread with a lighter texture. Sprouted spelt flour has a lower gluten content, but a higher fiber content (10 grams per cup). Spelt flour makes a great bread, but it definitely needs vital gluten added for yeasted bread recipes (in other words, recipes using commercial yeast, not sourdough starter) to ensure that the yeast fully activates.Sprouted rye flour used on its own produces a very dense bread. Most rye bread recipes call for mixing rye flour with a wheat or spelt flour to achieve a lighter bread. Rye flour makes a great sourdough starter.Note: Some of the gluten contained in whole grains is broken down during the sprouting process. This result will not affect recipes leavened with baking soda or baking powder. However, to achieve great yeast-leavened recipes (recipes calling for commercial yeast), we recommend that you add 3 tablespoons of vital gluten for every 4 cups of sprouted flour.
  • Q. What is the difference between flourless sprouted bread and bread made with sprouted flour?
    A. Flourless sprouted bread is not made from sprouted flour, but from a wet mash made from sprouted grains. Bread made from sprouted flour is more like the bread most people are used to.
  • Q. Do you have recipes made with sprouted flour?
    A. Yes see at the bottom of this page
  • Q. Are Breadlink breads made with sprouted flour "gluten free?"
    A. Any product that contains wheat (including semolina, durum, spelt, triticale, and kamut) rye, barley, or oats cannot be considered Gluten-Free. What is important is the sprouting process, through enzymatic activity, changes gluten to a more digestible or tolerable state. Many individuals with mild gluten sensitivities use sprouted products with no adverse side affects or allergic reactions. However each person’s individual constitution is different. We advise any person with gluten sensitivities including and in particular individuals with serious health conditions such as Celiac Disease to consult their physician before consuming any product that may contain gluten.
  • Q. Does "live grain" mean breads are considered a "raw" food?
    A. Foods are typically considered “Raw” if they are cooked at temperatures below 43°c degrees.
  • Q. How can Breadlink make bread without flour?
    A. We start with certified (Ecocert) organically grown whole grains. After we sprout them, they are dehydrated and made into flour.
  • Q. What are trans fats?
    A. Trans fats (trans fatty acids [TFA]) are produced by partial hydrogenation of unsaturated vegetable oils to improve the functional properties of the fat in certain foods. TFA are also naturally present in milk and meat from ruminant animals. The TFA from animal sources have no associated risk and have been found to give health benefits. The TFA from hydrogenated oils have been connected to increased heart disease. Breadlink flours, hence breads, do not contain TFA's.
  • Q. What does "Live Grain Difference" mean?
    A. Through the sprouting process the grains become living, nutrient-rich, food. It is these “live” grains we use to make our flours, hence your bread made with them. During our unique sprouting process, enzymes are released from the germ of the grain.
  • Q. What does the term: "certified organically grown" mean when referring to Breadlink's grains ?
    A. “Certified organically grown” assures you the grains have been grown and processed without the use of spray fertilizers, chemicals or pesticides and the land (where the grains were grown), has not been sprayed for at least three years (including the current harvest). Certified organically grown grains are third party verified by certifying agencies to be processed according to the standards and statutes set forth by the French organic foods act
  • Q. Why does Breadlink sprout grains for its flours ?
    A. Sprouting is the only way to release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains. The sprouting process activates beneficial enzymes which cause the grains to sprout and become living and nutrient-rich. Stores of vitamins and minerals dramatically increase over the amount available in flour. Sprouting also converts the carbohydrates in grains into maltose, which is ordinarily done by the body during digestion, thereby predigesting nutrients for you. The enzymatic action enables the body to assimilate the vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Plus, the sprouting process naturally increases the protein content and decreases the calories and carbohydrates found in the original grain.
  • Q. Can I do my own sproutings ?
    A. Of course you can ; read here the good article made by Thomas E. Billings and read also the remarcable book of Essential Eating Sprouted Baking, by Janie Quinn (Amazon)