Tartine Sprouted Amaranth Bread

Adding sprouted grains is like incorporating vegetable in your bread
You might be less familiar with amaranth. Similar to quinoa, amaranth is another super grain with high protein and nutritional value from the Andes. It so happened that the first sprouted bread I made was a quinoa spelt bread. I was totally charmed by its unusually soft crumb and beautiful crust, the best that any artisan bread can offer.
Sprouting, or germination, is the point at which the seed begins to transform from a grain into a plant through enzymatic process that breaks down starch into simple sugars to fuel the plant growth. Inherent nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the germinating plant are rendered more accessible and easy to absorb for our digestive system.
Sprouting grains is relatively straightforward. The steps are outlined in the cheat sheet below. You start by soaking the whole intact amaranth in water in a clean glass jar until it germinates. It would take two to four days depending on the room temperature. Rinse, drain, aerate (oxygen promotes sprouting) the grains twice a day until you see sprouts emerge, but before spider shoots develop. The sprouted amaranth can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days. Drain the sprouted grains thoroughly before incorporating them into the dough, an hour after the start of bulk rise, just like you would with ingredients such as nuts or dry fruits.
How can you top the health and nutritional benefits of the sprouted breads made with a good amount of super food? When we eat sprouts, we are digesting them more as a vegetable rather than a grain. In my book, you can never have too much vegetables. The challenge in bread making is how you’d pack all that nutritious goodness of sprouted grains in a loaf of hearth bread.
This recipe comes from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Book No.3. The amount of sprouted amaranth to the total amount of flour (50% wheat, 50% bread flour) is roughly 25 percent. You could add more or less to suit your taste. The resulting bread will become denser as the amount of grains increases. Like quinoa, amaranth has no gluten and its flour cannot be used to make conventional style bread. I was pleasantly surprised how light and open this bread turned out given 50% in whole grain flour: dense in protein, and nutrients, but not at all in texture. A win-win!
Amaranth sprouts lend green notes to the bread, with the flavor of collard greens. The amaranth bread has a relatively open crumb bound with flavor. If you like breads made with super grains, this is another good one for you. You won’t find these wholesome sprouted breads in bakeries anywhere!


Irregular open crumb and caramelized crust
Amaranth grains are ready when they have just sprouted

I am sharing this post with Bread Box hosted by Karen’s Kitchen Stories.

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