The Nutritional Benefits of Soaking Grains for Bread Making

Posted on May 23rd, 2010 by Bread making machines in Bread Making Tips

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There are few things quite as enjoyable as a loaf of homemade bread. Unfortunately, due to its natural structure, that whole grain flour may not be as beneficial as you think. The practice of soaking grains prior to baking with them can eliminate their harmful qualities.

All grains have an outer covering, called a bran, that contains enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. While it is beneficial to the grain (preventing it from sprouting during unfavorable conditions), phytic acid is seen by the human body as an anti-nutrient. This acid combines with key minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc and prevents them from being absorbed into the intestinal tract. This, of course, makes it difficult for the body to properly digest the grains and their nutrients. Regularly consuming unsoaked whole grains can result in mineral deficiencies and possibly even bone loss.

The soaking proccess requires the use of an acidic medium such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or cultured buttermilk. The medium infuses the grain with "friendly" bacteria that neutralizes and diminishes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Once the enzyme inhibitors are broken down, the beneficial enzymes within the seed are released.

Properly soaked flour is considered predigested. This means that the bread baked from it will not only contain the previously dormant enzymes, but also enzymes that have been produced in the soaking process. The greatest benefit of this occurrence is the increased amounts of B vitamins in your baked goods.

Although it will extend your total preparation time by several hours, the enhanced nutrition found in breads made from soaked grains is well worth the effort.

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7 Comments on “The Nutritional Benefits of Soaking Grains for Bread Making”

  1. Larisha Allen

    This is such a great post. I love baking bread. I would have never thought of soaking the grains. Thanks so much!

  2. badmash

    I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?

  3. Donna

    Wow, I didn’t know about the soaking. Great Post!

  4. Warren

    Nice brief and this mail helped me a lot in my college assignment. Thanks you on your information.

  5. mat

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  6. cna

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  7. Teyler

    What a great resource!

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