Soaking flour for maximum digestibility is one of the three traditional methods of grain preparation for healthy, nutritious bread as practiced by Ancestral cultures.
One of the most important baking techniques to learn when implementing a traditional diet is soaked flour. This ancestral method of grain preparation enhances digestibility and improves the metabolism of nutrients.
This technique also reduces anti-nutrients such as phytic acid in the grain flour. These substances block mineral absorption and can aggravate inflammation of the intestinal tract. Gluten-free grains also contain these anti-nutrients.
Other methods for reducing anti-nutrients in grains and improving metabolism include sour leavening (sourdough) and sprouting.
How to Soak Flour
Soaking flour is simple. Simply mix grain flour with yogurt, kefir, or clabbered milk, cover with a dishtowel, and let sit on the counter overnight. Freshly ground flour produces the best results. After the allotted soaking time, blend in the remaining ingredients and bake or cook as usual.
For those with milk allergies, substitute 1 cup of filtered water per cup of flour plus 2 TBL of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and soak as usual for at least 8 hours or overnight.
For those with more extreme wheat sensitivities, the soaking time can be increased up to 24 hours to further breakdown gluten and other anti-nutrients.
Soaking any longer than 24 hours risks the development of mold.
Soaking Flour Technique Applies to All Grains
The principle of soaking can be applied to whole grains as well, such as your morning oatmeal. It was common to soak oats overnight before cooking back before WWII. This step was apparently even suggested on the Quaker oatmeal box!
It seems with the modern preference for speed in food preparation, this essential step has been lost. Hardly anyone under the age of 80 even remembers it anymore.
Try soaking your oatmeal the night before and see how much more filling it is after you cook and eat it the next morning.
Instead of being hungry again at 10 am, you will likely be full right through until lunch! To soak oatmeal, use 1 cup of warm filtered water per cup of oats plus 2 TBL whey, yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk. Stir together in the pot you will cook them in, cover with the lid, and leave overnight.
Cook, as usual, the next morning.
Bread Recipes Using Soaked Flour
The video in the recipe tutorial below demonstrates visually the simple process of soaking flour. Try it with your next flour-based recipe!
How to Soak Flour
How to soak flour of all kinds before making the batter to improve digestibility and nutritional benefits of bread and other baked goods.
Mix flour and yogurt in a large bowl.
Cover with a clean dishcloth and secure with a large rubber band.
Leave on the counter overnight or for 8 hours.
Uncover, mix in remaining ingredients for whatever recipe you wish to make and bake as usual.
If there is a dairy allergy, 2 cups of water plus 2 Tbl lemon juice may be substituted. This reduces the calories to 910 for one batch.