Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
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.
Non-grain based flours such as cassava and coconut flour do not need soaking. Others such as almond flour and chickpea flour are best soaked before grinding rather than after.
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
Try this soaked bread recipe with your soaked flour. You can also try making a soaked loaf in a bread machine.
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.
- 2 cups flour preferably freshly ground and organic
- 2 cups whole milk yogurt
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.
Clabbered milk or plain kefir may be substituted for yogurt.
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.
I am very interested in soaking my flour on yogurt just as you recommended. I have been baking with my sourdough culture for a while but I have never soak the flour that I use right before baking when adding it to the culture. Would this method work with the recipes? My question is it ok to use greek yogurt to soak my flour, will the yogurt go bad by no being in the refrigerator while is being soak in the flour?
Greek yogurt should not be used for soaking as it doesn’t have enough whey to have the proper acidity.
What type of yogurt would you recommend? I live in Colorado.
Why use yogurt or kefir?
Once u bake them, the cultures are dead. Why not use whey or vinegar? Or a couple tbsps yogurt in water?
I hope this is not a silly question but can you soak the flour you would used to bake a cake? For example, if the cake requires 1 cup of milk can I soak the flour in the milk the night before then add the remaining ingredients the next day?
This typically won’t work as soaking the flour alters the recipe considerably. You need to use a cake recipe that is specifically developed using soaked flour OR use sprouted flour in place of the regular flour. Then, no soaking is necessary.
This is my soaked cake recipe. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/devils-food-cake/
I am grateful to you for all of your information. I am aware that soaking nuts will help remove cross contamination from them and I can eat nuts that I soak at home. I was wondering if soaking flour that is cross contaminated with SOY or Peanuts will do the same?
I am learning to do all of my own food preparation, but I find that some of the flours I purchase are still cross contaminated and I am super sensitive. Particularly are Gluten Free Mixes that are processed on equipment that shares with Soy etc.
What happens if you soak almond flour after, not before? Does it still work? I bought a big bag of almond flour, then found out I need to soak…
I have the same question about almond flour. I bought some and just learned this process! I also bought teff flour and am hoping to soak the flours first. Thank you!
Hello, thank you for your knowledge and expertise you share to us all.
My question is… I’m currently fighting a cavity by eliminating grains, sugars (I do have fruit) beans, nuts and seeds. Is it best to stay away from flour all together or soaked flour would be ok? Any other recommendations is appreciated. I take cod liver oil with ghee and homemade liver pills daily.
Sarah Pope MGA
I recommend the book Cure Tooth Decay as it outlines the optimal diet for remineralizing a tooth.
Would it be worth soaking store-bought wheat flour? Whole grain and white whole wheat flour? I am very interested in preparing grains using the Traditional Method, but want to see if I can use up what I already have in my pantry. I’ve already made the soaked oats, then oatmeal with success twice using ACV. Thanks!
Sarah Pope MGA
Yes you can soak store bought flour.
You replied to Steph that “store bought buckwheat is very bitter. You should really grind buckwheat fresh yourself.” Yet I saw in your recipe for buckwheat porridge that you use the store-bought Pocono brand of Cream of Buckwheat. Is this particular brand less bitter?
Sarah Pope MGA
Cream of buckwheat is not the same as buckwheat flour.