A refreshing sourdough recipe to try this summer, or whenever you want a nutritious and unique bread.

My kids loved this bread, although only one of them actually likes quinoa as a dish. In fact, my daughter suggested I write:

“Step into summer with this citrus and mint sourdough bread…and leave out the gross quinoa if you want. By the way, we grow mint along our driveway, so come on over and get some.”

She’s a natural writer.

In all seriousness, sprouting quinoa makes it taste a little sweeter, and the lemon zest and mint turn the bread into a gourmet salad that you can top with crumbled feta or goat cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.

How To Sprout Quinoa

Faster and easier than sprouting wheat berries, quinoa only needs a 6 hour soak, followed by 18 hours of sprouting. Rinse and drain at least once during that time. If you don’t get sprouts in 24 hours, your quinoa may have been treated in harvesting and packaging and will likely never sprout. For example, I tried Trader Joe organic quinoa twice over several days and it rotted.

I sprouted a scant cup of dried quinoa (180 grams) and this yielded enough sprouted quinoa for two loaves of bread and a large salad (with hummus and fresh lemon juice).

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You can store extra sprouts covered in the fridge for about 3 days. Smell the sprouts before you store them, so you know what fresh smells like and can detect mold if it grows. I stored mine from Friday to Monday and the smell did not change.

Sprouting grains reduces the level of phytic acid in them, which then allows your body to absorb more of the grains’ minerals. One cup cooked or 185 grams of quinoa has 15% daily value of iron and 30% DV of magnesium (more info here). Quinoa (and amaranth) also both have all nine essential amino acids.

Sprouted Quinoa, Lemon and Mint Sourdough Bread Recipe

I used 30% whole grain spelt because I wanted some whole grain flour, and I felt it would not clash or cover up the quinoa flavor, but any combination of flours is fine. All white flour will allow you to see the little quinoa sprouts better, as they turned a bit yellow when baked.

350g bread flour

150g whole grain spelt flour

375g water

After a 1-2 hour Autolyse

75g leaven

9g salt

Rest the dough 30 minutes, and then do four stretch and folds at 20-30 minute intervals. At the second stretch and fold, add:

100g (scant cup) of sprouted quinoa

~20 chopped mint leaves

The zest of two small lemons

Room temp was high when I made this bread (78/9 F or 26 C), and I find dough with sprouted grains ferments a little faster, so my bulk fermentation was only 6 hrs from when I added the leaven.

Final proof was 1 hour.

The bread baked in preheated dutch oven and clay baker for:

30 minutes at 500 F lid on

10 minutes at 450 F lid off

Photos of the process (starting with the additions at the second S&F)