Real Food Challenge: Soaking Grains

Part of this week’s Real Food Challenge (by Nourished Kitchen) was a lesson on the digestibility of whole grains and whole grain flours.

The problem:

Whole grains contain a naturally-occurring plant compound called phytic acid. Phytic acid acts as an anti-nutrient, binding up minerals such as zinc (which you need for immunity and reproductive health), iron and others in your digestive tract and preventing you from fully absorbing them. Source: Nourished Kitchen

The solution:

Prepare grains to mitigate the effects of phytic acid by fermenting, sprouting, or soaking them.

My foray into this art began with soaking some organic oat flour in buttermilk to make some buttermilk biscuits.

The recipe is simple. Last night, I mixed the oat flour and buttermilk, and left it on the counter overnight to soak.

Oat flour soaking in buttermilk

This morning, I added the remaining few ingredients and attempted to roll out the dough. There was just no way. The dough was so wet and sticky that I couldn’t even handle it with my hands, much less roll it out. :-/

Oat flour dough

I knew this problem was a possibility. A few people in the recipe comments mentioned it as a problem. The recipe was written for preparation at an elevation of 10,000 feet. I hardly grasp the logistics of my own lowly kitchen at an elevation of 650 feet – I’m certainly nowhere near the skill to understand what adjustments might need to be made to compensate for that 9,000+ foot difference! This is probably just an Experience Fail on my part. My house is dry as a bone, being the dead of winter (with no humidifier on my furnace), so humidity wasn’t the problem.

Instead of rolling out the dough, I dropped it on a baking sheet in heaping tablespoonfuls.

Dough ready to bake

I decreased the bake time as recommended by another lower-elevation cook, to 21 minutes at 350 degrees F. Here’s how they looked coming out of the oven:

Buttermilk oak flour biscuits

They reminded me of the cheddar bay biscuits I used to serve up in my waitressing days at Red Lobster.

I had a couple with some chili for lunch this afternoon, and they did taste wonderful. I’ll call the recipe a success, even if they don’t look like buttermilk biscuits!

My portioning made 20 small biscuits, so assuming 2 biscuits per serving, the recipe made 10 servings – approximately 300 calories per serving: 8g fat, 47g carbs (4g fiber, 3g sugars), 11g protein.

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