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Archive for April 11th, 2011

 

 

I’m not a baker, which is odd considering how many years I spent working in laboratories weighing and measuring precise amounts of reagents to incorporate into an experiment.  Thing is, when it comes to food, I really just like to wing it.  I take a bit of this and a bit of that and toss them together to make something that tastes really good.  I’d heard that Essene bread was really easy to make and basically just required mashing together some sprouted grain and then tossing it into the oven to bake.  Sounded like just the kind of baking I might enjoy;  there was truth in that notion.

This bread is amazing, in my book.  Not only do you get the goodness from using sprouted grains which changes the entire chemical nature of grains making them more digestable and lower in gluten, but the texture was exactly what I love in bread:  Hearty and moistly chewy inside and crunchy and crusty on the outside.  That little hit of saltiness from the sea salt I sprinkled atop each loaf really brought out the contrasting flavors of all the grains as well.

I’ve been  making raw dehydrated breads and they’re very nice, but these slow-cooked loaves were meant for dipping into a gorgeous stone crushed olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar, sliced garlic and herbs and savoring each bite, slowly.  It is especially good when served warm, fresh out of the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouted Multigrain Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups grains per loaf [You could use wheat alone if you would rather.  I used a multigrain mix called Amber Waves from Sprout People that contains 11 different grains and pseudograins.]

2 chopped dates per loaf [optional]

Coarse sea salt [I used Pacifica Hawaii Salt’s Blush Lava that we picked up when we were in Kaua’i this past January.]

Good quality olive oil [Bariani is a gorgeous stone-crushed and unfiltered olive oil that has become our olive oil of choice.]

Directions:

Sprout grains until the sprouting tails are about ¼ -inch long or, basically, as long as the grain itself. [Since I used a multigrain mix, I used the wheat berry as the indicator grain rather than checking each individual type of grain.  This took two days after an initial overnight soak in filtered water.  Depending upon the grains you choose and temperature of your home, the length of time may vary.]

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Rinse the sprouts and let drain until somewhat dry.  Transfer to a food processor and process until you have a sticky paste.  Transfer to a large clean surface and knead for @10 minutes.  [This dough is really sticky and I found having a dough scraper on hand was really helpful.]

If adding dates to the loaf, now would be the time to incorporate and knead them in.

Form a long loaf about a foot long and place in the oven on a non-stick surface.  [I used a Silpat sheet.]  Lightly daub some olive oil onto the tops of the loaf/ves and sprinkle a few pinches of large crystal sea salt atop.

Bake for @ 3 hours.  The bread will be moist, sweet and chewy inside and crusty and golden outside.

 

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