Grow your own gluten free bread for under $1
a.k.a. gluten free, nut free, dairy free, egg free Ezekiel or Essene Bread
a.k.a. healthy bread on the cheap
Sometimes in gluten free baking, as in life, a little rain must fall. I’ve been doing a ton of experimenting this past week, and the result has been some near hits (i.e. garbanzo bean bread, burnt crackers, beet chocolate cupcakes and sweet potato muffins) and epic misses – i.e. a sprouted lentil socca bread in which the recipe did not note specifically that the sprouted lentils were supposed to be dried, ground and used as flour. The result: a somewhat tasty lentil mush, but definitely not bread. *Sigh* However, it inspired me to keep trying and make sprouted bread that wasn't complicated or difficult. Read on for the recipe! The result - a really easy, incredibly cheap bread. Read on...
While the beet chocolate cupcakes and sweet potato muffins were tasty and edible, they were a bit too moist (I probably used too much applesauce in my zeal to cut down the sugar and oil), so I’ll be fiddling with them again and you can expect the recipes to come soon. I wanted to try using beets and sweet potatoes in baking because they’re one of the few vegetables available at the farmers markets right now (yeah, I’m a locavore ;)
But the one real hit this week – such a hit I’ve made it twice already – was this sprouted lentil bread that I concocted modeled off of Ezekiel bread, which is a bread made simply from wheat berries. Sprouted wheat berries are very trendy right now, and you’ll find them in smoothies and in bread. However, celiacs and gluten intolerants beware! Notice the “wheat” in the word? While there is some notion that the sprouts don’t contain gluten, that the gluten is only in the kernel, I would be very cautious as I haven't seen any research to prove that the sprouts themselves are totally safe. Plus, in Ezekiel bread the whole thing gets mashed together, kernels and all. Then the mash gets formed into a bread loaf and baked (or for you raw foodies, dehydrated) on low heat for a long time.
|Lentils, sprouted about 1" long|
So last week I was craving bread, and wanted to make some, but I hate that gluten free bread is always so expensive, either to buy or to make. The ingredients aren’t cheap. I wondered if it wasn’t possible to simply use other sprouts to make Ezekiel bread. I searched the internet but couldn't find anything that didn’t require dehydrating the sprouts and grinding them for flour, or that didn’t require 10 different kinds of sprouts. Well I happened to have a bunch of overgrown lentil sprouts and figured it would only be a loss of about 50 cents if it didn’t work.
And it worked! So well that I made it again last night. This bread literally costs less than $1 to make, and it is filling and hearty. The taste is a bit earthy, but you could add other things, such as seeds, dried onion flakes, raisins or dried fruit. Then slather with honey or jam or anything else you like. I’ve been eating it with some homemade sunflower seed butter).
Note: You’ll have to sprout the lentils about 4 days in advance
¾-1 c dried lentils, soaked overnight (8-12hrs) and sprouted for until 1” long (about 3-4 days) see sprouts for directions. This will make about 3 – 3.5 cups sprouted lentils and will totally fill a large mason jar.
4 Tbsp ground flax seed
|Dough made with lentils ground in coffee grinder|
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp water
1. Spray a baking sheet with oil and lay a sheet of parchment paper over it.
2. Either in a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the lentil sprouts until they form a paste. In a coffee grinder you will have to do several batches, and it will be lumpier. (See the photo of the dough) This is fine.
3. Preheat oven to 250 degree.
4. Mix all ingredients together for 3 minutes to make a sticky lump. If adding fruit or extras, now is the time to do it. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while the oven heats up.
5. Wet hands with water and form an oval or circle flat bread shape with the dough and lay out on the baking sheet.
6. Bake for approximately 1.5 - 2 hours, checking every half hour or so. Baking time will depend on the height of your bread, the higher it is the longer it will take. The outside will get crusty and brown fairly quickly, but the inside takes longer to bake. If you want to do this as raw food, you could do this in a dehydrator at a lower heat for a longer time - I'm no raw food expert so I can't give specifics but I'm sure you could follow directions for regular Ezekiel bread on this one. I have a dehydrator, but little patience!
Notes: The second time I made this I ground up 2 Tbsp of sunflower seeds and added that. I also added 1 Tbsp of poppy seeds, and ¼ cup of raisins. The bread is nice and sweet now, with a slightly nutty flavour.
If you try this, please let me know if you've added anything! I'd love to hear your suggestions :)
UPDATE: for another sprouted lentil bread, check out my Sprouted Red Lentil Bread! Another fabulously cheap gluten free bread.
*OAS Info: Lentils are a common OAS food. The sprouting and baking process *should* destroy the allergen proteins and make this safer for OAS folks to eat. If in doubt, check with your doctor
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