Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grow Your Own Bread - Sprouted Lentil Bread



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

Ingredients:

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


Directions:     

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

This post was shared on the following great sites: Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays,

28 comments:

  1. This looks wonderful--I will make mine in the dehydrator. I like your addition of raisins.
    Peace and Raw Health,
    Elizabeth

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth. If you do dehydrate it, please do let us know how it turned out! I'd love to hear about it. I can't go raw because I'm allergic to most raw fruits and veggies, but I'm fascinated by the diet :)

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  2. i want to do mine! Sounds like Manna bread...May put some dried figs in it. Thx :)

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    1. Hi Gaby,
      thanks for dropping in. Figs would be a great addition! I hope it works out. I think next time I'll add some dates instead of raisins.

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  3. Made the bread with about 3/4 cup of sprouted lentils and 2 dates. I mashed down into a fairly flat circle. 1 1/2 hours was too long (as you had cautioned) because I mashed the dough pretty flat. It was a little too browned and kind of crunchy. Still had a nice taste. Like a crunchy Ryvita. A little too sweet for me. Was a fairly small portion and so will reduce to 1 date. May try with tahini next time with the lentils in the dough. Thanks again for posting.

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  4. Thanks for sharing, Raw. Now you've got me thinking about trying it as a Ryvita lentil bread! Oooh, and perhaps with soaked cranberries...

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  5. I live in a dry state and don't have my dehydrator with me, but am going to leave out the dough and see how it does...

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    1. Hope, I'm super curious to hear how it works for you!

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  6. This is such a unique recipe... can't wait to try it! Thanks!

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  7. I sprouted, dried, and ground my lentils before I read that it's ground down directly from the soaked sprout stage for use in this recipe. Can I still use it? I've never used lentil flour before.

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    1. Hi Virginia, I haven't actually used lentil flour myself, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use it in other gluten free baking in small amounts. It won't work for this recipe of course because there's almost no added liquid, but I think you could probably add it quite well into other breads or baked goods goods. i.e. if something calls for 1 cup of brown rice flour or sorghum, use 3/4 c of that and 1/4 c of lentil flour. I suspect it would make things a wee bit heavier, but it would definitely add protein and an interesting flavour!

      I would definitely give it a try, it would be sad to see all that extra work of drying and grinding go to waste! If you do use it, please let me know how it goes :)

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  8. Love that this is so affordable! So many GF products are very expensive!

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    1. Thanks, Ellen, I'm allll about affordable healthy food. I can't spend $7 on a loaf of GF bread, it hurts me a little inside, well, and inside my wallet, too ;)

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  9. Interesting!!!! I always soak my grains before coking,. so I soak my lentils , but did not have time to cook it, then I put it in the refrigerator , rinse it to not go bad before I cooked it.
    and forgot..lol about some days I saw it sprouted .. WOw ! it was so cool. then I learned how to sprout with out all the complicated way. making the store short I sprouted lentils , garbanzo . and put flex seed flour. make my own recipe bread . it was very nutritious and I went a long time .. no hunger... told my friends they laugh.. now they are doing too. the idea came cause I by the ezekiel bread .too expensive !! this time I will use lentils anly and flax seed flower and coconut .. I make coconut milk and save meat or flour lol !!! I used ferment , . this is so nice to be creative!!!.. My friends call me crazy .

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  10. Hey! How many slices does this make? Thanks, :-)

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    1. It depends on how flat you make the loaf, really. I can't give you an accurate slicing because it changes a little every time :) I make my loaves about 6" in diameter.

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  11. Hi Danielle,

    I just live next door to you in Alberta.

    Made your green lentil sprout bread. Which was delicious!
    Another bonus to the taste itself, is this type of bread being very low in calories. As many other legume type breads call for added flour (whether bean flour or otherwise) which would up the calorie count. Of course if one is not worried about that it wouldn't matter. I just like to keep things moderately low calorie especially when it comes to bread.
    Anyways, I made it similar to the height of the pic you included with the recipe. However, I found the finished bread (though yummy), a little more moist than I usually like it.
    I was wondering if I could spread it out on a parchment covered baking sheet similar to a huge rectangular pizza & bake it in the oven, & after it cools to cut it into squares for bread slices?

    Have you tried this yourself Danielle, or has anybody else baked it that way with success. I was wondering also how long you would leave it in the oven, I imagine it could be finished after about 1 hour? Any info you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    p.s. I noticed another comment by a reader Raw Raw Raw, mentioned that they used 3/4 cup of sprouted lentils & 2 dates & mashed it down fairly flat, & that 1 1/2 hrs was too long.
    I don't want crispy type bread. I might do a trial run with about 1 cup of sprouted lentils baked for 1 hr or a little less, & see how that fairs.
    I am still in the process of waiting for my sprouts to develop. I am sprouting1 cup of dry green lentils. Last time I managed to get 5 cups of sprouted lentils after about 4 or 5 days...it was amazing.
    Thanks again.

    Helen

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    1. Hi Helen, it's been a while since I made this, but I have made it flatter and did bake it for less time (still about 1.5hrs), then left it in the oven while the oven cooled, and it was less moist in the centre. I think it's just a matter of trial and error, though, as it does depend on how flat it is. If you spread it out like a real flatbread I'd probably start checking it at the 45 min mark.

      Glad you liked the flavour and do let me know how your experiment goes, I'm curious to hear about it :)

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  12. Thanks for replying Danielle, & thanks for your suggestions, I will certainly check after 45 mins. or so.
    Once my sprouts are ready(probably in another 4 or so days) I will get back to you with the results....thanks again.
    Helen

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  13. Hi Danielle,

    Well, my sprouts were ready sooner than I thought. I followed your recipe, but put the mixture of lentil sprout paste & flax seed meal & 1/4 tsp salt into the fridge overnight...(omitted adding any water) as it was plenty moist. Leaving the mixture in the fridge overnight made it a little less sticky & somewhat easier to spread overall as it was cold. When spreading, I used some olive oil on my hands to avoid adding any water.

    I spread the mixture out on a cookie tray with parchment paper. The size was 11" x 10" x 1/4 (or less) high. I rounded off the corners so they wouldn't crack when slicing it after it was baked. I baked it for approx 1 1/2 hrs. But I should have cut it into sections at the 1 hr mark. It was a bit crunchy in parts, but mostly soft & relatively dry overall. Actually the crunchy pieces tasted really yummy, even better than the not so crunchy pieces in my opinion.
    I think adding some garlic, onion, & basil powder might have made them even tastier. Even smoked paprika, or chili powder, or what have you.

    My overall verdict:
    I think this recipe would make excellent, tasty, & really nutritious crackers. I cut the pieces rather large, so only got 6 in all, but you certainly could cut them a lot smaller & get a dozen or more.

    I thought the following info from the internet about lentils was interesting.
    1 cup of cooked green or brown lentils has 24 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein.
    It also is very low on the GI index coming in at 30.
    1 cup of raw sprouted green or brown lentils is 82 calories.
    Lentils are an excellent source of fiber, folate & manganese, a very good source of iron & a very good source of copper & thiamin.

    Thanks for your delicious recipe Danielle, I think in future I may make lentil type crackers instead of bread.
    p.s. ( when this mixture is quite thin, you have to check quite often to watch that it doesn't burn). Fortunately, (some very small parts of mine got brown & crunchy), where it was spread rather thin, but thankfully didn't burn at all.

    Helen

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    1. Hi Helen,

      thanks for your detailed description! I have used lentil sprouts to make crackers before, but followed a different recipe than for the bread, so it's good to know this recipe works as well.

      What I found when I did the crackers was that if you spread them quite thin, then bake at 250F for about 20 minutes, until the crackers are just browning and hardening, then turn the oven off and leave the crackers in the oven for about 1 hr, they will actually harden and get crispy, but not burn.

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  14. Wow! Thanks Danielle.
    I am going to try your recipe for crackers, sounds a lot easier than the way I was doing it.
    Actually, I still have plenty of sprouted lentils left over, so am going to grind them now & mix in the rest of the ingredients & leave the mixture in the fridge overnight like I did previously. And hopefully bake them tomorrow or the next day.

    Helen

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    1. I don't have a recipe written out, but I think my original inspiration came from a variation of this recipe: http://www.wildfloursgfg.com/2011/03/17/gf-scd-parsley-lentil-crackers/

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  15. Hi folks was in rhe neighborhood. .. just thought I would pass on info. I have been reading and reading. About sprouted bread and crackers. I cant remember where but one site said before you use your sprouts. But after they are ground. . Leave them out on the counter for two days in an air tight container. Than proceed

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    1. That's interesting, any idea why they would suggest that? I would imagine that if they are not growing and not refrigerated they would dry out, or possibly even get moldy...

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  16. Hello Danielle,

    Followed your recipe for the lentil crackers & also checked out the site 'wildfloursgfg.com' very interesting..there was also a link to another site on there called the 'nourishing gourmet' which had a recipe that I want to try...thanks.

    Unfortunately my lentil crackers came out rubbery instead of crispy.
    Don't like to waste anything, so decided to grind them up & use them in a recipe for fish patties & they turned out delicious. So will still be getting the benefit of the lentils one way or the other.

    Thanks again for helping me out with all your suggestions, much appreciated. God Bless you.

    Helen

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    1. Hi Helen, so sorry to hear it didn't work out for you this time around, and hopefully one of the other recipes will be helpful. Glad you were at least able to salvage them - the fish patties sound wonderful!

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