The basic recipe for Essene bread just involves sprouting a grain such as wheat, spelt or rye, then grinding it in a food processor, mixing in some herbs and spices and spreading the mixture out thinly on a stainless steel tray and baking it in a cool oven at 65C (150F) for 12 - 24 hours. You can also use a dehydrator if you have one, or put the tray on a rock in the hot sun.
The following modification of the Essene bread recipe uses additional flour and a sourdough starter. The result is a moist, chewy bread. Make sure that you use organic grain from a health food shop and not grain intended for agriculture.
The Essene recipe invites lots of experimentation with different types of grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and dried fruits such as dates. You may also wish to experiment with not grinding the sprouted grain but instead leaving it whole.
Makes one small loaf.
Soak the spelt grain for 12 hours in two litres of water. Drain off the water, rinse, pour off the water, then lay the jar on its side so that the water can drain out. Rinse 2 - 3 times per day for 1 - 3 days. The weather will determine how long you sprout and how often you need to rinse. You need to make sure that the sprouts do not dry out and that they do not grow bacteria or mould. The sprouts are ready when the rootlets are about 1-2 mm long. If you sprout the grain for too long then they may become woody.
Drain the sprouted grain well so that it is almost dry then grind it in a food processor at medium to high speed with the sourdough starter and the coconut oil. (You may need to add a tablespoon of water.) Once it has formed a smooth dough transfer it to a bowl.
Mix the salt and any herbs and spices with the flour, then mix the flour a small amount at a time with the dough until it is firm enough to be kneaded. (You may not need to use all of the flour but if your spouts were quite wet then you may need to add additional flour.) The dough will probably be quite sticky and moist as the gluten will not form as well as with a normal sourdough bread.
Put the dough in a refrigerator for about 12 hours to give time for the antinutrients to be degraded from the flour. The next day, kneed the dough for a few minutes, shape it, then transfer to a baking tin. Cover with a damp t-towel and leave in a warm place (28-32C) until it doubles in size, then bake at 180C for 45 minutes. You may wish to experiment with a lower temperature and a longer time.
If you use a grain apart from spelt then you will need to experiment with the sprouting times as it varies for different grains, nuts and seeds.
The sourdough starter needs to be highly active to get maximum rise from the flour. If you find the bread is a little too heavy for your liking then try adding 1 - 2 teaspoons of barley malt. The extra sugars will cause the yeasts to become more active and generate the additional carbon dioxide necessary to rise the bread.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32
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