I cannot believe I’m just getting around to sharing this recipe with you all! It used to be a recipe I’d make on a weekly basis (like three years ago) but fell out of the habit of baking because, well, that’s life. With spring here I am feeling so inspired to make all the things I used to make and love that I had tucked away for a later date. Part of this is due to my new motto “be yourself – make what you want”, the other key player is finally feeling settled in one spot long enough to properly get all nesty and homey. So without further ado, I introduce you to Manna Bread.
or Sprouted Bread
or Essenes Bread
or whatever name you prefer….
Basically this bread is made only from sprouted wheat berries (the entire grain – bran, germ, and endosperm) with a little bit of salt and some raisins for flavour. While I know a lot of people are avoiding wheat these days, I think it’s important for those of us who don’t have sensitivities to the grain to try to consume it in healthier forms. You see, as a baker, I love bread. I would go as far as to say that I am a bread snob. So when I see people at the grocery store pick up generic sliced, chemically-rich bread that contains such additives as ‘human hair’ or ‘chicken feathers‘ a little piece of me dies inside*.
Bread for me is life. It is the backbone for most every civilization. It is the embodiment of history, comfort, and the synonym for sharing.
Historically, sprouted bread like this is attributed to the Essenes, a historical group who flourished over 2ooo years ago. Some stories claim that the bread was cooked in the sun, which in recent times has made this type of bread very popular with raw foodies. While I did bake mine, you could easily dehydrate it (I’d probably split the recipe into two loaves) to maintain as much nutrients as possible. And while you may look at these slices and think “how can I make this into a sandwich?”, you probably can’t. While the slices are small, they are packed with nutrients and fibre and will keep you much fuller than four slices of the store bought stuff.
*If you do want to buy store bought bread, I love Ezekiel and Silver Hills – not sponsored, I just love and eat these.
WEEKEND LINKS + LOVES
- A great blog post from my friends at T & T about the inherent conflicts between blogging and sponsorships.
- I’ve been following Jessica’s IG for years now (seriously if you love gorgeous homes, boho fashions, and adorable kids, I can’t recommend it enough) but rarely ever get to reading her blog. I came across a recent post she wrote on style in the age of social media which I think we can all relate to. I’ve been finding myself questioning my tastes as of late, from clothes to home wear, to food and even photo style. Like, do I like this or am I liking this because I’m told to? Important questions to ask yourself regularly.
- This made me lol. I think that if it came to fruition, it would become our family’s favourite cookbook.
- Another lol article– and totally in tune with last week’s rainbow/mermaid complaints.
- The amazing Andrea has her new book out! Sherri made these insane looking watermelon radishes while Kate made this strawberry salsa from it. I cannot wait to grab a copy for myself.
- Speaking of things to make, can someone please have a party so I can bake Izy’s malt cake (because, just look at it!)???? and Lindsey’s cookie balls? And last, but not least, Ashae’s granola looks out of this world good – and I seriously just LOVE this lady.
- A pertinent article in regards to the #realdietstory and the importance of language surrounding food.
- Finally, my bb girl has a interview over on Kimberley Hasselbrink’s site. I feel like a proud mama bird over here <3
While this bread does take about three days to prep and make, it comes together with very little work. I’d recommend making a couple of loaves at a time and popping extra ones in the freezer once they’re cooked. Below I’ve included the ingredients to make a sweet loaf. If you’d rather have a savoury slice of toast, skip the raisins and cinnamon, and feel free to add spices, dried herbs, or chopped nuts once the mixture is pureed.
SPROUTED WHEAT MANNA BREAD
2 Cups Wheat Berries (or spelt or rye)
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
Seeds for garnish – I used pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower, but buckwheat, poppy seeds, flax, or chopped nuts would work too.
- Add the wheat berries to a large jar and fill it with water. Let them sit in the water overnight on the counter. The next day, drain the water and cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth or a milk nut bag (like this) If you have a spouter, you can use that too. Just a note that the wheat will double in size, so make sure you have a big jar.
- Once the jar is covered with a breathable lid, rinse the sprouts again, and leave them in an upright dish to drain (at around a 45 degree angle). Give the sprouts a rinse twice a day with fresh water. Drain the excess water off and leave them to drain fully in the dish.
- Around the second day the wheat should have sprouted (it can take a little longer depending on temperature) and the sprouts should be as long as the kernel. This is as long as you want the sprouts to get. Any longer than this the sprouts have the risk of tasting bitter and green. Try to keep an eye on them, they grow fast.
- As soon as your seeds are as long as the grain, you can begin making the bread. If you don’t want to make bread ASAP, the sprouts can be stored in the fridge for a couple days. They will continue to grow in the fridge, so keep an eye on them (I’d give them a day or two in their at max).
- Rinse the sprouts one last time and drain them well. Combine them in a food processor with the raisins, cinnamon, and salt. Puree the mixture until a coarse dough is made. I stopped pureeing as soon as the dough began to form a ball.
- Grease your hands well and on a parchment lined tray, mould the dough into a loaf shape – around 12 cm wide and 22 cm long (or 5 by 9 inch) and around 4 cm tall (1 1/4- 1 1/2). If you make it thicker than this, it might not dry out correctly.
- Bake at 120 C (250 F) for three hours. Let the bread cool before slicing. Because of the lack of preservatives, this bread is best wrapped and stored in the fridge.