This sprouted bread used whole sprouted wheat berries to make a living manna bread!
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 sprouted bread
or manna bread
sometimes called Essenes bread
or whatever name you prefer...
What is Sprouted Bread aka Manna Bread?
Basically this sprouted 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*.
Sprouted Bread (Manna Bread) History
Bread for me is life. It is the backbone of almost 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 many 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.
How to Make Sprouted Bread
Total Time: 2 days
Find Wheat (or Spelt, or Rye) Berries
Find whole wheat grain, also referred to as "berries". You can often find them in bulk sections of natural grocery stores. You don't want them to be crushed or broken as they will not sprout.
Soak and Sprout the Berries
Cover the wheat berries with water. Let them sit overnight on the counter. The next day, drain the water from the jar and cover it with cheesecloth or a milk nut bag.
If you have a spouter, you can use that too. Just 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 upsidedown in a 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. After rinsing your sprouts for a few days, you will start to see little whitetails on them. Now they are ready to use.
Combine the drained sprouted wheat berries, salt, raisins, and any flavours to a food processor. Here is where you could add dried herbs if you desire.
Puree the ingredients until you get a nice sticky mixture. As you can see in the photo, there is still some texture.
Shape and Cook
Place the dough on a parchment-lined tray. With greased hands, shape 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 ¼- 1 ½).
What Grain Can You Use?
To make spouted bread, grains like wheat, spelt and rye work best.
What if My Grains Don't Sprout?
If your grains don't sprout there are two things which could be the problem.
1) the wheat is old. in this case use fresher wheat.
2) the wheat is damaged. You want to use whole wheat berries here. If they are broken or the germ is damaged, they won't sprout. Look for intact wheat berries.
How do I Store Sprouted Bread
Because this is an intense loaf to make, I recommend making a large batch (double or triple) and freezing cooked loaves in a freezer bag for several months.
- 2 Cups Wheat Berries (or spelt or rye)
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ Cup Raisins
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- 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. If you have a spouter, you can use that too. Just 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 upsidedown in a 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 of days. They will continue to grow in the fridge, so keep an eye on them (I’d give them a day or two in there 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 ¼- 1 ½). 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.