Everyone loves freshly baked loaf of bread. No, I mean seriously. The aroma of freshly baked loaf is universally appealing to each and everyone one of us who has undamaged olfactory nerve. Sure, we have many different associations with bread based on our cultural background. For some, the thought of basic loaf evokes images of dense rye breads with caraway seeds while for others it may be airy sourdough with large flakes of sea salt. There are also baguettes, ciabattas, cornbreads, naans, and many other varieties. What all of these breads have in common is yeast-based dough, somewhat labor-intensive preparation process (kneading as a work-out, anyone?), and rich history.
Unfortunately, in recent years, they also have been known to share label of being a ‘guilty pleasure’ food, thanks to the diet craze in the media. We are learning that white flour is overprocessed and therefore lacks nutrition. We are discovering that whole-wheat breads often achieve their ‘healthy’ brown glow due to addition of instant coffee granules and cocoa powder (guilty: I’ve done it myself when covering up white-ish bread baked for my family). A war has been declared on carbs and bread is at the front of enemy lines. I find this all very sad and slightly depressing because I love a good loaf of bread. Does not matter what kind. I’ll eat anything baked as long as it has been made with high-quality ingredients and love (some level of baking skills also helps but I can even overlook that).
So this is essentially what this post is all about – making your very own loaf of healthiest bread you could ever imagine, using high-quality ingredients and virtually no skills (apart from measuring), in your kitchen! There is no flour to dust your clothes and floor, no kneading, no pile of dirty dishes to wash, no yeast and no dairy products (if you replace ghee with plant-based oil). Instead, you are free to customize your bread with whatever grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and spices you have around as long as you maintain the correct proportions. I found this recipe at one of my favorite blogs and have since made this bread at least few times, swapping some ingredients until I settled on what I liked best (replaced sunflower seeds with half sesame and half pumpkin seeds, and adding dried cherries). Feel free to try the original recipe before attempting my version below.
By the way, I still like freshly baked german rye bread and french baguette. This bread is not intended to replace them entirely but rather to provide an alternative that I could eat frequently to get plenty of energy and nutrition, leaving flour- and yeast-based breads for celebratory occasions so that I could truly appreciate their wonderful flavor and texture.
Magical Loaf of Bread
– 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
– 1/2 cup raw almonds (roughly chopped)
– 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
– 1/2 cup unhulled sesame seeds
– 1/2 cup whole flax seeds
– 1/2 cup dried cherries (roughly chopped)
– 4 tbsp psyllium seed husks
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 3 tbsp melted ghee (coconut or olive oil should work too)
– 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
– 1 1/2 cup water
Mix all dry ingredients in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper (if you’re using silicone form then paper is not needed). Whisk liquid ingredients in a cup, then pour over dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly making sure all items are well-coated. Leave at room temperature for at least 3 hours (if you forget about it and leave it for another couple hours, it’s OK).
Bake for 20 minutes at 350F/175C, then turn the bread over directly on the oven rack, removing the pan and the paper, and bake for another 35-40 minutes until the outside has browned nicely. Let cool for another couple hours before slicing. Unless you live in extremely hot and humid climate (such as summer weather in Texas), the bread (wrapped in plastic) will keep for few days on a kitchen counter.
If you would like to see more detailed instructions, visit the original post at MyNewRoots.org.