Essene Bread - tips on making it?
February 5, 2005 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Essene/Sprout/Living Bread : I'm making Essene Bread. It's my understanding that this is something that's easy to mess up and the source of the mess up isn't always obvious. So if anyone has done this, I would appreciate your tips. [MI].

I'm using this recipe, except I'm planning to add raisins and coat the outside with sesame seeds, instead of using cornmeal.

I'm sprouting soft wheat kernels that I bought at Bulk Barn. It's soaking in water in a pyrex bowl covered with a dish cloth now. How important is it that I remove them from the water after exactly 12 hours (that would be 5 am...on a Sunday..would it be really bad to wait til say 11?)?

Also, I would like to bake at a lower temperature to avoid killing the enzymes (not that I really do raw foods, but I'm curious to try it that way). What temperature and for how long should I bake it at for that?

Some other recipes suggest a flat thin shaping of the loaf. I would like more of a loaf shape if possible, but will having a loaf shape really be bad for the texture as some sources suggest?

Miscellaneous tips also welcome.
posted by duck to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Essene bread? I'm sorry, but I have to ask: will you be making Dead Sea Rolls too?

/wisecrack filter, feel free to delete
posted by greatgefilte at 5:53 PM on February 5, 2005

Not familiar with this particular baking technique but I do know a fair bit about sprouting seeds. The reason you need to take the seeds out of the water is that you could actually drown the germinating plants if they don't come out of the water. However, I don't think a couple hours will kill it. I wouldn't leave it too much longer though. Hope that helps.
posted by nprigoda at 6:17 PM on February 5, 2005

Follow the recipe's recommendations for loaf shape and cooking temperature. The ingredients, and the type of dough dictate the shape and how the bread is baked.

The way that Essene bread can get messed up is working with the sprouts. They must be still alive, as nprigoda says. If they're soaked too long, they can die and begin to (slightly) rot. That makes a nasty bitter taste with a slight odour of compost.

For those that don't know the bread: it's very tasty. It's a "flatbread on a rock" bread made from ground sprouted wheat and is moist and chewy. It is complex to bake (when you don't have an all-day fire full of hot rocks) , with a long low-ish cooking temperature requirement.
posted by reflecked at 2:47 AM on February 6, 2005

Well thanks to advice posted already, I did get up at 5 in the morning to unsoak the sprouts (mental note, next time, start soaking later in the evening). Each seed seems to have a little bump on one side, so I do think they're sprouting.

The recipe indicates that the person who submitted the recipe to the web site altered the cooking time because she is too impatient. (and the recipe is poorly reviewed, and I'll bet that's why), so I'm looking to find out what the more usual time/temperature would be. The googling I've done tends to say "low temp/long time" without specifics. Anyone know?
posted by duck at 8:15 AM on February 6, 2005

The recipe I have from laurel's kitchen - bread book says, cook for 2 1/2 hours at 325F. I've never tried this kind of bread but it may be like yeasted bread, in that you can tap the bottom of the loaf and if you hear a hollow'ish sound it is ready.

If you want I can send you the recipes (one uses yeast) from laurel's kitchen, email is in my profile.
posted by squeak at 8:37 AM on February 6, 2005

I've never baked essene bread myself, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've seen recipes that just call for drying it in the sun on a hot day.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:02 AM on February 6, 2005

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