This is a sprouted bread recipe – very old, and said to have been created back in the biblical days. Also, this recipe literally, takes days to make. Your efforts and time will be well rewarded with a couple of the most singular breads-solid, sweet, and moist. Wheat berries are available from your local natural foods store. Traditionally, Essene bread was probably baked on hot rocks under scorching sunlight, but where I and most of us live, this is not possible. Baking at the oven temperatures which I suggest might destroy the sprout enzymes, but monitoring baking loaves for much longer than 2 hours is too long for me. Guaranteeing the preservation of the enzymes might require baking at a very low temperature for perhaps 4 hours. If you have the stamina, then go for it.
- 3 cups wheat berries
- 3 cups water to cover
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
Beginning several days before you hope to be eating this bread, rinse the wheat berries in cool water, drain and submerge the berries with cool water in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate or cloth, and allow the berries to soak at normal room temperature overnight or for about 12 hours. The berries will soak up a considerable amount of water. Drain the berries in a colander, cover the colander with a plate to prevent the berries from drying out, and set it in a place away from light and where the sun won’t shine on it. Rinse the berries about 3 times a day, and they will soon begin to sprout. In a couple of days the sprouts will reach their optimum length of about l/4 inch. Growth depends on moisture and temperature so be patient.
Grind in a food mill or in a food processor.
After grinding, dump the mushed up grain onto a clean work surface. Squeeze and knead the grain for about 10 minutes, and then form up 2 small round, hearth-style loaves with your hands. Sprinkle an insulated cookie sheet with a little bran or cornmeal, and put the loaves on it.
Preheating the oven is not necessary. Cover the loaves with cloches, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and bake for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes more. Allow the breads to cool thoroughly on cooling racks for several hours, and then, because of the high moisture content, store in the refrigerator. For best results, slice this bread thinly, or break with hands
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Serving: 12 / Yield: 2 small loaves