Ezekiel bread

Have you heard of Ezekiel bread?

I haven’t until a friend asked me to take a look at this recipe . This bread is very different from the ones I have been baking because it uses a lot of grains instead of flour. In short,

Ezekiel bread is a type of sprouted grain bread that is prepared using traditional methods of soaking, sprouting and baking that have been in existence for thousands of years. Ezekiel bread is made using sprouted whole grains, legumes and sometimes seeds. It contains no sugar, no preservatives and no artificial ingredients, unlike most other commercial breads.

Compared to breads that don’t contain sprouted grains, Ezekiel bread has more protein, fiber, and absorbable vitamins and minerals. It also contains less harmful antinutrients, like phytic acid, and is even less concentrated with gluten.

[Source]

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I was more curious than anything when I decided to bake this bread. I mean, look at all these ingredients involved! All good stuff but to turn them into a bread like the picture on that page?

I followed the recipe to a tee.

Ingredients:
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats ( contains far less gluten than bread)
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Once you have the ingredients ready, it’s pretty much an easy job of adding and mixing them.

Directions:

:: In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.

:: Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.

Before and after baking

:: Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).

:: Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!IMG_4915

This is one slice of the loaf and I was wondering what I did wrongly because it doesn’t look like the one that is shown in the page. I must have misunderstood the ingredients! Something must have gone wrong!

And then I realised that it was not. I went to the original post and saw the picture. Same as mine! It’s a beautiful write-up. Do take some time to read it. 😉

So I made myself a hearty breakfast this morning and resolved to eat well from now on and…read a content more carefully. Heh…

 

 

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(Gluten-free) Lavender shortbreads

For a while now, I have been reading up on gluten-free recipes and how the different ingredients work together when it comes to baking. This came about when a friend challenged me to bake a gluten-free cake for her since she is gluten intolerant.

I must say it isn’t easy for me to comprehend the endless combination of different flours, some of which are not used in my kitchen. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut explanation of the types of flour to use when and in what quantities, unlike the more conventional types of baking recipes that I’m used to. Many gluten-free recipes and books put me off until I came across this particular one – The Gluten-free Baker by Hannah Miles. The pictures are attractive enough and the recipes are straight-forward. This is exactly what I need to start my gluten-free baking adventure.

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I decided to try something simple to minimise failure. Cookies, aren’t they simple enough? We all started off with cookies, didn’t we? So I chose the lavender shortbreads since I have a good supply of culinary lavender in my pantry. Don’t waste!

For gluten-free baking flour, I choose to work with Bob’s Red Mill’s all-purpose baking flour. Granted that you can mix certain types of flours (such as tapioca flour, potato and rice flour) to make your own gluten-free flour but they are too complicated for me at the moment so I choose the ready-combined ones. In my recent baking, I have also switched to using organic raw sugar as compared to caster sugar whenever possible. The following is the adapted recipe.

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Ingredients

115g unsalted butter, softened
50g organic raw sugar
85g gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
2 teaspoons culinary lavender, finely ground
85g ground almond
a little milk, if required

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together until light and creamy. Sift in the flour and add the lavender and ground almond. Bring together to a dough with your hands. If the mixture is too dry, add a little milk t moisten it ( I didn’t have to do that).

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3. Transfer the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using the parchment paper, roll the dough into a long sausage shape with about 4cm diameter. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. At times, I prefer to use the freezer.

image 4. Once the dough is firmed up, cut into 1-cm thick slices and arranged on the prepared baking sheet, each at a small distance apart (they will enlarge when they are being baked). Press the back of a fork down into each shortbread to make ridges (for a nicer look but I forgot to do that!)

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet before serving.

:: These shortbreads will keep up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container.

I was pleasantly surprised at how tasteful the shortbreads are. The cookies truly smell delicious as you remove them from the oven. If you are into gluten-free baking, this is one recipe you might want to try!

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