How to Make Sprouted Grain Bread: The Essene Whole Grain Bread Recipe

Here's how to sprout whole-grain berries for use as an ingredient in sprouted-grain bread.

| January/February 1984

  • 085-098-01-Essene-bread
    Essene sprouted grain bread is a simple and nutritious whole grain bread. Here's the ancient Essene bread recipe. 
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 085-098-01-Essene-bread

Of all the known breads, the simplest and possibly the most nutritious is Essene whole grain bread. An ancient recipe for this unusual loaf appears in the first century Aramaic manuscript entitled The Essene Gospel of Peace (from which the bread derives its name). It dates back to prehistoric days when wafers made from a grain and water paste were cooked on sun-heated stones.

There's not much difference between the baking technique used by the monastic brotherhood 2,000 years ago and our modern method. Both result in a round, flattened loaf — rather like a sweet, moist dessert bread or cake — containing all of the virtues of unadulterated sprouted grain, its sole ingredient. The recipe offered below is adapted from Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers' Book, a compilation of bakers' recipes inspired by the Cooperative Whole Grain Educational Association Conference of 1980.

Sprouted Wheat Grains 

To sprout your grain, you'll need a wide-mouthed glass jar (or a large plastic tub or soup pot) that has a screw-on lid with holes punched in it or a piece of fine screening, cheesecloth, or netting secured to the top with a strong rubber band. A meat grinder (or a food processor or hand-cranked grain mill), a cookie sheet, and an oven will take care of the rest.

Hard red winter wheat is a good choice for sprouting. Just be sure to buy uncooked, unsprayed, whole grain berries. Two cups of wheat yields about four cups of dough — enough for one loaf — so purchase accordingly.



From Whole Wheat Berries to Fresh Baked Bread: The Essene Bread Recipe

Sprouting Wheat Grains for Sprouted Flour

Begin by measuring the desired amount of whole wheat berries into the sprouting jar. Soak the berries overnight, using twice their volume of water. The next morning, drain off the liquid (which is rich in nutrients and can be added to soups, drinks, etc.), then set the jar in a dark place and rinse the berries with cool water at least twice a day. Drain the jar thoroughly after each rinsing, and shake it occasionally to prevent matting and spoilage.

When the sprout tails are about twice as long as the berries and have a sweet taste (try them!), they're ready to use. This takes three or four days, depending on the temperature, humidity, and so on. Skip the last rinse before grinding so that the berries won't be too moist to use.

Marie
3/9/2018 3:46:02 PM

I need to make a gluten free sprouted bread. I had 4 grains and I soaked them in warm water separately for 36 hours. I rinsed them and them put them in my Vita-mix along with the other ingredients. I then baked it for 1 hour and when I tested it, the bread had some dough on it I baked it for 30 min tested and it still was wet. I baked it longer and still the same. Can anyone please tell me what I am doing wrong? I really do not like the gluten free sprouted bread on the market and would like to make my own.


Marie
3/9/2018 3:45:55 PM

I need to make a gluten free sprouted bread. I had 4 grains and I soaked them in warm water separately for 36 hours. I rinsed them and them put them in my Vita-mix along with the other ingredients. I then baked it for 1 hour and when I tested it, the bread had some dough on it I baked it for 30 min tested and it still was wet. I baked it longer and still the same. Can anyone please tell me what I am doing wrong? I really do not like the gluten free sprouted bread on the market and would like to make my own.


Jacqui Sinek
10/17/2012 11:51:34 AM

I have a wheat intolerance. I've heard that I would be able to eat sprouted wheat bread with no side effects. Is this correct ?







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