Sunday, October 27, 2013

Revolutionary bread

Today's recipe is one of my favorite recipes ever, for three reasons.  It is (i) sooo simple, (ii) sooo delicious and (iii) sooo healthy!  


It's really like magic -- you throw a few ingredients together, wave your magic wand around (aka stir a bit with a spoon) and there is your bread.  No machines or complicated equipment needed, no waiting for the yeast or sourdough levain to kick in, no tricky procedures.  The preparation takes no more than 7 minutes (basically spent on weighing ingredients) and sure is no rocket science: it's pretty much foolproof.

For me the discovery of the recipe was really revolutionary!  The super busy person I am - I never thought I would have the time to bake my own bread.  I thought only retired or unemployed people (or those with a non-demanding job) would have the time to do it.  Luckily, thanks to this recipe, busy lawyers no longer have to feel excluded from the elite Group of Non-Professional Bread Bakers :)


This bread is insanely delicious!!!  You can basically eat it on its own, like cake.  But it also goes well with savory and sweet toppings -- cheese, meats, pesto, hummus, honey, jam...  It is crunchy on the outside, and insanely moist within.  It practically doesn't get stale and tastes just as good on the next days (though if someone else is "helping" you eat it, it never lasts more than a day).  The loaf is very small, but every bite is filling.  You can also freeze the bread, which is very practical if you want a loaf on storage (good tip: slice it before freezing and defrost a slice in a toaster: phenomenal!).

I stopped eating bread almost entirely before I discovered this recipe.  I was used to dense and moist sourdough bread in my native Poland (klick for example 1 and example 2 - Poland truly has the most amazing bread!), and was very disappointed by the fluffy bread in Western Europe.  Unless I would go to a pricy specialized bakery every day, I could not get anything decent.  Baking my own, Polish-style bread would take too much time, so I simply stopped eating bread.  But with this recipe, I can again enjoy excellent bread on a regular basis.

The only problem is a mysterious phenomenon occurring whenever you make the bread - the loaf disappears extremely fast.  So fast that you need to bake yet another loaf before you know it...


Delicious things are rarely really good for you -- life just isn't that good.  But this bread is one of the few exceptions.  All ingredients are very healthy and nutritious; it's also gluten-free (if you use buckwheat flakes instead of oatmeal).  The bread is packed with fiber and nutrients, and has a lot of seeds and nuts that contain those really good fats.  On top, the psyllium seeds on their own have medicinal properties for the colon, so eating the bread is almost like taking food supplements ;-)  I am sort of a healthy food freak (although you probably can't tell by the amount of dessert recipes on the blog).  For me there is an added pleasure to eating food when I know it is actually good for me.  I love eating healthy food, knowing I'm taking care of my body and not just dumping junk in it. 

Some ingredients may sound a bit exotic, but trust me: you can easily get them in health food stores off- or online.  I was hesitant at first, but had a look around and it turns out you can buy this stuff.  Sometimes we just don't pay attention to what is available, because we never use these ingredients.   

So there you go: 3 reasons for baking this bread.  Now there is nothing left for you to do, but to try this recipe out!

1 small loaf
  • 135g sunflower seeds
  • 90g flax seeds
  • 65g hazelnuts or almonds
  • 145g buckwheat flakes or rolled oats 
  • 4 tbsp psyllium seeds or psyllium seed husks or ground flax seeds (or 3 tbsp psyllium husk powder)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil or ghee (or melted butter)
  • 350ml water

  • Combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. In another container, whisk together the wet ingredients (honey, water, coconut oil/ghee).  Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix very well (you can add one or two teaspoons of water if the dough seems to dry). Line the smallest bread pan you have with parchment paper and put the mixture in it (it will not grow).  Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.  Cover this with some cling film, and let sit out on the counter for at least 2h, maximum 24h.
  • Preheat the oven 175°C.
  • Place the bread pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, flip it upside down directly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and bake for another 30-40 minutes (watch out - it is hot!). The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.  
  • Let it cool completely before slicing!

*The recipe comes from the blog My New Roots.

Bon appetit!
Above: bread + home-made baked lentil, soy & mushroom pâté.

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