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Ezekiel bread: A Little Bit of Heaven on Earth
Ezekiel Bread Recipe (yields 2 loaves) is made from a combination of hard red wheat, spelt, hulled barley, millet, green lentils, great northern beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. It is based on the recipe in the biblical passage Ezekiel 4:9. Ezekiel bread is a batter type of bread and will not form a smooth ball.
Grains/Beans you will need are as follows:
- 2-1/2 cups regular hard red wheat
- 1-1/2 cups organic spelt
- 1/2 cup hulled barley
- 1/4 cup hulled millet
- 1/4 cup green lentils
- 2 Tbs. great northern beans
- 2 Tbs. red kidney beans
- 2 Tbs. pinto beans
- Combine all of the grains/beans and mill in your Nutrimill (a brand of grain mill- ). buy it here
- Measure into your large bowl or mixer:
4 cups warm water
1 cup honey (I use Agave instead)
1/2 cup oil (the healthiest oils to use are olive oil or coconut oil)
3. Add to liquids:
Flour you made above
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs yeast
4. Stir or knead until well kneaded (about 10 minutes). This is a batter type of bread and will not form a smooth ball.
5. Pour dough into pans sprayed with Vegalene (or you can butter the pans, use olive oil, or you may not need any oil-depending on your pans). You may use 2 large loaf pans, 2 9X13 brownie pans, muffin tins, or any combination you choose.
6. Let rise for an hour or until dough is near the top of the pan.
* Do not let it rise too much (more than an inch below the top of the pan) or else it will overflow while baking and be a huge mess.
7. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes for loaf pans, 35-40 minutes for brownie pans, or 20-25 minutes for muffins.
* Cook until golden brown. You may have to adjust the cooking time based on the size of the pan, how much dough is in the pan, your oven, etc.
Why I Started Making Ezekiel Bread
I used to buy the Ezekiel bread in the grocery store because I had difficulty eating breads while pregnant and breastfeeding (the bread slowed my system down too much and caused problems with constipation). The store-bought Ezekiel bread is very dry and is rather like eating cardboard. I ate it out of necessity and didn't eat much of it at all. But, when I wanted a piece of bread, I'd use it.
My husband was wanting to go on a low-carb diet and I tried to get him to eat the Ezekiel bread, but he put his foot down because he said it was like eating cardboard. Talking to a dear friend of mine who makes her own bread, I found out that I could make my own Ezekiel bread. In fact, I was told that homemade Ezekiel bread is moist like cake, sweet, and just yummy, while also counting as a complete protein due to the mixture of grains and beans in the bread.
Of course, the ingredients for the bread are not normal bread-baking ingredients. I found a local co-op that sells the fresh grains and beans and also sells the grain mills to make the flour from the grains. Looking at the cost of buying a grain mill was a little overwhelming at first. But, when calculating the cost of buying the Ezekiel bread ($4.99 a loaf) that really didn't taste very good, I decided that it would be money well-spent.
Learning by Doing
As any baker knows, the first experience baking something new always takes longer that you think it will and usually has some kinks to work out. Even though I know this, I didn't choose wisely when attempting it for the first time.
At the time, my little girl was 2 1/2 and loved to "help" me in the kitchen. It was about thirty minutes before I would start making dinner, and I foolishly thought that would be long enough for me to get the dough ready and let it rise while I cooked and then while we ate.
For my first time making it, I chose to use coconut oil, which is also why it took so long. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature. So, I had to figure out how to measure out 1/2 cup of a solid. I finally devised a method.
I took an empty glass jar I had and figured out how much 1/2 cup would be and marked the jar with a Sharpie. Then, I took a bowl with hot water and set the jar inside of the bowl. I used a spoon to put coconut oil into the jar and had to wait and see if I needed more. I had to add more oil two or three times until I finally had 1/2 cup.
I also had to warm 4 cups of water and by the time my oil was ready, my water was too hot and was no longer 4 cups. So, I had to remeasure the water and add some more while also cooling it.
After these steps were complete, the rest of it was smooth sailing (or so I thought). I made the flour in the grain mill and put it in the blender with the other ingredients. I then blended for not quite ten minutes. I stopped it before the ten minute mark because it was rising as it was mixing and was going to overflow if I didn't stop it.
I then divided it into 2 pans and it was time to let the dough rise for an hour or so. Since it was wintertime and was also an overcast day, I had to figure out how to provide a warm place for the dough to rise. I ended up preheating the oven and cracking the oven door and setting the bread pans by the edge of the stovetop.
By this time, dinner was ready (I'd been making dinner while doing the other steps). I again foolishly thought that we were smooth sailing and sat down to eat dinner with my daughter. I had the timer set for an hour and ate myself and was chatting with my little girl and helping her eat (those with little ones know that dinner time can involve much coaxing) with my back to the rising bread.
At one point, I turned around to see what time it was as bedtime for my daughter was quickly approaching. At that point, I saw that my bread tins were overflowing. Immediately, I jumped up and decided to take the spillage and put it into muffin tins. Before thinking this through, I'd already grabbed the part that was spilling over into my hands. I then had to get out the muffin tin, pump the olive oil mister, and spray the tins before I could even start filling them. I managed to do all this with sticky batter in my hands and managed not to make too much of a mess in the process.
Nonetheless, the spillage made some delicious muffins. In fact, it turns out that my husband likes the muffin format the best due to the fact that they seem to be even more moist and there's no work involved in picking up a muffin compared to slicing a piece of bread.
Despite the spillage, the bread loaves turned out wonderfully. They are the best when they are fresh out of the oven. They are warm and moist and sweet, almost like a cake- almost.
For anyone who has made bread, this bread is much easier in my opinion than regular breads. It doesn't take as long to make and has the added benefit of counting as a complete protein, making it healthier for you. Ezekiel bread is good for anyone watching their weight, for diabetics, for someone looking for a way to add more protein without eating meat, or someone who just wants to try something different for a change.
Buy your grain mill here and save!
For those who want to attempt their hand at making this bread, I'm going to offer up some tips that may help. Do not attempt to make this bread for the first time while also making dinner. You will most certainly wish you hadn't. You may not want to use coconut oil when you make it the first time given that it's more difficult than olive oil. Once the bread is taken out of the oven, let it cool a little before taking it out of the pans. Then, make sure the bread has cooled completely before putting it into plastic storage bags.
It is only good for a couple of days on the counter. After that, you want to freeze or refridgerate the remaining amount. I've found that when you go from the counter directly to the fridge, the bread gets very dry and crumbly. So, I will put it into the freezer and then into the fridge instead. I'd love to find a way around this quirk, but haven't found anyone who makes this bread to be able to brainstorm some solutions with them.
I look forward to hearing about other people's experiences with making Ezekiel bread. Happy baking!