Sunday, July 24, 2011

Let the Angels of God Prepare your Bread!

There is a surreal quality to this humble loaf. Hands down my favorite bread. So simple with only two ingredients, wheat berries and salt, no electricity and no need to grind your wheat. When I eat it I feel so amazed, I can hardly believe it's really bread.

Years ago, when I first made this bread, I used a food mill to process the sprouted wheat by hand. Now I use my food processor and it is much easier and faster! Also, even though I bake this in my crock pot I have had good results using a simple home spun solar oven, food dehydrator or the oven with a pilot light.

Essene bread originates with the Essene Monks of 2nd century BC. The technique is found in  The Essene Gospel of Peace,
Let the angels of God prepare your bread.
Moisten your wheat, that the angels of water may enter it.
Then set it in the air, that the angel of air may embrace it.
And leave it from morning to evening beneath the sun, that the angel of sunshine may descend upon it.
And the blessings of the three angels will soon make the germ of life to sprout in your wheat.
Then crush your grain, and make thin wafers, as did your forefathers when they departed out of Egypt, the house of bondage.
Put them back again beneath the sun from its appearing, and when it is risen to its highest in the heavens, turn them over on the other side that they may be embraced there also by the angel of sunshine, and leave them there until the sun sets.
For the angels of water, and air and of sunshine fed and ripened the wheat in the field, and they likewise must prepare also your bread.
And the same sun which, with the fire of life, made the wheat to grow and ripen, must cook your bread with the same fire. For the fire of the sun gives life to the wheat, to the bread, and to the body. But the fire of death kills the wheat, the bread, and the body.
And the living angels of the living God serve only living men. For God is the God of the living, and not the God of the dead.

Over the years this bread has somehow become confused with the formula from Ezekiel 4:9 in the Bible. Ezekiel bread is a nutrient dense combination of legumes and grains, however there is no mention of sprouting. The instructions state,
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof; Ezekiel 4:9

Essene Bread
3 cups wheat berries, or grains of your choice
1 tea sea salt

Soak wheat berries for 8 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain the berries 2-3 times a day for 32 hours or until the wheat berries have sprouted ¼ inch tails. Do not rinse the sprouts the morning you plan to make the bread or the sprouts will be too wet.

 Sprouted Wheat

Place the sprouted wheat berries into your food processor with the S blade in place and mix until the berries resemble a smooth bread dough that forms a ball around the blade.

 Almost there


Shape loaves

Remove the dough from the food processor. Shape the dough into 2 small hearth loaves. Place the loaves into the crock pot and cook on the lowest setting for 6-8 hours. If you keep the heat under 115F you will maintain the integrity of the enzymes in the sprouts and the bread would be considered a raw-living food.
During the sprouting process, starches convert to sugars. This gives the finished bread a rustic, dark brown color. The top crust may crack and will be quite thick but the inside will be moist, dense and somewhat sweet. Allow it to cool, then slice and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

There are many ways to vary this bread. Try adding dried fruit, nuts, seeds or spices. Or, play with the shape. Try bagels, flat bread and pretzels! There are also hybrid versions of this bread which incorporate flour with yeast or sourdough starter.

I hope you will add this wonderful bread into your repertoire. It is simple to make, delicious, high in protein, and extra nutritious because of the sprouted wheat. 


Paula said...

Wonderful! Thanks for such a treat!

The Zany Housewife said...

Curiouser and curiouser...

Willow said...

OK...where do you find wheat berries?

Christy said...

I put up a link for wheat berries for you but check your grocery store, they might have some by the fancier bread flours.