A year ago, I lost my sourdough. It died of loneliness and boredom, forgotten in the back of the fridge. I had enjoyed making my own sourdough bread, but it took way too much time, and my PhD is very time-consuming. I searched for an alternative that was at least as healthy. I found something even better… It is difficult for me to choose superlatives to describe this bread. Magical, certainly. Easy, too easy: It takes less than 10 minutes to prep it. Delicious – more subjective, but honest. It is also practical because it does not require kneading. Versatile, because you can change its ingredients according to your mood and what is available in your pantry. No flour, only whole grain, legumes or seeds.
It is also a very healthy bread. Soaking the grain, legumes, etc, in water improves their digestibility and allows eschewing the lengthy sourdough fermentation. For those allergic to gluten, it is perfect. No need for wheat or any glutinous grain to make it rise nicely! This bread is the most wholesome bread I’ve ever had. You can choose its ingredients, you can increase its protein content. For example, quinoa and lentils (respectively 15% and 25% protein on dry matter) work wonderfully. Quinoa and buckwheat contain complete proteins, that is, they have all the essential amino acids. Lentils are used to supplement the proteins of grain, because their deficiencies in certain essential amino acids are compensate one another.
The idea is super simple. Soak some grain, pulses or other seeds, then mix them with a kind of gel obtained by mixing water and psyllium husk. Psyllium is a species of the plantain family, and can be found in health food stores. Psyllium husk is rich in mucilage, a sort of fiber which, in contact with water, becomes a gel which regulate and improve digestion. It’s a bit expensive but we use very little, which makes this recipe quite cheap.
This bread is easy to customize. Add seeds (squash, sunflower, sesame, linen …), grated vegetables, spices, walnuts or almonds. With a little honey or sugar and some fat (olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter…) it turns into something like a brioche. Its texture is moist and slightly elastic. It is delicious when toasted, which makes it crispy on the outside. That’s how I like it the most, topped with avocado and dried chili.
Magic, high-protein bread
Recipe adapted from here
- 375 ml of whole seeds among the following: grain (oat, spelt, rice, wheat, millet, rye…), quinoa, buckwheat, lentils.
(I like a mix of 125 ml buckwheat, 125 ml millet and 125 ml red lentils)
- 4 tbsp psyllium husk
- 125 + 125 ml water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt (opt.)
- 2 handful seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower…)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
12 to 24 hours in advance, soak the grain, seeds, etc, in a large volume of water.
On the same day, preheat the oven to 160°C. Pour the grains into a sieve, rinse and drain.
In a bowl, mix the psyllium husk and half the water (125 ml). Let sit for 10 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients except the vinegar in a food processor. When the batter is homogeneous, add the apple cider vinegar and mix again.
Pour the batter into a greased cake tin and bake. After 30 to 40 minutes of baking, slice the bread lengthwise with a knife. This important step prevents air from accumulating under the crust. Otherwise, the bread becomes hollow with a huge empty space inside. Continue baking for an additional 40 minutes – a total of 80 minutes. Let the bread cool before removing it from the cake tin.