Friday, January 8, 2010

Ezekiel Bread

I have had a few requests since my teaser for the Ezekiel Bread. I have yet to make another batch of this bread, after my overdone batch a couple of days ago (which made great chicken feed!) I will post the recipe now, and hopefully in the next day or so, I will get around to making it again. When I do, I will get some pictures to add to this post.

Ezekiel Bread (also known as Bible Bread) has come about from the scripture Ezekiel 4:9 "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof." So according to the Bible, this combination sustained Ezekiel for 390 days.

Dairy products, meats and eggs contain all eight of the food-supplied amino acids our bodies need. Most vegetables and grains are "incomplete proteins" (with the exception of soy). Grains such as wheat tend to be low in lysine, while beans and legumes are high in lysine. Beans are low in methionine and cysteine, where grains have a higher content of those. When we eat beans and grains together all of the essential amino acids are provided. By milling your flour at home you can combine beans, grains and legumes to create a bread which is a complete protein.

Food For Life, the company that commercially produces Ezekiel Bread for health food stores, posts the following on their website (here ) "We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this unique bread – from all vegetable sources – naturally balanced in nature."

So take what you will from the above statement. I am not a scientist, so I can't validate their "facts". My family enjoys this bread, and I do believe that combining the grains with the legumes makes for a more complete protein. Whether one can survive on this solely for 390 days, I won't put that to the test! This bread is more of a batter type bread than a dough that will form a ball. You want to mix it in your mixer until it is elastic (kind of stretchy). It will tend to climb your paddle if you mix it at too high of a speed. This recipe does require use of a grain mill that will handle grinding beans. If you don't have a mill, there are a few places online where you can purchase the grains already milled. I would tend to worry about the flours going rancid quickly or not all of the components of the whole grain being included in the milling process. Whole Wheat flour at the store does not include the wheat germ as the oils tend to start degrading after 72 hours. One reader mentioned eating Ezekiel muffins. I had never thought to make this into muffins, but I don't see why you couldn't. In fact, maybe when I make it, I will take one pans worth and try it! I like to make up bags of the grains mix ahead of time. I just measure out the whole grains and beans and store them (1 recipe worth per bag) in gallon size ziplock bags. Then when it comes time to grind, I just have to pour the contents of the bag into my grain mill. If you are concerned about your mill not grinding the beans at the same time as the grains, you can put them in a smaller bag inside the bigger bag. Then you can run the beans through the mill at a larger setting and then decrease the setting size for the remaining grains.

Ezekiel Bread

2 1/2 C (16 oz) Hard Red Wheat
1 1/2 C (10 oz) Spelt
1/2 C (4 oz) Barley
1/4 C (1 3/4 oz) Millet
1/4 C (1 3/4 oz) Lentils
2 T Great Northern beans
2 T Pinto beans
2 T Kidney beans
4 C warm water
1 C honey
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 T active dry yeast
2 tsp salt

Grind grains in a mill. Mix water, honey, oil and yeast in mixing bowl and set aside 5 minutes until frothy. Add salt and all of flour to yeast mixture, mixing until smooth and elastic (about 7 minutes). Pour into 3 greased bread pans. Place in oven on lowest heat (170*) and allow to rise to within 1/2" of tops of pans (15-20 minutes). Once risen (WITHOUT OPENING OVEN DOOR), turn heat up to 350* Bake 45-50 minutes or until nicely browned.

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