Makes 1 loaf, about 12 slices / This is an upgraded, 21st-century version of Essene bread, a delicious, chewy, nutty whole-grain bread. Sliced ahead of time, it packs well and makes good fuel for hiking and traveling when paired with a sweet spread, such as almond or apple butter. It also can be frozen for up to a month.
2 cups spelt berries
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup grated carrot
1. Place spelt, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds in large jar, cover with plenty of water, and soak overnight. In the morning, cover jar with a double layer of cheesecloth and secure well with a heavy-duty rubber band. Drain soaking water. Rinse grain-seed mixture and drain thoroughly. (It may take some doing to get all the water out because of the flax, which makes it thick and slimy, but try to get it well drained.) Lay jar on its side, out of direct sun. In the evening, repeat rinsing procedure and once again lay jar on its side.
2. The following morning, preheat oven to lowest possible setting (about 200˚). Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and very lightly coat with olive oil. Put raisins in a bowl, cover with warm water and let soak until soft and plump.
3. Working in small batches, grind grain-seed mixture and salt in a food processor to form a dense, moist mass (transfer processed batches to a bowl). Drain raisins, squeezing out excess water. Stir raisins and grated carrot into mixture. Form a rectangular loaf, about 1 1/2 inches thick, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, rotating halfway through. Near end of estimated baking time, press down gently on bread to check for doneness; it should be firm but not hard. If it seems soft, return to oven to bake a bit longer.
4. When bread is done, remove from oven. It will be quite crumbly inside, so cool completely before attempting to cut it. Slice gently with a serrated knife. Wrap unused portion tightly and store in refrigerator, where it will keep for up to one week.
PER SERVING (1 slice): 181 cal, 28% fat cal, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 6g protein, 30g carb, 6g fiber, 104mg sodium
As a former personal chef, Alan Roettinger’s signature achievement has been inventing dishes that are both healthy and palate thrilling. His new book is Omega-3 Cuisine (Book Publishing, 2008).