I’m not gluten intolerant but when I came across a recipe for a “Life-Changing Bread”, I’ll have to say that I was intrigued. I had my doubts that any one food can change your life, but this bread has come pretty close to doing just that. It would probably be more accurate to say that it’s become part of my life in that Charlie and I eat it for lunch practically everyday and I’ve started baking a loaf once a week or so. It contains some of the same ingredients as my homemade granola and I’ve found making them at the same time saves me effort. I guess that’s part of what it’s all about. Cooking at home instead of buying processed food takes some effort, there’s no way around that, but the benefits are great and besides, this bread is very low on the effort scale and very high on the healthy scale. While I haven’t found a way to incorporate local ingredients (you can substitute hazelnuts for the almonds) into the recipe, you can put any number of local treats on top. I’ve had lots requests from friends for the recipe, I thought it was time to share it with you.
I have to give full credit for this life-changing bread recipe to Sarah Britton at My New Roots, one of my favorite healthy eating blogs. I highly recommend checking out her post on this bread especially if you have questions about making substitutions or want to know more about the benefits of psyllium seed husks. I can tell you right now that psyllium seed husks are the ingredient that makes it possible to leave out the flour in this bread. It absorbs the water and binds all the other ingredients together. I’ve used Sarah’s recipe but changed it slightly to suit my needs.
Life-Changing Bread Recipe
Ingredients: 1 cup sunflower seeds/ 1/2 cup whole flax seeds, I prefer golden flax/ 1/2 cup chopped almonds/ 1 1/2 cups rolled oats/ 2T chia seeds/ 4T psyllium seed husks/ 1t fine grain sea salt/ 1T maple syrup/ 3T unsalted melted butter, plus a little extra to butter your pan/ 1 1/2 cups water.
Directions: Butter a loaf pan (the original recipe uses a silicon loaf pan, so skip the butter if you have one)/ Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well/ Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt the butter, remove from the heat, add the maple syrup and water/ Add the wet ingredients together with the dry and mix well/ Put into your loaf pan and smooth the top with the back of spoon/ Let it sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or even overnight (I’ve tried all three with good success).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees/ Place loaf pan on middle rack and bake for 20 minutes/ Remove loaf pan from oven and turn it upside-down on a baking rack/ Return to the oven (on top of the rack) and bake for 35 minutes longer to cook the underside/ Cool bread completely before slicing. It smells amazing so this is the hardest part.
I keep mine in a sealed container in the fridge and slice it off as I need it. One loaf lasts about a week for the two of us. Charlie takes a couple of slices to work slathered with butter, of course. I prefer it toasted but since it can crumble, I like to stick it under the broiler until it’s brown and toasty. The lone tablespoon of maple syrup and the nature sweetness of the nuts and seeds makes it plenty sweet for me but if you’re so inclined, I’m certain it would be delicious with homemade jam. I always tend toward the savory side so here’s my new favorite lunch — toasted bread with butter and lots of chopped herbs straight from the garden. Another favorite is butter, sliced farmers market radishes and a bit of sea salt.
If you’re in the mood to make some changes in your life, trying something new, even bread, is a great place to start. I can feel my life is changing already.