Sunday, March 23, 2014

Life Changing Bread with Changes

UPDATE: My nut and seed bread is out of the oven and has cooled. I was curious to see how much it weighed and it was a hefty 2 pounds. 

My second batch of Life Changing Bread is in the oven. The photo above is uncooked.
Here is the recipe again with my own changes.

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup sunflower seeds / 135g
1/2 cup flax seeds / 90g
1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds / 65g -- I used hazelnuts in my first batch and almonds in the second.
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats / 145g
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add 1/2 tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee (I used coconut oil and melted it slowly in the microwave ten seconds at a time in a glass container...the extra I poured back into the jar.)
1-1/2 cups water / 350ml

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). I didn't need to add any extra water. Line a metal loaf pan with parchment paper and spoon the "dough" packing it down gradually with the back of a metal spatula. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon or spatula and make sure it's packed down solid. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. I put my loaf pan in a bread wrapper and left it out all night. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the parchment away from it it. I didn't have to do that....mine was packed down rock solid. This loaf is very heavy.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!
My first loaf lasted for 9 days. I stored it in the refrigerator in a used bread wrapper. I cut my slices very thinly using a serrated bread knife. I "toasted" my slices in a panini press. You can also "toast it" on top of the stove in a cast iron frying pan.

After the first 20 minutes of baking, I do the second step this way so there won't be seeds falling to the bottom of my oven. I invert the loaf onto a cooling rack and put it in on a pan instead of putting the loaf directly on my oven rack. 

It is really quite magical in that it has kept me from getting hungry at all. I am normally a "grazer" who opens the refrigerator every time I pass by to see what I can munch on. That bad habit has stopped completely since I ate my first two slices a week ago on Thursday. I have oatmeal and a piece of fruit every morning for breakfast. Two slices of Life Changing Bread with my homemade hummus and avocado for lunch, and a normal healthy dinner. I made Brunswick Stew yesterday and that's what I'll be having tonight and every other night until it's gone. I know you aren't supposed to eat the same thing every day but I always do when I make a big batch of something. Here's to being healthy inside and out, one day at a time. Enjoy your Sunday. xo
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Mama Pea said...

I just finally picked up the psyllium seed husks this week so will be making the bread soon. I'll substitute something for the flax seeds as there has been more and more bad press coming out about the undesirability of we humans ingesting it. I know, I know, after it's been touted as being so very good for us . . . how do we keep up? I worked with a very knowledgeable holistic nutritionist a few years ago, and she advised against using any flax products as she believed it formed a shellac type coating on our arteries. Since them we've stopped using any flax products. It's hard to know what is good and what is bad, isn't it?

Content in a Cottage said...

MamaPea....Thanks. Just use sesame seeds instead. I might do the same thing. You are so day something is good for us and the next day it is poisioning us. VERY hard to keep up.
xo, Rosemary

Gail, in northern California said...

I think I just might try making a batch of this Life-Changing Bread.

Regarding making a big batch of something, living alone as we do, we would be foolish not to. Why would you prepare something different every night when you're perfectly happy with leftovers? Personally, I think soups, beans...even spaghetti taste better reheated. Their flavors have melded together. And you're not reheating the entire pot, just what you think will be a satisfying serving-for-one. Plus, you're saving energy....your own or electricity or gas. If you've worked outside all afternoon, how satisfying it is to come in, kick off your shoes and relax while dinner heats on the stove.

tammy j said...

i take a multivitamin. i know my eating habits are weird.
but i enjoy eating the same thing for many meals. especially if it's something i really like.
right now i'm working on a big pot of homemade soup!
i absolutely love your table.
it's just beautiful.

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I will try it ASAP. Since I went gluten free and dairy free my carbs have mostly been tortilla chips. This looks light years better!

Anonymous said...

I was alarmed to read that flax seed is bad for you, in another reader's comment. I did a little poking around on different websites, and failed to find anything alarming. I'm not ready to give up on this seed just yet.

Content in a Cottage said...

Anon...You can always switch to the golden flax seed because they don't have that dark brown shiny outside coating and they are supposed to be much more nutritious. That's what I am going to do. They are harder to find.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

Gail and Tammy....I like leftovers and the convenience of them. I honestly never learned to cook small portions. I always cook for an army so I will have lots of leftovers.
xo, Rosemary

Vickie H. said...

Rosemary, as a longtime follower of your blog and the exploits of Webster and Tabitha, I confess to being completely intrigued by the Life-Changing Bread recipe. My husband and I have been discussing it for weeks now and I finally went to Whole Foods and bought the ingredients I needed to put it together. We did use Golden Flax and the light colored chia seeds, along with slivered almonds. The whole thing came together easy peasy. It is bland, but tasty: which I know makes little sense! We like it but think we are going to branch out and add Craisins or golden raisins into the next batch for a little more sweetness. Hubby's opinion is that the sunflower seeds overwhelm the loaf and that is virtually all he tastes. I agree...neither of us thinks that is a bad thing...just weren't expecting it. We do like it toasted and we slathered on a bit of seedless raspberry jam and THAT was REALLY GOOD! Thank you for sharing all your great tips (cooking the loaf on the rack over the pan to keep seeds from falling to the bottom of the oven is genius!). They made it even easier to whip this up. We may try it with sesame seeds too. Our next endeavor is to cook our own garbanzo/chic peas and then make our own hummus, which we are eager to try on this fabulous little bread! And leftovers rock at our house as well! Bless you and Webster & Tabitha! Your blog is such a delight!

Content in a Cottage said...

Vickie...You can add dried blueberries or dried cherries too. Also dried figs and dates. I agree with your husband that the sunflower seeds overwhelm the bread. I want to use less and add pumpkin seeds too. You can switch things around all you want. I've never seen light chia seeds. I think pecans would be great in this bread too. I don't want mine sweet because I mainly eat it with avocado and hummus. I'm so glad you made it and want to bake another loaf. Enjoy.
xo, Rosemary
PS...I did have a piece with fig spread and it was delicious.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the purpose of the psyllium husk? I have heard it can cause an allergic response in many, so I would rather not take a chance on using it right now (especially during the height of allergy season!) I do believe they are usually used for GI health. Any suggestions for a replacement, anyone? Also...I have heard for years that the beneficial properties of flax seeds are 1) lost when heated; 2) not available to us nutritionally, unless the seeds are ground. I know --I see them frequently in commercial breads and such, but apparently our body can not use the beneficial oils unless they are ground up to break the tough outer seed shell. Did someone suggest a replacement for the flax, also?? Must read through the wonderful comments again. Thanks for sharing this conversation-provoking bread recipe!!

Anonymous said...

Hi again! I just did some quick research...and it seems as if ground flax seeds are best and baking IS okay! So...Mayo Clinic recommends baking with ground flax seeds. I think that is what I will do..... Cant wait to try it. Thanks again!

Content in a Cottage said...

Anon...Yes, ground flax seeds are good. It's best to grind your own instead of buying the bags already ground. You can use a coffee grinder. I read that the bags of already ground flaxseed meal lose nutrition quickly. Golden flaxseed are better than the regular brown ones. They have higher nutritional properties. If you use ground flaxseeds, you will need to add more water to the mix according to the original recipe.
Good luck xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

Anon...The psyllium husks act as the binding agent to hold the mix together. Flour does this in regular bread. Psyllium is the main ingredient in Metamucil which many people take daily for regularity because they don't eat enough fiber. Four (4) tablespoons spread out in the whole loaf isn't much in one serving. If you are concerned, buy some and take a tablespoon in a glass of water and drink it.
I have to say I am feeling a lot better since I stopped eating regular bread. The life changing bread is gluten free.
The two hour wait after mixing allows the husks to absorb the 1-1/2 cups of water. I always let my mix sit for at least 4 hours or even overnight before baking.
You can buy psyllium husk or psyllium powder. It's very reasonably priced, even at Whole Foods. If you use the powder, you might need to increase the water slightly.
Good luck,

Ms Converset said...

I make this bread about every two weeks. I keep the slices in the freezer and pack a slice every day for part of my then, it's thawed. I've also experimented addeing cinnamon...delish!! If you're really wanting a treat, add a few sugar free chocolate chips. Love this 'bread'!