Making bread from wheat berries is the most pioneer thing I have ever done. It is unimaginably satisfying to plunge your hands into a bowl of the “whole” of whole wheat. I feel like I have been making this bread for a long time. And I have. I soaked the wheat berries for three days.
I told Mom on day one that I bought wheat berries to make bread with and she says, “I hope you plan to soak them—otherwise, you’ll give yourself a nice bowel obstruction.”
So I have attended to thoroughly soaking the berries. And behold, a countertop miracle: the berries sprout before your eyes! Though you cannot tell by this photograph, our camera is terrible. Trust me, it looks like a piece of granola is sticking its tongue out at you. And the white tongue is incredibly sticky, like glue (snazzy evolutionary feature).
Whole grain pulverized and baked with dry fruit, I’m just going to call these Bowel Biscuits.
Hunza Sprouted Wheat Bread (or Bowel Biscuits)
Flatbreads and Flavours
makes 12 7-inch “rounds”
6 cups hard wheat berries
Spring water for soaking
1.5 cups unsulfured dried apricots
1 tbsp salt
In a large bowl soak the berries for 18 hours, leave room for the berries
Then drain and rinse the berries with luke warm water. Set the berries
back on the counter to sprout and cover with a towel and/or lid.
Every 12 hours drain and rinse the berries until they have
sprouted. Change water more often and watch them carefully. When the
rootlets are 1/3 the length of the berries, rinse for the last time and lay
them out on a large towel to dry. I find a sheet over a large bath towel
works good and is easier to pick the berries back up off of. You want them
fairly dry or your dough will be very sticky and hard to work with.
Using your food processor, add to it, 2 cups of the berries, 1/4 cup of
apricots and 1/2 tsp of salt. Run until it forms a ball. Empty onto a work
surface and process the rest in the same manner.
Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes then let it rest for at least an hour.
[Can go into the fridge for up to 48 hours at this point]
Preheat oven to 325F and oil 2 – 10″ x 14″ baking sheets.
Divide the dough into 3 and set 2 aside. Divide again into 4 pieces and
pat into rounds, roll out to be about 7″ in diameter. Put on baking
sheets, cover and let rest 20 minutes. Then bake for 25 minutes, prepare
the next set while the first one are in the oven. Cool on a rack.
Serve warm or cold.
The Hunza people of Northern Pakistan are rumored to have inordinately long lives. Many claim to be centenarians. They work physically hard as a rule and eat mostly wheat berries, apricots, almonds and fresh yogurt. I’m not sure I believe all the propaganda, such as, the Hunza people have no degenerative disease, no cancer, no coronary heart disease, etc. But I don’t discount that fiber, fruit, and exercise are good for health. Also, their water is natural alkaline glacial water, with strange properties of surface tension and “active hydrogen” which I never heard of in biochemistry class, and high colloidal mineral content. So.
My Hunza bread probably is not as healthy as theirs for lack of this magical-fountain-of-youth water. I would give it 1 to 2 stars. I’m torn. I want to like it, because it’s good for me. But it tastes like a bland, bland veggie burger. It is a patty, not bread. I brought along four “flatbreads” (wheat and apricot patties) to New Orleans, and next to all the king cake and beef poboys, they are the LAST thing I want to put in my mouth. I am very tempted to cut the patties into small squares and dip them in chocolate, thereby cancelling their nutritional value. After all the work they were to put together, including the purchase of a food processor, I might just let them mold and die.