I’m having some impressive luck with bread experimentation this week. That almost never happens! This loaf is organic, grain free, vegan, and sugar free with the exception of the natural sugars in the raisins. And like yesterday’s bread post, nutrient dense as well. What I really LOVE about it is that it’s made in a regular size loaf pan that didn’t fall after baking. So while it’s a heavier bread, it still has a light texture on the inside and the lightly crunchy, more dense texture on the outside. The crispy nuts, groats, and chia seeds on the top add great flavor and texture and the raisin to walnut ratio inside is perfect.
Our bed and breakfast host last year in the San Juan’s talked to me about trying fermented breads. His theory (and he’s gluten intolerant but able to eat his own gluten fermented breads!) is that with the commercial process we use now, the super fast fermentation process (sometimes only 5 minutes) is actually what’s causing the allergen problems for many people. So he allows his gluten and yeast breads to rise for several days before baking.
Yeast came up as my #1 allergen that my body doesn’t like so I’m avoiding that for a while and I’m nowhere near being brave enough to try anything with gluten in it at this point. So I did some research and you can ferment other non yeast ingredients as well – so I started with buckwheat groats. Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a grain but some bodies treat it the same. So you’ll have to test out how it works for you if you prefer to be grain free. So far, it works for me but I am careful to not eat any “grain type” foods on a regular basis. Every now and then as a nice treat, seems to agree with me. I use this theory for many foods, actually. Too many repetitive daily meals can cause gut issues.
This bread takes time, it is a labor of love and patience. That patience will come with a wonderful reward! And of course as with many of my recipes, the recipe is versatile and the addition or subtraction options are almost endless – add your own flair!
Fermented Walnut & Raisin Bread
2 1/2 Cups of Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats
3 Cup of Filtered Water
3 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Organic Psyllium Husk Powder
2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder
2 Cups of Organic Walnuts
1 1/4 Cups of Organic Raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon of Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats
Pour the groats into a large bowl, add the water, stir in the lemon juice, cover lightly and let sit for 8 hours. Drain and rinse once during the resting process. No need to add more lemon, but do replenish the water.
After 8 hours, drain the groats, rinse well, add them to a blender and add 1 1/3 Cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, set the bowl away from cold air or drafts and ferment for 36 hours. I didn’t notice bubbles or a ferment-ish smell, but when I went to fold in the other ingredients, it was fluffier than it started. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see any major changes. I also check the top carefully to make sure it hadn’t formed any mold! If it does that, you’ll have to toss it.
8-12 hours before the batter will be ready, soak the walnuts. Put them in a medium bowl, cover them with filtered water and add 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. Soak for 8-12 hours. Then rinse, pat dry, and chop, reserving 1/2 Cup for the top of the bread. (Go HERE if you’d like to learn more about activating nuts for easier digestion.)
Prepare a regular sized bread pan with oil or spray and line the pan with parchment so that there’s a bit of overhang to remove the loaf. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (I use convection – if you don’t, you may have to increase the time)
Fold the remaining walnuts, the raisins, the psyllium, the baking powder, and the sea salt into the batter. Scoop into the pan, do not flatten out or smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts, the chia seeds, and the whole groats.
Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.