Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ezekiel Bread

Hello. Likely you have found your way to this recipe via a link or a search engine. Thank you; I'm glad you're here. Hopefully you'll find the rest of my blog interesting (here's my home page). If you borrow the recipe I only ask that you give me credit and that you link it back to this blog. Since writing this recipe I have updated it a few times and this recipe is my favorite. If you want other healthy and easy to make whole wheat bread recipes please click here. If you want to follow Urban Simplicity on Facebook, please click here. Thanks again for visiting. Peace.

I eat a lot of bread; I always have. I eat bread virtually with every meal, and thus I feel that I am living proof that bread does not make a person fat. I find it odd that humans have been consuming bread in one form or another for something like 6 thousand years...and all of a sudden it is considered fattening. The problem, I think, is lifestyle and the quality of the bread you consume...I'll admit that too much refined flour is probably not the best thing for you.

Over the years I have slowly migrated towards making and consuming bread with if not all whole wheat flour, at least some or most of it...and what I think is even better is the addition of whole grains. The best bread in this category, and probably one of the healthiest there is, is Ezekiel bread. It's full of all sorts of whole grains and legume. It's also mentioned in the Bible, hence its name. If you want to see the Bible passage (in many different versions) click here.

Like many recipes, there are as many crappy recipes for Ezekiel bread as there are good ones (yes, I intentionally chose the word crappy because, also according to the Bible, Ezekiel cooked his bread over dung). Take a look at some of the recipes by clicking here. Some of them look pretty good, some look ok, but some (if you have any experience in bread baking at all) look downright lousy. The problem is that the high proportion of grains and legumes to flour really makes the recipe tricky (many grains and legumes do not contain gluten which is what helps the bread stand up as it rises).

I follow the same basic ratio each time but the grains and legumes change. This is what I used in this recipe: whole wheat berries, rice, barley, lentils, oats, lentils, spelt berries, millet, oatmeal, and white beans (though the below picture shows black beans). The recipe also included whole wheat flour, unbleached white bread flour, olive oil, honey, yeast, salt, and a few eggs.

The recipe that I made was a large batch recipe I made at my job, but at the end of this post is a recipe for just two loaves. Anyhow, here's how I made it (click on any picture for a larger view):

First, I cooked all the grains and legumes (except the oatmeal, which I added raw), then I drained them (without rinsing and reserving the cooking liquid...it contains nutrients) and allowed them and the liquid to come to room temperature. Then I made a sponge, or poolish, out of the grains, legumes, whole wheat flour, yeast, olive oil, and honey (to read more about what a poolish is click here). I covered it and allowed it to ferment for 18 hours. When I uncovered it the next morning it was a bubbling fragrant mash. Here it is after 18 hours. To some it may look a little gross, but to me (and probably other bakers) it is beautiful.

Leaving the grains and legumes whole, I added some bread flour, 4 eggs, a little more yeast, and kosher salt, them mixed it with a dough hook.

Here it is after 8 minutes. The legumes and many of the grains sort of mash up and become part of the dough. The two that remain whole are the wheat berries and barley, which give a nice crunchy texture to the finished bread. The dough is very supple, this I'm sure has to do with the high concentration of olive oil, honey, and other non-glutenous ingredients.

At this point I turned it out onto a floured table and kneaded it by hand for a few minutes (which is no easy task when dealing with 13 pounds of dough). Then I place it in a large bowl that was lightly coated with olive oil. I covered it with plastic wrap and let it rest, ferment, and rise for an hour-and-a-half.

Then I cut it into (approximately) 0ne-pound pieces.

And then I let the pieces rest for about 15 minutes.

Then I gently shaped them into loaves (you don't want to deflate them) and rolled them in whole oats.

I placed them into small and lightly oiled bread pans and let them rest and rise for another hour-and-a-half.

Here they are when they just went into the oven...I threw a handful of ice cubes on the oven's floor to create steam.

I baked the bread for about 40 minutes (adding more ice cubes and rotating the pans after 15 minutes), then removed them from their pans and set them on cooling racks.

Here's one of the loaves sliced...notice some of the whole grains still present and the airiness of the dough. I had some for lunch, and yes, it is as good as it looks.


To some, this recipe may seem a little daunting, but it's really not...and it's well-worth the effort. At any rate, here's a smaller recipe (It's a recipe for free-standing loaves, but it can easily be baked in pans).

-->
Ezekiel Bread
Yield: 2 loaves
3 cups bread flour, divided
2 cups water
6 teaspoons yeast, divided
1 tablespoon white beans
1 tablespoon red beans
1 tablespoon lentils
2 tablespoons barley
2 tablespoons millet
1 tablespoon bulgur wheat
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon wheat gluten
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons corn meal

Make a sponge by mixing together in a small bowl 2 cups of the bread flour, the water, and 3 teaspoons of yeast. Set aside.

In a small pot, combine the white and red beans and cover them with a few inches of water. Bring them to a boil and cook the beans for about 45 minute, or until they are almost cooked and still have a little texture to them. Add the lentils and barley to the pot, return the water to a boil and cook the legumes for another 15 minutes. Add the millet and bulgur wheat to the pot, return it to a boil (if needed, add more water) and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the grains and legumes are almost cooked. Strain this mixture through a mesh colander, squeezing out any excess moisture. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a coarse paste but not smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Transfer the sponge and the legume/grain mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer that has been fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining cup of bread flour and 3 teaspoons of yeast along with the whole wheat flour, and spelt flour. Also add the wheat gluten, honey, and olive oil. Run the mixer on low, just until the ingredients begin to form a ball, then add the salt. Run the mixer on medium speed for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for another couple of minutes. Place the dough in a bowl at room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment for 1 and 1 1/2 hours.

Dust a baking sheet with the cornmeal. Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it into two pieces, and gently shape them into balls. Place them on the baking pan and cover with a towel. Allow it to rise for 1 hour. Position an oven rack to the center of the oven and place a shallow pan of water directly on the oven floor. Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a sharp knife, slash the loaf and put it in the oven. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack or towel to cool before slicing.

65 comments:

Clare said...

Thank you for posting this as I've always wondered how to make this.

Question: for your commercial bread you allowed the poolish to ferment for 18 hours, but your directions for the two loaves doesn't mention separate fermenting time. I presume you could do a separate ferment with the two loave recipe as well?

Thanks!

Joe said...

Yes, Clare, you can use the same method as the large batch, actually, I recomenned it...I changed the recipe slightly when I did the larger version

jacky said...

this sounds wonderful... I like the idea of keeping the grains and beans whole and creating a poolish... I think this would also help keep the bread from crumbling and deepen the flavor:-)
I am interested in making multiple loaves...do you recommend just "multiplying", or are there some hints in amounts/ changes that would help me if I wanted to make 10-12 loaves at a time?
thank you for your post. I do look forward to trying this!

ginger said...

What a great looking recipe! Lent is almost here so I am very happy to have found you. Once upon a time I used to own a little bakery and still have a 20 qt mixer and bakers scale. Do you still have the original formula? After 13 years of being out of the business I still don't like to make small batches. I have the feeling that you know what I mean. Thanks for the post!

Bjk2alew said...

Do you ever sprout any of these grains first? and I was wondering if the fermenting changes the taste. Thanks for posting, very glad to find you.

Tracy Kaye said...

The larger receipe calls for 4 eggs but the smaller doesn't call for any eggs? Why?

Joe said...

Hi Tracy,

I rarely follow recipes. That's why. Things that I bake and cook change from one recipe to the next...both recipes are good.

Also, can you tell me how you found your way to this post? It's more than a year old but 20% of my readers find there way to my blog through this post...it mus be linked somewhere.

Thanks,
Joe

SuzanM said...

Hi Joe,

I wanted to let you know that I found your blog when I Googled 'Ezekiel bread recipe'. I read a couple of other recipes but yours stood out with the detailed instructions, pictures and ingredients. I can't wait to make this as I LOVE making and eating whole grain bread for myself and my family.

Rhonda said...

Hi Joe, I just found your blog while searching for a good Ezekial bread recipe and yours sounds great. I've just opened a small bakery and would love to have the large batch recipe if you would be so kind as to share it. Thanks! Rhonda

Courtney said...

This looks like a great recipe, I can't wait to give it a try! Thanks so much for the detailed instructions and photos!

booklover said...

Hi Joe,
Arrived here via Google in search of Ezekiel Bread recipes. I love your post with the pictures and the walk through of the steps. Thanks for sharing. I, like several others, would be interested in your full recipe for a larger batch. I know that theoretically I can just multiply your posted recipe, and I may try it that way, but it sounds like there may be some differences.
--Had never heard the term "poolish" before, so googled it, too! Have used "sponges" before--interesting learning about the poolish.
Again, thanks for sharing this.

Rebecca said...

I would really like the larger version of this recipe. I work with a lot of body builders and this is the only type of bread that they eat. If you are willing to share that would be great. I really like the look of this version.

Joe said...

For a larger version of this recipe simply multiply the ingredients. After you make it a few times you will get used to the consistency of the dough.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it would be ok to make rolls out of it also? I am also in the fitness industry and looking for a great recipe for this bread. I went to ask.com and your post was the 4th or 5th and by far I think number 1.

Joe said...

Yes I think rolls would be fine with this dough...it's actually rather light and airy for having so many grains. Please let me know how they turn out if you make them.

Rebecca said...

I made this the other day and it turned out perfect thank you! I have to addmit I followed the pictures more then the receipe. The written receipe was a little confussing and I am an experienced bread maker.
Thank you again for posting this.

Joe said...

Glad to hear that it turned out good for you Rebecca.

Hazel said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it today. I split the dough in half and made one loaf of bread with the first half. With the second half, I split it into 12 pieces and made flat bread for wraps. Both turned out perfectly! Thanks so much!

Katherine said...

Hi Joe; I did same as one of your readers above. I googled Ezekiel bread recipes & got yours right at the top. I own & run a small organic bakery & wondered if you would share your "large" recipe, as I have found when increasing recipes by a great deal they often do not turn out as well as they should. Like you I seldom follow recipes and know what bread should "look & feel" like, so even a rough recipe would be great. Thanks Kat

Aura said...

I am very interested in this recipe and Noticed that you change and adjust the grains. You mentioned that you follow the same basic ratio each time. What are your ratios? I would like to try different grains and was wondering what the basic idea was you were following?

Ben said...

Hi!
I found your recipe thru a google search on Ezekiel Bread and your page looked detailed.
I was wondering if you could provide a simpler version of the bread since the one you provided looks like it takes quite a few hours to prepare....
Obviously it will not be the same but might be good enough and very useful for many interested readers.
Many thanks
Ben

Joe said...

Hi Ben,

If you read the directions and break down the steps it's really not that difficult...and after you make it once or twice it'll be even easier. Sorry, but if it's simplified more than this it wouldn't be the same bread.

Thanks for my blog.

Karma said...

I heard about this post through a podcast called StitchIt. I've never tried making Ezekiel bread and thought I'd give it a try. Success!! The flavor is wonderful and I love the texture! The crust is just sturdy enough without being tough. What a wonderful recipe! Thanks so much for sharing it!

Patricia, Michael, Ella and Anson said...

where can i find the large batch version? my brother and sister in law are bodybuilders and i am a baker so i would love to be able to crank out their supply for them! thanks!

Joe said...

The recipe can be multiplied to however large you want it.

jack brosnan said...

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well written and simple to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read. I also found it very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show the spouse and she ejoyed it as well!


Banana Nut Bread

Joe said...

Thanks Jack!

Shawna said...

So, the poolish is just the flour, yeast and water or is it the grains and beans also? Can't wait to try this! Found you doing a search for Ezekiel Bread.

Joe said...

Hi Shawna,

I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog. And yes, the beans and grains are part of the poolish. Let me know how it turns out. Here's a link to another link with a slightly different recipe for the bread and with different photos.

http://citysimplicity.blogspot.com/2010/01/ezekiel-bread.html

Meg said...

I just made my first Ezekiel bread, but first I sprouted all the grains for 3 days, dried them in a warm oven and then finally ground them in my coffee grinder. The balance of ingredients were about the same as yours less the beans - I only used lentil legume. I also used 1/4 cup wheat gluten and 1/2 sour dough starter, and 1 Tbl yeast. The bread turned out wonderful! I doused mine with lots of sesame seeds and wheatgerm. I will definitely try using some red beans next time! So glad I found your site.

Joe said...

Meg, I'm glad you found my blog and also that your bread came out good. I'd be interested to hear how future loaves turn out. Beans are an essential ingredient in the bread. Whether you read the Bible or not I suggest you read Ezekiel 4:9, from where the title of the bread is originated and the ingredients are listed. Thanks for visiting.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+4%3A9-17&version=NIV

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

I arrived via google & Ezekiel bread recipe. I've been wanting to try it at home after buying it in the health food store for over $5/loaf! Looks like I'll have to buy some more beans ect before I have a go. Thanks for posting your recipe!

Not being a (real)baker, I would have no idea what would make a good recipe or not, so I trust you know what you're talking about :-)

Joe said...

Jessica, This recipe is easier than it looks. You may also want to look at this recipe with my philosophy behind it.

http://citysimplicity.blogspot.com/2011/04/ezekiel-breadmy-interpretation.html

Anyhow, you don't have to be a "professional" to make this or any bread (our ancestors certainly weren't)...it will get easier and the outcome will be better the more times you make it.

Catt said...

Hi Joe. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this recipe. We lived in Thailand and it's impossible to find this type of bread. I made it this morning and it was fantastic! Some ingredients are not available (the grains stuff), but with a little improvision The bread turned out great. Again, thanks so much Joe!

Joe said...

Catt...I'm so glad that you tried the recipe and that it worked for you. Thanks for your comments.

Dancing Spirit said...

Hi Joe, both of your recipes sound great! Thanks for sharing :-)

I've been wanting to try this bread, just haven't done it... heh. You make it sound like fun, and I love making bread, so looks like now's the time to do it!

I heard Joyce Riley talking about it on her show today and got here through a link on the Power Hour email blast.

Joe said...

Dancing Spirit,

Thanks for your comments. Let me know if you try the recipes...they are easier than they may seem and they are delicious. Thanks also for letting me know how you found my blog.
Peace.

Robin said...

After comparing lots of Ezekiel bread recepies, yours is the one I'm going to try! I have nt been able to find Spelt berries or flour locally, I plan to sub 50/50 bread and whole wheat flour...I'll Letcha know how it goes! Thanks SO much for this recepie-looks wonderful!!

Nancy Slade said...

Hello,
I bought an Ezekiel grain mix that already has the beans and other grains already combined together...For your small recipe, how would I translate the quantities of the beans and grains that you list separately to the quantity needed of my ezekial mix? And when I cook the grains and beans, will it overcook the smaller (in size) grains during the process of getting the beans soft enough?
I make whole wheat bread from fresh ground wheat berries all the time, but am just starting to branch out to different varieties. Any help you can give me on the Ezekial bread you make would be great. It looks wonderful!
Nancy

Anonymous said...

I found my way here when looking up a Simplicty sewing pattern on google images...I'm prone to following butterflies, and saw something about bikes, which I always think of painting... so off I went on a tangent. Then I just browsed around your links and here I am. And gladly so! I can't wait to try this recipe. :)
Thanks for the post, and enduring my run on sentences. ;)

Joe said...

Anonymous, Thanks for visiting...please let me know how the recipe comes out:)

Paula said...

Hi Joe,
Loved looking and am getting ready to make your recipe but was wondering what split wheat is. I googled it and had no clear answer.
Please Help...

Joe said...

Hi Paula. Thanks for visiting, and I'm glad you liked the recipe. Not sure what split wheat is either...likely there is a typo in the recipe and it should read spelt (which of course is a type of wheat). Let me know if this answers your question...and how the recipe turns out.

Patti said...

Hi, Joe. Your pics and description of this bread are awesome. I was wondering, do you think it is a true Ezekiel bread if you are having to add so much other flour to the ingredients? I thought there had to be a specific ratio of grains/legumes. I understand that you need to have the gluten from the wheat to help it rise, but you can also add some gluten and lecithin for that purpose also. I buy an Ezekiel mix from Breadbeckers in Atlanta. They have a recipe that has not worked for me so I add extra flour as well, along with some sprouted grain. I found it interesting that you cook all of the grains/legumes before making the dough. For a much simpler bread, I put the Ezekiel mix in my mill, then use that flour for my bread. Would love to compare taste/texture of both. Let me know if you ever decide to try it that way to compare, as I am probably too lazy to try your way. =) Looks wonderful, though.

Joe said...

Hi Patti, and thanks for visiting and commenting. A couple things. Flour is part of the grain (wheat). And what is "real" Ezekiel bread? There is no single or correct recipe for the "real" thing. It is take from a single line in the Bible (Ezekiel 4:9). It lists the ingredients and then tells you to put them in a vessel and make bread...says nothing about sprouting either...it's all open to interpretation (Like the Bible itself)...use whatever recipe you like and works for you. If you havn'e been to them please read these two blog posts (you may have to cut-and-paste the addresses into your browser bar). And btw, I only make the bread with whole wheat this days; the recipes are in the following two posts. Thanks

http://www.urbansimplicity.com/2011/04/ezekiel-breadmy-interpretation.html

http://www.urbansimplicity.com/2011/10/ezekiel-bread-revisited.html

Anonymous said...

I'm trying your Ezekiel bread recipe (small batch recipe) today. It didn't say if you soak your beans overnight before cooking. What do you do? I did, to ensure they cooked properly and I notice some of the white beans even sprouted. I drained them well and gave them a mash with a fork. I have the bread on rising now and it looks great so far.

cynthia said...

I am reading pual theroux book - "the magician" - it is a fiction about healthy food & how it opens your mind (well & much more) anyway there is lot's of cooking & baking invoved & ezekiel bread is a basic nutrition - so I looked for a recipe & found yours most tempting (as I just came home from shopping on my bike) - I am going to bake it in the comming week & let you know...
all the best from australia

Joe said...

Cynthia, I'm glad you found your way to my blog. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Please let me know how the bread turns out. I also recommend this version...

http://www.urbansimplicity.com/2011/10/ezekiel-bread-revisited.html

Joe said...

Anonymous...you don't need to soak the beans overnight so long as you cook them long enough, nor do you have to mash them with a fork. Please let me know how the bread turned out and also if you have any questions regarding it. I also have other versions of this bread, some of which are listed in the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

I have made your small batch recipe of Ezekiel bread several times now (the one with the bread flour, w.w. flour and spelt flour). It is wonderful! I'm going to try your 100% whole wheat version next. I half the recipe to make one loaf at a time and let my bread machine do the kneading for me. Then I remove the dough and do the rest by hand. Perfect every time.

Joe said...

Anonymous...Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. I always like to hear when the recipes are a success.

iamthezookeeper said...

Found this page searching for Ezekiel Bread recipes. Made one with wheat, bran, barley, rye, flaxseed, oats, pintos, and wheat flour. I used eggs. Added molasses and almonds. Wow. What a great loaf of bread! Thank you for posting these great ideas for this bread. Each version looks wonderful, nutritious, and delicious! Going to try new additions each time...todays loaf has figs and cinnamon!

Joe George said...

iamthezookeeper...thanks for your comments. And I love the variations you've made. Molasses and almonds, figs and cinnamon...sounds delicious.

Me said...

Joe~ This LOOKS divine! What a baking stud! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, I can not wait to eat this.

Unknown said...

Hello, I am so glad to have found this site (through Google). My Question is, does it matter what color beans you use. I have tons of Black beans and Kidney Beans in my food storage and can't see purchasing other beans. I know this will make the color different. Can't wait to try this thank you so much for blogging your recipes.

Joe George said...

Unknown...thanks for visiting and commenting. You can use nearly any grain, bean, or legume you like. What will change is the moisture content (especially if you alter the grains) and the color of the bread from different colored bean...All are good! Peace.

Gumbo Lily said...

Your bread looks terrific! I'm adding this to my Pinterest board, "Bread Alone," and then I'm going to make it. Thanks!

Joe said...

Thanks Gumbo Lily...let me know how it turns out!

Femalechef said...

I love this bread and tastes great!!! Question,...after baking does it need to be in the refidge or on the counter for days?

Bread Lady said...

Could you post the large batch recipe please or did I miss it somewhere? I bake in large batches and also mill my wheat berries for fresh flour. Looking forward to trying this. Thanks for sharing.

joe said...

Bread Lady...for a large batch recipe just multiply it as large as you like.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to freeze a portion of this dough to use later? If so, at what stage would I freeze the portion I do not want to bake immediately?

I came to your blog through a Google search "making Ezekial bread in a bread machine"

Bonnie Williams said...

I also found this recipe when I searched for ezekiel bread recipe
thank you for posting such a detailed recipe, I def want to try it soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Just made this today! Absolutely delicious & very easy to make. Thanks for posting this. Also found you by googling Ezekiel bread recipes.

Julie said...

Beautiful loaves rising on the counter now, thanks for the recipe and excellent instructions!