Happy Birthday BBD! One year old already, and growing stronger each month. Congratulations Zorra. You must be proud of your baby. So for this month, Zorra from Kochtopf is hosting her very own event's birthday party and chosen sprouted bread as the theme. I must lead a very sheltered life, because I had never heard of sprouted bread, let alone tasted it. So of course I had to do some research on the subject. Essene bread was a noticeably popular search result, and this bread dates back to prehistoric times when a grain/water paste was made to make a thin wafer, cooked on warmed stones. If you visit Zorra's site, there is a very interesting history of how this type of bread originated, and the scientific reasoning as to why it's so good for us.
I'm afraid that I'm more of a "modern" baker, not having the precious time to sprout my grains or wait around for a bunch of rocks to heat up in subzero temperatures. So after lots of reading about sprouted breads, and the methodology used, I opted for store bought alfalfa sprouts, which I love tossed over a salad, or combined in a sandwich. Sprouts and bread form a very nice partnership indeed.
Because I had a pot of vegetable soup bubbling away on the stove in readiness for an easy Sunday night meal, I thought mini sprouted bread loaves would make a pleasing and nutritional accompaniment to the meal. The addition of peppitas, which are shelled pumpkin seeds, enhanced the flavour to a new level.
At first I was hesitant about adding the sprouts to the unmixed ingredients, fearing that they would end up a mushy pulp, but this didn't happen surprisingly. You could still pick the odd sprout out of your teeth after eating! They tasted fantastic, and were the star attraction of the meal. What a perfect way to use up leftover sprouts, which continue to grow in the fridge, before they spoil. I will definitely be making these again.
Alfalfa sprouts and peppita bread
3/4 c Plus 2 tablespoons Water
1 1/2 ts Salt
2 tb Honey
1 cup of alfalfa sprouts
2 tb Olive or Vegetable oil
3 1/4 c Bread flour
1/2 c Unsalted raw pumpkin seeds (peppitas)
1 tsp Yeast
Measure carefully, placing all ingredients in a mixer and knead for about 6 minutes, or until dough is not sticking to the bowl, and feels quite firm. Let dough rise until for 2 hours (it won't be visibly doubled but the oven spring is great). Divide dough into eight equal pieces and shape into mini loaves. If you have deep rectangular or round muffin pans, grease lightly with oil then dust over flour, and place your dough into pan. Let loaves rise again for another hour or so, and place in very hot oven (450 F) for 10 or 15 minutes, then turn heat down to about 350 F for another 15 minutes, checking that the edges don’t burn. When cooked, turn out onto wire tray to cool.