This week I worked on cultivating lentil sprouts. It took several days, but it was well worth the wait.
I watched the lentil-filled mason jars on the windowsill diligently, rinsing them twice a day to ensure they were cared for properly. When those tiny green leaves finally emerged at the top of the sprout, it was chow time. I immediately went to work on incorporating them into meals. For lunch, they found themselves sprinkled on our sandwiches. For dinner, they ended up on pizza. And as for the weekly baked good, I baked them into a hearty wheat loaf of delicious sprouted lentil bread.
I’ve heard of people using sprouted flour in their hippie breads, but the recipe I looked up from Trusted Earth called for simply kneading them into the dough. So I did. And it was good. Beyond good.
The crust was artisan-tough, while the interior was soft and springy. Lentil sprouts punctuated the bread with a coarse quality akin to sunflower seeds. It was a fun balance.
I had to refine the recipe a bit, mainly because when the dough hits the mixer to knead on the bread hook, the consistency has to be correct before you can let it rise. At first the dough was too dry and wouldn’t combine. So I had to add water. But I added too much water….so went the game of adding flour and water to get the consistency correct. Typical me, I overlook such things as “let rise in pan”. So I ended up letting this loaf rise 30 extra minutes total. Which in my opinion, is never a bad idea. I find that the longer you let bread rise, the better the end result. Patience is a time honored skill in bread making.
This entire process was extremely cost effective. The dried lentils turned sprouts cost less than a dollar per cup, and we all know flour, sugar etc. is equally inexpensive. The priciest ingredient is the yeast, and I started to buying that in bulk.
I thought I was a true homemaker when I bought my first bag of flour by the 5 lb. denomination, but then I bought mozzarella in a 10 lb. bag and blasted through a quarter of it in the first week. All I could do to cope with this rapid change in lifestyle was sit in the corner and rock myself gingerly, while eating veggie pizza on homemade dough.
Splendid, delicious, life changes.
Sprouted Lentil Bread
Yea Yea Pueblo: Crystle
Recipe type: Bread
Raw lentil sprouts are incorporated directly into the dough of this springy bread.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups sprouted lentils (see note on the bottom)
- 2 teaspoons (instant) dry yeast
- 1¼ cups water
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl, put ½ cup warm water with the honey and yeast, let sit for 10 minutes. Until mixture becomes creamy.
- In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose and whole wheat flours and the yeast water.
- Whisk remaining water, oil and salt into the yeast mixture. Stir into flour mixture to make a sticky dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 minutes or until still slightly sticky and dough springs back when pressed in center, adding up to ¼ cup more all-purpose flour as necessary. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over.
- Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place for about 1 ¼ hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in sprouted lentils. Gently pull into 11x8 inch rectangle. Starting at narrow end , roll up into cylinder; press seam to seal. Place, seam side down. in greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Cover with towel; let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk and about ¾ inch above rim of pan.
- Brush top with water. With serrated knife, make 1 inch deep cut lengthwise’ along top of loaf. Bake in center of 400°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.
- Remove from pan: let cool on rack.