Ezekiel Bread is loosely based on a recipe given in the Old Testament to Ezekiel the prophet as he lived in the desert for two years. Found in Ezekiel 4:9, the verse lists most of the ingredients found in modern day versions of this bread. One can assume, this must have been some pretty hearty bread in order to live off of it for days.
I didn't start making this bread because the ingredients were found in the scriptures. I read the ingredients in the recipe and was intrigued by the amount of grains and legumes found in it, making it hearty and something that would give sustaining fuel. Plus, I was looking for something without sugar. I also tried a sample and it was delicious.
The way to make flour for this bread requires a wheat/grain grinder. All off the grains and legumes are ground together at the same time to create the flour. Seeds can also be incorporated into this recipe. They are not ground in wheat grinders. You can buy them pre-ground or grind them like I do in a portable coffee grinder. You can also put whole seeds into the recipe. Please know, that you cannot grind seeds in your wheat grinders. I have several friends who grind their flour and seeds in a Vitamix. I have not tried it but I've heard it works.
I also prefer to grind my flour as I need it. It is more fresh and I've heard that it loses some of it's potency for nutrition the longer it sits. If you are grinding flour ahead of time, I would suggest storing it in the refrigerator until you use it.
My recipe is a combination of two recipes that I have found works the best for me. It makes two large loaves. It looks complicated but it really is the easiest thing ever.
2 1/2 cups wheat berries (this is the stuff you've been storing in buckets for years)
1 1/2 cups spelt berries (I get this at a local cooking store. It is a form of wheat that is gluten free and looks very similar to wheat)
1/2 cup barley (yes, just regular barley)
1/4 cup millet (small seed-like looking grass grain. You may recognize it as bird food!)
1/4 cup dry green lentils ( I use a green French lentil but the green ones in the bags from the grocery store are great)
2 Tbsp dry great Northern beans (Yep, from a bag in the bean aisle)
2 Tbsp dry kidney beans
2 Tbsp dried pinto beans
4 cups warm water (110 degree-sish)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp chia seeds
Sesame seeds for top
any other kind of seeds or dried fruits you choose
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Measure and mix all the grains and beans in a bowl. Pour them into your grinder and grind them all together.
2. While the flour is being made. Measure the water, honey, olive oil and yeast into a large bowl. (I use my kitchen aid mixer bowl) Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. After the flour is finished add salt to the flour mixture. At this time, if you have ground flax or other seeds, or dried fruits you'd like to add, you can pour them into this mixture. (I usually add flax seed and occasionally I will add sunflower seeds and chia seeds if I have them.) Combine this flour mixture with the water mixture and mix well for about 10 minutes. I turn on my kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook and let it run for 10 minutes.
4. Pour the dough into 2 greased 9 x 5 bread pans.(I spray mine with Vegalene). The dough will resemble a batter bread. It is almost runny. If you are wanting fancy loaves with toppings at this point you can add them here. Make an egg wash with one egg and one Tbsp of water. Brush it over the bread and sprinkle the seeds you want over. This is really yummy with sunflower, sesame and chia seeds. It gives it a nice crunchy and healthy crust. I don't do this all the time, but once in awhile I add this step for variety.
5. The recipes here call for letting the bread sit and rise for an hour, or until the dough has reached the top of the pan. I don't do this. I literally pop them in the oven right then and cook them without letting them rise. I've done it both ways. If you like gigantic loaves and a bit more airy texture, then feel free to let them rise. I don't have time for it and I like the results just as well when I don't wait for them to rise. They do rise as they cook.
6. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Mine bake for exactly 50 minutes.
7. Let cool in pan for 15-30 minutes and then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. I keep a loaf out for immediate use. I slice the other and places the slices single layered in big plastic ziplock bags and then a freeze them. The bread doesn't lose as much nutrition that way and it doesn't go bad either. If you wait until they are completely cooled, there won't be moisture on the bread when it freezes. When I go to use my frozen bread, I take a bag out of the freezer the night before. If I forget, it doesn't matter because it thaws in a half hour or so. Unfrozen bread should be eaten within 72 hours.
I bake this bread twice a week. We go through 4 loaves. I think it's safe to say that I probably eat 3 of the loaves myself. I just can't explain how much better I feel eating this bread. If I have a slice or two for breakfast, around 7:00am, I will not be hungry at all or even think about food until at least noon.
If you try this, let me know how you like it!
Next time I make it, I will try and remember to take pictures of the process to add to this recipe.