What is Essene Bread?
A specialized bread loaf made from whole grains, soured and cooked at low temperature, Essence bread was a famous food of Essene Clan that flourished at the time of Jesus Christ. This bread was prepared by soaking the whole grains so that sprouts may come out. The main reason of cooking the bread at lower temperature was to retain the minerals and vitamins present in the raw material. It was a big part of how Essene Clan stayed healthy. These people used to live an austere lifestyle and practice vegetarianism. Slowly and steadily though, this way of making bread has become forgotten in lieu of fast rising yeasts. In this exchange societies world over have sacrificed real nutrition and digestibility for faster yield and financial gains. Now, more than ever it is in your hands to bring this traditional bread back. Unlike fast rise yeast dough, you can in fact eat Sourdough raw. Small family bakeries scattered throught various urban areas, have been opening their ovens to this newly reviving tradition of baking Essene bread! Although Essene bread has a very satisfying three dimensional flavor as is, other flavor enhancements such as raisins, nuts, seeds, herbs and even dates are added in some recipes.
Why Eat Sourdough Raw?
As all know health is wealth and the present world once again moving towards leading a healthier lifestyle; rather than eating unhealthy food and fighting with hell lot of diseases. Essene bread heat processing ranges from barely any at 110F in a dehydrator where it slowly dries 12 hrs or more to 250F in the oven, a relatively low temperature and takes up to 4 hrs. The lower the temperature the more enzymes and minerals remain bioavailable. When you eat sourdough bread raw you can taste the nutrition. Raw bread taste may or may not suit your pallet; therefore a compromise of nutrition and taste is achievable with these temperature adjustments. One can eat raw sourdough without any trouble as it is perfect for your health. The probiotics and yeasts it contains differ considerably from whats found in fast rise bread. Fast rise bread does not achieve the complex thorough state of fermentation, where all nutrients become available, the way authentic Essene or sourdough bread does. Authentic Sourdough is almost the same as Essene bread; except sourdough is made from flour (sprouted or not), fermented just like Essene and then baked usually at higher temperatures.
Essene or raw sprouted bread is created by germinating or sprouting whole grains including spelt, rye, and buckwheat,etc. Minimally heat processed, Essene=living bread, and many people having digestive problems from eating regular bread have no problems eating Essene bread. One reason may be that phytic acid and other digestion inhibitors naturally found in grains become neutralized due to lengthy souring(fermenting) process and the low heat processing promotes beneficial microbes that aid digestion and set it apart from. That makes digestion and absorption much easier on the body, and minimizes inflammation. This is the reason that switching to Essene bread has enabled people to recover from various inflammatory diseases: including Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel and lots more. Essene made from modern wheat may not prove so beneficial. Learn more here .
Process of Soaking and Fermenting
If you never thought of bread as a probiotic, think again! Those billions of beneficial microbes found in traditional raw sourdough can considerably enhance your overall digestive system. Although these microbes will not be present in breads cooked at temperatures above 115 Ferenheit, they do predigest the flour in the early souring stages and thereby contribute to better digestion of cooked sourdough. However not all sourdough is created equal and much of what is available commercially actually only simulates a sourdough taste and provides zero digestive benefit.
In making Essene bread, grains are first sprouted, then mixed and coarsely ground. No yeast is added in the fermentation process; yeast appears naturally when given adequate time. Unlike bakers yeast, this wild yeast produces food for certain species of beneficial microbes found only in sourdough and which impart its tang as well as subtle but distinct aroma and flavors. As your dough populates with beneficial bacteria PH drops to 5.5 producing sour taste. Finer grind enhances microbial activity and allows greater expansion of the dough as well as makes it more acidic. While raw sourdough can be made with store bought flours, whole grain flours start going rancid on the shelf, so for a healthy lifestyle its always better to go for the freshly sprouted and ground grains and flours to make your raw or semi-raw Essene and sourdough breads. This bread can certainly substitute your morning toast or cereal at breakfast for a fresh kickstart to the day ahead whether you eat sourdough raw or not!