essene bread, baking, whole wheat Clear Springs Press

How to Live on Wheat

Essene Bread

         The Essenes were an ascetic community that had a marked influence on the early Christian church. It was an Essene community on the Dead Sea that buried the famous "Dead Sea scrolls."

         The Essenes are credited with the technique and basic recipes for Essene bread. Essene bread is made from sprouted wheat and prepared at a low temperature. These two practices insure the maximum possible vitamin content for this foodstuff. The sprouting also breaks down the lectins and other substances that some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to.

         The following is excerpted from the Essene Gospel of John as translated by Edward Szekely.

         "Let the angels of God prepare your bread. Moisten your wheat, that the angels of water may enter it. Then set it in the air, that the angel of air may embrace. it. And leave it from morning to evening beneath the sun, that the angel of sunshine may descend upon it. And the blessings of the three angels will soon make the germ of life to sprout in your wheat. Then crush your grain, and make thin wafers, as did your forefathers when they departed out of Egypt, the house of bondage. Put them back again beneath the sun from its appearing, and when it is risen to its highest in the heavens, turn them over on the other side that they may be embraced there also by the angel of sunshine, and leave them there until the sun sets. For the angels of water, and air and of sunshine fed and ripened the wheat in the field, and they likewise must prepare also your bread. And the same sun which, with the fire of life, made the wheat to grow and ripen, must cook your bread with the same fire. For the fire of the sun gives life to the wheat, to the bread, and to the body. But the fire of death kills the wheat, the bread, and the body. And the living angels of the living God serve only living men. For God is the God of the living, and not the God of the dead. "

         Of all the known breads, the simplest and the most nutritious is Essene bread. The only difference between the baking technique used by the monastic brotherhood 2,000+ years ago and our modern method is that they baked their bread in the sun while we use an oven. Both methods create in a round, flattened loaf-rather like a sweet, moist dessert bread or cake-containing all of the virtues of unadulterated sprouted grain . . . its sole ingredient.

Making Essene Bread

         Begin by making wheat sprouts. Measure the desired amount of wheat berries and use the directions for sprouting from the text above. After the grain has sprouted, grind the sprouted wheat berries into a paste.

         Before handling the dough, wet your hands to minimize stickiness. Work the dough briefly to get out any air pockets, and then shape it into circular, somewhat flattened loaves. Place them on an oiled cookie sheet and bake them at low temperature (about 180-200 degrees F) (80-90 degrees C). It is done when you can press on the bottom of it and it springs back. This may take about two hours depending on your oven temperature and the humidity. For best results, make the loaves very thin. The inside will be quite soft, developing a firmer texture upon cooling. It is chewy, tasty, and very nutritious. It is very moist and chewy compared to conventional bread.

         To make an even tastier version, add some raisins, dates, figs, other dried fruits and nuts.

         If you live in a place and time that has abundant hot sunshine, I encourage you to experiment with baking the Essene bread in the sun according to the ancient tradition. If you own a solar oven, you can do this most anytime, even in partially overcast conditions. Some believe that bread so prepared possesses extra vitality.

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