I'm a fan of bread that looks and feels like a brick so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.
Will this loaf of bread change your life? I can't say for sure but it's a wonderful recipe to add to your repertoire for many reasons.
It's chewy, dense, filling, hearty, healthy, moist. Delicious, too, especially when toasted and topped with your favourite topping. Not only does this bread seem to compliment whatever you put on top - avocado, goat cheese, peanut butter, sliced tomato or cucumber - but adding a topping transforms a single slice into a meal, too.
Another bonus: you mix and bake this loaf in the same pan. Basically you're left with a dirty spoon, pan and measuring cup, making clean up easy.
This recipe lends itself to substitutions, too, providing you stick to the same proportions. For example, use pumpkin or sesame seeds instead of sunflower seeds or use a bit of each. Substitute rolled spelt or quinoa for rolled oats, almonds instead of hazelnuts, honey instead of maple syrup. I love when recipes are forgiving like that.
The only ingredient that must remain a constant is the psyllium seed husks, which hold all the ingredients together without using flour. Psyllium is high in fibre, helps reduce cholesterol, aids digestion and weight loss, and gets your bowels moving or slows them down depending on your situation. It's available at health food stores but if you can't find it where you live you can buy it on line.
The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds 1/2 cup / 90g flax seeds (if you use ground flax seeds add more water) 1/2 cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds 1 1/2 cups / 145g rolled oats 2 Tbsp chia seeds 4 Tbsp psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp if using psyllium husk powder) 1 tsp fine grain sea salt (add 1/2 tsp if using coarse salt) 1 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener of your choice 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil. I imagine you could use other healthy oils too, although I haven't tried. 1 1/2 cups / 350ml water. Add a little more if it doesn't seem wet enough.
In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. A flexible, silicon loaf pan is best because you can test to see if the dough is holding together, and it's easy to remove the loaf from the pan, but a regular pan should be fine, especially if you line it with parchment.
Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add more water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes.
Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing. Important!
Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too but slice before freezing for quick and easy toast.