Hemp Bread and Baking
Cooking time: Pre-heated oven at 180c for 50-60 minutes or fan assisted 200c for 40 minutes
Bread making is a recent but now important aspect of my life, a process that has been very grounding. I started making bread with spelt flour and was converted from the first loaf.
Flour is a very emotive subject for me, because in the flour we see clearly what has been and continues to be done to our food.
For some reason, flour and for that matter white sugar are bleached and processed to get them white, they are not naturally that color. See shaman’s views
In Spelt flour we see the true color of wheat, it is a lovely light brown color. Sometimes known as one of the original grains, being apparently amongst the other grains, found preserved in the Pyramids. The only flour’s that I now use are spelt, whole meal and unbleached white.
There are several ways to put hemp into your bread and baking:
Hemp meal: Is what you call the seeds when finely ground in a coffee or poppy seed grinder.
This grinds the outer husks so fine you hardly notice they are there, just a little crunch, leaving the succulent inner nut to melt into the product, giving a lovely creamy texture.
When you use hemp meal with white flour, you will not believe that was what you started out with it changes the color and texture so much.
Try putting some cumin or coriander seeds in the grinder with the hemp seed as well for interesting combinations.
Hemp flour: Is the by-product after pressing the oil. Hemp seed is approximately 30% oil and 70% residue. The hard pellets or ‘cake ‘ are then finely ground to make the flour. Added to any flour by about 15-20%, it gives a spongy nutty texture and flavor with a green hew.
Shelled hemp seed: Gives a creamy rich taste when added to in bread, baking and pastry recipes. Can be added straight to flour in most recipes, see what a difference it makes.
Hemp oil: Adds richness and gives the bread a lovely soft texture.
Basic Hemp Bread
Taking the time to make your own bread is very empowering; the feelings from making it are profound. Fresh homemade bread is something everyone seams to love; it seams to stir happy memories in all. From when you smell the starter, to getting you hands in the flour, then the smell of it straight from the oven is one of the joys of life.
2 loaves at a time is very easy, a good work out. Keep enough out to use over the next 2 days then slice the remaining, it freezing well. This makes it available fresh daily straight to the toaster, or allowed it to defrost for the odd sandwich lunch.
This recipe gives quantities for hemp meal and flour if you don’t have the hemp flour just add some more hemp meal.
Many bread recipes require double proving, which means you leave the dough to rise twice; I have come to believe is not necessary. Allowing the dough to double in size, once in the tins seems to work just as well. Warming the flour in the winter helps if the kitchen is not very warm.