Change Is Good

A few months ago I was reading an article in Food and Wine Magazine about making bread, and I got to one passage and audibly gasped. Then I immediately got teary. Somehow it shook me. As I got further into the article, it ended up mentioning a FRIEND of mine! Now is that a coincidence that I was emotionally invested in the article only to find out I had a personal connection? Maybe. Probably. Who cares…

The name of this recipe is The Life Changing Loaf of Bread. I’ve had it bookmarked since February and I’ve kind of had a secret goal to make it before the end of the year. The ingredient list was funky, so I kept putting it off. But the picture that went with it kept calling me back to it. I wanted to make my own squirrelly loaf of seedy, nutty bread. 

I looked for psyllium husks, and when I found them I was all ready to go. There is a world of information about psyllium husks, and your colon, and ‘nature’s broom,’ on the internet. Go crazy. For the purposes of this blog and this recipe, it is flourless bread and it is bound together by this extraordinary fiber source. Cool!

Life changing? That’s a lot of pressure to put on a food item. I firmly believe in transformation, reformation, expansion, evolution – all of those words related to change. Why? Because change is inescapable. Our cells are constantly regenerating, the earth is perpetually spinning, our thoughts continue to race, our hearts keep beating, and all of these are components of change. 

 But what about this bread? What about anything we deem life changing? It’s like when we hear a really good piece of music. There can be a hook or beat that finds its way into our inner rhythm. Or an unforgettable magically strung together set of notes that sings to our heart. We are introduced to something that touches us and changes our perception of the world. It’s the same experience with a life changing book, movie, or piece of theatre. We are hit in the gut. We are speechless. Our breath is taken away. Or we can’t stop smiling. Or laughing. Or crying. They cause an emotional reaction - that is when you know something is really evolutionary.

So I made this Life Changing Bread. In the end I got the squirrelly loaf I wanted and I thought a LOT about what moves me. Did it change my life? Not outwardly. Was it achingly good or heartbreakingly delicious? Definitely not. It is a pretty loaf of bread though.  

Honestly, what changed my life is an ingredient not at all called for in the recipe: the persimmon.

A few weeks ago I polled the Facebook community on my cooking page. I asked them to tell me what all the fuss was about this fruit. They generated great ideas and encouraged me to find the perfectly ripe fruit. And I did. And then I did again. And now I have come to know that the persimmon is glorious! It is stunningly orange on the outside, and the inside is sweet, like a refreshing jam or pudding. I mostly eat them with just a spoon. I am now a Persimmon Believer. I feel like I’ve struck gold or won a prize. My November, and life, has changed. So I spread this life changing fruit on this Life Changing Bread. 

The Life Changing Loaf of Bread

from My New Roots (with my details in bold!)

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients :

1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds

½ cup / 90g flax seeds

½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds (I used hazelnuts!)

1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats (this is totally gluten free if you gluten free-ers use your special GF oats!)

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)(I used husks!)

1 tsp. fine grain sea salt

1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)

3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee (I used coconut oil!)

1 ½ cups / 350ml water 

Directions :

1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan (I used a regular metal one!) combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. 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 one or two teaspoons of 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. (I could only wait 2 hours!) To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it. 

2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C

3. 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 (difficult, but important.)

4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!