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Manna Bread - Sprouted, naturally leavened bread
Around 150 years ago it became cost effective to mass mill grains into the shelf stable product we know of as flour. Since this time, a host of health related anomalies have been occurring in the United States. The beginning of the mass production of food is regarded as marking the beginning of the Standard American Diet, or more appropriately named, the SAD diet. These health issues are likely caused by products containing flour and sugars that, after they're quickly digested, turn into a flash flood of sugar that our bodies aren't capable of handling multiple times a day. To reduce having major health issues later in life, we'd like to remind you that highly processed foods should be enjoyed in moderation. When you're not overindulging in desserts, It's a good idea to eat natural food that is minimally processed and provides consistent energy without spiking your blood sugar. Luckily, this can be done while still eating amazing food. Enter Manna Bread.
Recently the folks at Manna Organics were kind enough to send me a box of all of their Manna Bread flavors to try out. Forget everything you thought you knew about bread. Manna Bread is a sprouted, naturally leavened bread that doesn't use bread yeast, sweeteners or salt.
Sprouting, also known as malting, is when a seed changes into a plant. During this time extra nutrients are produced and starches convert to sugars to give the sprout nourishment to survive and prosper during the germination process. Sprouted grains are popular in breads because they offer enhanced flavor and nutrition content. Manna Organics then grinds the sprouted wheat berres and allows the dough to sit just long enough to get a natural leavening from natural airborne yeasts which is similar to how sourdough or wild yeasted bread is produced. The sprouting and leavening process also creates additional flavor compounds. The result is a bread that doesn't need much else to taste hearty and satisfying. Since it's mostly just sprouted ground and naturally leavened grains, a slice even without a topping can be a meal in itself. This bread is that good.
Manna bread is not your tratitional floured, yeasted bread. Due to this it is extremely dense and hearty. if you grew up on Wonder Bread you may have a hard time getting into this bread. If you love hearty rustic breads, you'll love Manna Bread.
Fig Fennel Flax
This bread was extra dense and moist due to the figs. The fennel enhanced the figs in an intriguingly delicious way and the flax gave the bread bonus crunch. You don't really need to put a topping on this stuff.
This was my favorite bread of the bunch. The carrots gave the bread a buttery, sweet, dense and moist consistency and the raisins lended a tart sweetness. I love it when something ultra unprocessed can satisfy a dessert craving and this bread was no different. Topping it with almond butter was heaven.
This bread features sunflower, sesame, flax, millet, poppy and caraway seeds. The result is a buttery complexity that is perfect for a sandwich.
Banana Walnut Hemp
Bananas and the nuttiness of hemp combined forces in this bread. I'd be happy eating this as part of a sandwich or with some preserves on top for dessert. This bread is great either way.
Millet and Rice made for a very standard bread that would be preferred if you were making a sandwich where you wouln't want the flavor of the bread to interfere.
Fruit and Nut
Raisins, dates, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg join together to make this bread one of my other favorites. The nuts gave it a good crunch and enhanced the complexity of the sweetness provided by the raisins and dates.
Most rye bread recipes call for rye flour being a blend of rye flour to wheat flour. This bread is 100% sprouted rye berries and the flavor reminds you of that. This bread had a rye intensity that was not too extreme but the complexity of it's rye flavor is unlike anything I've experienced. If you're into rye breads, this is not to be missed.
As you would expect, a multigrain version of a sprouted, naturally leavened bread can almost be substituted for a meal. Rice, barley, millet, flax, rye, soy oats, oat bran, cornmeal... it's all here and waiting to help you make the ultimate sandwich.
Cinnamon and dates made this bread another perfect low sugar dessert. Toasting it and topping it with peanut or almond butter was devine.
In previous attempts to make similar bread I've spent enough money on wheat berries to personally finance a new beard trimmer for Bob from Bob's Red Mill. That is why Manna Bread will be a staple in my pantry from now on. It's just great bread that tastes amazing with zero guilt. You can't say that about many vegan baked goods.
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