Sprouted Wheat Essene Bread

This is an ancient bread recipe from the first-century Aramaic manuscript entitled The Essene Gospel of Peace (from which the bread derives its name). My recipe was inspired by Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers' Book (1983), a wonderful compilation of recipes edited by the Cooperative Whole Grain Education Association featuring breads from cooperative bakeries around the country.
By / Photography By Gary Beverly | February 15, 2017


This recipe makes two small, dense and deliciously sweet loaves.


Skip the last rinse of your sprouts so the dough will not be too wet. Put the sprouted grains into a food processor and grind to a sticky, coarse dough. At this point add optional dried fruit and/or nuts and grind into the mix.

Using wet hands, take up half the dough. Knead lightly to remove air pockets and work into a firm ball. Flatten. To add a nice touch, roll the loaves in sesame or poppy seeds or rolled oats. Otherwise oil the loaves and place them on a baking sheet.

Bake for 2½–3 hours at 250°. The outside should be firm but not hard and the bottom should spring back slightly when tapped. Let cool completely before cutting. The inside will be soft at first but will firm up as it ages. Store in the refrigerator.


  • Sprouted wheat made from 3 cups of dry, hard winter wheat berries
  • 1 cup dried apricots or other fruit (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts or other nuts (optional)
  • Sesame or poppy seeds or rolled oats (optional)
  • Vegetable oil
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