[Poland] The best thing since sliced bread is one that’s homemade

Back in the day when I was a little kid, access to the Internet was not as widespread as nowadays. In fact, I remember begging my parents so that they would let me use their, ancient now, ZX Spectrum machine to type some sentences in the Tag text editor. Entertainment via technology was a rarity, and so I spent each evening reading books. 

As a child, I had a special preference for books with images, so when I ran out of fiction, I moved on to various encyclopedias, which we had heaps of. The adult ones from the sixties came in six intimidating books and had both images in black and white, and several thicker pages in color. These pages were my favorite and featured animals, plants and indigenous people of various regions. They also had all the terms I could possibly think of. Then in the late nineties my grandparents got us new, colored encyclopedias. These had much fewer images, but all of them were in color. Then there were illustrated English dictionaries for kids which I knew by heart by the age of seven but I kept looking at them because they portrayed a simple drawing of a naked guy to list his major body parts. Then there were multiple geographical atlases which I loved, and finally, illustrated ancient history books, which were my other favorite.

The latter was where I first read about the origins of bread, how it was initially just flour with water, baked on the open fire, and how flour was just dried grains, crushed with stone tools against a larger stone. And then I found out that the bread and pastries we know now were born unplanned, as wild yeast accidentally contaminated the dough and it rose, allowing our predecessors to further experiment and mix other ingredients into it. That made me think of bread less as something very basic and more as something very innate. I always thought of baking your own bread as the most heart-warming, soul-uplifting and cozy homemaking experience.

What I really like about eating a simple diet is not just that it’s helping me eliminate the foods that don’t help me in any way or even bother me, or that it’s making me feel like I take care of myself and eat healthfully, or that it’s frugal and helps me save some money on shopping. I love the idea of eating like my ancient predecessors with a contemporary twist. I would like to introduce you to the simplest one-ingredient (or two, if you count water) vegan, gluten-free bread, which came into being just as its earliest predecessors did: out of grains and water. As a person from Central Europe, where buckwheat is part of our culinary heritage, I felt like this recipe is a touch of the past – and yet another throwback to childhood. I first read about it on the Green Creator’s blog, and then simplified it and made my own creation:

Ingredients:
4 cups of white buckwheat grains
cold water to cover the grains

Optional:
salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, powdered garlic etc.
shredded nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame, chia etc.)
millet grains

Preparation:
Put the buckwheat in your baking pan and cover with water so that it has about an inch of room under the water to soak and swell. Leave it in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours and mix every evening and morning. After the soaking is done and there is still more than 1/2 inch water, you can pour some out.

The consistency of the dough after blending the soaked grains

Add your spices, nuts, and seeds – before or after blending the dough, to achieve the desired consistency. Blend it in a food processor to achieve a more creamy texture. It does not need to be smooth – chunks of nuts and grains are fully acceptable.

My bread during baking, turned over for a more crunchy crust as per the Green Creator’s recipe recommendation – it works! 

Bake in the oven for approximately two hours, but make sure to check up on it after an hour and then every 20 minutes.

A note from me:
After it’s baked, make sure not to try to cut it before it cools down (leave it out overnight, covered with a paper towel), and cut it into fairly thick slices, as it may be prone to crumble.

Woman Restated

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