I’ve had this bag of hulled hemp seeds sitting in my fridge for about a month now. I came across it in Costco when I was looking for some more flax meal, and decided that I needed some even though I had no idea what it tasted like, or what to do with it. Needless to say, it then sat in the fridge ignored because the package only suggests adding the stuff to smoothies or sprinkling it on cereals.
Then, last week I decided to check out the web for things to do with hemp, only to discover that people only seemed to add it to smoothies or sprinkle it on their cereals (I exaggerate slightly … but only slightly)!! So, I threw caution to the wind, and attempted to make an American pancake with it. I’ve tested all sorts of flours using this method. The pancakes are not always optimal, but they do give a great idea of the flour’s properties (bean flour is strongly flavored but has good structure, almond flour has a great flavor but a tendency to be gummy, rice flour is tasteless …. that sort of thing.) Anyway, the pancakes came out light, slightly stretchy, and mild in flavor. It was at this point that I figured I might have stumbled upon something worth stumbling upon.
Bread, vegan bread is what I really wanted to make. Something that rose, and wasn’t gummy, and was not too strongly flavored, and not too bland, but just right. Anyway, this recipe went through many revisions, before I settled on this concoction. Chia seeds or flax meal? Potato starch or tapioca? 1 tsp or 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (yes, I tried both before settling for 1 1/4 tsp …. it does make a difference, so measure carefully). My freezer is now full of half loaves which I didn’t want to eat immediately because I’d blow up like a balloon. Anyway, this loaf is moist and soft, with a bit of spring in its texture, and a soft-ish crust. It’s still best eaten the day it’s made, but perfectly serviceable the next day, especially if toasted.
The hemp that I bought was still in seed form. However, it’s soft enough that the couple of minutes in the processor with the other ingredients is sufficient to reduce it to a non-lumpy format, so don’t worry about getting hemp flour for this. If you click the picture and then click again, you get to see the texture of the bread in a fashion that my eyes don’t manage unaided, and there is still a bit of evidence of the hemp seed, but nothing that your mouth would discern.
If my sources are correct, whole wheat/meal bread has about 2g fiber per slice. This hemp bread has between 4 and 4.5g per slice.
8 oz (scant 2 cups) hemp seeds
5 oz (1 cup) tapioca starch
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) flaxmeal
2 oz (1/4 cup) margarine
1 tbsp instant dried yeast
2 tbsp sugar (for the yeast, not for you)
1 1/4 tsps salt
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
7-8 fl oz (1 cups) water
1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice, added to water (to activate xanthan gum)
Put all the dry ingredients along with the margarine in a food processor. Collect the wet ingredients together in a jug.
Start processing, and add the wet ingredients (lesser amount unless more needed) to the dry ingredients slowly (~10 seconds). Process for 2-3 minutes to activate the xanthan gum.
Spoon the dough out into a small loaf pan lined with parchment paper or heavily greased, and allow to rise until at least 50% bigger, with cracks just starting to form on the surface.
Put the loaf in the center of the oven. Loosely cover with foil or parchment paper to prevent over browning. Cook at 360F for 55-60 minutes. Enjoy!