Did you know that at least one ancient recipe is being made and marketed and sold in your local grocery store? You may have seen Ezekiel bread in the freezers where you shop and wondered, “What is this strange bread with a Bible verse on it?” It is actually a recipe taken straight out of the ancient Hebrew Bible. However, you don’t have to buy it at the store. You can make it yourself and it is delicious and healthy. It’s a great family activity and a way to share the ancient past with your kids. Put some peanut butter and jelly on your freshly made Ezekiel bread and you’re truly connecting the ancient and the modern!
In chapter four of Ezekiel, God instructs the prophet on how to make the bread and tells him to eat it while lying on his side every day at specific times for 390 days. This is the number of days that Jerusalem would be besieged. He also initially instructs Ezekiel to cook it using human “dung” as fuel, but after Ezekiel balks at this, God relents and allows him to use cow dung. The entire process is used as a teaching tool for the nation of Israel.
Of course, none of this applies directly to us today, so why do we care about this bread? Well, it is extremely nutritious. The combination of grains and legumes results in a food that is hearty, filling and packed with vitamins and minerals. According to the official Ezekiel Bread website, the bread boasts:
- Source of Complete Protein – Rated 84.3% as efficient as the highest source of protein (comparable to that of milk or eggs)
- Contains 18 Amino Acids – Including all 9 essential amino acids
- Increased Digestibility – Sprouting breaks down starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them easily.
- Increased Absorption of Minerals – Sprouting breaks down enzyme inhibitors, so your body can more easily absorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
- Increased Vitamin C – Sprouting produces vitamin C.
- Increased Vitamin B – Sprouting increases the vitamin B2, B5 & B6.
- Great Source of Fiber – Combining sprouted grains and legumes gives a good amount of natural fiber in each serving.
The Israelites needed foods that would help sustain them during their captivity in Babylon. Meat was not a major staple in their diet because it was difficult and expensive to acquire so they turned to other sources of protein. A bread such as this was necessary for daily life.
So gather the kids, collect your ingredients and bake a batch of this ancient bread! We’re bringing you a slightly updated recipe so you can use your modern oven and modern yeast, but click here for a more traditional recipe. Happy baking!
Also, enjoy our other ancient bread-related recipes:
- Bon Appetit Wednesday! Naan: Hot, Bubbly, Soft, Crispy and Ancient
- Bon Appetit Wednesday! Happy National Doughnut Day
- Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Ancient Irish Oatcakes
- Bon Appetit Wednesday! Cheesy Polenta and Egg Casserole
Makes 2 loaves
- 2 1/2 cups of wheat berries
- 1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
- 1/2 cup of barley
- 1/2 cup of millet
- 1/4 cup of dry green lentils
- 2 tablespoons of dry great Northern beans
- 2 tablespoons of dry kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons of dried pinto beans
- 4 cups of warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages of active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- Measure the water, honey, olive oil and yeast into a large bowl. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir all of the grains and beans together until well mixed. Grind in a flour mill. Add fresh milled flour and salt to the yeast mixture; stir until well mixed, about 10 minutes. The dough will be like that of a batter bread. Pour dough into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
- Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until dough has reached the top of the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown.
 Hebrew Bible, Ezekiel, 4:12