Zel's Vegan NutGourmet

Zel Allen Goes Nuts for Good Health


Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on August 20, 2009

What a fabulous fresh tomato season this is!

I bought a lug of gorgeous slightly softened tomatoes from the farm stand and dehydrated about half of them. That prompted me to create a delicious variation of the previous post. Into the processor went the grains! Into a bowl went the tomatoes! A little mixing, a little stirring, a little tasting, a little baking, and voila! A great looking, great tasting, savory tomato-infused pine nut bread using the same whole grains as in the Pistachio Caper Bread. The key to this recipe is planning ahead to allow time for the grains to soak.



Yield: 2 small loaves (4 to 6 servings per loaf)

1 cup wheat berries
1 cup oat groats

2 1/2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
Hot or boiling water

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon psyllium seed husks

1 cup pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Place the wheat berries and oat groats into a large bowl and add water to cover by 3 inches. Set aside to soak for 8 to 12 hours.
2. When the grains have soaked, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a large jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Place the sun-dried tomatoes into a medium bowl and pour hot or boiling over to cover. Set aside to soften for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Drain and rinse the soaked grains and place them into the food processor. Measure the tomato soak water and add enough tap or filtered water to make 1 1/4 cups. Add this water to the processor along with the salt, cayenne, and half of the well-drained sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Pulse and process the grains for about 2 minutes, or until they are ground to a coarse meal and all the liquid is well incorporated. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. If your processor has a small capacity, process the grains in 2 batches.
5. Combine the 1/4 cup water and psyllium seed husks in a small bowl, stir well, and set aside for 30 seconds to thicken. Add the psyllium mixture to the processor and process until it is well incorporated into the batter.
6. Transfer the bread batter to a large bowl and add the pine nuts, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Drain and chop the remaining sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
7. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared jellyroll pan in two even piles and use the spoon to shape the loaves into thick rectangles about 5 x 7 inches.
8. Lightly cover the loaves with aluminum foil, shiny side down, and bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes longer. Cool the bread completely. Slice and serve.

Oat groats and wheat berries are available in natural food markets. Psyllium seed husks are also available in natural food markets. The psyllium husks serve to absorb water and act as a binder.

If not serving right away, wrap the breads separately in heavy-duty plastic bags and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before serving or wrap in aluminum foil, shiny side inside, and warm in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

I like to prepare these breads in advance and freeze them to give as gifts or to enjoy when guests come for dinner. To freeze, wrap the cooled breads separately in heavy-duty zipper-lock plastic bags. Frozen, they will keep well for up to 4 months.

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