Bake Bread with Hemp

Bake Bread with Hemp - shutterstock_224474716Next time you set out to bake bread from scratch, consider adding hemp into your recipe. Hemp seeds, which come from the Cannabis sativa L. plant, are a great source of protein and fiber and provide an ideal ratio of the essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. They’re also high in iron, calcium and magnesium. 

You’ll find that most hemp bread recipes call for hemp seeds. Some, however, will call for hemp hearts, which are simply shelled hemp seeds. The inside hearts are softer and creamier than their outer shell. There are also some bread recipes that call for hemp flour, which is made with ground-up hemp seeds and then typically combined with another type of flour to keep the mix from being too dense. You can find hemp seeds, hemp hearts and hemp flour and most health stores.

If you’re worried about hemp’s close relationship to marijuana, you don’t need to be. Although both are from the Cannabis family, hemp doesn’t have the tetrahydrocannabinol that is used for recreational or medicinal purposes.

There are many hemp bread recipes out there, including completely vegan and gluten-free options, savory ones with garlic, onion and salt, and sweet breads that are made with sugar, maple syrup and fruits.

Here’s one hemp bread recipe to get you started. This gluten-free bread utilizes hemp flour and serves well when used for sandwiches or toast. First, oil a 9 X 5-inch bread pan and set it aside. In a small bowl, pour 2 ½ cups of warm water. Add in 1 tablespoon of dry active yeast and stir immediately. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. During that time, the mixture should have become foamy. Pour in 1/3 cup of olive oil or hemp oil, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and whisk the ingredients together. In a larger bowl, mix 2 cups of brown rice flour, 2 cups hemp flour, ¾ cup potato starch, 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum and 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt. Use a fork to mix all the dried ingredients and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Avoid lumps by mixing everything together while you’re pouring. Stir thoroughly for a full minute. Pour the batter into the oiled bread pan, making sure it’s spread out evenly. Let it rise for an hour and then bake for 60 minutes in an oven that’s been preheated to 350 degrees. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Set it aside and let it cool completely before slicing.

To save time, make multiple loaves at once and then slice and freeze the extra to use for later.

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