This is my version of the loaf popularised by My New Roots and other bloggers and bakers, including the local-to-me The Midnight Baker, who makes an excellent Freedom Loaf. I don’t avoid gluten or any other ingredients, but I love the way a slice of this dense oaf, loaded with seeds and nuts and the distinctive flavour and texture of sprouted buckwheat, fills me up and provides me with energy.
Experiment with different seeds and nuts to see what you like best. It’s important not to skip the soaking step for buckwheat, as this softens the very hard seed. Soaking it for a few hours will soften it sufficiently, but soaking it overnight will start the sprouting process which arguably makes the nutrients more accessible – or in any case, it makes for a lovely al dente texture.
1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats
2/3 cups pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup cashew nuts (or almond, Brazil or hazelnuts)
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup chia seeds
4 Tbsp psyllium husks
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Place all the ingredients except chia, psyllium and coconut oil in a large bowl and cover clean water. Soak for 4-6 hours, or overnight if you want to sprout the buckwheat, then drain well.
- Combine the soaked ingredients with all the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Keep on stirring for a few minutes to disperse all the psyllium.
- Pour into a greased loaf tin and let rest for an hour.
- Heat oven to 160°C. Place tin in centre of oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and carefully, using a couple of forks or fish slices, tip the loaf onto a bench or chopping board, and replace in the tin, underside-up. Some bits of the underneath might fall out but just press them back into what is now the top of the loaf, they’ll stick back in as it cooks again. Place tin back in oven and bake loaf for a another 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
The loaf will keep for a few days stored in a cool dark spot – a pure cotton bread bag or beeswax wrap is a good storage option. It will keep longer, over a week, stored in the fridge. It also freezes well, but slice before freezing. It’s excellent toasted, which brings out the nutty flavours.
- Swap out the buckwheat for oats, and swap these seeds and nuts for any other seeds and nuts.
- Use maple syrup, coconut nectar or honey in place of brown rice syrup
- Add dried fruit and spices to make a fruit loaf.
- Experiment with using a puree to replace some of the water – eg pumpkin or golden kumara.