Last month I posted an Imbolc red lentil seed bread based on a Turkish recipe. It is a lovely option with dill being a flavour filled part of the mixture. This version is a more middle of the road choice that goes well with everything from peanut butter to salami.
Red lentils require a little preplanning as they will need to be soaked for at least six hours or overnight before being ready for use in this manner. Lentils are a complex carbohydrate pulse, lots of potassium, iron, zinc, protein and dietary fiber. At 21, they are low on the Glycemic Index, meaning they won’t spike blood sugars.
This version has identical preparation to that Imbolc Seed Bread with slightly different ingredients. The garlic powder and parsley are optional but recommended.
There is also a sweet cake version of this simple technique.
It is said that the Roman naturalist Pliny was of the opinion that lentil soup supported an even temper and may be why they are associated with peace.
3/4 cup red lentils
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cottage cheese or feta
2 Tbsp. dried herbs (I used tarragon )
1/2 tsp. chai seeds
1/2 tsp. flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds, divided
1/2 tsp. salt (herbed if some is available)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
smoked paprika (optional)
Turn on the warm water and stop for just a moment while you wash your hands. Shift focus away from your busy day and into the present moment. Let any nigglies flow off your fingertips, disappearing with the warm water down the drain. Clear space to set your intention. (Peace might be the perfect intention to focus on while gathering supplies and equipment). When you feel centered, begin.
Brush a square 8×8 or 9×9 inches glass baking form with olive oil. Leave the brush with the pan as the oil will flow to the bottom and a swirl around again before adding the batter will help the finished bread come away from the pan.
Drain the lentils and rinse under clear water until the water leaving the sieve looses that milky quality.
Place the lentils in a blender and pulse several times before opening the container and scraping down the sides.
Repeat as many times as needed until the mixture is smooth.
Remove from the bowl about half the mixture and place it in a mixing bowl large enough to contain all the ingredients in the recipe.
Into the remaining lentils add the olive oil, eggs, yoghurt and cheese cheese, seeds (half the poppy seeds) and salt. Pulse to mix well. Remember to add any of the extra additional options you happen to have on hand.
The original Turkish version includes fresh parsley and dill and in this version, only the optional parsley is added to keep the finished flavour more neutral.
It can be added into the mix at this time or at the end if larger pieces are preferred.
The mixture in the food processor, once combined will be liquid and lighter in colour. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the original lentils and combine with a spatula. The mixture will thicken a little as the two portions are combined.
Add the washed and chopped herbs if not already done and sprinkle the baking powder over the top before mixing everything together by hand.
Make sure there are no baking powder lumps in the mix. The baking powder will activate fairly quickly.
Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with smoked paprika (optional), white sesame seeds, the remaining poppy seeds and any other seeds you might like.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, test with a knitting needle or toothpick and bake an extra five minutes if needed. Remove to a cooling rack until cool.
There is a tendency in non wheat flour baking, with ingredients like almond flour and lentils, for crumbling. For that reason cooling is important to build stability.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and bake for 35 minutes and once removed from the oven allow to fully cool before cutting. The bread needs time to strengthen as it cools so that it will not crumble.This bread stays moist for a longer time than a slice of wheat bread and freezes well.
Use as a dinner side dish, make lunch time sandwiches or toast for a quick breakfast. The batter can also be baked in ramekins for hamburger buns.