Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hemp Bread - Oh, Yes I Did!

If you've read this blog a while you will know that we are big fans of hemp.  Super food, soothing skin care ingredient, fabulous fabric - all from a plant that can be sustainably grown without much addition of pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation.  We're so lucky, in Canada, that it is perfectly legal and widely accepted (Get with it, America!).  We're also fortunate that one of the premier suppliers of hemp foods, Manitoba Harvest, is based right here in our province, so we like to consider the products local, even if we don't really know where the hemp was grown.  In our house you will find hemp oil, which we use in our morning smoothies, pestos and salad dressings, as well as in our handmade lotion bars and lip balms.  Hemp oil is not suitable for cooking with, as it can't take high temperatures.  Also in the pantry at all times is hemp protein powder which, until now, went into our morning smoothies.  We also have hemp seeds, known as hemp hearts, which are awesome little nutty seeds for topping salads, pastas or for munching.  We have hemp clothes, which are sturdy and long-lasting, improving with age as they get softer and softer.  We even have some hemp paper products!  Multi-purpose, awesome stuff that hemp!

For Earth Day, I received a lovely email offering a celebratory discount from the nice people at Manitoba Harvest.  I immediately went to the website to take advantage of 30% off, which was just for the weekend.  While cruising the different protein powders, I read that the powder can be used in place of flour in baking recipes.  Hmmmm.......

I was needing to make bread and had a craving for a more traditional sandwich loaf.  Our usual 'go-to' bread is one of the fabulous no-knead artisan breads from the book 'Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day' by Hertzberg and Francois.  It is a great way to make bread from scratch for busy people: you mix the ingredients in the storage container, let it rise, throw it in the fridge and when you need bread you grab a hunk, let is rise a bit and throw it into the oven on a hot pizza stone.   Sometimes however, I do want a lighter sandwich loaf, the 'knead' kind of bread.  My 'go-to' recipe for that has been the 'Easy Farmhouse White Bread' from the always fabulous Farmgirl Fare.  The original blog post with the recipe has tons of great extra info and tips plus links to techniques like forming a loaf and such.  Highly recommended!

Anyhow, I've made the recipe a few times; the first few times straight up, then changed some of the flour for whole wheat, then spelt.  Today, from the starting four cups of flour I replaced half a cup with hemp protein powder and a full cup with whole wheat flour.  As per the suggestions in the blog post, I increased the milk by a cup, to compensate for the 'thirstier' flours.  The resulting loaf is very good: still light, with an extra, subtle nutty flavor and a nice dark fleck through loaf!  I'm quite happy to know I've added a little bit of protein, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and other good things!  Now, I'm going to mess up all those healthy benefits by slathering on way too much butter and a bunch of homemade grape jelly!  Yummy!  Have you given hemp foods a try!  You really should; your body will thank you!


  1. Yummy! This looks Delicious! I will have to try it very soon. Thanks!

  2. I had no idea hemp was used in so many ways. I knew fabric was made out of it but surprised to see you can eat it.