Adventures in Raw Bread Making!
October 7, 2009

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Happy Raw Wednesday!

How’d it go, guys? My day, though raw, was stressful and utterly unworthy of documentation. But in honor of the day, I do have a very special post to share with you. It is a chronicle of my journey into a brave new world of raw food. Yes, friends. Today, I share my first ever food dehydrating experience.

Food dehydrating. The final frontier. After six months of assuring you that you don’t need a dehydrator to be raw, and proving the claim myself, I have been gifted with a dehydrator. Which means a whole new world of breads, crackers, cookies, cakes, pizza crust, pie crust, and more.

Before I give you the detail of my first dehydrating adventure, I want to make something very clear. Having a dehydrator will in no way change the ethos of my blog. Sure, it’ll be fun to show you guys some of the fun things one can do with a dehydrator, and to make recipes that are a little more elaborate than the usual raw soups and salads. But I started this blog to prove that anyone—even someone equipped with nothing more than some kitchen knives and an imagination—can enjoy the raw lifestyle. The appliances help, but my kind of raw lifestyle (simple foods, simple combinations) doesn’t necessitate them. As I’ve stated before, I began my raw journey with nothing more than a food processor, a box grater, and some knives, and I managed nicely for a long, long while.

But every now and then, we welcome change into our lives. So get ready. A few times each month, I’ll try to make something really fun in the ‘ole Excalibur. I’ve already got some recipes bookmarked to try, and I hope you’ll love them. Rest assured, though, that Choosing Raw will remain a place where raw foodists come to relax, not show off; a place where prepping a meal takes fifteen minutes, not five days. And with the exception of today’s post, I’ll always try to give you a low-temp oven option on the recipe.

On that note, let me begin my first dehydrating adventure with a little tour of my kitchen. Welcome.

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The first time I brought my ex-boyfriend (who was, shall we say, a meat and potatoes man) into this sacred room, he grinned and said, “So. This is where the magic happens.”

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Yes. This is where the magic happens. This room is where it’s at. It’s where I come to unwind, to create, to shake off a bad day. Merely walking in here gives me a sense of calm. And well it should: by New York City renter’s standards, I have a pretty incredible kitchen (my old kitchen, which I shared with a roommate, was virtually so tiny that two people could not stand in it at the same time).

Here’s my countertop:

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My appliances, all lined up like ducks in a row:

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A still life from my Mom (she’s a painter):

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Pantry items – healthy grains:

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And sea veggies/spices:

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Here is my vegan cookbook collection (and this ain’t the half of it—just the VIPs!):

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My tea kettle:

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And no kitchen of mine is complete without some yams.

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Hoping for a fridge tour? Not yet! I’m saving that one for a special organizational post. Soon.

Of course, having a dehydrator in an already full NYC kitchen brings up one crucial issue: space. Where to put? For now, I think a laborious tradeoff will have to happen each time the machine is in action. Other appliances get to sit on the floor:

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While it gets the counter:

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The rest of the time, you’ll find this guy here:

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Whatever works.

In contemplating what to make for my first dehydrating jaunt, I thought (as I often do) of my clients’ food requests. Many of my clients ask me for raw bread recipes, and I’ve yet to provide them with one. I’ve also always hoped to put juice pulp to good use in a bread. So last weekend, I vowed that if I could find an easy, hassle free bread recipe, I’d christen the dehydrator with it.

Fortunately, I did. My friend Blaq Berry’s Carrocumber bread was the perfect template. And since I happened to have a ton of carrot pulp on hand, I figured it was time to take the plunge. I followed her recipe closely, making a few modifications (raisins in place of dates, celery/kale pulp in place of cucumber). And voila, Miss “I’ll never use my dehydrator” had herself some raw bread.

Here’s how:

Raw Carrot-Raisin Bread (Inspired by Hi-Rawkus; makes about five slices)

Ingredients:

1 cup carrot juice pulp
1/3 cup green pulp (celery or cucumber would be ideal)
½ cup ground flaxseed
½ tsp salt
1 tsp flax oil
¼ cup raisins, packed
1/3 cup water (if needed)

Begin by blending the first five ingredients in a food processor until well mixed. Add the raisins and pulse until they’re well incorporated.

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Next, drizzle in water until the mix is clumping together – just as you would make any bread in a processor. Don’t use it all if you don’t need it – you don’t want an overly sticky consistency. (You could also do this by hand, it’ll just take some extra time.)

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Roll the “dough” out onto a wooden board. You’ll probably need to oil the roller and board for this. Cut it into rectangles (mine yielded five sizeable ones).

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Turn on your dehydrator, and set it to 115 degrees. Put the bread onto a Paraflexx-lined dehydrator tray, and place the bread in the machine. Dehydrate for about one hour, and flip the bread. Dehydrate for another hour and a half. Then, flip the bread again, and dehydrate for thirty-forty minutes, or until the bread has reached a consistency you like. I was aiming for a soft, yet sturdy texture, and it’s exactly what I got!

Remove the bread from the dehydrator. If you’re not eating it right away, but it in an airtight container and store in the fridge (should keep a few days). Or, go ahead and whip up a raw sandwich!

Since I had this baby on hand:

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I decided to make a hearty MLT sandwich: mushroom, heirloom tomato, and lettuce. I spread some of my raw almondaise on the bread:

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Stacked Portobello mushroom and thick tomato slices on it, topped with some lettuce, and voila:

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A comforting, diner-worthy lunch.

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Alongside a big salad, this hit the spot.

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I was especially impressed with the bread’s texture: it was soft and pliable, unlike most raw bread, which usually resembles a giant, crumbly cracker.

It was new territory, but I found the whole dehydrating process ridiculously easy. It’s true, what they say about dehydrators: all you have to do is walk away and come back a few hours later. Unlike ovens or boiling pots, they require no vigilance. And the results are, well, pretty cool.

I hope you all had an awesome raw Wednesday! And I want to hear about it! Please chime into the comments section and let me know how you fared. And keep sending photos; I got a few (you guys know who you are, and thanks!) but I’d love to be able to post a whole bunch next week.

On that note, I leave you to five days sans Gena. I’m off to Crescent City to visit Chloe, my best friend, who lives there. I look forward to some hot weather, some girl time, some strolling by beautiful old homes, and some pleasure reading (fingers crossed!). In the meantime, I have three awesome guest posts lined up for you guys. Expect the first tomorrow evening!

xo

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Categories: Gluten Free, Raw

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    77 Comments
  1. Is it possible to use spelt flour instead of flax seeds of chia seeds? What is another substitute you think could work?

    • Hi Ziggy,

      I’m not sure—I never tried it with flour or another substitute! This is an older recipe and I only tried it with flax and chia, which have similar properties. I’m sorry not to be more helpful.

      G

  2. Hello there
    Loved the taste of the bread. I swapped the flax for chai seeds. The only issue was that it didn’t look like it rose as much as yours, mine was a flatter loaf (followed your recipe to the letter and used the correct pan size). Do you have any recommendations for making it rise more, perhaps a bit less dense?

    Do you have any oat flour recipes, as this would be cheaper to make! 🙂

    Thanks again for your fab recipes – I tried your delicious chocolate cake!

  3. Hi, I am on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which does not allow Flax or Chia seeds because of stomach sensitivities. Is there any way I can make bread or flatbread without them? Thank you

  4. I did this recipe, and it’s very yummy! A perfect recipe, thank you very much. Huges from Brasil.

  5. Hi there, its been a while since you posted this–(nice of you to share your kitchen and recipe)–I hope you get my response if you’re still out there in cyberspace–not sure. Just found out that I need to let go of wheat for trimmer waste line and to loose weight to ward off heart problems at my age–65–I exercise regularly and eat lots of raw but too much regular bread. I’ll be trying this real soon–most of these ingredients I usually have on hand except of flax oil, but I’ll try coconut oil instead. Most dehydrating recipes I’ve seen have lots of ingredients I don’t have on hand–unlike yours. 🙂 thanks again and may God continue to bless you and yours. Sincerely, Grandma Shelley

  6. Thanks for the post. Ive been contemplating a dehydrator for some time and look forward to getting one soon. They are so big though right?! Have you considered storing it in your oven?
    My new vitamix should be here today! Raw is so much easier with the right tools. Your sandwich looked so delicious!! I love my breads so may have to invest in one sooner than later. 🙂

  7. I’m so glad I came across this! I write a raw/vegan blog but the one subject I never touched, nor dared to go near, was raw bread. Like you said, most raw breads I wouldn’t even consider a bread. It just a cracker. But I’m making some strawberry jam for my husband (who still buys his whole wheat bread), and I really wanted to find something for me to be able to eat it on. I’m definitely going to try this out today!

  8. Or, you could go down to your local baker, and obtain some fresh fluffly loaves of fresh baked bread

  9. Your blog is wonderful! I’m raw-curious, and I have to say, I am extremely inspired! Thank you! 🙂

  10. I ordered a dehydrator last week and was excited when I discovered it waiting patiently by my door when I arrived home from out of town. Your recipe and instructions have me so excited! I can’t wait to make it and the wonderful meal shown above!! Thanks for the recipe.

    Signed,
    a New Raw Foodist 🙂

  11. Wow, that bread sound delish. I just made my first dehydrated bread too. It was “Sprouted Onion Bread” I too like a bread that is soft and pliable. This onion bread came out just that way. There is lots of pulp from my carrot juicing so your bread will be a snap this afternoon. Thanks for the receipe. This is my first time on your blog and I will be back. If you want the onion bread receipe, just email me and I’ll send it on….

  12. I just made this bread and it was absolutely awesome! I’m new to the whole raw thing and I don’t have a juicer, so I grated the carrot and cucumber and squeezed out the juice through a cheese cloth to make the pulp. It worked great! Thanks! For me, being able to have a sandwich makes everything more blissful…

  13. I just started contemplating a raw diet and my husband is with me on giving it a try. I liked your blog a lot I will continue to read it for great tips.i think that even though I don’t have a dehydrator, I will use the sun for now. Its hot here in Cali and i can bake outdoors.
    happy uncooking!

  14. Hi there,

    I recently gave in and got a dehydrator as well and have found raw to be lots more fun when I can hold onto a sandwich! I was looking for bread recipes that are not solely flax seeds and was excited to find yours. I tried it out just today, though I went a little nuts on the juicing and ended up with double the pulp. I was short on celery so I substituted apples instead of my second half of the greens I needed. It came out super yummy. I’ve only tried it by itself so far but am eager to try it out in a sandwich with some pecan nut butter, apples, and cinnamon!

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Gena, the bread looks scrumptious!! Way to go! *high five* 😀 I’m honored to have inspired your first dehydrated creation, and I look forward to seeing what all you make next. We love having a dehydrator, though we tend to use it in spurts. It really comes in handy whenever we have a hankering for something “baked” or “roasted”. I think you’re going to have a lot fun experimenting with yours. Congrats!

    Btw, your kitchen is adorable. It’s so organized and well stocked! I can’t wait to see the fridge. *wink*

    Keep the good stuff coming! 😉

    ~BB

  16. I have been craving bread…this looks grand and I have a dehydrator which I use for apples and strawberries.

    I did use whole wheat bread, and almondaise to have a brandywine tomato fresh from the garden….my stomach and body rejoiced and rejoiced after 8 weeks of raw…

    I am not missing much else but I make so many Gluten Free breads for my family – I have found myself drooling for something that would meet that need for myself….Thank you

    I am off to make chocomole pudding for my treat of the week! 🙂

  17. you’re making me miss my kitchen. I hope to have a dehydrator next time I get in one. It’s good to see people really using their kitchens and the space they have. So many people complain about how they can’t cook/eat healthy/whatever because their kitchen is so small. So untrue, you can do it if you want to.

  18. Currently, I live a non-dehydrator raw vegan lifestyle. And so far I am good. I think I have an issue with needing a lot of appliances to eat healthy and raw.

    But after seeing your wonderful bread… I am beginning to think twice. Nice job! Looks delish!

  19. That looks wonderful!

    If you figure out any good bread or cracker recipes without flax seed, do let me know. I just loathe the taste of flax and, well… one doesn’t get too far in raw breads without it. Hoping to get my dehydrator out of storage soon and try my hand at some raw breads & crackers with chia… hoping that will be workable for the likes of me. Would so love to be able to enjoy raw breads… 😀

  20. Your bread looks so yummy! I’m getting a dehydrator very soon after wanting one for ages, so I’m very excited to try out making some raw bread. Loved the tour of your kitchen too, the contents of your cupboards very closely resemble mine 🙂

  21. Oh my!!!! I’m asking for an Excaliber for Xmas and this may be the first I make! Looks so soft and delicious. My parents have one of those old circle shaped dehydrators and I’ve borrowed it to make Ani’s raw bread and some flax crackers. But yours looks even better than those turned out!!!

    And your kitchen is cute and tiny! I’ve heard about the NYC kitchens!

  22. Holey cow.

    1. That bread looks good. I do not have a dehydrator. I have a space issue. Which brings me to

    2. Dang I cannot BELIEVE how small kitchens in NYC are. Really. I mean, I’ve had small kitchens in college “apartments”, but NYC really takes the cake.

    My kitchen is smallish, but still 4x that size!

  23. The bread looks wonderful and it’s great to see you using (but not becoming dependent) on the dehydrator. Can’t wait to see what you whip up next!

    Have a wonderful trip and can’t wait to read all about it when you get home 🙂

  24. Wow, that really looks amazing. I’m thinking of investing in a good dehydrator. Ughhhhh. If I go broke, it’s allll your fault =]

  25. I so adore your kitchen. It’s so precious and cozy for the solo cookin’. But seriously, that bread sounds incredible. I hope to try in the oven; will let you know how it fares if/when I do. I’m all about using up the pulp! And after my crackers, I’m so not afraid to just pretend my oven’s a dehydrator and go nuts. The raw world is my vegan oyster right now, as far as I’m concerned! Plus kale chips must happen. That’s just going to be necessary. And more crackers. And maybe a raw pie for xmas. Hmph.

    Direct email to immediately follow this comment. <3

  26. Your kitchen is so cute Gena! I remember seeing Rose’s kitch (On a Lobster Placemat) in her DC apt and thinking DAYUM! So tiny and adores :)I love it I love it!
    Your bread sounds great. I love that you finally used your dehydrator. I’ve been waiting!
    Have a great visit with your girl!

  27. Loved the kitchen tour!!! What kind of juicer is that lounging on your countertop?? I want to buy a juicer but I’m not sure which one to get. What would you recommend??

  28. Congrats on the dehydrator! The bread looks amazing. I am always in awe of NYC bloggers–that kitchen is adorable, but for someone used to a suburban kitchen, yikes–very small!! I would have to get rid of most of my kitchen “stuff” (hey, that may not be such a bad idea. . .) 😉

    Have a great visit!

  29. your kitchen is incredible! seriously, i’m in awe that it’s in a ny apartment!

    though i doubt i’ll ever own a dehydrator, the look and sound of your recipe is wonderful. but what i love most is your continued dedication to simplicity – i think that’s an essential for any healthy lifestyle, raw or not.

    enjoy your weekend away!

  30. Great post! I rarely use my dehydrator, I mostly make kale chips when I do! I will have to try out that yummy looking bread!

    I store my dehydrator where my microwave is suppose to be (yes, when we bought this house there was a “space” for the microwave, that they took with them_. We didn’t buy one, we haven’t used one in over a year! Yay! 🙂

    Have a nice trip! 🙂

  31. Beautiful bread! Can’t wait to try it. Your sandwich looks so good!

    I love the picture with the salad, as it shows the bulk of your meal coming from fresh ingredients. The bread is a small, but nice, part of it:)

    Love your Mom’s painting too!

  32. The bread sounds lovely – and it didn’t require as much time as I would have expected. What a great way to use juicer pulp.
    A dehydrator is definitely on my wish list. My kitchen is much larger than yours, and yet I still wonder where I would put one (I would love to chuck the microwave, but sadly my hubby the SAD eater would be hard to convince).
    Enjoy your trip! It’s still rather warm down here. We had a couple of days of cool weather and I thought my summer plants would be dying out and ready to replace. Not so much! My basil had doubled, and there were five huge cucumbers in need of harvest. So that summer you missed in NY, you’ll probably get on your trip down here!

  33. Love the tour of the kitchen!

    Thanks for the bread recipe. All my attempts at raw breads or crackers have come out either too gummy or too dry. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  34. I’m so glad you posted this recipe Gena, my first attempt at raw crackers was a huge fail so I was not nearly confident in myself to try raw bread – until now!

    Have a great trip! 🙂

  35. Thanks for the peak into your kitchen! I love your bread recipe and am dying to make it now! that sandwich looks incredible!

  36. Thank you for the tour of your kitchen. I love seeing people’s spaces where they live and create their food. I kid you not, at our old home (in the suburbs) before we renovated the kitchen, the counter space was about the size of yours. It was so frustrating to prepare meals, especially after having 2 kids and we had bottles to wash, dry, etc. Agh! Somehow you’re making it work.

    I wrote a while ago about dehydrating. I’ve tried a few times to make crackers but I’m always disappointed. Your bread looks delicious and perhaps I’ll give it a try.

    Have a nice weekend away. Looking forward to seeing your fridge. 🙂

  37. I feel honored to have seen your “culinary masterpiece workspace” in person 😀

    AWESOME dehydrating experience!! The bread looks fantastic.

    HAVE A SAFE TRIP!! xo

  38. Here’s my comments…
    1.Loved seeing where the magic happens, thanks for the personal kitchen photos.
    2. Your appliance central looks like mine, except I stow underneath in cabinets rather than keep out, but we’re working with the same appliances pretty much.
    3. Your cookbook stash and mine are similar, but you have more. I am so happy with the raw ones I have and ED & BV I feel I am good for now on books. I have more than I know what to do with!
    4. You don’t need a dehydrator…girlfriend in all the raw dessert posts I do, I try to give readers the option of how to fix it in the oven and/or really, just let the already kinda dry raw cookie dough dry out on the counter overnight. Most of the time, that’s fine. The 105 F is not tons different than the 78F my house already is. I think it’s great that you’re now hawkin’ the virtues of the Magic Box. It is awesome, I agree but no one should use that as their “excuse” for not being raw…I find it’s best for baked dessert goods but for day to day real food, totally not necessary.
    5. Your bread recipe looks smashing. I dont have certain pulp that you have but could sub out easily.
    6.You truly can walk away from the thing and be back in a few hours….If I know I may not be home and things could get dicey, I turn the heat down to 100F so I have more leaway but if I am gonna be home and can watch things, I go up to 120-125. Which I know is then technically not raw but sometimes I just want it to finish up 🙂
    7. Enjoy your holiday with your friend!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry for the novel, but this was a fabulous post, thank you 🙂
    xoxo

    • The humidity and air temperature is not the temp of the food. One can turn the dehydrator up to 135 – 140 F for the first couple of hours and then down to 115 and below for the remaining time and in my opinion get a better product with less electricity used. (Not that it uses a lot) If you really worried you can stick a thermometer in the food to ensure the temp which in the raw world food should not go over 118F is the right temp. I do this with breads and crackers and kale chips and more. Since I have been 100% raw of almost three years I have also used the dehydrator to warm items at the higher temp for a short time so I could get the meal on the table (like zucchini pasta and sauce) It should be warm not hot to the touch. Your fingers can tell the difference of what is comfortable and what is above 118. Experiment with water heated to different degrees measured with a thermometer and you will know what it feels like for you.

      This is an incredible journey. As a live food low fat vegan I have become over 80 pounds lighter. (I don’t say lost cos then I’d try to find it again grin). Now I’m turning 60 and people guess me in my 40’s. Even people who knew me in my 40’s say I look better now than then and I was a vegan then.

  39. I usually just make crackers with my leftover pulp, but this bread sounds (and looks!) yummy. I’m game! Don’t have to twist my arm.

    Wanna know one of my fave things about a dehydrator? The way your whole house (and I only have a 500 square foot cottage) smells absolutely divine while it’s running. Mmmm…

    Have FUN with Chloe! No editing allowed.

  40. I’m off-and-on with my dehydrator and not ready to sacrifice the counter space for an Excalibur yet. But this recipe looks great, I may need to try in my little dehydrator, thanks!

  41. Ooh this raw bread looks so yummy. I really like the fact that its “soft and pliable,” as bread should be- not crispy like a cracker! Too bad I don’t have a dehydrator and don’t see one in my near future. Oh well, I’ll just enjoy simply looking at your dehydrator creations for now.

    I LOVE seeing people’s kitchens, whether I’m there physically or through pictures. So thanks for sharing. The simplicity, yet unique Gena touches really fit your style of simplicity. It’s just as I’d imagine. I wish I had a sacred kitchen space, yet alas I must share with the fam. I’m sooo looking forward to seeing inside of your fridge (yeah, I hope that doesn’t come off as weird or stockerish).

    Have an awesome trip and enjoy the time with your friend! I’d say it’s a much deserved break from work and stress!

    • If u dont have a dehydrator a less eco friebdly way to do it is to turn yohr oven on the lowest possible temp and prop the door open about an inch…..,it does take longer.Ami Phylo… Source Amy Phylo

  42. That looks really good. I don’t eat raw but that doesn’t mean that I don’t read your blog every day and think of all the things I’d like to do.

    I have an inexpensive dehydrator that I got at Walmart. It’s the round style with the hole in the middle of the trays for the inner workings. I don’t use it much at all but I still dream of one that’s laid out in a much more efficient way, like the sheet tray ones.

  43. i’m so proud of you for busting out the dehydrator! the bread looks ahhhmazin 😀
    i use mine almost every day, but as you said it’s not a necessity.
    have a great night <3

  44. Ya when I first got a dehydrator I did not use it for the first 3-4 months, but now I use it all the time. But I agree people do not need one to be raw!! I am always making raw breads and crackers…yours looks yummy!