Essene Mana Bread

Ann Arbor FoodMana bread is a dense loaf of bread made from sprouted, and crushed wheat berries. There is little or no flour used and there is no leavening. The end product is a dense, wholesome, slightly sour bread with a rich wheat flavor.

It can be found in health food stores under the Mana bread brand. I made this loaf with a small amount of sour dough starter which is optional. I like to put nuts and shredded carrot in my bread, but decided to make this one plain. It is a several day process, so be patient. It is one of those really slow foods, but it is worth it when it comes out right.


3 cups of wheat berries.

1/4-1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded carrot (optional)

1/4 Raw nuts or seeds (optional) I like using walnuts.

For starter if using.

1 cup wheat flour (or what ever you have on hand)

1 cup chlorine free water

small piece of cabbage or 1 organic grape


Day One:

Rinse and then soak the wheat over night. Completely cover.

If using the starter, combine the flour and water till smooth and lump free. Add the cabbage or grape. Cover with cheese cloth and set out.

Day Two:

Strain off the water from the soaking grain. Make sure the wheat is moist, but not wet. Add a little more water if needed. Cover the bowl of moist berries with a plate. Mix the berries around from time to time and make sure they are moist. Add more water if needed.

Stir the starter.

Day Three:

Check the wheat berries and see if they are starting to sprout. There will be small white “tails” starting to grow out from the wheat berries. When all of the berries for the most part have small 1/8th inch tails they are ready. It might need another day. Or the berries could be duds and will not sprout.

close up of sprouted soft winter wheat. My bread is made with dark hard winter wheat


For the starter: take out the cabbage or grape and stir. It should have a sweet/sour smell.

Making the dough:

Take the fully sprouted wheat berries and put into a food processor with a metal blade. Add the salt, and a quarter cup of starter if using.

Add a 1/4 cup of flour and a 1/4 cup of water to replenish the starter.

Process the berries to create a relatively smooth mash. Remove the mash and combine any nuts, seeds, herbs, dry berries/fruits or shredded veggies if using.

Oil and line the bottom of a large loaf pan with parchment paper. My first couple of loaves stuck before I used the parchment paper, so don’t forget this step.

Add the mash to the parchment lined pan. Even out the mash with a rubber spatula.


Cover the loaf pan with a damp towel and set out to ferment the dough overnight.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

Cover the loaf pan with tin foil.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 3-4 hours.

Remove the tin foil and bake for about 15 minutes to firm up the top.

Use a knife or a metal spatula and cut around the sides of the loaf. Flip upside down and release the bread.

Slice and eat. I love eating this bread with some goat cheese and tomato or toasting with butter, sugar and cinnamon. It is great with your favorite nut butter, or sandwich spread


2 responses to “Essene Mana Bread

  1. Dear chefbrian1,

    I live in NSW Australia and I was wondering what wheat berries are? My local health food store has never heard of them and neither have I but I really wanted to try and make some manna bread. So what are they and where in Australia would I buy some from, please?

    Susan Ball

  2. wheat berries are the fruit of the wheat grass. also known as kernels, they are simply the whole wheat grain. look for other whole grains such as rye or spelt (a type of ancient wheat) for use as an alternative. happy sprouting

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