Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wild Food Recipes: Yellow Dock Bread

Yellow Dock is a wonderful wild plant that has many uses. It serves as both medicine and food, and is one of my favorite herbs for many ailments. In the heat of the summer it goes to seed to spread new plants for the next season. These seeds make a decent grain and can be used to make bread easily. Yellow Dock is a very nutritious plant as it has a tap root that picks up minerals deep in the soil.



Making bread from Dock seeds is very simple. You will need a spice grinder or grain mill and the following...

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dock seeds (~1/8 cup ground)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  •  1 egg

  • optional spices: vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, etc.
This recipe makes single serving of bread (~4 oz), or if you add more sugar, a cake.

To start, I grind my seeds for about one minute in my spice grinder until they make an acceptable powder. I can never grind all of the seeds entirely since they are too small. So expect to see some remaining in your flour. Also be careful to not inhale dust from the freshly ground flour when you open your grinder.




Secondly, mix all of the ingredients together into a microwavable mug. Stir well and microwave for 60-80 seconds at full power. Make sure to pay attention to your bread as it may swell above the rim of the cup. I just stop and start the microwave as needed until the bread feels cooked enough.

 uncooked bread mixture

cooked bread (it will remain spongy due to the egg)

The resulting bread has a very fine texture and is spongy. Dock might make a decent cake flour. However the bread is pretty dense and can be a little bitter tasting, similar to rye. The sugar tends to lighten the flavor. If you don't like the taste of this dock bread, you can make your own version where you substitute in another type of flour to make it more palatable. I've grown a bit fond of its taste and like it well enough with the vanilla and warming spices added. I have yet to try baking this in the oven (like a normal person...) however I think it would work fine as well. 

Some other ways you can use dock flour are to substitute it in any gluten free baking recipe, or just add some to regular bread when you cook. I don't think it sticks together like wheat flour, and is better treated like a gluten free flour such as almond or coconut.

Happy Foraging!

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