Bread – Missing the Staff of Life?

One of the more frequent comments people make to me when they start the Paleo diet is that they miss bread.  Lots of people I know who are avoiding gluten are fans of Udi’s Gluten Free bread products but I would suggest these are not a great alternative.  Not to slam Udi products in particular, but there are about 17 ingredients in their whole grain bread some of which I am not enthralled with like canola oil and cultured corn syrup solids.  Guess it’s not surprising my family has found we just don’t feel good after eating Udi’s breads.

There are other bread substitute options used by Paleo enthusiasts such as lettuce leaves, coconut wraps and other substitutes which can work well in various circumstances.  Sometimes though you just want a sandwich with real bread.  Elana Amsterdam has a great website with lots of Paleo versions of favorite baked goods like bread, bagels, crackers and muffins.  We generally don’t miss most of those, but when we want a sandwich I make Elana’s Paleo Bread 2.0.  It’s super easy, has only 8 healthy ingredients and keeps for a week in the fridge.  I wrap mine in wax paper and aluminum foil which keeps it from getting damp.  Everyone I know who has tried it has liked it!

IMG_0740

This bread is not a full sized loaf as it works best made in a smaller loaf pan.  This one works great for me – the 7.75 x 3.75 x 2.75 size.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 cup golden flax meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Ingredient notes:

I use Honeyville blanched almond flour for all my baking endeavors.  Elana doesn’t recommend Bob’s Red Mill in her recipes as it is more coarsely ground and it’s consistency doesn’t work well with her recipes.  I store the bag of almond flour in the fridge to keep it fresh.

Arrowroot flour – because of the quantity needed, you don’t want to purchase this in the spice aisle at the grocery store.  I buy a 3 lb bag and keep it in the fridge.

Flax meal – I like Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal and keep it in the fridge.

Honey – remember to get pure.

Apple Cider Vinegar – I use Bragg and can usually find it at the grocery store.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease loaf pan with coconut oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot, flax meal, salt and baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl, blend eggs with a hand mixer 5 minutes until frothy.
  5. Stir honey and vinegar into eggs.
  6. Stir dry ingredients into wet and combine well.
  7. Scoop batter into loaf pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  (With my oven it comes out perfectly at 35 minutes)
  9. Cool for 2 hours.  You want it to be completely cool before storing in the fridge.  If I am making it in the evening, I leave it out on the counter overnight to cool.

One of our favorite uses for this bread is sausage (or bacon) and egg sandwiches for breakfast (my son also adds a half slice of Chipolte Cheddar cheese).  I think the bread works best when you lightly toast it (fortunately I didn’t give away the toaster when we went Paleo!).  This bread is also great toasted with jam as well as under mashed sardines for a great Omega-3 snack.  Remember though it’s not particularly low carb or low calorie (see Mark Sisson’s post on almond flour here) so it should be more occasional than a frequent part of your diet, especially if you want to lose weight.

Coconut flour breads are a good alternative (especially for those with nut allergies) although it usually results in a drier bread.  You can do a Google search for coconut flour bread to find some recipes.  I found this one, but haven’t tried it yet. For a great non-bread breakfast sandwich, check out Nom Nom Paleo’s Paleo Sausage Egg “McMuffin“!

Enjoy!

sandwich