As my allergies keep developing and I’m constantly having to adjust and readjust my diet, I recently developed a slight hatred for the paleo diet. This comes from the fact that everything includes coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, or nuts/ seeds in some shape or form.
Before this, I never minded all the coconut before, but now that I’m having reactions to it, I’m getting more and more frustrated with every recipe I find that has coconut in it… and sometimes, it’s unnecessary. Substituting some of the main flour used with a few tablespoons of coconut flour. Why?! I guess it’s a texture thing?… I’ve just never been the one to be like, “This needs coconut flour.” Like, I’d still eat it if it was there, but I never thought coconut was ever necessary.
Now I notice and grow annoyed at the use of coconut in EVERYTHING paleo.
Fueled by my increased agitated state, I decided to try my hand at bread making because I’ve been craving a sandwich of some sort, and every other loaf of bread produced contained at least one of my allergens. So, I concluded that I had to become a gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free, COCONUT-free bread making master too!
My qualifications list just keeps on growing!
Anyways, I actually did find a paleo bread recipe online that I could make work for me (after finding out that just googling “cassava bread recipe” gave me endless links to a round and flat pita-like bread that’s popular in the diets of those living in the Caribbean and Africa). It only had 4 tablespoons of coconut flour, but I just replaced it with more cassava flour. The original recipe can be found here: http://cookituppaleo.com/paleo-french-bread-cassava-flour/.
Although the recipe was simple enough, I did find it lacking in flavor, so I decided to remake it with a rosemary infused butter (because who doesn’t like either of those things?), a bit more salt, and I brushed the top of the loaf with more butter. And it worked out better than I could have expected. Now some people claim that butter isn’t paleo, which I agree with, and some people claim that butter is paleo, which my heart says, “YAY!” So my bread recipe isn’t really completely paleo by the original diet’s specifications, but it’s close enough!
So please be careful with this one if you have a dairy allergy.
So here is my “paleo” bread recipe.
- 8 egg yolks
- 8 egg whites
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1 1/2 sticks of melted rosemary butter*
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of honey (or sugar, if you don’t care)
- 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast
- 3 cups of cassava flour + 3 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons of salt**
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter***
- OPTIONAL: a pinch of salt to sprinkle on top of loaf
*I melted 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pan and then added 3 teaspoons of dried rosemary. I let it steep and cool on the stove top (with the heat off) for about 30 minutes before I added it to the dough mixture. You can either strain out the rosemary sprigs, or leave them in there. I think they give the loaf a bit of a rustic appeal with all of the green flecks, but if you don’t like biting into rosemary, just strain the leaves out.
**I used salted butter in this recipe. If you have unsalted, just add an extra 2 teaspoons of salt.
***This is just to brush on top of the loaf before putting it in the oven.
Directions: (Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C)
- Combine the yeast, warm water, olive oil, and honey (or sugar) in a bowl and set aside, giving the yeast a little time to bloom.
- In another bowl, whisk together your salt and cassava flour and set aside.
- In a third bowl, (last one) whisk together egg whites until they reach soft peaks.
- Taking the warm, sweet, yeasty, water bowl, whisk in the egg yolks and cooled rosemary butter.
- Now, alternating between the dry ingredients and whipped egg whites, first add half of the flour/salt mixture, then fold in half of the whipped eggs whites, and repeat.
- Add the extra 3 tablespoons of flour if your dough is looking a little wet. You’re looking for a warm cookie dough consistency.
- When you have a blob of dough, place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and form into a loaf (I used a spatula for this because I didn’t want the heat from my hands messing with the dough).
- Brush the top of the loaf with butter and sprinkle the top with some salt (or chopped rosemary, which is totally optional).
- Slit the top of the loaf (just for presentation sake) and let your loaf sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- When the top of your loaf is crusty and brown, turn off your oven and let your bread sit in it for a final 10 minutes.
- Make sure you let it rest and cool for about another 10-15 minutes before digging in. Your tongue and roof of your mouth will thank me.
Okay, so, I didn’t think about this until later, but if you want, split the dough into 2 loaves. Baking one giant loaf takes twice as long so you’ll save yourself some time. I was a bit ambitious.
The smaller loaves should only take about 25-30 minutes.
And there it is!