The principal objective of this blog was to create recipes of simple, regular everyday dishes, which are out of reach for people with severe restrictions in what they can eat.
It was prompted by my desire to try widening the range of food available to our family friend. I do not even remember why I thought that bread without any grains (tapioca and buckwheat included, without being strictly speaking grains) is even possible. On top of that, almond or any other nut meal had to be avoided as much as possible. They were left as ingredients for cakes, which are more like a treat in everyday routine, and are not considered as regular food on daily basis.
My online research showed that there are not that many grain and nut free breads out there. Majority of them do not look like bread, and, having sweet ingredients in them, be it honey or some natural syrups, make all those breads more like not too sweet cakes. It is better then nothing, but I doubt, that I would have enjoyed my scrambled eggs or cured salmon piece on them.
So, contrary to common wisdom to take published recipe and work with it using it as a starting point, I have chosen completely different approach. Throw all allowed ingredients from the list, add what necessary to keep them together and do not let them fall apart when baked and later sliced, use no sweeteners at all, eliminate some ingredients traditionally used in these types of bread by other authors, which in my opinion do nothing to the final product and only drift from one recipe to another. That is how my recipe for vegetable bread, using flax seeds, sunflower kernels and coconut flour was born. I used different vegetables and their mixes to bake this bread, as well as pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower kernels. In all cases the final product was very similar in appearance and taste to a regular rye bread made with yeast. The only difference, grain and nut free bread did not have sour aftertaste, typical to rye bread with yeast.
Two issues with this bread needed final tuning, however. They were the thickness of vegetable puree and baking regime. These are 2 intrinsically variable parameters in any baking. You have to witness, feel and know the thickness of vegetable or fruit puree (or final bread dough before baking) which goes with a certain quantity of dry ingredients for bread or cake. Ovens are always notoriously different, too. Here comes the most delightful piece of news, the subject of this update.
Grain and nut free vegetable bread is now baked on a regular basis by our family friend. Even more, with some adjustments and more precise recipe, including the weight of eggs, and fully reliable baking regime without the usual extra drying of already sliced bread I nearly always did, the recipe now is full proof. I am absolutely delighted to report that these adjustments made the bread even better. As it is obvious from the above photo, which I have received as a feedback in email, the texture of this bread is better to those I baked myself. The texture is even and homogenous through whole loaf, from top to bottom. There is no usual dense texture on the bottom, compared to fluffy and airy on top. This probably can’t be sustained when baking bread in regular size loaf tin. Baked in medium or half size bread tins, this bread, nevertheless, has the shape of proper bread. Born out of necessity this bread has better nutritional value and characteristics, compared to other gluten free and regular wheat bread. It is high in good quality protein, contains good fats, plenty of complex carbohydrates and fibre, no sugars, no additives and preservatives whatsoever. This bread is nutritionally balanced meal on its own. Another advantage I see in this bread is the absence of cake or even coconut taste. Personally, I actively dislike coconut taste. May be that is why I count its absense as a great achievement, but some of my readers like coconut, so it might be not a big issue for them. But I still think, that salmon and coconut taste mixed together, as healthy as it might be, is not a good combination.
I have to say big Thank You to this final tuning of the recipe. My job is done, the bread is baked and enjoyed on a regular basis. And even if nothing else comes out of my recipes, I am deeply satisfied and rewarded by this knowledge.
Here is the version of the bread shown on the photo.
- 280g veg puree after the reduction of water content(original vegetable puree placed in a doubled over tea towel in a colander. When puree becomes cold wring and twist the towel to remove as much liquid as possible)
- 175-180g eggs (3 extra large eggs on average)
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 50g flaxseeds
- 12g psyllium husks (plus a bit extra if mixture is still too wet)
- 4-5g baking soda
- 70g coconut flour
- 8g xanthum gum
- 10g white chia seeds
- about 1/2 tsp sea salt
- about 2 heaped tsp of your chilli paste (when I have some)
Egg quantity in grams makes sense if free range or eggs from farmers markets are used. They can often be of different sizes that might substantially change wet to dry ingredients ratio.
Mix everything as in the recipe and grease the tin with butter. Then bake at 180c for 60 minutes, reduce the temperature down to 160c – and continue cooking for another 60 mins. This seems to work well in my oven (no fan).
This is completely unaltered – as is – image of another bake of this bread I received as a feedback. It is an excellent bake in my books!