Pumpkin Seed Meal Paleo Bread – Large Loaf

It is well-known and accepted that quality gluten free, and particularly grain, pseudo-grain and starches free bread, has to be baked in small, half-size baking loaf tins, to achieve consistent texture through the whole loaf, from the bottom to the top. With these severe limitations to available dry ingredients, loaf bottoms often happen to have more dense texture, with very little occurrence of air-pockets, their smaller size and residual extra wetness. It is hard to bake high quality and tasty bread with above mentioned limitations even as a half-size loaf, let alone the regular or extra-large one. Natural, high protein flour-like dry ingredients, such as Pumpkin Seed Meal or Sunflour open a completely new range of opportunities to create delicious bread products, including not only smaller products, such as buns, rolls, thin baguettes, but also allow to bake full size bread loaf without any reservations about bread quality: both in taste and texture.

The recipe of pumpkin seed meal bread, based on apple or cooked beetroot puree, has been already published earlier, with 2 options included. One – with eggs as the main wet ingredient, and the other – with ‘chia eggs” as vegan option. Extremely high protein content in pumpkin seed meal (nearly 50%) gives this bread enough structural support to withstand the height of a regular size loaf, to rise during baking substantially and to retain the shape after resting.

I wanted to bake the double portion of the dough in extra wide bread loaf tin, without paper lining, to examine potentially long period of baking and its effects on bottom and side crusts. Baking in lined loaf tin is much safer option. But even with “naked” dough in coconut oil greased tin, the bake did not take more than 60 minutes, exactly the same time as it takes to bake half-size loaf. The only difference I have applied, was a little change in the baking regime – I preheated the oven to 180C with fan-forced option, placed the loaf tin on the middle shelf, reduced temperature to 170C and turned off the fan. This regime allowed the sides of the dough rise fast initially and let the dough in the middle to rise slowly, without the rise forced to slow down by ventilation from the top. The essential feature of large loaf baking is the necessity of a shallow cut in the middle of the dough, made with oil dipped spatula. Make sure that the cut has some oil through it all. Without this cut the dough will start breaking on the sides, as it can be seen in some of my previous bakes.

Ingredients:

double portion from my previous recipe

  • 4 eggs (for reference around 220g without shell
  • 300g pure apple puree (blended apple pie filling)
  • 100g oil of your choice (I used grapeseed oil)
  • 180g pumpkin seed meal (sifted, larger particles left in the sieve are not used, or added after additional grinding)
  • 40 chia seeds ground
  • 40g golden flax seeds ground (can be replaced by ground brown flax seeds, as well as commercial fine flax seed meal or flax seed flour)
  • 3g cumin powder
  • 10-12g sea salt
  • 12g baking soda

Preparation:

  • mix all dry ingredients, make sure pumpkin seed meal and baking soda are put through a sieve
  • mix all wet ingredients, beat eggs first, add apple puree and beat it with eggs, finally add oil, the whole process can be done with a whisk attachment of a stick blender in 3-4 minutes
  • add wet ingredients to dry
  • combine dry and wet ingredients with a whisk
  • shape the dough close to the shape of the loaf tin
  • drop the dough into a lined or well-greased baking tin
  • work with the dough using wet hands or wet spatula
  • level the surface of the dough
  • make superficial cut in the middle with spatula covered in oil
  • preheat oven to 180C
  • place the tin with the dough on a middle shelf
  • reduce temperature to 170C oven (no fan regime), bake for 60-70 minutes
  • when baked in greased tin, let the loaf rest in a tin for 10-15 minutes, do not turn the loaf over to a wire rack until you are completely sure that the loaf moves freely and it is not stuck to the tin
  • if the crust becomes wet when the loaf is rested in a tin, place the loaf on a wire rack into a warm oven to dry the crust
  • it is better to let the loaf cool down completely before slicing

Half size loaf tin and regular/wide loaf tin.

I usually cut a very thin slice from the side crust from a warm/hot loaf to check how the bake went, in case the loaf needs some additional time in the oven. It did not.

Half size loaf bake when the top cut did not open, the oil did not spread through the whole cut length.

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