Saturday, 1 March 2014

Bread - the best of the bunch (almond flour)

Bread is a very tricky subject if you are gluten free / grain free.   It is one of the few things my children said they missed (more than chocolate or sweets) and we spent a fortune trying different commercial breads that just didn't hit the mark.

As we are currently grain free we have no option but to make our own.  I have tried coconut flour, almond flour, GAPs bread, paleo bread etc.  I have ended up coming back to the one of the first recipes I found by Lois Lang, beautifully titled 'Lois Lang Luscious bread'.  I avoided the recipe initially because it required me to drain homemade yoghurt to make dry curd which just seemed like another faff in a long week of domestic faffery (soaking beans, making yoghurt etc).  However it really is worth it because this bread is the nearest I have found to normal bread - even my dad, will eat it!  The sourness of the yoghurt is a good contrast to the sweetness you get with almond flour which is what puts me off a lot of other nut 'bread' recipes.

However let's have some honesty here.  There are so many people raving about non-grain bread online but in reality they are still different and slightly more cake like in structure. For this reason I prefer this bread toasted and slathered in butter.  Then it is the perfect accompaniment to a soft boiled egg or some liver pate.  My son is very happy to have it fresh as a sandwich.  My husband likes cheese on toast.  My daughter likes it with jam.  Which kind of proves the point about family cooking - even the simplest meal requires variation to suit everyone's taste!!!

What is great about this recipe is it is easy to double up and freeze one.  You can also make one bread mixture but split in two, adding different herbs into both.  So for example I often use two 11b loaf tins and make one plain bread, and one with caraway which makes a yummy 'rye' bread which I find much more palatable untoasted.

I have reprinted the recipe here because although it is available online it is the American version and they (lucky buggers) can buy dry curd.  Also,  in the original recipe the 'dough' is quite firm where as with drained homemade yoghurt the mixture is a lot runnier.  I spent ages trying to sort this out until I realised it baked fine.

The measurements for making dry curd are approximate because it depends on how watery your homemade yoghurt is - I would always err on the side of using more as there is nothing worse than dripping something for 8 hours and not having enough!
'Rye' bread with caraway

To make the drained yoghurt or 'dry curd':
  • Line a colander with a piece of muslim, a clean napkin or a teatowel.
  • Place the colander in a bowl so that there is enough space between the colander and the bottom of the bowl for liquid to drip through
  • Pour approximately 350ml of homemade yoghurt into the cloth. Cover with a plate or cloth
  • Leave for 8 hours for the whey to drip through the cloth. (Do not need to refrigerate) You are left with a thick creamy 'dry curd

To make the bread 


250g almond flour
70g of melted butter (or ghee)
245g drained homemade yoghurt
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350c / Gas Mark 4
  • Put the eggs, yoghurt, baking soda, salt and melted butter in a food processor and blend till smooth.  
  • Add in the almond flour and mix well
  • Pour into one lined 21b loaf tin and bake for 1 hour in the middle of the oven.  Alternatively separate into two 1 1b loaf tins and cook for 45 mins.
  • Check that a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  • When cooked take out of the tin and leave to cool on a rack 

Based on one  21b loaf  - adjust accordingly for smaller / double loaves

  • 1 tbsp of caraway seeds to create a 'rye' bread
  • 2 tbsp of linseed or flax seed 
  • 75 grams of dried fruit (with an optional 2 tbsp of honey) to create a tea bread 

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