Friday, July 22, 2011

Almond Bread Straight From Whole Raw Almonds

There are a lot of recipes out there for almond bread, for starch-sensitive people, made with almond flour instead of wheat flour, and almond milk or SCD yogurt instead of cow's milk. Almond flour and almond milk are quite pricey. And there are also a lot of recipes for making almond flour or almond milk in a blender (Vitamix or other powerful blender). But I couldn't find a recipe that skips the intermediate steps - why bother to make almond flour, just to add some kind of liquid right back in? Plus, almonds are easier to store than almond flour, which turns rancid fast if not kept in the freezer. Raw almonds are available everywhere.

So here's what I made today: bread straight from almonds. I put the almonds to soak last night. I think soaking almonds is going to be a daily habit.

PLAIN ALMOND BREAD STRAIGHT FROM THE WHOLE ALMONDS

Materials needed: Vitamix-type blender, oven, cookie sheet, bowl for soaking almonds.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight (8 to 12 hours), drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter a parchment paper laid on a cookie sheet (you can use oil but butter gives the bread a nice aroma).
2. Put all the ingredients in the Vitamix. Start on low, quickly move to high and process for 1 minute. The mixture is quite thick, just liquid enough to keep moving, but it may develop a bubble and stop moving. If it does, turn off the blender, stir with a chopstick, and start over.
3. Ladle the mixture onto the parchment-covered cookie sheet, shaping it like bread slices. This recipe does not make a loaf, but individual slices. Makes about 8 slices.  Easy to double for 16 slices in one go.
4. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Pull the parchment paper off the cookie sheet, with the bread slices, onto a countertop to cool.
Allow to air out a few hours before storing.  Freezes very nicely.

The result was pretty decent (as fake breads go). You can sprinkle a few caraway seeds on the slices before baking. Or a soup├žon of rosemary. I just read rosemary removes the eggy taste. Not that this bread tasted eggy.

I made the slices too thick, and the dough rose a bit although there's no baking soda in it. So I ended up with 7 slices plus one mini-toast and the bread was a little too moist. I turned the oven on again at 200°F; put the slices directly on the oven rack and let them dry out 20 minutes. They're nice and firm now. That means my DH can have toast with his soft-boiled egg tomorrow. The SCD diet becomes a little easier to enforce...

The recipe is inspired from the almond torte recipe in the Larousse Treasury of Country Cooking, which calls for 6 ounces almonds, finely ground, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 8 egg yolks! I cut the sugar out completely; 5 ounces almonds make a cup; and no way I'm going to sacrifice 8 eggs to make 8 slices of bread! Plus, I don't know what to do with the whites (yet).

Pricing: 1 bag almonds was $3.49 and held 3 cups of almonds, so 1 cup is $1.16. Eggs were $5.49/doz, so 3 eggs are $1.37. Total: $2.54. So, ok, that's not really cheap considering it only made 8 slices bread, but it's in the range of commercial gluten-free breads.

2 comments:

  1. Is it possible to make this without eggs? Whats a good egg replacement?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never tried to live without eggs! And I'd love to find an alternative, because the SCD/GAPS diet is so rich in eggs! We're using 3 or 4 dozen a week, or more! Egg serves as a binder because the grain-free flours JUST DON'T STICK. I don't know what else could do the job. Soaked flax seed, maybe, but flax seed isn't allowed on the SCD/GAPS diet.

    ReplyDelete