One of my favorite types of food (you know, besides bacon), particularly during the winter holiday season, is the sweet quick bread. Since going Paleo earlier this year, this solstice staple is no longer welcome in my house. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a suitable replacement for a basic quick bread recipe.
The folks over at the Cooking with Trader Joe’s blog came up with a recipe for almond bread. I tried baking it a couple of weeks ago, with one substitution. Instead of the agave nectar, which is pure fructose, I used Trader Joe’s Desert Mesquite Honey (I don’t currently have any of the awesome raw local honey available at my local farmers market). I also added a teaspoon of xanthan gum, which is useful in gluten-free recipes. The result was a dense loaf of nutty bread, which was a big hit with everyone who tried it, especially my diabetic grandfather-in-law (who was happy to finally have something to soak up his egg yolks).
I recently modified a fruitcake recipe to be more Paleo-friendly (more on that in another post), which was also a big hit with my in-laws. I decided to try adapting the almond bread recipe using the same techniques that proved so successful with the fruitcake. Primarily, this involves the substitution of coconut flour for some of the almond meal. So, without further ado, the recipe I came up with.
3 ½4 ½ cups almond meal 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan (or guar) gum
95 eggs 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ to 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
- In another container, beat the eggs and add the remaining wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly (you may recognize this as the muffin method).
- Fold in the toasted walnuts.
- Transfer the mixture to a 5×9-inch standard loaf pan, lightly greased (I use butter and parchment paper in a wonderful clay baking dish).
- Pour melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer or knife inserted in the bread comes out clean.
- Cool and slice (my dish yields 11 slices).
If you can’t find coconut flour, or simply want to use all almond meal in the recipe, use 4 ½ cups of almond meal and use only 5 eggs. The coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture, so the usual advice is to use an additional 4 eggs for every cup of coconut flour. Hey, this is Paleo baking, right? The more eggs, the better.
I found most of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. They sell one pound of almond meal for $3.99. The coconut flour we found at Henry’s, which is a Wild Oats store, now owned by Whole Foods. As for the eggs, we go through so many that we buy them at Costco.
Update (5 December 2010): After eating the bread for a week, we decided that it was a bit too dry. I’ve updated the recipe to be a bit closer to the original, using only almond meal. This also makes it a little easier and cheaper to make.