Friday, November 6, 2009

Given Up Bread--Think Again!

No, you have not entered the Twilight Zone.  Bread can be had paleo-style with such simplicity and omg results that perhaps we are in another dimension!  I call this dimension Dangerously Delicious Delectables!

What's the danger?  Well, gluttony for one.  It is hard not to over-indulge with something so hard-wired into our brains as bread (dude--it was an essential part of my every meal growing up in New Jersey suburbia).  When I first made a loaf, I totally sat down and ate half of it.  No kidding.  I was just crazy with glee that bread could be had while not breaking the tenets of no sugar, no grains, and no dairy.

Here is my inspiration: Elana's Pantry's Gluten Free Sandwich Bread.  Her recipe creates a great bread, but to me, I wanted more flavor and rise since mine came out more biscotti-shaped than loaf-like.  I don't have a mini loaf pan or her mail-order almond meal, so perhaps that led to a good, but not great loaf.

I wanted to create a bread the masses could enjoy (paleo and non-paleo alike) with store bought almond flour/meal (I use Trader Joe's since it is the cheapest and that stuff can get quite pricey!) and a flavor profile I have been dying for.  Onion Bread.  Oh yeah, it is just like, nay, BETTER than that onion bagel you probably haven't had in years or that soft onion bread that makes a to-die-for sandwich bread.  And ready in 45 minutes with minimal prep and cleanup--doesn't get much better than this!  Sink your canines into:

(shown toasted and crunchy!)

Paleolicious Onion Bread
Dare you to try this and not close your eyes and revel in its soft, moist onion-breadiness!
Cooking Time: about 45 minutes start to finish!

The Dry
2 c almond flour/meal (I used Trader Joe's)
1 c arrowroot powder (you can find this at New Leaf and perhaps Whole Foods in the bulk bins)
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar
1 T dried onion
1/4 t (or 10 fine grinds) of black pepper

The Wet
4 eggs (room temperature or place in lukewarm water while you prepare so they come to room temp)
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c or 4 stalks of scallions/green onions, chopped thinly

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab your loaf pan and cut two pieces of parchment paper to line the pan: one should span the narrow sides and extend past the lip and the second should do the same on the wide sides.  Why?  No mess!  No worry about stickage!  You can just pull the tabs to remove the loaf when finished without playing pop out the loaf onto the floor as you shake it or jimmy it out of there.  Definitely a time and effort saver!  I just cut two pieces of parchment to accomplish this, but here is another way that creates a pattern out of the parchment.  I will have to try this next time!

Ready for the action?  It is so easy it is embarrassing.  Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl (Note: to avoid the use of a sifter with the cream of tartar that likes to clump, just break it up between your fingers as you add it).  Mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to a second bowl.  Mix well and get some air into those eggs by whisking with a whisk or fork to create some bubbles.  Hey, since we can't use baking powder (contains corn) and don't want to bother with whipping egg whites, we'll take all the leavening we can get!  Now for the hard part.  Just kidding!  Dump the wet into the dry and mix to incorporate.  Now scoop into your loaf pan being careful to keep your parchment liners in place, and whack it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  I turned my oven up to 355 upon adding the loaf so that it would kick on.  Check at 30 minutes (or 25 if your oven errs on the hot side).  You are looking for a hard top crust and a skewer that comes out mostly if not completely clean.  There should be NO wiggle to the loaf.  Once done, remove from the loaf pan and set on a wire rack to cool for a good hour or so.  Slice and enjoy once you can wait no longer!  Store in the refrigerator wrapped in paper towels and placed in a plastic bag.  It'll last a week (or more?) if you can ;)

Endless Serving Suggestions:

Yeah, go ahead and have that sandwich you have been dying for.  Now you don't have to feel guilty!

Oh, imagine it dipped in Basic Meat Sauce (perhaps with the addition of some veggies to make the sauce a meal)!

Or, if you are indulging on dairy, slather it in raw, grass fed butter!

How I have been indulging lately:

Yes, those are farmer's market eggs and Aidell's chicken apple sausage (processed yes, but still fits the requirements and is really good) atop toasted slices of Paleolicious Onion Bread.  Oh yeah!


  1. Looks really good! I may have to try it out. :D

  2. This was delicious. I think I'm going to play around with your recipe and see if I can make Rosemary bread next time!
    THanks :)

  3. That sounds great, Jennifer! I have tinkered with the flavor myself and made a "sweet" version with cinnamon and nutmeg (made amazing toast with almond butter slathered on top!) and another savory version with chopped up sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Luckily, those flavorings substitute easily without reworking the other ingredients; just substitute the scallion and onion with whatever you like best! Let me know how your version comes out! And let me know what you think, Elizabeth, when you give it a try too!

  4. I just made this today and you were right! It turned out perfectly and really does make me feel like I'm eating regular old bread. The flavor is nice, and I'm excited to try it with different flavors. Wow. Really easy and tasty. Thank you so much!


  5. rosemary bread = delicious. i substituted 1.5 T dried rosemary for the dried onlon and fresh scallions.

  6. OOOOooo, sounds delicious! I have to try that next time. I am always running out of almond flour, though. I just made a banana walnut version that is tasty, but needs more flavor. I'll share it once I get the recipe ironed out more. Glad to hear so many of you are trying out my recipes! I am so happy I can share!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It's the first gluten-free baking I've tried and it's DELICIOUS!! I'll definitely be passing this on to friends!

  8. Glad you enjoyed it, Gina! Thank you for the feedback! :)

  9. Kristy - I made this again tonight, but with some modifications and with great results yet again!

    We're not completely primal, so legumes are still in play for us. My husband wasn't crazy about the texture of the bread when I used all almond meal (we're brand new to gluten-free - 1 week, to be exact - so it's taking him some time to get used to. I loved the texture.) so I subbed in 1 cup of Garbanzo Flour for 1/2 of the almond meal. I wasn't sure how it would turn out - was worried that it might end up being really dense and possibly dry, but the texture and crumb is terrific.

    I made the onion bread last week, so this week I decided to experiment with "pizza-flavored" and man, does it rock! I kept in a little of the dried onion, and added generous amounts of fennel, Italian Seasoning blend (rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, etc.), parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and this crazy powdered red pepper that we got at the Korean market on a whim. I couldn't even wait 10 minutes to let it cool before slicing off a piece and it is heavenly! Can't wait to have it for breakfast with a little mozzarella melted on top to accompany my eggs.

    So again, I thank you for this recipe. I'm not sure I'd have been nearly as eager to continue with the gluten-free lifestyle (it's by choice, not as a result of a medical condition or anything) had my initial foray not been such a success, and I owe that to your great recipe!

  10. oh! and Olive tapenade - I added a fair amount of black and green olive tapenade. :)

  11. Hi Gina,
    I am so thrilled that you are enjoying my recipes! Your variations sound delicious! I would love to try that pizza flavored one. I am still trying to find raw, grass-fed cheese sources locally. I just find that they are a lot easier on my digestion than grain-fed, pasteurized sources.

    I am so glad that my recipes are helping your family through the difficult transition time. I have found that paleo-style baked goods are great when you just need to give in to some cravings without the digestive "Cannonball!" that wheat or even gluten-free products entail. Glad I can help!

    I really appreciate the feedback and readership! Thank you! Feel free to email me if you have any questions or need any help!

    Best wishes,

  12. I love the idea of making a sweet version of this only fear is over-indulging! :(

  13. Is it possible to slice this up and freeze pieces? I am on week 3 of "primal" eating 90% of the time, and am still a bit crave-y over sweets n breads... If I could freeze like 3.4 of it though, and toast it up another time...

    1. Hi Kelly,
      While I haven't frozen this bread, I have frozen my almond flour muffins with success, so give it a try! Hope the challenge goes well for you!
      Best wishes,