Accidental Almond Bread!
My neighbor and I decided to do a baking bread day last week so she could teach me about baking traditional bread - hers was an awesome rosemary loaf - and I decided I wanted to experiment with a gluten free version. So this did not turn out as a true scientific experiment since we ended up with a sweat almond bread that is almost like a coffee cake or muffin texture but oh well! It was good in the end! It was sort of a funny afternoon so here's the story of how we invented our very own almond bread recipe! We had used dried yeast to help the first traditional bread loaf rise so we used the same format, initially in this almond bread.
- 2 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
- 2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-2 big shakes of cinnamon!
- 1/4 cup water, warmed to about 115 degrees F
- 1/4 cup chia seeds (plus water to gel in)
This is how we started:
- We started by added the yeast to the warmed water, then added 1 tsp of sugar to help the yeast grow and bubble.
Note here: my husband and I "forgot" to put a microwave in a kitchen when we built our house so we kept running downstairs to warm up this water for the yeast and evidently all microwaves heat differently. First it was not hot enough, back downstairs, then too hot. For the next bread, we were too busy chatting about planning a girls' night that we missed our temperature window. We got our stairs in today to work off the bread!
- Then we added the almond meal to the mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of oil and salt, cinnamon and 1/4 cup cane sugar.
- Next we added the active yeast and started mixing this up with the regular paddle on the mixer, not the dough hook.
- This was going nowhere, it basically looked like we were making oatmeal, not very thick or anything.
- So - this was not going to be a traditional bread and we needed something to bind this together better. Chia to the rescue. Chia is an egg replacement so I measured out 1/4 cup of chia seeds and added one cup of water in a separate bowl and let it set until it began to gel - this is neat if you haven't seen it. Great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, soups or salads. This is what happens in your gut when you eat chia. It really does help make you fuller longer and provides you with omega 3s.
- Once the chia gel was added, it really thickened the mixture up! We put this in a coated loaf pan and placed in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
This is how it turned out:
It was a little toasty on top and chewy on the inside. It really is not very sweet, but sweet enough for me. I had mine with a glass of unsweetened almond milk and it hit the spot!
Not bad for a baking experiment, as you know I typically am a cook, not a baker...too much measuring and all :)
You could certainly add in nuts, seeds, or did someone say dark chocolate? Yum. I think next time we will try it with baking powder instead of yeast but everything in this is edible so we knew it would all turn out ok!
What's your favorite way to use alternative flours like almond, rice, or chickpea? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you!