Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sara: Recipe Review - Battle of the Breads!

I'm not going to lie - I miss bread.

I never ate it all that often, but I miss those times when I did eat it.
That piece of toast with my eggs in the morning, especially.
I've been craving an egg sandwich something fierce!!

The other night, I asked my sweet husband, Rick, if we could splurge on a loaf or two of Paleo Bread. He was all for it until I told him how much it was.  A loaf is $7.99 and then shipping is about $12 - has to be refrigerated! - so a loaf comes to almost $20!  I have no idea if any stores around here sell something similar, but the ingredients I've found in gluten free bread didn't sit well with me.

Gluten does bad things to me, though.  I've occasionally indulged in a slice of buttered toast at night, rationalizing that at least I don't feel the effects then, because I'm asleep before they set in!

But I know it's still doing damage.  Gluten causes leaky gut no matter what time of day you eat it.  And wheat wreaks havoc on your insulin levels as badly (if not worse) than straight up sugar.

I knew I had to find an alternative.

If you Google "paleo bread recipe" you will find many variations.  After reading a lot of reviews and thoughts on the different kinds/versions, I decided to pick the two most likely to turn out and give 'em a go.

I picked this one from Elana's Pantry and this one from Cooking Caveman. (Note that Cooking Caveman declares in the title of his that "The Paleo Bread Search is Officially Over!"  How could I resist??)

The biggest difference between these two is the form of main ingredient.  Elana calls for almond flour, Caveman uses almond butter.  I was intrigued!

When I made Elana's, I noticed she was using a much smaller pan than what I had on hand (I have a standard loaf pan and she was using 7.5"x3.5" Magic Line pan), so I decided to double the recipe.  Then I realized I didn't have enough almond flour to pull that off, so I just prepared 1.5x what she called for.

That's not pepper - it's flax! Yum!
The result was pretty tasty!  However, it was sweet - more like a dessert bread.  I think it would make an excellent base for banana or blueberry bread.  I loved the flavor.  The bread was not especially pretty, though.  And while fairly sturdy, it was not tough enough to stick in a toaster or anything like that.

This morning, however, I was desperate enough for a breakfast sandwich that I told myself the sweet was less sweet than a McGriddle (yeah, I used to be addicted to those nasty things), so it could make a passable breakfast sandwich.
Passable, but not perfect!
In the interest of science (and the quest for bread that my kids might be able to use for grilled cheese on occasion), I whipped up the Caveman's almond butter bread this evening.

I didn't want to double his recipe - I was tired and burnt out and I was honestly skeptical that this one would come out as well as advertised.  Almond butter?  Mixed with just eggs, lemon juice and baking soda?  Surely this would be a disaster. Caveman said this would rise, too, so I wasn't sure just how big this bad boy would get.

I will also say this: this recipe is infinitely easier to mix.  I just bust out my stick blender, gave it a few whirls...done!  (The other was supposed to be mixed in a food processor, kinda messy/lumpy/etc until it's blended.)

When I first poured it into the pan, I thought for sure I'd wind up with 1/2" tall bread.

How would this yellow liquid turn into "bread"??
Baked it for 30 minutes at 350 and it was perfectly done.

Oh, hey! It grew a little bit!
I'd say it close to doubled in size.  Doubling this recipe in a normal loaf pan would make the perfect loaf of bread.

How pretty is that??
Bottom line? Caveman's bread won, hands down.  While Elana's would make a lovely base for banana bread - and it is AMAZING with a little spread of preserves - Caveman's bread won for me in every other way.  It's easy to mix, it's sturdy (you could stick this in the toaster, easy), and it tastes closer to the real deal.  (Mine has a tiny bit of sweet flavor to it, but I noticed after the fact that the almond butter we've bought the last couple of times has a small amount of sugar, so that was likely the culprit!)

And, of course, it's pretty!  My kids might not balk at the idea of this being their new bread.  (Of course this requires all three of them to actually try this bread - only 2 of my 3 would touch the other one!)

I'm a happy girl.
Tomorrow morning, there will be eggs on toast.  Oh yes there will.

What foods do you miss?  Have you tried paleo versions? Were they any good?

No comments:

Post a Comment