Fat Bread: Paleo Bread Made From Fat

Ha, bet that got your attention.

It's not entirely true, of course, but you'll see what I mean later. One thing I can tell you up front is that this recipe uses no seed, grain, or nut flour—and neither is it virtually all egg, or egg with cheese, like Oopsie Bread.

Backing up a few days, I was scanning the comment thread on that ridiculous Forks Over Knives piece and came across a comment from a writer and voice actor in LA, Jeff Nimoy. Like I sometimes do when I don't recognize someone, I shoot over to their blog if they have one, to see if there's any there, there. And indeed there was. I took an immediate liking to it—likely in part because the guy is a professional writer and things like that matter to me.

So go check out Cooking Caveman.

...Anyway, one of the posts I came across was this one on bread: The Paleo Bread Search is Officially Over!

I’m declaring this last batch of almond butter bread as the winner of my 2+ years searching for a decent paleo bread substitute.  The first time I made it, I still had some problems (like it kept falling apart), but I tweaked the recipe, and now I finally have a bread that is tasty, doesn’t fall apart, and for the very first time, tastes as good toasted as it does NOT toasted (previously, it was only enjoyable toasted).

Intrigued on two counts. First, he's been at this a while. While I'm not much into Paleo reenactment and as such, don't do cakes, cookies, brownies and all the other treat-like stuff, a decent bread for tuna salad, egg salad, a BLT or a burger would be nice now and then. But I've never tried it. Imagine how much time in experimentation I could save if this pans out?  Second, I've tasted a few of the breads made with nut flours and I just don't care much for them and they don't seem to hold together very well. I've always figured that was because the nuts are often in small chunks, not really flour, and if it is flour—like coconut flour—it's just the fiber and none of the fat. Nut butter, eh? Sounds intuitively on track.

But there's one problem for me. While I'm not a super stickler for all things Paleo by any means—and I'm fine with dairy fat like butter or cream—I try to limit consumption of nuts and stopped using almond meal a long time ago. Basically, I see almond meal as the nut equivalent of fruit juice. It's concentrated, and almonds have a high content of pro inflammatory omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. When I eat almond, I eat whole almonds so I know how much I'm getting.

But then I thought: well if the nut butter is the key to good bread, then any nut butter should work. How about coconut butter or macadamia nut butter? I ran some numbers. Now I couldn't find the amounts of n-6 (omega-6) in the nut butters, only the oils, but it's probably pretty close and anyway, it's the difference that counts.

So for the 1 1/2 cup of nut butter this recipe calls for, you'll get about 35 grams of n-6 in the whole loaf with almond butter. But if you use coconut, macadamia, or some combination, you'll get about 4 grams in the whole loaf—9 times less.

So I set out this morning.

IMG 1013
Basic Ingredients

Here's Jeff's original version of the recipe (to which he made a couple mods):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

  • Blend almond butter and eggs until smooth
  • Add in remaining ingredients
  • Pour into a sprayed 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf pan and smooth the top
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes
  • Let cool before slicing

His final version, same cooking instructions:

  • 4 or 5 pasture raised eggs (depending on the size, if they’re huge, use 4, if small, use 5)
  • 1 1/2 cups of organic almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of organic lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda (which turns it from paleo to paleo-ish)

Here's what I did:

  • 4 pastured eggs (they were big)
  • 3/4 cup organic coconut butter
  • 3/4 cup raw macadamia nut buter (had to make it myself, see below)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (Bragg)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

I could not find any macadamia nut butter at Whole Foods, so I took 1 cup and ran it in a small food processor. It basically created a moist meal, not a butter. So I added about a Tbsp of soft Kerigold and a dash of olive oil and it sort of turned into something almost like a nut butter, but with chunks—so chunky nut butter. As luck would have it, it came out to exactly 3/4 cup.

IMG 1014
Ready for the oven

I greased the pan with unsalted grassfed Kerigold organic butter. Baked it at 350 for 35 minutes.

IMG 1015
Nice rise

It was only after I took it out of the oven, noticed the size of the loaf and read Jeff's stuff more closely that I realized he doubled the recipe. That's what I'll do next time.

Also, looking at his pictures, He appears to get a bit more rise, a bit more fluff than I did.

IMG 1016
Not bad. Definitely tasty. Holds together.

There could be reasons for that.

  1. Perhaps, that I did not get the macadamia into a true butter, releasing all of the fiber to act on the eggs.
  2. The fat content difference between almonds, macadamias and coconut.

I'm leaning towards (2), primarily. I ran more numbers. Indeed, for a 1 ounce serving of coconut meat there's 17 total grams of fat. For macadamias, 20 grams. Almonds have only 13 grams. So, probably the fact that there's 35% more fat in my recipe makes a difference in the density. We'll see what happens when I double the recipe.

For shits & giggles, here's the saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat profiles for the different nuts and the combination (based on a 1 oz serving of nuts).

  • Almonds: 1g / 8.6g / 3.6g (sat / mono / pufa)
  • Macadamia: 3.4g / 16.5g / .37g
  • Coconut: 16g / .8g / .2g
  • MacaCoco (1/2 oz each): 9.7g / 8.65g / .29g

I do love how the combination gives you the benefit of the saturated coconut fat and the monounsaturated of the macadamia. Vitually no PUFA, which is great. Eat fish for PUFA.

So now you know the story behind the title. So what do you think? Anyone have a better idea? One thing I'm for sure going to do is find a way to make real macadamia butter (I think maybe they have a grinder at Whole Foods). Or, I can just buy some online.

Burger time tonight!

Addendum: Here's the burger.

Burger
Burger

I toasted the bread under the broiler with a bit of butter, let it cool. I cut that patty in half for obvious reasons. So, it ended up a huge 4" thick burger at least. At that size, it was bound to break up a bit and it did. Normally, when that happens with an indulgence meal. I just toss the bread. Not this time. The bread is ambrosia. I ate ever single crumb of that fatty wonder.

Comments

  1. I’ve made macadamia butter from WF raw nuts in my (11 cup Cuisinart) food processor and it turned out fine without the addition of extra oil. It may be that your processor is to small and can’t really grind them well enough or you may not have let it process long enough. It’s been a while, but I seem to recall that it seemed to take forever but eventually it got creamier. The extra oil may be what made the bread more dense. You may also want to increase the baking soda to 1 teaspoon as the bs/acv reaction is what gives it more rise. Maybe beat the hell out of the eggs as well to get them a bit fluffier.

    • Hey sandy, good ideas. I could even separate the white, beat them into a meringue, then fold them in gently at the end.

      Yes, I do have the big cuisinart, but didn’t want to big mess & cleanup. I’ll use it next time.

      • Yes, that sounds like a good idea as well as eggs can be rather heavy too.

      • You could also try using cashew butter, if you fall into the group of people who think cashews are OK to eat – there is some debate out there as to whether or not they’re a) Paleo and/or b) non-toxic. I’ve never had a problem with them and enjoy them from time to time.

        If you’re going to go the egg-separation route, do like the French do when making a classic genoise: separate the eggs and use a whisk to mix the egg yolks into a thick and voluminous foam, then mix in everything else save the egg whites, then make a meringue and fold that into your egg yolk mixture. The result will be heavier than a genoise but surely have a lighter texture and possibly a better rise.

      • you need some real speed with both the yolks and whites, so I suggest a stand mixer for the job, if you’ve got it.

      • Thanks Amy.

        Since I’ll already have the cuisinart out, how does that do for meringue?

      • A proper meringue of even 2 egg whites will achieve far too much volume for your average Cuisinart to handle. If you have a regular hand mixer with two beaters, you can make a nice meringue with that, but your hands might get a bit tired. Use a much, much bigger bowl than you think you will need, and keep your egg whites cold until you beat them. Add a pinch of cream of tartar, if you have it, to help the process along, but it is by no means necessary.

        When making a genoise, you don’t want a stiff meringue, but it should be glossy and hold soft peaks. I should think the same properties would apply here.

  2. looks delicious, but probably comes out to what $8 a loaf?

    • Yea, Marc, probably something like that. But I bet for the amount I eat of it over time, I’ll still spend less on bread than the average.

      • I’d have to agree with you on that. Paleo loaves are very satisfying and unlike traditional breads, you just can’t overeat on them.

  3. Scott Miller says:

    You didn’t describe what it tastes like? Also, did you try toasting it? Seems like with all that fat it might drip in a toaster.

    • Scott:

      It tasted good (I put that in one of the photo captions). I tasted decent just plain, very good when still warm with a spread of Kerigold.

      I’ll do burger tonight, maybe add an addendum.

    • Oh, haven’t tried toasting yet. I doubt it would melt like that. I think the egg bound to the fiber pretty well.

  4. Scott Miller says:

    I may try this, although like you I never care about finding a bread substitute or low-carb versions of sweets — like Atkins makes so much money from selling. I order and eat burgers all the time, with the bun. But what I do is peel away the bun as I take bites. This allows me to hold and eat a burger pretty much like other people do, except when I’m done there’s a shredded bun carcass on my plate. But I really get the feeling of enjoying a burger. I almost don’t want to find a good bread substitute because, although it might be healthy, it won’t make the burger taste better to me, and it just adds calories.

    But still, a good bread substitute just might be handy once in a while.

    • I think my true miss of bread (other than a French baguette with French cheese—but that’s always going to be a cheat from time to time because there is no substitute) is tuna salad. I make wonderful tuna salad with different variations (some have bacon in it, other, Indian curry even). Also, a great BLT with huge mayo.

  5. Wouldn’t the numbers for the MacaCoco be half of what you’ve got there? It seems those numbers are for 2oz.

  6. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    This is faux-food straight out of the Jimmy Moore/Dana Carpender low carb playbook, Richard (like mashed cauliflower for potatoes and shirataki noodles for spaghetti). What’s wrong with moderate amounts of the real thing? Would probably even have less calories.

  7. Imho the concept of bread itself is not paleo. Plus robbwolf etc tweeted a paper recently that speculated that making stuff into flour might also be a Bad Thing, regardless of what you started with. Acellular starch vs the real thing.

    Your bread looks tasty though (Or dare I say – highly rewarding&palatable). I’d never have thought that it can look so breadlike without flour.

  8. BUT RICHARD IT’S NOT PALEO!

    I made some cashew gelato last night that happened to be vegan. Faileo all around. I’m sure your bread was just as delicious…heresy in every bite!

  9. Richard,

    I don’t do substitutes like you either, BUT I do crave a crusty sandwich sometimes.

    I just did a post, I make bread out of tapioca/cassava flour. REALLY good and does the trick, trust me.
    take a look, http://feelgoodeating.com/2012/07/primal-sandwiches.html

    Keep up the good work, been really enjoying all your posts.

    Marc

    • Nice Marc. Thanks.

    • jay jay says:

      Since I’ve been trying to get more “safer” carbs back into my diet, I’ve settled upon a very similar bread recipe based on rice or potato flours. Potato flour really soaks up the water, so it needs more than the rice. I do it all to feel so it’s hard for me to give exact proportions, but Marcs numbers look about right for rice flour.

      I skip the cheese and the garlic powder, because I’m going for a plain bread.

      I also usually use melted coconut oil for the fat.

      I also make awesome rice crackers using a similar recipe with no eggs. I make my own cheese, and I need some sort of crackers to accompany it. I used to buy commercial rice crackers until I figured out how to make my own.

      Just rice flour, water, salt, coconut oil and/or butter, and a pinch of baking powder. You want the dough a bit thinner (less viscous) than for bread. Then roll it out as thin as you can get it on a sheet pan, poke some holes in it with a fork, and bake until it starts to brown a bit. Great with cheese or dips. Or sprinkle with sea salt before you bake it if you want a plain snacking cracker.

      I typically eat the equivalent of maybe a 4X4 inch square in a sitting, so I’m not too worried about a blood sugar spike.

      I’m working on a rice flour based pita recipe too, but haven’t quite got that one down yet.

  10. Try mixing in a banana or two. I’ve had success with coconut fl0ur and bananas as a base batter.

  11. I’ve wondered for such a long time if such a thing was possible haha the holy grail would pale in comparison to this.Epic stuff.Love it!

  12. When I’ve tried to food process nuts to “flour” consistency, they always end up rather a chunky butter. I think that the last time I did it, I kept timing it and did something like 45 minutes worth? Decided that I’d (gasp) buy it to save my machine. I have an ancient (from early 80s) La Machine (possibly from Cuisinart).

    I’m re-reading Cordain and could swear the coconut oil 6 to 3 breakdown is in there? Neither of these may help but in case they do…

  13. Nice going Richard. I’m thrilled with the almond butter recipe I use, but like everything in life, it can always be improved upon. For the record, despite the bad omega 6 to 3 ratio, the almond butter bread is the only paleo bread substitute I’ve made or found that doesn’t fall apart and tastes good plain or toasted. Tuna salad was the first thing I ate with it, and the combination was perfect. For the rare times I eat bread (like you, Richard, for the occasional burger or tuna sandwich), I think it’s a good mini-cheat, until this coconut and/or macadamia nut butter recipe can be perfected. Keep experimenting! -Jeff Nimoy, CookingCaveman.com

    • Hey Jeff.

      Yea, I got some almond butter as well and will be doing one of those for comparison. In the large scheme of things the high n-6 is probably no big deal in two slices of bread.

  14. Just made a fried egg sandwich with it. Fantastic taste.

    My wife loves it the bread too.

  15. Looks delicious, and I imagine completely digestible (eggs not heavy for me unless fried).
    This is an odd thing to think about, I know, but I have a problem right now and need foods that digest completely and not very slowly. Have been doing broths and a couple of obvious foods, interspersed with fasting,…meh, after a few days I’m dying of boredom. So this really helps!
    .
    Now question : somewhere, in a discussion or maybe a book countering the idea that ‘meat stays in gut’ (that favorite myth of vegans) I had seen a chart on average gut-transient times for various types of basic foods – and I can’t find it anymore, was before I started archiving.
    Does ANYONE know/have a link or reference to such a chart?

  16. “Looks delicious, and I imagine completely digestible”

    So, one slice so far with butter when still warm, then that big burger, than a fried egg sammich this morning.

    No so much as a burp. This never, ever happens with an indulgence sandwich. Never. They always make me feel pretty crappy.

  17. Ma foi! Thank you for the feedback, mon cher. This expands the possibilities.

  18. Pauline says:

    Hi Marie left a response but it landed up in the article that follows this one.

  19. Just came across this on another blog and thought you might be interested…

    http://www.paleobread.com/

    The ingredients of the coconut version aren’t too bad.

    Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Coconut Flour, Egg Whites, Psyllium, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda.

    I’m curious if it holds together, as I really like the idea of using coconut butter in the mix to add “moistness”.

    Has anyone else tried it?

    • Ken:

      Last I heard it’s not shipping yet, cause I asked last week if anyone had tried it. I’m going to give it a shot once I hear reports from others.

  20. Thank you, Richard, for sharing this recipe. My first attempt went well, and I look forward to trying it again!

  21. This recipe looks very nice and certainly taste very, very good. I tried to cook it and my family was impressed by the taste, the look was not very nice, but in the end taste counts more. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Looks great. Unfortunately I absolutely don’t tolerate eggs. I’m desperately trying to find a grain free bread that I could modify and make with no eggs. Any ideas??

  23. Maureen Dunn says:

    Can you use ordinary butter (I live in New Zealand – butter is from pastured cows) instead of almond butter – which I have never heard of!

  24. Has anyone tried Walnut butter

  25. Nancy says:

    I used cashew butter instead of almond butter. I added 1 tsp freshly grated tumeric root.
    The bread is delicious.

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