Here's the third—and likely final installment for a while—in my quest to make a decent bread...that not only tastes and acts like bread, but excels in terms of Paleo nutrition. Mission accomplished. Future posts will focus on sensible applications of this bread. For those still uninterested in bread, I get it. Why mess with a good thing and anyway, isn't this kinda like Paleo reenactment—like those who seem only ever to be finding ways to make cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies and the like into Paleo approved versions?
There's two issues:
- The processed food mindset behind it
- Nutrition profile (pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated n-6 fat, primarily)
I'll address #1 at the end of this post. My first post on the topic focused on number 2; specifically, the omega-6 PUFA issue. While I solved that problem, my results weren't great and I wasn't sure why. So, in version 2, I got far better results—but I changed three variables: I got a true macadamia nut butter, not a chunky one, I added in 1/2 cup of almond butter per Jeff Nimoy's original inspiration, and also some coconut flour...in order to add fiber for more stiffness and adhesion when sliced.
With the experience and good results of my second attempt under my belt, I set out on the third try to return to my original inspiration, under the hunch that it was the macadamia butter that was the primary issue. So here's the final, definitive recipe and instructions:
- 5 eggs (medium to large size)
- 1 cup raw whole macadamia nuts (made into butter per the instructions)
- 1 cup coconut butter (nuke 20 seconds to get a smooth butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
Place the macadamias into a typical large home-kitchen food processor and process on high to achieve a part butter, part chunky nut meal. While running on high still, drop one egg down the chute and wait for the sound to stabilize to smooth (about 20-30 seconds), then do the same with the second egg. Once the processor is running smooth again, add the remaining 3 eggs down the chute. You should have a very smooth batter by this point. Shut down the processor and add the remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice and baking soda. Turn it on low this time, and once everything is all mixed (20 seconds or so), introduce first the lemon juice down the chute, then the baking soda. Mix for a few more seconds.
Place the batter in a standard 8 1/2 bread pan, greased with butter, ghee or coconut oil. Bake at 350F (175-180C) for 35 minutes. Remove from the pan and set on an elevated rack to cool. Total time from start to finish is about 45 minutes (10 for the prep, 35 for the cooking).
This was the most uniform rise yet achieved.
Once cooled—with the end slice I covered in Kerigold butter having escaped to "someplace"—I decided to test its properties in terms of behaving like real bread, i.e., the ability to slice it thinly, and for those thin slices to hold together well, even needing to be pulled apart. The slice is 1/8" thick. To further the experiment, I cut another slice, put two leftover chicken breast slices between them, and it held together to the last bite—just like bread.
Did the same thing yesterday with 1/4" bread slices, same leftover chicken and some jack cheese. Like I said, holds together to the last bite.
The texture and behavior, as you see, is bread like. Taste is the best yet. It's quite neutral, not as in my 2nd loaf, a bit nutty (almond butter) as well as a bit, well, whatever that taste coconut flour seems to impart.
So before I address the issue of the Paleo Slippery Slope ("PSS"), i.e. the mindset in doing processed foods that are Paleo compliant or Paleoish, let's do another nutritional analysis. Click to open the full size version.
What you might notice as different from the nutritional profile in part 2, PUFA has gone from 7% to 3%. One bugaboo is that I'm using pastured eggs and I can't really find much in terms of nutrition information, though I've seen it widely claimed that pastured eggs can have up to 9 times the nutrition as that of a factory egg—and of course, who hasn't seen the side-by-side comparison of yellow yolks (factory) to deep orange (pastured). I've also seen claims that the omega 6/3 ratio is more on the order of 2-3:1 instead of 15:1. But who knows, really? ...and we've already talked in part 1 about the low content of omega-6 in macadamias and coconut. We're talking 5.7 grams total PUFA in the whole loaf (~16 slices). I do declare: not an issue!
But let's be fair and open about this and an least give hearthealthywholegrains™ their say. I used Oroweat 100% whole wheat bread as a surrogate. Here's the macro breakdown (click for full size).
As you can see, the macro picture is almost 180% reverse, fat for carbohydrate, and these are high glycemic index and load carbohydrates (and high gluten protein on that score). In terms of fiber, vitamins and minerals, it was easy enough to get the info for commercial bread because you can analyze by slice. For mine, I had to do some figurin'. My loaf is about 600 grams, while Oroweat is 680 grams. Their loaf comes out to 18 slices, about 37.5 g per slice and at my loaf weight, that's 16 slices. Based on that, and excluding protein, fat and carbohydrate—and just averaging fiber, vitamins and minerals—2 slices of "fortified" whole wheat bread give you 14% of your RDAs and mine gives you 12%.
So I guess the question comes down to this: nutrition from high glycemic load, "fortified" gluten grains, complete with mineral robbing phytic acid, or nutrition from pastured eggs, macadamia nuts and coconut.
Here's my argument in support of this sort of food processing, or Paleo Reenactment, if you must:
- We all process food. Braising short ribs is processing your food. Essentially, from a Pure Paleo™ standpoint, everything that goes beyond eating raw or grilling over an open campfire is "processing."
- Where do you draw the line?
- I think the line is best drawn between foods that are meal-like foods vs. those that are treat or indulgence like foods (cakes, cookies, brownies, etc.)
- Nutrition is important, and this is very good nutrition from whole sources.
- There's just something about holding meat and veggies together between two pieces of bread.
Alright, from here out I'm going to address various applications. The first, next week, will be about the many wondrous ways to make tuna salad (I have to perfect my mayonnaise making, first. Last evening my high oleic sunflower oil, 2-cup batch, broke—from a wonderful creamy mayonnaise to yellow oil—while introducing the very last 1/4 cup. This post would have been drafted last night, but I was too enraged.)
Update: It was pointed out to me that the shredded coconut meat I used for the nutritional analysis doesn't have all the fat that coconut butter does (there's no coconut butter in the database). After thinking about it this makes sense and the process used to dehydrate it probably melts away a lot of the fat. Getting the fat to come out the same as the content on the label of the coconut butter required adding about 8 tablespoons of coconut oil. This boost the fat percentage to 88%. However, the overall micro nutrient profile remains about the same, so I'll just leave it at that.