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.
Here’s Jeff’s original version of the recipe (to which he made a couple mods):
- 1 cup almond butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 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.
I greased the pan with unsalted grassfed Kerigold organic butter. Baked it at 350 for 35 minutes.
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.
There could be reasons for that.
- Perhaps, that I did not get the macadamia into a true butter, releasing all of the fiber to act on the eggs.
- 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.
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.