Sometimes you just want bread. Freshly sliced and topped with fork-mashed avocado, a sprinkle of lemon juice and freshly ground rock salt. Lightly toasted, then lathered with mayonaise, a sliver of smoked salmon and a fennel frond. Rubbed with fresh garlic, smeared with tomato paste, dressed with ribbons of proscuitto crudo and grilled to Bruschetta perfection. Warm bread trickled with honey and sprinkled with crushed walnuts. I could go on, but you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just want a loaf of grain free, nut free Paleo bread to put stuff on. Nothing fruity. No vegetables hidden inside. No exotic flavours or interesting textures or difficult ingredients. Just a decent loaf of bread. Like this one.
Paleo Bread with Cassava Flour and Linseeds – Grain Free, Nut Free
One of the problems with grain-free baking, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, is that the quantities can leave you disappointed. Grain-free alternatives to wheat flour are expensive, and they don’t have the amazing gluten-inspired rise factor. I feel a little let down when I click through a gorgeous image that I’ve found on Pintrest, only to find that the cashew-cream cheesecake or the sandwich loaf has been made in a tiny tin. It’s like when Gino’s is closed and we try our luck at a different Osteria, where the grilled ribs are as tasty but the servings less generous. We want to eat. We like feeling full.
I got around the problem in the wonderful Apple Cake recipe by adding a handful of dried mulberries, which sort of dissolve into the rest of what’s going on. But for this bread, I just wanted something plain. And I didn’t want to bulk up with ground almonds – in the interest of keeping my immune system tamed, I ration my use of nuts and seeds. While my biscuit tin is full of All Day Biscotti, for example, I won’t use ground almonds for other recipes. But linseeds – also known as flax seeds – I don’t use so often, and they’re wonderful because they double in quantity when they’re ground. I’ve also read – but I have no idea where – that if you want to receive the nutritional benefits of linseeds – such as the Omega 3 – you must grind them first, otherwise they’ll just pass right through, intact.
In this recipe, the Linseeds add lovely texture to the bread. It’s like a light wholemeal. And the quantity is okay. It’s not a high, fluffy sandwich bread, but nor is it a pumped-up flat bread. It’s good. It has flavour, consistency, it slices beautifully and toasts to a golden crispyness. We like it.
Are you able to live without bread and baked goods? Not for the 30 days of a Whole 30 – but long term? I find it’s a pleasure too good to give away completely – definitely part of that complex interplay between food and emotions. How is it for you? Let me know in the comments, and if you happen to make this recipe, be sure to give it a rating, take a snap and tag me on Instagram @paleomantic.
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- 2 cups Cassava Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ½ cup linseeds (flax seeds)
- 100 grams butter or coconut butter
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 mls) water
- Preheat oven 180°C / 350°F, and grease a 25cm x 10 cm (10inch x 4 inch) loaf pan with a little of the butter or coconut oil.
- In a bowl, lightly combine the cassava flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Using a coffee bean or spice grinder, whiz the linseeds until they resemble a course flour. Cut the butter or coconut oil into small pieces.
- Place the ground linseeds and the butter into a food processor fitted with the 'S' blade and process on low speed until they are well creamed.
- Add half of the flour with half of the beaten egg and continue processing on low speed.
- Add the other half of the flour and egg, followed by the honey, vinegar and water. Process until well combined, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process lightly again. The result will be a sticky batter, as opposed to a dough.
- Spoon the batter into the loaf pan, spreading it out evenly and smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 40 minutes. The bread is cooked when golden and crusty on the top, and when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Wait 10 minutes before turning out.
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