Grain Free Sandwich Bread that’s also Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Paleo and SCD Legal!
Ahhhh Bread! My favourite food in the world and the thing I miss most of all. There is nothing better than a big slab of granary toast with butter, or a crusty baguette dipped in olive oil, or a gooey Focaccia or toasted bagels in the morning..
*Awakes from daydreaming about bacon sandwiches and crusty loaves*
Unfortunately, none of that is available to me (or at least if I ate it I’d feel awful for the next couple of days and it may even result in a flare of my Lupus) so I had to come up with an alternative. Not at option to forgo bread completely (I love my smashed avocado on toast too much and you can’t have boiled eggs without soldiers) I have a pretty good, actually fairly fantastic, go-to Grain Free Sandwich Bread recipe that is made using mainly nut butter, eggs and seeds. It results in a pretty dense loaf, but sliced very thinly it is really satisfying. It doesn’t fall apart or go crumbly (like most Grain Free Bread) so it holds together well for a sandwich, is even better toasted and I’ve yet to find something it can’t be a bread-type replacement for. I use it toasted alongside my Spicy Butternut Squash Soup, as a base for my Eggs Benedict and plenty of other recipes.
So here’s the recipe that I use – tinkered with and adapted from many that I’ve seen in books and online – I think I’ve got it down to a fine art now.
Preheat your fan oven to 180C (350F) and line a loaf tin with a parchment loaf tin liner. I like to use these Loaf Tin Liners just because I find them so easy but you could always just cut some greaseproof paper to size and use that or grease the tin instead (although I can’t vouch for that method). For the base I use Meridian Crunchy Almond Butter (it’s expensive but this is the cheapest source that I’ve found) as I like the roasted nutty taste and the small pieces of nuts in it, but if you wanted a less powerful tasting nut butter you could use cashew or raw almond butter or sunflower seed butter or anything you’d like really.
Spooning the almond butter into a mixing bowl, you then add the almond flour, eggs, all the different seeds and the teaspoons of salt & pepper. I choose to use a mix of sunflower, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts in my loaf as I always have them in the kitchen, but you could use sesame seeds or any nuts you have to hand or leave them out altogether if you prefer. Then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix everything together which takes a bit of time and elbow grease to get everything incorporated. The mixture will be really sloppy – more like a cake batter and not like a dough at all. And that’s it, it’s pretty much a one bowl recipe.
Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf tin – I use this one (which is 9×5 inches) and in a tin that size it should come fairly near the top (this Grain Free Sandwich Bread doesn’t rise all that much, maybe just a centimetre or so above the top of the tin). At this point you can top the loaf with anything you want. I like to add some coarse sea salt, ground black pepper and poppy seeds but it’s down to personal preference here.Then the tin goes into the oven for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Once baked, turn it out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool down completely. I’m always desperate to try it straight out of the oven, but it really doesn’t cut very well when it’s warm – best to leave it to cool down and then you can get decent slices from it.
This is the only version of Grain Free Sandwich Bread that I’ve ever tried but there are a few ideas I have in my head to change things up a bit which I’m going to try in the near future. For other savoury loaves I want to try olive or sundried tomato loaves but I have to check how it works with the moist ingredients.
I have also thought of a sweeter loaf, taking out the salt and pepper and adding in honey, raisins and cinnamon to make a kind of breakfast bread but again I need to see how the honey affects the mixture and the baking. There are plenty of different combinations of the dry ingredients that you can use though and these shouldn’t affect the bake at all.
This bread toasts amazingly well – I prefer it toasted actually – it holds together very well, you just have to turn the toaster down lower than you would for standard bread as the high fat content from the nut oils means that it burns quite quickly!!
One thing to be aware of though, is that this is not a cheap loaf to make! The nut butter is expensive but with this link I’ve found the cheapest anywhere on the net, which brings the price down quite a bit. I think it works out at about £6 a loaf, but it lasts for ages and I get more than 20 slices out of it if I slice it very thinly. It freezes very well so I tend to cut it into thirds and freeze two of them and keep one in the fridge. Wrapped in foil or in tupperware in the fridge, it keeps for about 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Let me know if you try it with any other flavour combinations and how it works out….
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