It was another Paleo bread attempt today. And while it wasn’t a shout-from-the-rooftops success, it wasn’t nearly the disaster that the first one was. Perhaps I should feel comforted by that.
This time I set my sights a little lower, opting for an Irish soda bread that naturally has a denser texture than a bread you’d make for sandwiches. I have some good memories of soda bread, especially one my mom used to make from one of Anne Lindsay’s cookbooks. It makes good toast, that’s what I remember. I had my fingers crossed.
The recipe I was using calls for blanched almond flour, but all I had was almond meal (still waiting for my online delivery of blanched almond flour), so it was going to give me a denser result. And did it ever. Despite the baking soda the bread didn’t seem to rise, even a little. It stayed only a couple inches high, and reminded me of a rounded log of biscotti, ready to be cut and baked a second time in the oven.
Where I went wrong was thinking that sunflower seeds would be a nice addition, to give a welcome crunch. Big mistake. They did add a crunch, but they took on a greenish outline when baked. (Maybe they do all the time? I can’t remember the last time I made anything with sunflower seeds baked into it.) It made the bread look, well, almost a little creepy. It’s like the bread had gone moldy even before it had a chance to cool down.
Or maybe it was something that Martians would enjoy, if they were eating a Paleo diet.
It toasted up quite well, which I was most happy about. It didn’t bring all those happy Irish soda bread memories from my childhood flooding back, but it wasn’t too eggy and it didn’t crumble. If I closed my eyes and forgot about the green flecks in the bread, I enjoyed it quite well. With my morning coffee, it was almost like my breakfasts used to be.
Adapted from Elana's Pantry.
- 2-3/4 cups almond meal
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup pecans or raisins (or sunflower seeds if you want a Martian vibe)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a stand mixing bowl, combine almond meal, salt, and baking soda. Add nuts or raisins and mix to combine.
- Add eggs, honey and vinegar to the bowl, and mix together until the dough has a uniform consistency.
- Place dough on a parchment- or silicon sheet-lined baking sheet. Form dough into a large, flat circle, about 8 inches around by 1-1/2 inches tall. Using a serrated knife, cut a cross about 1/2 inch deep in the top.
- Bake soda bread for 20-25 minutes, until it is golden brown. Remove and cool on a baking rack.