Exciting news! I’ve found a Paleo bread that is quite acceptable.
It is a flatbread, though. I have yet to crack the code on Paleo sandwich bread (or a baguette of sorts), except maybe in my dreams. (Sigh.)
So far, I’ve experimented with a couple recipes to work some bread-like food into the challenge, but success has eluded me. The muffins and banana bread both passed through my taste and texture hoops, but the plainer bread I tried, in the hopes of making some toast for breakfast some day, didn’t come close to making it through any kind of hoop at all. Not even off the ground.
I’m starting to think that, perhaps, the key to enjoying any kind of Paleo bread is expectation management. Yep. Like several things in life, lower those expectations a notch or two and you might be pleasantly surprised by how you feel.
That’s exactly what happened with the eggplant-based flatbread I made. Eggplant as a bread, really? Dead simple to make and, even better, I wasn’t even expecting to like it but I did. Much better than I thought I would. It definitely has an eggplant-y flavor, but the texture is chewy and has a graininess that reminds me of a hearty multigrain bread, albeit on the very, very thin side.
No, it’s not what I would pair with peanut butter for breakfast, but it did toast up relatively well to have with a nibble of cheese. It also made a softer, more substantial base for a smoked salmon and cream cheese appetizer that I usually make with puff pastry.
Adapted from Make It Paleo by Bill Staley and Haley Mason, where they use it as a base for pizza.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) grain-free 'flour' substitute (flax seed meal, almond meal, coconut flour) - use all of one type or mix it up to equal 10 tablespoons
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper to fit your pan.
- Peel the eggplant and grate. (I used my food processor with the shredding blade.) Transfer the eggplant to a fine mesh strainer and, over the sink, squeeze the eggplant into a ball to drain the liquid out. Transfer the eggplant to a medium sized bowl.
- Add the grain-free 'flour' to the bowl and mix to combine. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the batter to the baking sheet lined with 1 sheet of the parchment, and flatten out with a spatula or your hands until it’s about 1/8” thick.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Here's where it gets a little tricky: Brush some olive oil on the flatbread, and then place the second piece of parchment over it. Nest a baking sheet (bottom side down) right on top of the parchment, then carefully flip the whole thing over. Slide the flatbread back onto the original baking sheet. Slowly peel back the parchment paper on the top of the eggplant (what used to be the bottom), and brush the top lightly with a little more olive oil.
- Bake for another 15 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven, cool and slice.
More on the Paleo diet challenge:
Why I’m doing it in the first place
My plan for the 30 days
Do you think just juicing the eggplant would shred it enough and eliminate the fluid?
Good question, Liz. I haven’t used a juicer before so I’m not sure how it would work….but in theory it would.
If the eggplant turns out too dry from the juicer, you could always add another egg or cut back some of the ‘flour mix’ so that the eggplant is still spreadable.
If you try juicing the eggplant, let me know how it goes!
Laurie T says
I have been making something similar. I call them paleo planks !
I use those long thin egg plants from the Asian market. they have fewer seeds and a milder smell. I add onion powder, and garlic. I spread it out really thinly and bake at 325 for longer, it depends. It does not burn at a lower temp. and I just bake til its really dried out. cut it in half with a pizza cutter, flip it and bake again. then cut into small squares. Voila!! CRACKERS !!! Finally something to eat chicken salad on. most paleo cracker recipes are so gritty. these are a bit leathery.
Paleo planks – love it! The Asian eggplant is a great suggestion, and jazzing it up with some spices makes a lot of sense. Will have to try this. Thanks, Laurie!
Laurie T says
I just popped some refrigerated “planks” into the toaster oven to reactivate – all crispy crunchy. And I downed a generous portion of guacamole. Yum.