Sourdough

SourdoughBreadI’ve had a lot of people ask me if it’s difficult to eat grain-free.  I’ve not found it to be very difficult given that we live in a time where there are Whole Foods and the ability to order anything you can imagine via the internet, but the bigger challenge is that it’s not very convenient.  It’s very challenging to eat a meal that you haven’t planned in advance because there are very few options for “grab and go”.  Even though I’m not a big bread junkie, there have been many times I wished I had a good bread option just for a quick almond butter sandwich or BLT.  So, I tried all of the almond flour options, I tried all of the coconut flour options, and after many failed attempts and a lot of wasted (and expensive!) ingredients, I’d just given up altogether….until I found this.  It looked too good to be true, but I HAD to try it.  And let me tell you people, it WORKED!!!  Now, it’s not like your normal sourdough bread that you could just sit back and eat slice after slice…it’s still got a unique flavor, BUT it’s a great texture and neutral enough that it works great with the flavors of any sandwich.

So here goes…

Grain Free Sourdough Bread

10 oz. raw cashew pieces*

4 oz. filtered water*

20-30 billion probiotic strains. (The probiotic is what cultures the batter and makes it sour. I use the contents of 4 capsules from this brand that I purchased at Whole Foods, but there are many brands that work well. They come in all different amounts of strains per capsule. Just use as many capsules as you need to get 20-30 billion)

*(I use a digital scale to weigh everything to get the exact measurements.  You don’t have to, but I recommend it)

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Using a food processor or heavy duty blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec), begin grinding cashew pieces and slowly add in water.  Let it continue running until it has turned into a very smooth, very thick batter.  Once smooth, break your probiotic capsules into the mixture and quickly continue blending just until combined.  Transfer contents to a large glass or ceramic bowl.  Cover with an oven-safe lid (I use a plate).

Place the covered bowl in the oven and turn the oven light on. Leave the mixture there for about 12-up to 24 hours. I leave mine over night and bake in the late morning.

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Next up you’ll need:

2 eggs, separated

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. celtic sea salt

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For egg wash:

1 egg yolk

1 T. filtered water

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Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a small loaf pan (I highly recommend this one, but anything close to the same size should work.  It’s just important that your batter fills up the pan at least 3/4 full) and cover BOTH sides with parchment paper (use 2 separate sheets to run it both width and length-wise where it folds over the edge)

Grab a medium-size glass or metal bowl for your egg whites (meanwhile, drop egg yolks into cashew mixture as well as baking soda and sea salt).  Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (not stiff!).  Set aside for just a quick moment (and I mean quick – you don’t want your egg whites to settle).  Rinse off beaters and mix together the cashew mixture.  Fold the egg whites into the cashew mixture until thoroughly combined.

Spread cashew mixture into parchment-lined loaf pan, smoothing out the top.

Mix egg yolk and tablespoon of water in a small bowl and with a pastry brush, carefully brush the top of the loaf.  This will help give it a shiny, golden top.  Also note that the bread will more than likely crack, but it’s just the nature of this type of bread since it’s heavier than your standard sourdough.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, then turn the heat up to 375 and bake an additional 5-10 minutes (watching carefully) to get a nice golden top.  I even broil mine a little (again, watching VERY carefully) to help brown the top of the loaf.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!!

For more details or questions on different ways to culture your dough, read the more in-depth post from the original recipe here.

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