Bread is such a staple of life and partner in life’s celebrations. Its differing forms are wonderful expressions of the characters and lifestyles of the people that it feeds. Ranging from flat breads like the Indian chapati and roti, Armenian lavash, Jewish matzo and Central and Southern Asian naan to the focaccias, sourdoughs and muffins of Europe and the UK, they all tell a story. In some cases, like France, the image of a man with a beret and baguette, albeit so stereotypical, is so much more readily identified as a symbol of France, than say, its national flag. Post-war migration in the twentieth century saw a spread of these breads, along with its people, to all of the corners of the globe.
As a kid of Eastern European background growing up in Australia in the 70’s, I too had a ‘clash of cultures’ diet, which was so simply encapsulated in my schizophrenic bread (and spread) habits; one day I’d be chewing on a bagel with salami or salmon and the next I’d be snacking on some ‘wonder white’ sliced, processed bread with white sugar. Living in Switzerland and France as an adult opened up the delights of complex, nutrient-dense nut and rye breads on one hand and the perfect rustic sourdough and baguette on the other.
When I found out a few years ago that completely eliminating bread from my diet was a crucial step to healing my eczema, I cried. French bread and raw, salted butter were my idea of a perfect snack, probably only close second to my ultimate comfort meal of good pizza and a glass (or two) of red. So once my skin and immune system started to heal and I could also start to re-introduce nuts into my diet (certain nuts agreed with me more than others), I started to look for alternatives.
That’s when I came across Pete Evan’s wonderful Paleo Seed and Nut Bread in his Family Food cookbook. It helped our family plug a gaping hole in our diet, especially as it had been part of our lives as far as any of us could remember. I’ve tweaked the recipe for our family; adding some linseeds to the seed mix topping, omitting the chopped almonds (because I found them a bit inflammatory), adding tapioca flour instead as well as a few other changes. This recipe, along with my macadamia nut pesto were featured on the Feedfeed website, in its Toast and Tartine feed. I hope you love it as much as we do. I’d also love to hear from you if you have any allergen-free bread recipes that your family loves because I’m always on the hunt for something new.
Where possible, use activated/sprouted seeds and nuts.
- 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, (chopped) plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, (chopped) plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon linseeds for sprinkling
- 150 g (1 1/2 cups) almond meal
- 3 heaped tablespoons tapioca flour
- 3 tablespoons LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional, but I NEVER leave it out)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil ( the recipe calls for coconut but I prefer olive here)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius (320 fahrenheit) and line a loaf tin with greased baking paper.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (seeds, almond meal, tapioca flour, LSA, coconut flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt).
- Beat egg whites with pinch of salt until firm peaks form.
- Gently fold dry mixture into stiff egg whites.
- Whip the 6 egg yolk with tablespoon of honey ( if using) until pale and creamy.
- Mix the whipped egg yolks into the already combined egg whites and nut flour/seed mixture.
- Add the ACV and oil and mix until combined ( it will look more like a batter than a dough, this is normal).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out evenly.
- Sprinkle the top with the 4 different seeds ( I like to go from largest to smallest. I’ve also occasionally sprinkled it with some sea salt crystals).
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until golden and skewer comes clean from the centre. The bread is quite dense and doesn’t have a typical bread texture.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning it out.
- Enjoy either as bread or toast.
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