Yeast-Based Paleo Bread — Revisited

March 9, 2013 in Categories: by

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A good paleo bread recipe is worth its weight in gold.   I pride myself on my paleo bread recipes, especially those that utilize yeast (check out my post Is Yeast Paleo?) since the flavor and texture is so, well, bread like!  For anyone with picky kids they are trying to transition or who is having issues with the transition to paleo themselves, having a real bread that is made with paleo-friendly ingredients can make all the difference in the world.

Yeast-based paleo bread is one of the few recipes that I have developed that I make frequently.  I mean really frequently.  It takes a week to ten days for us to go through a loaf.  It is a staple breakfast food for my oldest (who had the hardest time with the transition to paleo and still clings to a few paleo versions of her old staples) and an occasional breakfast food or treat for my youngest and husband.  So, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to tweak and play with the recipe over the nearly one year since I posted the original version.

Yeast-Based Paleo Bread Revisited | The Paleo Mom One of my priorities was to develop a version of my original yeast-based paleo bread that didn’t include flax seed.  This is because I have learned that flax is very high in phytoestrogens, chemical compounds that have the ability to mimic estrogen in the human body even as absorbed from dietary sources.  And while I don’t worry about the occasional bit of paleo baking that includes flax, I do worry about the daily consumption of flax for my growing girls.  Doing away with the flax introduced all kinds of issues with texture, which took quite a bit of experimentation to sort out. The secret turned out to be to use half very finely milled blanched almond flour (such as Honeyville Farms or JK Gourmet) and half courser milled almond meal (the best was the almond flour I bought locally from NaturAlmond but making my own by processing whole almonds in my food processor worked well too).

The other issue with the original bread recipe is that it made a fairly squat loaf.  While this didn’t really matter that much for our purposes, a taller loaf means the bread lasts longer and it’s a more familiar size/shape for all of you!

My Bread Machine does 2-pound loaves, but I am very confident this would work in a 1.5-pound loaf machine (I would suggest cutting the recipe in half for a 1-pound loaf machine). As with all gluten-free bread recipes, it doesn’t rise much.  That’s okay.  It also will never have a dome top.  That’s okay too. I make this bread in a Bread Machine, which is certainly the easiest way to make this bread (gluten-free bread can be tough to get a pretty surface with made the old fashioned way, but it’s certainly possible!).

As with all homemade bread recipes, the temperature, humidity and altitude of your kitchen can impact how the bread rises.  You may need to subtract or add 1 Tbsp (or even 2 Tbsp!) of water to this recipe to make it work in your kitchen.  You’ll know to subtract a little water if your loaf is a little concave on top (like a trench).  You’ll know you need to add water if the top is crumbly looking.  You can optionally use Mineral Water to add a little extra rise and lightness to your loaf, but the difference is small compared to regular water, which is what I am in the habit of using.

Yeast-Based Paleo Bread Revisited | The Paleo Mom

Ingredients:

  1. Mix  water, eggs,  salt, honey, and vinegar in the bottom of your Bread Machine pan.
  2. Add coconut oil, almond flour, almond meal, tapioca and arrowroot flour on top of wet ingredients.  Sprinkle yeast on top of the flour (or follow your bread maker’s directions).
  3. Use the whole wheat cycle on your Bread Machine if it has one (if not, just use a regular cycle).  Very Important:  My Bread Machine had a hard time mixing these ingredients because the dough is fairly stiff.  Check during the initial knead that the ingredients are mixing well and none are sticking to the edge of the pan (if they are, use a spatula to gently push them down into the rest of the dough and maybe even help mix the dough, depending on your machine). 
  4. Remove promptly after your Bread Machine is done.  Enjoy!

If you want to bake this bread without a Bread Machine, these instructions reflect the best results reported by those of you who left comments on my original yeast-based paleo bread recipe or sent me emails to report on your success:

  1. Proof your yeast by warming the water (should feel comfortably warm and not too hot) and adding the yeast to the water.   You can do this in the bottom of your mixing bowl.  It should start to foam in 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add  the wet ingredients to the proofed yeast and stir
  3. Add your dry ingredients and stir to fully incorporate (you may want to use a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or you could do this by hand).  It would be helpful if your ingredients were room temperature or slightly warmer.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased standard-sized loaf pan.  Spread out the top evenly.
  5. Let rise in a warm corner of your kitchen for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  A great way to rise bread is to put in on your oven with the oven off but the oven light on.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350F.
  6. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Yeast-Based Paleo Bread Revisited | The Paleo Mom

Comments

I’m curious to know if you have heard of using psyllium husk as a gluten-mimicking ingredient. Apparently it does something similar to xanthan gum but without the negative effects. According to Mark Sisson, psyllium husk is not primal/paleo, but he is considering only it’s use as a stool bulking agent, not as a baking ingredient for a specific purpose: making paleo bread more like traditional bread for those who find that useful for whatever reason. Some info on this GF (not paleo) site if you are interested: http://glutenfreegirl.com/what-is-psyllium-husk/

I found psyllium husk made my constipation 10X worse! Made no difference how much water I drank either. My naturopath told me it does the exact same to him!

Hi Sarah,

I have enjoyed cooking via your recipes on your blog. I’m hard core on the AIP diet, and I’m glad to have your recipes. Thank you so much! I have a random question to ask you…Have you heard about Low Dose Naltrexone to help autoimmune people? Here is an interesting article about it…http://tinyurl.com/what-is-ldn Some people act like it may be the ‘magic bullet’ drug to help Auto Immune issues. I’d love your opinion on it because you are so versed in this subject. Please do let me know your thoughts…either in email or via a reply here. Thank you!
Paola

I have herd Chris Kresser talk about it at great length. I haven’t red the studies myself yet, but I trust his opinion. He even put his wife on it. But still, I would always try a food-based approach first.

I was wondering if you’d recommend Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour/meal for this recipe. I know Elana Amsterdam specifically states that she won’t use it in her recipes because it is too course (and in fact, most almond flour baking purists seem to agree with her). I would think that if that’s the case, then it would be a good option.

I have recently started using JK Gourmet Almond Flour when I found that Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour has traces of gluten, may be because it’s processed in a gluten-contaminated facility.

Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes, advice and I love your podcasts! I’m new to paleo and have transitioned the entire family (3 kids: 4 yr old, 2 yr old & 38 yr old ;-) ) but we do rely on the paleo treats to keep some level of normality in our menus. I have a 2lb bread maker, but it makes more square loaves. Do you think this would be an issue? Should I do half the recipe? Obviously I would prefer to do a full recipe to have it last longer, but I don’t want it to be too dense. Any thoughts would be great! Thank you again for all the support you provide to us laymen!

Will do! Thank you so much for your response!!!! I will let you know how it turns out. Might be a few weeks though…

HI– haven’t tried either recipe yet, but am going to try the original one first, since I have flaxmeal on hand.
But, I was wondering if chia seed (ground) would work as a substitute for the flax, and whether or not it has the same phytoestrogen issues?

just popped this out of the breadmaker: PERFECTION! I used the ‘gluten-free’ bake setting and the result was a rounded-top loaf with a very nice texture- better than most gluten-free, grain-based loaves i’ve made in the past. thank you so much for your generous sharing on your website; it is genuinely appreciated, probably more than you will ever know…

So excited to try this recipe! Just wondering why you specify extra virgin coconut oil, and if “regular” would work as well? Thanks for your help!

Hi – can someone please tell me, how many slices this two-pound loaf makes? because when I compute out the carb load for it, it is almost two hundred carbs – so I wondered how many carbs per slice this would end up being? or did I compute something incorrectly?

thanks,

Christy

Well, it would depend on the size loaf pan. My Zojirushi makes loaves that are about 9 inches long. Assuming 1/2″ wide slices that would make for approximately 18 slices.

This recipe looks great! Question: is Arrowroot powder the same as Arrowroot Flour? I’ve looked all over for an answer and haven’t found a definitive one. Thanks so much!

Tried this recipe in my bread machine. It was such a complete fail and we are mega disappointed. We are throwing it out. Sorry, but we had high hopes to have a sandwich bread alternative.

Hi! I don’t have a bread maker so I was doing this the old fashioned way, with my kitchen aid! ;) Anyway, first the mixture was super crumbly and I was expecting more of a dough??? Then i tried to kneed a bit by hand but i ended up with a super dense consistency that I feared would just stay really heavy. Since I didn’t know how much it might rise I split the dough between two 9×5 loaf pans. Let it rise (if it did it was imperceptible). Then baked. It tastes great but is super dense! Should I have just put the crumbly dough in the pan? I think the hand kneeding is where I went wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :)

This bread does not hand kneed well. I just mix it with a standing mixer. Next time, try adding a bit more water. It should be kinda sticky and thick, somewhere between peanut butter and play dough.

The bread is naturally denser than traditional grain breads and doesn’t rise as much as they do. As Sarah says, just use the mixer to “knead” the bread. When I make a gluten free bread in a loaf pan, I let it mix on med to med-high for about 4 minutes and then use a spatula to scoop it out into the pan and smooth the top. To let my bread rise, I put it in the microwave oven (but don’t turn it on). It’s naturally draft free so makes a good place to let any kind of bread rise. If the kitchen is a little cold, I’ll first nuke a glass of water for about a minute before putting the bread in.

Thanks Sarah and Janet for your suggestions. I will give this another go after i go replenish my flour stock. :) One last question: what size loaf pan should this fit in? Thanks so much.

Is there an alternative for Arrow root flour? It is super expensive and hard to get here in South Africa.

I am curious to know more regarding the phytoestrogen issue with flax meal… I try to eat at least a tablespoon or two sprinkled on my salad every day for help going to the bathroom (and it really does help!) I do seem to need high doses of it though and now I’m worrying that I’m overdoing it. You mention not wanting to give it to your daughters – I am 36, does it do anything to a woman’s hormones and if so what specifically does it do/symptoms? Should I cut back/cut it out entirely? I have fibro/CFS and now I’m curious as to what if any of my symptoms could be from me screwing up my hormones inadvertently? Any other foods that contain it? I really will begin researching this!

Just made this. It was a bit denser than I’d hoped for, but my picky daughter liked it! Does it need to be stores in the fridge? How long should it stay fresh? Does it freeze well?

I keep mine into fridge, since I find it goes moldy I my house before we eat it all if I don’t. It does freeze well, but I would slice it before putting it in the freezer.

The usual recommendation for baking bread at high altitude is a little extra liquid and shorter rising time. But, I don’t really know if that would be enough. Maybe try subbing tapioca for the arrowroot and adding an egg (instead of more water).

Thanks I’ll give it a shot and let you know. We’re still eating the bread BTW so not a waste. Not sure if it didn’t rise or if it fell. I’ll have to pay closer attention to it next time.

When is comes to the use of Almond Flour and Almond Meal, are they not the same or similar? Would 6 Cups of Almond Flour Suffice for this recipe, or is the Almond Meal Necessary for consistency reasons? Thanks.

I know that you haven’t tried it, but I recently read an article about substituting sunflower seed flour for almond flour, so I was wondering if you thought that that might work? I would like to try this bread with half and half to make it less expensive and to use less almonds. I haven’t seen sunflower seed flour locally, so I would be grinding the seeds in a coffee grinder. I’m thinking that they could take the place of the coarser almond meal in this recipe…maybe?

I’ve heard that it behaves very similarly to almond flour so yes, I think it would work with this recipe. And yes, home ground I think would replace the almond meal very well. Let me know how it works!

I tried this recipe and it was way to much dry for the wet, so it wouldn’t mix in the bread maker. I can’t imagine over seven cups of dry to less than one cup of wet working. Did I do something wrong?

My daughter can’t have eggs (in addition to being GF , no dairy , corn or potato) so making any kind of bread is a challenge. I made one with flax seed as a substitute that was just ok. Any suggestions? It’s so hard to figure things out!

Hi Paleo Mom…so, I have the same BreadMaker as you :-) & before I try this could you advise what’s the purpose of adding the Tapioca & Arrowroot Flour? Those 2 ingredients add 145 gr of NET carbs to the 325 gr total for the 2 lbs loaf (45% of total carbs), & create roughly 15 gr (9 gr NET) of carbs per slice.

(I’ve been running formulas in Excel all morning based on mfg info so I’m fairly sure this is accurate).

Dropping the Tapioca & Arrowroot, replacing with 50/50 Almond flour & meal, reduces the total carb to 218 gr / 2lbs loaf. No flour loaf = 10 gr carbs/slice (3 gr NET carbs/slice), even still with the honey.

That’s a VERY significant carb drop, a 66% drop in net carbs, just by removing those 2 ingredients.

So you add them to prevent the ‘squat loaf?’ My issue being almost any amount of flour derails my ketotis & triggers a carb fest.

Thank you! Edwin

.

Hello,
I tried this bread out. It tastes good, and I’m very pleased with the taste. However, my first mistake was I used Bob’s blanched almond flour (which is pretty coarse), and I’m going to admit that I should have probably waited until I bought a finer almond flour. So it’s a little coarse, but that’s my fault. I did need to help my bread machine stir it a little because on the bottom, there was some flour not mixed in. It did sink a little on top, but otherwise, it seemed to turn out ok. Is there anything I can try to get it to not sink (this may have been because it took the second kneading process before I realized there was flour sitting on the bottom)? Otherwise, I think it’s a success. Thanks for the recipe!

I am so happy that this recipe doesn’t use a million eggs, all other paleo breads i have tried use about 6-8 eggs and eggs aren’t cheap, also I am not to keen on my bread tasting like egg haha. Will definitely be trying this one, thank you

Hi Paleo Mom. I was wondering what I could substitute the Almond flour with since my son is allergic to nuts, wheat and corn? Thank you.

Late to the party, as usual (found this on your recent FB post), and have a question. Could this come even close to working with coconut flour instead of almond flour? It’s coarse but not as coarse as the almond meal I find locally. For most things I have made they are interchangeable but coconut flour does tend to be “thirstier” than almond so I suspect I might have to add more fluid. What do you think? Have you tried using coconut flour?

I am allergic to yeast & eggs along with normal flours so I am on the Paleo diet. I would love to try this as I really miss bread! Do you have any suggestions for substitutions?

I followed the recipe and had no bread maker. I actually just mixed it left it for an hour and followed your directions. It is lovely and looks the same as your picture. I will change over to the nut free for next time due to $$$ almond meal is so expensive. Thanks!

Dr. Davis is against using tapioca and arrowroot. Was wondering why you use them as they have a high carbohydrate content and raise blood sugar sky high. I would love to make this as I really miss yeast bread so is there a good substitution?

Julie

They are necessary for texture. I am a firm believer in regulating blood sugars (so I wouldn’t recommend eating a whole loaf of this bread in one sitting!), but I also don’t think the evidence for eating low-carb for an extended period of time is particularly strong, so I don’t think most people need to completely avoid starches.

Hmm. Something to ponder. Maybe I will try it and check my blood sugar before and after I eat a slice. Thank you for your response.

looks great but we are doing autoimmune paleo without nuts and seeds and eggs etc.. and I’m looking for a good bread recipe – any recommendations? plus my daughter and I are sensitive to almonds anyhow and so many paleo recipes have almond flour in them that we can’t eat – maybe you could steer me in the right direction?

You can make it by hand the old-fashioned way, but Sarah does not have directions for that. You may be able to find a recipe for hand-made yeast-based bread and go by those instructions. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Following the recipe exactly, with regular water, my dough was quite wet even after helping all the ingredients mix in?? I added more tapioca and arrowroot starch till it got thicker, but not sure what I did different than you if you get a stiff dough! :) I’m hoping it turns out well enough to eat – paleo isn’t cheap!

I made this bread and it was PERFECT!! Well, almost perfect,but the only error was my own. The bread tasted great, my kids LOVED IT, which is huge because they pretty much boycott everything I cook these days. Thank you for this!!

OK so I am trying to follow a LCHF regime, so less starch, and I am still learning.

I tried this recipe today, but could not find tapioca (only in a mix with rice- and potato flour). I used Gram (chickpea) flour in stead, but as I did not have enough almond flour I also used flaxseed and oat bran. (together maybe 1 cup). It is hard for me to use a recipe with cups and spoons, as we are used to grams and scales. I am nearly certain I used too much flour as several spoons had a ‘head’ – I did compensate with half a spoon now and again (and lost count :) ), so for me weighing is much more secure. I added extra water when I thought it was too dry. Also I can only find yeast powder here and was not sure how much to use and stuck to the 2 tsp.
It did not rise at all :(. When I bake with dutch recipes and if something has to rise we would put the bowl in front of a heater, with a wet tea towel over it. This recipe did not state to use extra heat and I don’t know what is expected – what is considered a warm spot in the kitchen and what does it mean using the oven and only turn on the light?
And as I think the dough was too heavy to begin with the bread is very compact and heavy. The taste is not bad though.

So looking at what I did first try, with the difficulties I tried to compensate for, what would be the best thing to adjust/improve to make the bread rise and also to make it lighter. Please advise baking experts, thanks for your input!

Sarah recommends making her baked goods exactly as written for the best result. You may get different results if you use a different brand of flour. The “warm spot” in the kitcen can be in the oven with the light on (but the oven off). – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

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