Jalapeño Cheddar Bread + new thoughts on almond flour
Almond flour and why it might not be the best ingredient to bake with
I originally made this gluten free recipe with almond flour because I wanted it to be low carb, paleo, etc. I made the loaf and it turned out really good! It was kind of dense but that is to be expected with almond flour.
I decided not to post that recipe because I ended up finding out a few things about almond flour that I didn’t like. I’m actually really disappointed because I was SO excited about almond flour. I definitely thought it was the “cure all” for gluten free, low carb baking.
First of all, I had been feeling nauseous for the past two weeks and I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. I thought maybe it had something to do with anxiety or stress, but I have never experienced physical discomfort from that before.
Then I realized what I was doing differently on the same days I was feeling uncomfortable. I was consuming almond flour!
I noticed it almost immediately after I had a few slices of my original jalapeño cheddar bread recipe. My stomach was in knots and it lasted the entire day.
This prompted me to see if anyone else had been having these same symptoms in relation to almond flour. Turns out, almond flour is extremely inflammatory for a lot of people. That is why my body was having a hard time processing it. I also read that there are about 90 almonds in 1 cup of almond flour. I didn’t even think about this! Of course when you grind something down, it’s going to condense and that means consuming A LOT of almonds in just one slice of bread!
So basically when I had a slice of my original jalapeño cheddar bread, I was consuming maybe 15-20 almonds in one sitting. In one slice of bread! I had two that morning so that means I probably had 45, 50 almonds for breakfast? OMG
That is so many almonds! When I eat whole almonds, my body says stop after like 5!
So that being said, I won’t be using almond flour in baking anymore. I might use like 1/4 cup or a SMALL addition to a recipe, but it will not be the main ingredient in any of my baking anymore. I also read somewhere that almonds aren’t heat safe??? Goodness!
Has anyone else experienced this with almond flour?
Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
This recipe, however, is completely gluten free AND almond free. It is not low carb, but hey it’s not going to tear up my stomach.
I decided to not make it in a loaf pan and just set it on a regular cookie sheet. It held up nicely.
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (no xanthan gum required)
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast (see notes for alternatives)
1 tsp maple syrup (to activate yeast)
5-6 small jalapeños seeded and chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and maple syrup. Let sit for around 10 minutes. It should be bubbly and foam up.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, and salt. You can add any additional herbs or spices you think would be good!
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. It should resemble a dough. If its still too wet, add a little more flour and combine with your hands. You don’t have to kneed it, but make sure it’s fully combined.
- Place a towel over the bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise. I let mine rise over night, but you could definitely just leave it for an hour or two. It needs to double in size so whenever that happens you are good to go. My kitchen was a little cold so I left it over night so it could puff up a lot.
- After it has doubled in size. Add the jalapeños and cheddar cheese and work in with your hands. Place in a small bread pan or just form it into a ball and place on a greased sheet pan.
- Heat oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes and then check it by sticking a toothpick or fork in and seeing if it comes out clean. I baked mine for 40 minutes and definitely could have taken it out sooner. You don’t want it to come out too dry!
- if you want it to be more moist, you can add a few eggs to the batter or a few tablespoons to 1/4 cup of your favorite oil. If you do this, you might need to adjust the flour to liquids ratio.
- if you don’t want to use yeast, replace it with two eggs and add 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. It will help the bread puff up.
- if you want to make vegan, use nutritional yeast instead of cheddar!