Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Paleo Coconut Bread

A friend of mine and her family are doing the Paleo thing, and she mentioned a bread made from coconut flour. I happen to have a huge bag of the stuff in my freezer, so I gave it a try. I was not impressed. It was dry and kind of crumbly. So I started messing with different recipes and adding extra eggs. Most of the recipes call for coconut oil. For some reason, my inner baker was telling me that doing the coconut oil and the coconut flour was contributing to the loaf not being just right. I experimented with canola and olive oil and even clarified butter. (I'm not sure all of those are allowed on strict Paleo).

After doing some research, a lot of forums recommended beef tallow or lard or even chicken schmaltz as a substitute for coconut oil. The nature of the substitute fat had to be the same as the coconut oil: solid at room temperature. Most forums recommended grass fed as grains fed anything is not allowed on Paleo. This had me in a dilemma because the smallest grass fed tub of beef tallow I could find was $100. And I didn't really want to have to roast a chicken every time I might want to make this bread. This led me to bacon fat. I can easily get uncured, organic bacon at New Seasons. I know that doesn't mean that it's from pastured pigs, but I figured if regular organic bacon fat worked, then a person who wanted to make this purely to the regimen could take the time to research finding grass fed bacon. So I fried up my organic bacon and rendered all the fat after draining through a coffee filter (to remove any solids). I got about 1/2 cup from one regular package (about 16 slices).

Well, tonight I hit the jackpot! I used this recipe from Elana's Pantry, BUT I added the 1/2 cup bacon fat instead of the 1/4 cup coconut oil. And I was rewarded with a very nicely moist savory bread with even texture. I ate three slices and am inclined to not share with the kids tomorrow...

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