Almond Flour Bread #BreadBakers

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This almond flour bread is another entry in the "not half bad" category. Again, as with my pistachio, rose and cardamom shortbread cookies, you might not think this is a ringing endorsement, but this bread is made with almond flour (because I'm sure you couldn't figure that out from the title). Almond flour comes from almonds (you probably couldn't figure that out either.) Almonds being a nut. And as regular, loyal readers (all 12 of you) of this blog know, I hate nuts with the power of a thousand blazing suns. So "not half bad" is actually pretty darned good.

At least once a year, I attempt something nutty in the hopes that I'll do a 180 and embrace the nut, because the damned things are everywhere and I'm tired of being a nutty pariah. I generally fail miserably but over the years, I've grown to marginally tolerate pistachios and cashews and sometimes, things of almond origin—excluding extract and the actual nut itself. I still, in fact, loathe the taste and smell of almonds, but for some reason, almond milk and almond flour aren't very almond-y to my palate. I make my own almond milk regularly (the leftover meal goes into the compost) and hello? Macarons? So while I was tempted to bail on this month's #BreadBakers challenge—breads with nut meals and flours—I decided to celebrate my limited acceptance of the nut and forge bravely ahead.

This almond flour bread is right up my alley. There are no nut bits to gross me out and it's a good old yeast bread, which is never a bad thing. It's extremely easy to make—basically dump it all in a bowl, do the typical bread-y thing…VOILA! You got yourself a bread. The taste isn't noticeably almond-y, the bread has a nice chew and the crumb is fine and dense, which makes for great toasting and sandwich loaf.  My only issue with it is that I didn't get a particularly good rise, which probably was the result of a little hesitancy on my part. You see, as soon as the weather starts getting hot, so does my un-air conditioned kitchen—my house is basically a giant proof box—so when I baked this up, the thermostat indoors registered 85°F. I always have a period of adjustment when I bake bread in the summer before I get things right, with changes to water temperature or rise times (which I watch nervously), otherwise I end up with an over-proofed loaf. I probably erred too much on the side of caution with this bread, because it's probably a bit under-proofed and I could have let it go a bit longer before baking, hence the less than stellar rise. Live and learn. It's still a darned good loaf, nutty origins or not.

Be sure to check out the links below to see what the other (non-nut averse) BreadBakers baked up this month. And thanks, Cindy, for the challenge!

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Almond Flour Bread

Ingredients

  • 570g/4 cups bread flour
  • 90g/1 cup almond flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 375ml/1-1/2 cups warm (105–115°F) water*
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, salt, and yeast.
  2. Add the water and honey and mix on medium speed until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, punch it down and divide in two. Shape each half into a loaf and place in greased 8x4 loaf pans. Cover the pans with plastic wrap that's been lightly sprayed with cooking spray (shower caps or Covermate bowl covers are even better and you don't need the spray). Let rise until doubled.
  5. Place the risen loaves in a preheated 425°F oven, bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375° and bake for an additional 15–20 minutes, covering the loaves with foil if needed to prevent over-browning. (The loaves should be golden brown.)
  6. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

*If you live in a giant proof box like I do, adjust the water temperature as needed. My water was definitely on the cold side, to slow down the rise.

I've tried both Bob's Red Mill and Trader Joe's almond flour and prefer Bob's. It's much finer and bakes up nicely. Trader Joe's isn't bad but if that's all I've got, I generally sift it or run it through the food processor to get rid of the larger bits.

Recipe source: ChezCateyLou

#BreadBakers for June: Breads with Nut Meals and Nut Flours

This month's BreadBakers' theme is Breads with Nut Meals and Nut Flours inspired bread, hosted by Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings.

Enjoy all these creative breads using nut meals and nut flours from The Bread Bakers Group!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

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