Thursday, April 7, 2011

A bit almonded out ......

I've been feeling a little over the whole "let's make everything with almond flour" thing lately and it didn't help matters when I attempted an almond meal scone recipe and it turned out DISGUSTING.  What a waste of 2 and 1/2 cups of almond meal (it aint cheap you know)!  The things I've tried lately are just so far removed from what I love and enjoy that I've felt very much like giving up.  I've gone back to baking things for the kids with wheat flour (and trying very hard not to imbibe myself) and just swapping the caster sugar with xylitol, and yes, they've worked out very well, but I've lost the whole BUZZ of discovering a new recipe that fits my requirements and tastes AWESOME!

*sniff* poor me.

Until today.  My faith was renewed.  Thank you Elana - again. 

My relationship with Elana has been mostly positive.  There are very few of her recipes that have failed me, but due to others' discontent (you just gotta read some of those comments - phew!), I've been a little wary of late and have not tried any of her latest recipes.  But, I seriously needed bread today, and it was with a little trepidation that I decided to attempt the Irish Soda Bread.  I wanted something that I could drizzle with honey, smear with peanut butter, or slather with jam & actually get a fairly "safe" hit of good ole breadiness. 

I did not go into this blind-folded.  I studied all the comments and variations people had tried for the best results.  Due to other almond flour baking mishaps, I decided to adopt a little more liquid approach with this recipe, and it worked like magic.  Now, I never baked it truly the way Elana did, so I honestly don't know if hers would have worked for me and I probably never will, as this recipe ticked all the boxes with me:

Irish-ish Soda Bread

2 and 1/2 cups of blanched almond flour (yes, the blanched part is actually incredibly important)
1 and 1/2 tsps  of baking soda
1/2 tsp crushed celtic salt
1/2 cup of juice sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup of milk (I used coconut milk) with 2 tsp of souring agent (lemon juice or vinegar) - let sit for 10mins
2 med eggs (if you are using smaller eggs, use a little more liquid.  If larger eggs, use a little less liquid)
2 tbsp agave syrup

I mixed the dry stuff together, and whisked the wet ingredients together.  I then added the wet to the dry and mixed it all together with a wooden spoon. It came together in a perfect moist dough.  I could easily lift it out and shape it into a rough 20cm round (on some baking paper on a tray) and score a cross through it nicely.

I baked it in a mod oven for around 20 mins - however, I kept a close eye on it as it does brown quickly.  As soon as it seemed cooked in the middle, I turned the oven off and let it sit for another 10 mins before pulling it out & carving meself a wodge.  It barely rose, but I really didn't need it to.


A lovely cross between a scone and a cakey-bread.  Drizzled with honey - completely satisfying.  Loved the cranberries, loved the texture, loved the taste.  Total win for me! 

(And no chocolate)

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