In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
For those who were considering ordering Paleo bread from the Julian Bakery online, just a word of caution: beware! The bad reviews are really true, and I’m not one who usually does any online reviews. I have ordered both the almond and the coconut breads for awhile. I am not sure what to make of the taste of them, but the almond is definitely a no-go for me. The coconut was palatable, if you chug down some liquid with it and pretend you’re not about to choke! It’s gagging, tasteless, and soggy-at-times bread, but I guess I was desperate for a slice, truly desperate to think it was edible.
I tried this recipe today and I’m blown away. I haven’t started Keto yet but I am soon. I’ve been trying recipes out, and I truly didn’t expect this to come out right the first time because I’ve never whipped egg whites or folded them into anything. I’m a terrible baker. It was so easy! Even my toddler and husband loves this! I didn’t use the sweetener and love the way it tastes!
Whenever I come across a recipe and I want to convert it to grams I use the amount on say my bag of almond flour and calculate it out. My almond flour weighs out to be 112 grams per cup so for this recipe you would use 224 grams of almond flour (I use superfine Kirkland brand from Costco and I’ve also used Bob’s Red Mill superfine and they both work equally well). The 2 tablespoons of coconut flour is a small amount so I wouldn’t bother weighing that out. As for the flax seed, I buy mine whole and measure accordingly and grind in my coffee grinder.

I cut the bread into thin slices and it is great toasted. I made a sandwich for my husband with bacon, lettuce and tomato and when I handed it to him he looked at me funny and after he took his first bite he asked me: “where did you buy this bread, can we eat bread now?” lol…. I told him I had made the bread with almond flour instead of wheat and he was thrilled.


In his 1988 book "The Paleolithic Prescription," Eaton and his co-authors argued that humans are ill-suited to modern diets because the large part of a human's genetic makeup was established thousands of years ago in pre-agricultural societies. Eaton and other advocates of the Paleo diet believe that many modern diseases are a result of today's eating habits.

I went to buy Xanthan gum at a store in my little town and it was like $17! I wasn’t paying that much, so I made it without but I will be ordering some online. I followed your directions exactly (minus Xanthan) and used Swerve for the sweetener. I couldn’t wait for it to cool so I had a piece right after it came out of the oven, it was delicious! I find it a tad sweet for bread, but that’s ok I’ll just cut back on the sweetener if I want to eat it for a sandwich..all sweeteners are a little different. It had a beautiful crust on it and was a tiny bit crumbly, almost reminds me more of muffin texture, I’m thinking maybe the Xanthan will give it more of a chewy bread texture?

I love this recipe and I like to tweak things. I came up with a tweak to make banana bread. Since holiday baking is my weakness and I had an almost suicidal reaction to wheat (I really know I’m allergic now) I wanted some banana bread. I subbed 1 cup of almond flour to walnut flour, omitted the ACV, added sweetener to taste, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (sugar free) and 1 mashed banana. I LOVE banana so I also added a little banana flavoring. Baked up to a heavenly bread that I can eat without bloating and severe mood reactions!! I LOVE this site for recipes!! My next attempt will be either pumpkin bread or orange cranberry. Makes a great “I NEED SWEET” snack or breakfast as I’m zooming out the door.
They go through a virtual checklist on what makes a bread a bread, and it’s pretty much right on. You want your bread to be able to toast up in the toaster, to have a crust on the outside but be soft on the inside, and to slice up without giving you too many problems. The reason this becomes important to consider is because many breads that try to cut out wheat and up falling short of many of these requirements. But this bread is up to the challenge and can be that go-to bread recipe you’ll need while going with the Paleo lifestyle.

I want to marry you because of this recipe (okay, maybe a tad dramatic). I only had tapioca starch so made it according to your instructions and subbed the flaxseed meal for chia because that was all I had but this bread turned out perfectly. I’m not exactly paleo and I’m generally a good cook, bad baker but this worked even for the inept baker like me. Thank you so much! Next time, I think I’ll try topping it with sunflower seeds just for an extra bite!
When eating Paleo you may find that you end up using vegan recipes a lot. This is not surprising because vegan cooking entails cutting out a lot of junk and only using wholesome sources. Of course you’ll be ruining the vegan-ness of it with the meat you’ll be having with it, but for side items like bread it’s totally OK to borrow a page from the vegan notebook. Here we have a bread that is both Paleo and vegan approved, and uses a bit of applesauce to give it a unique flavor. One thing to remember is that vegan cheese substitutes that you can find at the store will typically be Paleo friendly and actually taste pretty good.
Both kids and adults will enjoy stretching the honey into taffy, and the longer you stretch the honey, the easier and more pliable the taffy becomes. To avoid a sticky situation, make sure any surface you set the taffy on is thinly coated with cooking spray. You can also wear latex gloves (coated with canola oil) to make the pulling a little easier.
This looks awesome! Just wanted to say thank you. I’m a bomber cook, but when it comes to baking, I’m so grateful people like you are willing to play around in the kitchen and make all the mistakes for me. :) Also, I made your chocolate cream pie from your cookbook for a party and I swear, no one ever knows your desserts are GF and Primal-friendly. It’s gotten to where I always bring dessert so I know I can enjoy something, but then everyone ends up eating it too!

While going bonkers and eating chocolate creations 3 times per day is unnecessary (and would sorta defeat the point of Whole30, and Paleo in general) I DO think it’s a great time to explore all the Paleo dessert options out there – so we can have our cake (quite literally) – and still feel awesome after eating it.  That’s what Paleo treats and desserts are all about in my opinion – and it’s NO secret that I’m quite the fan of dessert, just check out the “sweet treats” section of the blog!
I just made this today, and my husband, toddler, and I all loved it! We used ours for cheese and tomato sandwiches, and my husband managed to eat about half of the loaf before it even cooled. Like another person mentioned, I had to bake mine longer, but for me it was nearly twice as long (I’m at a relatively high altitude, maybe that’s why?). As yet another person said, it will now be a staple in our home too!
Protein is a staple of the caveman diet- specifically options that are grass-fed, wild caught or organic, as these options are often from animals raised in environments that encourage natural behavior. And because our ancestors didn't just live off chicken and beef, they hunted a wide variety of meat, the more variety you can add to your proteins, the better!

I have to say I am not paleo but am very gluten sensitive. I do not enjoy the texture of many GF breads. I have been trying and looking for bread recipes that were good and grainy and would taste good untoasted for sandwiches. I really enjoy this bread! No toasting necessary! I enjoy playing with recipes so I did grind in some oatmeal for part of the flour. Or ground quinoa. Also have replaced some of the almond flour wth 1/2 cup of cassava flour (from yucca root). Thank you for this great recipe!
I don’t want to give negative criticism, but (uh oh here we go) active bacterial cultures such as ACV and yogurt (I make my own homemade both) will not survive baking, frying, microwaving nor any other heating or freezing. Both bacteria carriers function as a leavening agent, but in terms of health benefits, you can use any good tasting, naturally sourced vinegar, and the yogurt will raise the dough but after being baked neither does anything for your gut. I also should point out to the folks determined to cook with coconut oil, that a MTC oil like coconut becomes almost the same as any other vegetable oil once it hits smoking temp. So baking it you might as well have saved your money and used butter or an oil. For MtC benefits and bacterial cultures, keep everything out of the microwave, have the coconut oil as a topping and yogurt as a smoothie on the side.

I didn’t read through all 400+ comments, so I don’t know if this has been discussed, but this recipe calls for a really huge amount of baking soda and doesn’t have the huge amount of acidic ingredients needed to balance it. I tried it anyway as written and sure enough, the resulting product smells and tastes like un-neutralized baking soda. Normally a recipe like this would use baking powder, so I tried again, using 1.5 tsp of baking powder instead of the baking soda. I eliminated the vinegar, since its main role would be to neutralize (some of) the baking soda.


I wish I had taken a photo because this bread is gorgeous! My husband (who is anti-healthy food) said “I see bread like that and I want to eat it…but since you told me it was made with almonds I won’t, out of spite”…and then 10 minutes later…”that would taste really good toasted with butter” (and a big chunk was missing from the loaf). So easy to make with ingredients I always have on hand. Bravo! I will be making this weekly!

Cordain explains that high intake of fruits and vegetables is one of best ways to reduce chances of cancer and heart disease. He notes that protein has twice the calorie burning effect of fat and carbs and is more satiating than both. He explains that starch, fats, sugars, and salts together cause us to keep eating. So if we limit our diet to fruits and vegetables and/or meat, we’ll stop eating when we’re full. And if you stop eating when you’re full, you’ll lose weight and won’t get fat. And as you lose weight, your cholesterol will improve (regardless of what you eat). This all makes sense and can’t really be disputed. If you want to lose weight, the Paleo diet will get you there and probably quickly. But Cordain’s hypothesis applied to long-term health falls short.


I am studying nutrition and, like you, understand that many foods labeled as paleo weren’t actually consumed by our paleolithic ancestors thousands of years ago. I guarantee elana knows that as well. Labeling a recipe paleo is an easy way to categorize posts so those eating a paleo, or grain and dairy free whole foods diet, know it’s for them. Hope that clears up some of your frustration and or misunderstanding about paleo recipes. enjoy!

Fast forward 15 years later and I live in my own house with air conditioning and I make the rules. 🙂 But even though I still turn the oven on to bake in the summer (I just have to some days! Hello, it’s my job.) I still have the notion that summertime = no ovens. So I’m always looking for healthy treats to make that don’t require the oven or much effort.
re almond flour & coconut oil, any health food store staff would be super helpful in pointing you to the right ones, especially when you tell them you’ll baking. he showed me unbleached almond flour and coconut flour (Bob’s Red Mill is all over NYC, at least, and you can get it online http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Organic-16-Ounce/dp/B000KENKZ8/ref=sr_1_4?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1383057846&sr=1-4&keywords=bob%27s+red+mill+coconut their products are consistently great, IMHO)

“All plants contain chlorogenic acid, mostly in the stems and leaves, but sunflowers also have it in the seeds. A spokeswoman for Red River Commodities says that SunButter does indeed turn cookies and other baked products green as they cool. The solution, she says, is to reduce the amount of baking soda or baking powder in your recipe by almost half, which balances the acidity of the ingredients and keeps them from changing color. Whether your cookies will rise adequately with half the leaven is a good question, but she says some people who have gotten in touch with the company say they don’t notice any difference. Adding a bit of lemon juice to your dough or batter can also help maintain expected colors. ”


I too think it’s funny how many people basically ask permission to do substitutions, as if the recipe police will come down on them or something, or like you eluded to that maybe you can predict the exact outcome of every possible substitution. Victim of your own success!! : ) You are pretty good Elana so we won’t be surprised if you develop baking clairvoyance. Thank you for this recipe, after going Paleo this year I’ve really wanted to find some baking recipes I could feel good about eating. Excited to try this!!!
I think red meat from grain fed cattle and sheep IS bad for us . These animals were designed to eat grass. We were designed to eat meat, fat, vegetables , a few seeds and a little seasonal fruit. But never any kind of grain. ! When Man began farming and grain consumption , so began disease and illness. Today our food supply is being contaminated by Factory farming and GMOs.
Hi Romy, almond flour is lot less absorbent than coconut flour (like A LOT). I know a few people have tried using oat flour with success, but I worry that almond flour would not be sufficient for absorbing the almond butter and creating a nice, firm texture. I’d recommend starting with about 3/4 cup almond flour, and experimenting as needed. Same for the stevia! Good luck–let me know how it turns out! 🙂

No, I am not confused. There are many people that follow the paleo diet and also consume dairy products for their high fat and nutrient content. It is listed as an ingredient in a lot of paleo cookbooks and a lot of the big names in the paleo community not only consume dairy, but have also written several articles describing its benefits. I listed dairy free ingredients in the recipe for people that are lactose intolerant.
I just used a 9 x 5 pan and did not change the recipe proportions at all. Since this is the only loaf pan I have, instead, I pushed the dough against one side of the pan and formed a small loaf that is closer to the 7.5 x 3.5 pan size that Elana says to use. The dough was sticky enough to hold together fine and did not collapse or spread out during baking. It’s not the most beautiful creation, but it’s proportioned OK and tastes fine. I say – make it work with what you have and you’ll be alright.
To come back on the diet not being paleo….u can adjust a little…use coconut oil and the coconut cream and then it is paleo as she already wrote down. I follow the paleo diet via the dr terry wahls protocol because off my ms and not aloud butter neither so I made a couple of changes and btw! With the paleo u are aloud to eat for example Ghee butter,go and look it up!!!
I’ve perused your bread recipe offerings (which I hadn’t really looked at previously since we mostly just opt-out of bread-type products) and am wondering which you would most recommend as a kid-pleaser to try in the challah mold. Additionally, I am wondering if you’ve ever played around with a potato-based bread option? I would prefer something that is not entirely flour based (including nut flours), if it is possible . . .
Hi John, You could possible try a hand mixer in a bowl instead of the food processor, but I haven’t tried it, so can’t vouch for the results. Most likely the bread would not be as tall because the mixer would completely deflate the first half of the egg whites when you add them to the batter. The second half should be folded so that part will be find. If you try with a bowl and hand mixer, let me know how that goes.
This recipe is FANTASTIC! I think was my first attempt a time grain free bread and I hit the jackpot! No need to look farther. I followed another reader’s suggestion to beat egg whites separately then fold in at the end. I used Bob Mill’s super fine almond flour. Everything else I followed exactly as primed and cooked an extra 8 minutes for a total of 33 mins. THANK YOU SO MUCH for such an excellent recipe!
Garlic bread goes great with any of the Paleo pastas we recommend. You’ll be blown away by how easy it is to make this, and how few ingredients it takes. You’ll also likely be pleased to see that it’s all natural ingredients with nothing artificial added, right down to using actual garlic for the garlic flavor. It’s amazing how many commercial foods have garlic flavor but don’t actually include any real garlic.
Speaking from experience, you won’t be able to taste even the slightest coconut flavor in the bread, especially with just a small amount! Coconut flour has very unique properties compared to other flours (much more absorbent) and can’t be easily substituted. With how many tries it can take to get paleo baked goods to to have the right taste/texture, I recommend following Michelle’s recipe as written! 🙂
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