We cannot time travel and join our Paleo ancestors by the campfire as they prepare to eat; likewise, shards of ancient pottery and fossilized teeth can tell us only so much. If we compare the diets of so-called modern hunter-gatherers, however, we see just how difficult it is to find meaningful commonalities and extract useful dietary guidelines from their disparate lives (see infographic). Which hunter–gatherer tribe are we supposed to mimic, exactly? How do we reconcile the Inuit diet—mostly the flesh of sea mammals—with the more varied plant and land animal diet of the Hadza or !Kung? Chucking the many different hunter–gather diets into a blender to come up with some kind of quintessential smoothie is a little ridiculous. "Too often modern health problems are portrayed as the result of eating 'bad' foods that are departures from the natural human diet…This is a fundamentally flawed approach to assessing human nutritional needs," Leonard wrote. "Our species was not designed to subsist on a single, optimal diet. What is remarkable about human beings is the extraordinary variety of what we eat. We have been able to thrive in almost every ecosystem on the Earth, consuming diets ranging from almost all animal foods among populations of the Arctic to primarily tubers and cereal grains among populations in the high Andes.”
Autoimmunity is a process in which our bodies own immune system attacks “us.” Normally the immune system protects us from bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. The immune system identifies a foreign invader, attacks it, and ideally clears the infection. A good analogy for autoimmunity is the case of tissue rejection after organ donation. If someone requires a new heart, lung kidney or liver due to disease or injury, a donor organ may be an option. The first step in this process is trying to find a tissue “match”. All of us have molecules in our tissues that our immune system uses to recognize self from non-self. If a donated organ is not close enough to the recipient in tissue type the immune system will attack and destroy the organ. In autoimmunity, a similar process occurs in that an individuals own tissue is confused as something foreign and the immune system attacks this “mislabeled” tissue. Common forms of autoimmunity include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Vitiligo to name only a tiny fraction of autoimmune diseases. Elements of autoimmunity are likely at play in conditions as seemingly unrelated as Schizophrenia, infertility, and various forms of cancer.
Kim, thanks for your comment. I’ve baked this bread at both sea level and 8,000 feet and haven’t found any need for adjustments. The issue is likely the size pan that you baked the bread in. If you use the recommended size baking pan, the bread will be the proper height. If you use a pan that is bigger than the one I used, your bread will rise, but it won’t fill the pan to the right height. Here’s an example that might help –if you place 1/2 cup of water in a 1/2 measuring cup it will be 100% full to the top of the cup. If you put the same 1/2 cup of water in a 1 cup measuring cup it will only fill it 50% and will only be 1/2 full in height. That’s why a loaf pan that is too large doesn’t work for this recipe when it comes to the bread “rising” and the height of the loaf :-)
Hi Trish, did mix whole flax seeds in the batter as opposed to using golden ground flaxseed meal? This changes the texture. Also, the loaf pan you used seems larger and that’s why your bread is not as tall. You can either use this pan you have and double the recipe or make it in an 8×4-inch pan like I do here. Did you make any other modifications to the recipe? Happy you like the taste!
I love this recipe! This last time I made it, I split the dough into 6 rounds and baked it in my bun pan, making 6 “hamburger buns”. I like this size better than the loaf slices because I can get a more substantial sandwich. It held up great to a BBQ chicken sandwich as well as a simple almond butter and jelly sandwich… I think this will be my preferred way of baking the bread. Thanks for such a great recipe, Elana, I love it!
Hi Tessa, almond flour is actually very moist and doesn’t soak up much moisture. It can make baked goods oily and super moist sometimes. There are many brands that sell almond flour now, but not all work well or give you the same result when baking. The brands I found work best for baking are by Honeyville and Welbee’s. I also always use the blanched flour in my recipes. What brand did you use? I am happy you like my recipe. Please let me know how it goes when you try making it again and post a photo here so I can see.
Alyssa, one more thing. Both the bowl and the beaters need to be spotlessly clean. If there is one hint of oil anywhere the whites will not beat properly. Nicole is correct about not using a plastic bowl. Plastic will even absorb oil to say nothing of the microscopic amounts that get into the surface when it’s scratched. When baking it is always best to use a metal or glass bowl for all of your mixing.
What did I do wrong? This came out VERY moist… like a banana bread. Nothing like loaf/sandwich bread. I did end up cooking it nearly 31 minutes because pick still wasn’t coming out clean. Mine seems much darker too. I didn’t use the flax seeds (daughter has a sensory issue with nuts/seeds in breads) (You’ll notice I put sesame seeds on half for me…would that make it that much different? I used the proper size – but glass pan (all I have in loaf style) Flavor is good… but far too dense to consider using for a sandwich and not sure how Biikeweaver got 18 servings (!?) from this size loaf pan? But THANK YOU for posting. This was my FIRST attempt, so I’ll try again!
I am so addicted to this bread I’ve gone through several loaves since i discovered the recipe a couple of weeks ago. Even got the approval from my boyfriend who eats everything, and I’m not sure he knew how healthy it was. I experimented with using Chia Seed instead of flax because I had some soaking that needed to be used. Follow the recipe the but instead of flax liquefy about 1/4 cup chia seeds (soaked, they doubled in volume) in vitamix and add them to the food processor at the end, it will seem like a lot because they fluff up in the vitamix. Loaf turned out so delicious and moist, with no tunnel action like i had in my previous loaves. Chia has a slightly bitter taste in comparison to nutty flax seeds, so if you don’t like the bitterness you can add more sweetener.
It appears that there are many gluten free baking powders out there, so I’m not sure if there’s some reason for avoiding baking powder. But baking soda is four times as powerful as baking powder. (In fact, a teaspoon of baking powder contains 1/4 tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp of acids, and 1/4 tsp of filler.) So this recipe calling for 1.5 tsp of baking soda is like putting two TABLESPOONS of baking powder into this little tiny loaf, which is a crazy amount. Using 1.5 tsp of baking POWDER is much more reasonable, and that’s 3/8 tsp of baking soda. Note also that the tablespoond of vinegar is about sufficient to neutralize 1/2 tsp of the baking soda, so my substitution should give about the same actual leavening power as the original recipe. (Another way to make this recipe better would be to just reduce the baking soda so that the amount used is completely neutralized.)
Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable by Peter S. Ungar. Diet is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of our distant ancestors and their kin, the early hominins. A study of the range of foods eaten by our progenitors underscores just how unhealthy many of our diets are today. This volume brings together authorities from disparate fields to offer new insights into the diets of our ancestors. Paleontologists, archaeologists, primatologists, nutritionists and other researchers all contribute pieces to the puzzle. The book has four sections: Reconstructed diets based on hominin fossils--tooth size, shape, structure, wear, and chemistry, mandibular biomechanics. Archaeological evidence of subsistence--stone tools and modified bones. Models of early hominin diets based on the diets of living primates--both human and non-human, paleoecology, and energetics. Nutritional analyses and their implications for evolutionary medicine.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes expounds on his 2002 article in the NY Times (What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and then in Science Magazine (see below). He shows how public health data has been misinterpreted to mark dietary fat and cholesterol as the primary causes of coronary heart disease. Deeper examination, he says, shows that heart disease and other diseases of civilization appear to result from increased consumption of refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and white rice. Or in other words, without using the word Paleolithic, he justifies the paleo diet. Here is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book [archive.org].
Vinegar might seem like an odd ingredient for bread, but in this recipe, it's an important one! There's baking soda in this recipe, and in order for it to work properly, it needs an acid. That's where the vinegar comes in. No acid = no lift, so we want to make sure we've got something acidic in the dough to put that baking soda to work. If you don't have vinegar on hand, try lemon juice!
hi Adriana! I tried this recipe but tweaked it a bit since I don’t have arrowroot flour. I used rice flour for the meantime cause it’s the only one I have here. Since I also have only one egg available, I reduced the other ingredients to 1/4 of the original. The recipe yielded one mini loaf bread. Tasty and tender texture like regular flour bread with a little gritty texture cause I just ground slivered almond in a seed grinder. But still loved the outcome. and it smells fantastic during baking. I posted the image in my instagram at http://instagram.com/karenieavila. Thank you for sharing your recipes to the world.:-)
Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
Finally found the recommended loaf size and could hardly wait to make this paleo bread. After 45 minutes and the toothpick coming out clean, removed it from the oven. After it cooled, cut it to serve and had two inches on either end and about a half an inch on the top and bottom that were edible. The middle consisted of what I would call an empty tunnel about the size of a silver dollar and surrounded by uncooked batter. Yuck. What’s so interesting is I made your Scrumptious Sandwich bread out of your book, and it turned out perfectly. I’ve been baking a LONG time, and I can’t even speculate as to what happened to this loaf. Did I have a massive air bubble in the middle, and, if so, why? Did using the food processor affect it? Any light you can shed on this will be greatly appreciated. I’ve been experimenting with the recipes in this cookbook and loving it. Please help me understand what happened to this paleo bread.
To Make Sure You Get the Best Rise: Make sure your baking powder and yeast are fresh. Let your egg whites come to room temperature before using. Cook for the recommended amount of time (and make sure your oven is properly calibrated). Measure all ingredients carefully (we recommend weighing the dry ingredients). Try to avoid the temptation to slice it while it's hot because this can cause the loaf to fall.
Hi Anita, I double checked my carton egg whites. 3/4 cup of egg whites is equivalent to 4 large whole eggs, not 4 large egg whites. Mine has a chart for converting whole eggs, and the conversion for egg whites only is below the chart. It says 2 tablespoons of liquid egg whites are equivalent to the egg white of 1 whole egg. So, 12 large egg whites would be 24 tablespoons, or 1 1/2 cups as written in the recipe. Hope this helps!
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, photographer, videographer, clean eating expert, and mommy of four. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration.
Wow! Thank you, thank you thank you! I’ve been paleo for 2 months- already dropped a dress size (back to my usual size) and feel more energetic, despite numerous health problems- have tried other paleo ‘bread’ recepie’s but they have all been variations of ‘omelette’ . I read these ingredients with eager anticipitation and…… Despite already trying 5 shops for Arrowroot powder, steeled myself for further search. Shop 7 I found it. It came In a pack of 6 x sachets of 1 tablespoon each serving. Have to say when I tipped them all in it was slightly under the amount required and I was worried the slightly less amount would have a detrimental effect..BUT…all other ingredients I followed to the exact recipe…. I lined my loaf tin with baking paper and prayed for success…….I got it out after 25 mins….put it back in……35 mins….. Back in….45 mins…..back in……by 55 mins the top was pretty brown so I covered it in foil ….and put it back in….. After 75 mins the tooth pick was still showing moist after sticking it in the middle so I took the whole loaf out, took it out of the the tin and paper and put it in- upside down- back in the tin for another 15 mins. The loaf stuck horribly to the paper. Couldn’t understand why but, whilst the loaf cooked upside down, I enjoyed peeling the stuck bits off the paper and eating them- delicious.
As much as I love your recipes, what your calling paleo isn’t really paleo. For examplpe, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, and salt aren’t paleo foods. There is a lot of hype out there about eating paleo. As a nutritionist, I find some of the claims about what paleo is disconcerting and confusing. I hope people are seeking help when they are following any “diet.”
I’ve never left a review before, but can’t help myself because this gluten-free bread is to die for (figuratively). Although, I did make a couple of adjustments because I’m allergic to tree nuts and sensitive to coconut products. In place of almond flour I made my own cashew flour (added raw cashews to food processor and let run until as fine as I could get it without it turning into butter). I substitute the coconut solid for Spectrum Organic Palm Oil shortening. I was worried that it would taste eggy with 4 eggs, but went ahead and used 4 eggs and YEAH — not eggy tasting (to me). P.S. Cashews nuts is not a tree nut, it’s a legume.
Our keto bread recipe has a beautiful golden crust. It has great structure with a lovely rise and perfect bread-like crumb. It slices well for sandwiches or toasting, but you don’t have to toast or grill it to make it taste good. Sliced with a smear of salted butter is keto perfection. And it actually tastes like bread, not eggs or almonds or coconut. Additionally, this bread will keep well wrapped in the fridge for up to a week!
It took a month or so, but I finally decided to start playing around with adding a few other paleo-friendly starches, like arrowroot and tapioca. That’s what it took for me to come up with what I consider to be the perfect loaf. I had been holding out on adding other starches because I wanted to keep my ingredient list minimal, but really, these additions make all the difference in the end result of this bread.
Making this homemade bread is easy and kid-friendly! Paleo bread is different from gluten free bread because often on the paleo diet most grains are avoided. So gluten-free breads made with gluten-free flours like rice flour, teff flour, and corn meal would not be considered paleo bread! I like using this combination of almond flour and tapioca flour as it creates the most legit paleo bread, and gluten-free I’ve ever tried!
I just made the paleo bread & it smells delicious. I did make a mistake in my haste & added baking powder instead of soda. So this batch is getting 1 1/2 tsp of both. I didn’t have the size pan you used so am using a regular loaf pan but it isn’t squatty at all! I checked internal temp & it was close to 170. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing your recipes – you are a gem!
I’ve been on a Keto diet for 8 weeks now and haven’t eaten any bread. This recipe should come with a warning – extra willpower required! ‘Cool in the pan for 2 hours’. Are you kidding me? It smelled so delicious I had to have a slice still warm, with butter. It was delicious. Next time I’ll be good and follow the instructions. Can’t wait to try the others. Thank you Elana!
The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. – Robb Wolf
I have made these so many times in the last few weeks and have shared the recipe with many friends. They are delicious and so easy! I don’t really like the taste of Palm shortening, so I used coconut oil, softening it in the microwave, not melting. But don’t put it in wet ingredients because the coldness from the eggs will harden it again. Mix with dry ingredients, working out all the lumps with hands and distributing it evenly. I double the recipe and then separate it. I have added rosemary or dill or jalapenos/bacon/cheese to batter. So delicious. I am going to try more variations and add other herbs as I go. Thank you so much for such a great recipe. I was missing bread and these are perfect for chicken salad, tuna salad, turkey burgers, etc. And…. I save so much money because the gluten free breads in the grocery store are so expensive.
I made this last night and frankly, I’m SHOCKED at how delicious this is! It reminds me of Ezekiel bread, which I love. Making it in the food processor helped it come together so quickly, which I always appreciate. The only adaptation I made was skipping the maple syrup as we are avoiding sweeteners. I found that it took about 30 minutes to cook through, but mine puffed up a lot in the center, and that’s where it needed the additional cooking time. It is definitely savory without any sweeteners, but I ate it this morning topped with a smear of cashew butter and bananas and found that the flavor balance was nice. Thanks for a great recipe!
I tried this several times and the taste was excellent, much better than expected. Even though not especially crumbly , it was for my monster sandwiches. So I tried a few times to modify it , and the one where I doubled the arrowroot and added one tablespoon of gum arabic worked really well. I looked up gum arabic in pubmed and could not find any negative effects, but some positive. Also I did use a substantial portion of butter from Brittany, which I found at Trader Joe’s. This butter is super tasty and since it is from southern europe probably approved by Dr. Gundry ( low casein A1).
Liza, I haven’t tried this recipe using cashew flour, but if you’ve had success using a 1:1 substitution for almond flour making other bread-type recipes, I think it could work! I also haven’t tried this recipe using coconut milk, but other readers have and said it works well. Yes, please let us know how it goes if you try it with these substitutions!
Thanks for the reply Adriana. What I meant by a quick mix in the Vitamix was that I “Vitamixed” it one more time to be positive it was as fine as could be. I keep almonds frozen and I use them up over time to make milk, then dehydrate the pulp and then turn it into flour. I will have to think about buying the flour already made again…seems like I’d be going backwards in my slow but steady journey of making the most of my whole ingredients. I wonder if blanched flour would work better…I’ve read that the the only difference with the skins is the little brown specks that don’t bother me. I may try again at some point.
I just made this and it tastes like brushing my teeth with baking soda! Thank goodness I tasted the batter before it went into the oven. I added an extra 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey, then 1 teaspoon of vanilla to try to cut the bakingsoda flavor. I didn’t know what else to do- I didn’t want a sweet loaf but it was too astringent to eat. I ended up with a neutral (not sweet) tasting loaf that still tasted soda-ish. Very metallic tasting.
Combining higher protein intake and fresh vegetables leads to another major benefit: blood sugar stabilization. Between 35 and 45 percent of the average Paleo diet is comprised of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables that won’t spike blood sugar levels, making it an optimal diet for diabetes prevention. This is because nearly all of these foods have low glycemic indices that are slowly digested and absorbed by the body.
Nothing like wasting expensive ingredients. I bought the pan, the exact size and brand. My ingredients were exact and fresh and I baked it at 350 for 30 min and it came out completely uncooked in the center and crusty and risen on top. Back in the oven for 15 more minutes – still raw batter through the entire center of the loaf. I now have it back in the oven to finish cooking the center which will no doubt burn the outside. But I’m not wasting all those ingredients and throwing in the trash. Including the pan, I have a huge investment and expected it to turn out so nicely. Is 350 correct? for only 30 minutes? correct? what could possibly cause this. The pan was dead center in the oven as well and my oven works.
For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.
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.
Thank you soooo much for posting this recipe. I have been eating grain free and paleo since mid December and have been craving a nice sandwich. I have tried several bread recipes, but have found them to be dry, this bun recipe is AWESOME. It is moist, tasty and doesn’t fall apart — delish and sure has added a lot of new choices to my menu. It is awesome toasted which adds even more — BLTs here I come. So easy to make. I use a 4″ silicone mold to make mine and they are absolutely perfect.
Read reviews of dense or no rise results and decided to try whisking egg whites and yolks separately as one would for a sponge cake. Confess to adding a pinch of cream of tartar to whites, shouldn’t upset the purists, it’s one of the ingredients in baking powder. Then added the wet ingredients to yolk mix before mixing into whites. Gently folded in mixed dry ingredients (I only had whole almond meal so the bread is dark, like whole wheat would look). It turned out perfect, rose to top of pan, slices beautifully , light and delicious. Thanks so much for this recipe, I love it.
Proponents of the Paleo diet follow a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period, between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Before agriculture and industry, humans presumably lived as hunter–gatherers: picking berry after berry off of bushes; digging up tumescent tubers; chasing mammals to the point of exhaustion; scavenging meat, fat and organs from animals that larger predators had killed; and eventually learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, nets, bows and arrows.
Love, love, love! I make a double batch and freeze them with great results. I toast these rolls for all kinds of sandwiches including toasted with bacon, egg, avocado for breakfast. Recently I started sprinkling Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend on the tops before baking. Toasted with butter is a great substitute for bagels or hard rolls. Thank you Lexi for such a great recipe!
NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body (Hardcover) by Ray Audette, with Troy Gilchrist, was one of the early paleo diet authors. His home page NeanderThin [now restored from archive.org] has a diet based on the ideas of paleolithic nutrition. The diet can be followed as a low-carb, moderate or high carb diet, depending upon whether and how much fruit is used. You can read up through page 19 of the book at Google Books. The original press release from 1999. [The webmaster has an extra copy with the author's signature for sale. It has the original lime-purple cover. Pristine new condition. $60 (shipping included). Paypal only. Use e-mail link at page bottom.]