Flourless Nut Bread

“Wonder Bread” nut bread

This is a recipe I have not invented but could not resist sharing. I shall never again be without a loaf of this “bread” in the freezer, already cut into slices and ready to toast at a moment’s notice. I found this on Food52, one of my fave recipe/inspiration sites, and have made it over and over - I’ve even played around with the recipe and created my own alternative versions, to follow, but this one is the (only very slightly adapted) original!

The recipe as I found it involves mixing everything together in the lined baking tin… but I thought that actually sounded like more faff than simply washing a mixing bowl, so I do it in a bowl instead! If you’re going to go down the mix-in-tin route, mix all of the dry ingredients together in the tin, mix all of the wet ingredients separately and pour into the dry. Make sure that you mix really well, you don’t want pockets of dry seeds and oats in the corners.

This is a flourless bread recipe.

Just take a minute to read that again - bread. Made without any flour. At all. I promise.

It’s amazing! You might not have used psyllium husk before, you might not even have heard of it, but I recommend you start keeping a stock in your kitchen immediately and for the rest of forever, if for no other reason than that you need it to make this bread (and, yes, I will continue to call it bread!). Psyllium husk is the binding, gelling agent in this recipe (and many other gluten-free recipes). It absorbs water and turns into a very sticky paste, which then makes the other ingredients form a cohesive whole.

The psyllium husk itself tastes a bit strange, so make sure that you add plenty of flavour in the form of nuts and so on - not in short supply in this particular recipe.

Not sure? I wasn’t either, when I first read it. Give it a go, you won’t regret it! See if you can resist picking out the hazelnuts to munch on while you wait for it to cool!


Flourless Nut Bread

FODMAP rating: good - just make sure you don’t use cashews, almonds or pistachios (which are all high FODMAP)
Difficulty: easy!
Time: under 4 hours (~30 minutes prep time, 2 hours to rest and 1 hour to bake)

Ingredients:

  • 135g sunflower seeds
  • 90g linseeds
  • 65g hazelnuts
  • 145g oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp psyllium husk powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3 tbsp oil (I tend to use a mixture of coconut and olive, but mix it up and use your fave)
  • 350ml water

Method:

  • Grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper - you don’t want to skip the paper lining if you’re using a metal tin because you need to be able to get the loaf out easily halfway through cooking.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl - I weigh everything into the bowl together, just keep zeroing the scales. Leave the psyllium husk until last, and make sure that you mix it all really well so that you can see the dusty psyllium powder coating everything evenly.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the water in a jug and mix reasonably well, then pour this into the dry mixture.
  • Mix very thoroughly - it will quickly form a thick paste, but keep mixing for a minute or so and it will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick feel free to add more water a tablespoon at a time, but it shouldn’t be a wet “dough”.
  • Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and press it down firmly with a spoon - it will be really quite stiff so it certainly won’t flow to fill the tin!
  • Leave the mixture out for at least two hours, or all day (or even overnight). This helps it to firm up and ensures that the psyllium husk has time to do its thing properly. To check it’s ready, pull a corner of the paper and the loaf should keep its shape rather than sticking to the paper.
  • When you’re about ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
  • Pop the loaf in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the loaf from the tin, flip the loaf upside down and put it back in the oven directly on the oven shelf - yes, really! Don’t try and peel the greaseproof off at this point.
  • Bake for another 30-40 minutes, until it sounds slightly hollow to tap (just like a normal loaf of bread!)
  • Move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before you try and slice it.
  • I find that it doesn’t keep very well on the countertop (2-3 days, really), so I slice the whole thing up as soon as it’s cool and put it straight in the freezer.

Toast for a few minutes to defrost and serve simply with your favourite breakfast spread, or even with poached eggs or peppery kale omelette. I’ve used it as a base for smoked salmon canapes, and it’s brilliant with soup! Truly wonderful bread :)