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Bread!!

Bread. Can’t remember the last time I had a slice of bread in the UK. I don’t even try to stick to low-carb when I’m visiting the States, because I’m usually on holiday then and it’s just too, too cruel. I mean, c’mon… we’re talking Five Guys here. No hamburger buns or french fries? No way.

But when I get back home, I go back to being good. Most of the time it’s fairly easy, but I do miss bread every now and then. I’d bookmarked this recipe for Coconut Flour Flax Bread, but hadn’t tried it. The one I bookmarked was from Michelle at Primal Journey, who got it from Emily at Joyful Abode, who says she adapted it from Tropical Traditions. (I love how this works; the constant evolution of an idea.)

Baked in my grandmother's Pyrex loaf pan; one of my treasures.

I pretty much followed Michelle’s recipe, but the one thing I couldn’t figure out from any of the sites was whether the flax seeds were measured before or after grinding. It makes a fairly good-sized difference in the amount. I ended up measuring out a cup of flaxseed, then grinding it, but using a cup of the ground result. There was roughly a quarter cup or so of ground flaxseed left over. The batter was very thick.

The bread came out moist, and I’m happy with the result. I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any drier. So I think I’ll try starting with 3/4 cup of unground flax seed next time and see how much ground flaxseed that makes. Eventually I’ll figure out how much unground flax seed to start with in order to wind up with a cup of ground, which will be good to know, I guess.

I wasn’t sure how much the batter would rise, so instead of using one of my “normal” loaf pans, I used my grandmother’s Pyrex loaf pan. (We had an auction at a family reunion a few years ago, and one of my aunts contributed some of Granny’s things. I fought tooth and nail for her loaf pan and won, then packed it very, very carefully in my luggage and brought it home to the UK. It still has bits of the strip of masking tape on the bottom where Granny wrote her name so she’d get the pan back back after pot lucks and funeral lunches. You can still see a couple of the letters she wrote. I will never, ever wash the outside bottom of that pan.)

Still, I think I’ll try one of the smaller loaf pans next time. It rose a bit, but not so much that it would overflow. And the only part that rose was in the middle, as you can see in the pictures.

Jersey butter melting into the warm breadThe taste & texture were both much better than I thought they would be. Even my husband liked it. The only thing we both felt could have been improved on was that it was a bit salty. Not so much that you couldn’t eat it, but you wouldn’t want it any more salty. And I like salt. I think the baking soda contributes to the salty taste, so next time I think I’ll only use 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

It was delicious fresh out of the oven with butter. It was also delicious toasted later, then spread with butter.

I thought – I have bread! Lemme think of the things I’ve been missing. The first that came to mind was cinnamon toast, probably because my husband had some hot cross buns the other day, and the aroma almost drove me batty. So I took a slice of the bread, spread it with butter, then sprinkled it with Truvia (a mixture of erythritol & stevia) and cinnamon. Popped it under the grill for several minutes till it started to brown. It was … OK. The thing I love about cinnamon toast is the crunchiness of the sugar after it’s grilled. Truvia just doesn’t have that. It was nice enough, but not something I’d crave.

Last night I decided to make a peanut butter sandwich. My husband takes two peanut butter sandwiches to work for lunch every day except Friday. I make them the night before. It’s an exercise in willpower four nights out of the week, but I do it because he likes them. So late last night I made myself a peanut butter sandwich (out of homemade peanut butter, no less.) Again, it was good, but it wasn’t the fall-down OMG this-is-so-good-I’m-gonna-cry good I imagine every night when I make those sandwiches. Maybe I’m just losing the taste for things, and the memory is better than the reality.

But what I am NOT losing the taste for is biscuits & gravy. Yesterday for dinner, I crumbled up a bit of my homemade breakfast sausage and fried it, then added a bit (okay a few drops, for the Brits in the audience who insist one can’t have a bit of a liquid) of double cream; maybe 50ml or so. Next I stirred in some cold water with about 1/4 teaspoon of Konjac (glucomannan) powder dissolved in it. Added about half a cube of chicken bouillon, then some pepper. Then I let that thicken while tearing up a slice of bread into bitesize pieces. Poured the sausage “gravy” over that, and lemme tellya, I haven’t had anything that good since my Mama made biscuits & gravy for me all those years ago.

So my next project with this bread recipe will be to see how it makes into biscuits. Because now I’m jonesing for a Sausage Biscuit.

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