As I believe that it’s important to try new things to avoid becoming too set in my ways, I’m always on the lookout for new ingredients to mess with.
Enter coconut flour.
I used to occasionally bake with soybean flour, but I’ve come to the conclusion that soybean probably isn’t all that good for you. Here’s just one link out of hundreds that you can find on the subject.
Now, I seriously doubt that, given the amount of times I get out the baking equipment, that it would really matter all that much, but long-time insightful readers would probably realize it has more to do with my amusing myself than anything else.
Anyway, I first heard about this flour on Mark’s Daily Apple. It is a very high protein, high fiber, low carb flour that seems to be relatively new in that there aren’t a whole heckuva lot recipes to be found on the Internet using it. In fact, most of the links I found discussed this lack of recipes, and seemed to imply that there’s a lot of head-scratching going on in trying to find out how best to use this stuff.
It’s a very dry flour, with very different properties from the grain-based stuff people are trying to substitute it with.
I first started out by baking a bread based on Mark’s recipe – very slightly adapted because even after 6 eggs and a stick of butter it still wasn’t moist enough:
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Dried Basil
- Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
I put the ingredients in my food processor while preheating my convection oven to 350. I let it ‘food process’ a long while – coconut flour is like flour from another planet – it doesn’t react the way you’d expect. After a few minutes being bet up by the food processor, it still seemed dry, which was when I added the cream. Another pummeling in the food processor for a minute or two and it was as good as it was ever gonna be.
I placed it on aluminum foil on my oven pan and formed it into a circular mound (wet your hands with water or the stuff will stick to your hands) as I didn’t have a bread pan.
I let this bake for 40 minutes.
It came out looking good – it looked like bread – but still, very dry.
If we split it up into six servings each slice will, according to FitDay, have:
30.9 g fat
13.2 g carbs (9 g fiber)
8.35 g protein
Honestly, I didn’t like it. It was very heavy and the flavors didn’t complement each other.
Fast forward a few weeks for my next attempt.
In researching yogurt, I read on one site that yogurt works well as an ingredient in baking goods because it makes them extraordinarily moist. OK – I’ll try it.
I also noted that, whatever I do with the coconut flour, a sweet bread would have better a better chance of coming out successful.
So this led to…
Coconut Flour Autumn Sweet Bread
- 1-1/4 cup coconut flour, unsifted (don’t have a sifter)
- 4 eggs
- 2 7oz tubs of Fage whole fat yogurt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup sour cream (only because I had it around and wanted to use it up)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp of baking powder
All of this got mixed in the food processor and placed in a 12-inch circular baking dish. It was more the consistency of a cake batter than a bread, so it got more or less spread out and thrown in the oven at 355 degrees (why 355? It was the temp the oven was already set to. Lazy.)
I let this cook for 40 minutes. The top had browned slightly and it had risen slightly. I took a chunk off the top – it was much lighter than the last experiment – my first thought was angel cake. I guess the elimination of a stick of butter, 2 eggs and replacing with yogurt did add up to a texture change.
It still wasn’t moist by any means. It came out crumbly, though it had a nice taste. This experiment got a picture taken of it, which is at the top of this post.
I had some with cold butter smeared on it hot out of the oven. It was good – not great. I also had it with a low carb jelly – this was better. I’m thinking that this flour screams for added berries.
I still have some of the flour left, and have found a few more resources that look promising.
First, here’s a blueberry muffin recipe I haven’t tried: http://www.elanaspantry.com/blueberry-muffins/
Next up, a chocolate cake from the same source: http://www.elanaspantry.com/chocolate-cake-coconut-flour-continued/
Lastly, an entire book on cooking with coconut flour, which I’ll put on my Amazon Wishlist: http://amzn.com/0941599639
To be continued…