Is this the best low GI gluten-free flour? (+ paleo bread recipe)

A bout 6 months ago, I was exploring the interwebs when I came across an intriguing ebook. With the irresistible title of ‘Guilt-Free Desserts‘, I found myself hitting the ‘Add to Cart’ button in record time.

I’m super happy I did. As expected, I’ve added some really delicious, healthy sweet treats to my repertoire. Like these ‘paleo brownies‘, some amazing vanilla cupcakes that actually contain cannellini beans and a new blueberry muffin.

But the thing that’s been even more valuable is that I’ve added some new, healthier ingredients into my baking larder. Which brings me to my latest favourite flour…

What is the best low GI, gluten-free flour?

For me, it’s coconut flour.

Why do I love coconut flour?

It keeps baked goods moist
Coconut flour has an uncanny ability to absorb and hold onto water. This means your baked goods stay lovely and moist – always a good thing in my book!

It’s high in fiber
You probably don’t need me to tell you why fibre is a good thing. Happily, the fibre in coconut flour is light and white, so it doesn’t taste or feel like a traditional ‘high fiber’ food such as a classic ‘bran muffin’.

It’s low GI
Unlike wheat and most other ‘gluten-free’ flours, coconut flour is low in digestable carbs so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels. This means it’s more waistline-friendly.

It’s grain-free and gluten-free
So it’s wonderful if you want to eat more ‘paleo’ or need to avoid gluten.

What’s not to love about coconut flour?

Price
Wheat based flour is so cheap, it’s not surprising that coconut flour is significantly more expensive. But remember you’ll be using a fraction of the amount, so the price difference isn’t as extreme as it seems at first. And I like to think about the long term savings to my health.

Coconutty flavour
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but coconut flour does have a distinct slightly sweet coconut flavour. This can be a plus for things like brownies. In more savoury baking like the bread below, I quite like the subtle coconut but my Irishman isn’t a huge fan.

How do you use coconut flour?

After experimenting with substituting coconut flour for regular flour, I’ve had mostly successes with a few failures.

I’ve found the best starting point is to replace the flour with 1/3 coconut flour and 2/3 water. For example in a recipe that calls for 100g (3oz) regular flour, I’d use 33g (1oz) coconut flour and 66g (2oz) water or other liquid.

Depending on the results, you may need to tweak. But mostly it should be fine.

Looking for more healthy baking tips and recipes?

Guilt_Free_Desserts_Banner_B

If you’re looking for ways to make your baking a little healthier, I highly recommend picking up a copy of ‘Guilt-Free Desserts‘ by Kelley Herring, including her free bonus ebook ‘Better Breads’. Which will help both your sweet and savoury baking.

Just so you know, there are couple of things I don’t love about Guilt-Free Desserts. The photography could be better. But there are photos of every recipe which is better than none. Also, the measurements are in cups and spoons. Which is slow and inaccurate. But apart from that it’s an excellent resource for healthy baking.

To find out more about healthy baking go to:
www.guiltfreedesserts.net

paleo bread

‘paleo’ bread
makes 1 loaf

Adapted from ‘Better Breads’ a free bonus ebook that accompanies ‘Guilt-Free Desserts‘ by Kelley Herring.

If you’re expecting this bread to be just like your favourite sourdough (like Iggys from Bronte), I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed. But if you’re after a hearty bread that’s also healthy then you’re in the right place.

Don’t be alarmed by the number of eggs. Coconut flour is much lower in protein than wheat flour, so the eggs are needed to give enough protein in our loaf.

165g (6oz) coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
250g (9oz) butter, melted
12 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line a loaf pan with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl combine coconut flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Make a ‘well’ in the middle of the flour.

3. Add eggs and butter in the well. Whisk to combine, but don’t stress if there are a few lumps.

4. Transfer the mixture to your prepared pan. Smooth the top.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the loaf is well browned and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack before eating.

VARIATIONS
dairy-free – replace butter with 1 cup light flavoured olive oil or other mild flavoured oil.

vegan / egg-free – I’m afraid the eggs are critical to the bread texture so best to stick to regular sourdough.

flavoured bread
– feel free to add a few handfuls of your favourite flavourings like rosemary, roast cubed potato, seeds, nuts, roast garlic, caramelized onion. Whatever you feel like.

fruit loaf – stir in a few handfuls of dried fruit. I love figs or apricots. Almonds are also good.

can’t find coconut flour? – best to stick to regular bread like my rustic loaf over here.

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video version of the recipe

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What about you?

Are you a keen baker? Is there anything you’re struggling with from a baking perspective? Or do you have a favourite ‘healthy baking’ ingredient you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments…

Happy Baking!

With love,
Jules x

ps. The links to ‘Guilt-Free Desserts‘ are affiliate links so if you do decide to purchase, I get a commission so you’ll be supporting Stonesoup too!Guilt_Free_Desserts_Banner_B

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{ 37 comments }

Margaret August 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Wow, it looks fantastic. I appreciate the video you made. :)

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Margaret… I’m glad you like the video.. they’re lots of work!
Jx

Stephanie August 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Wow, I follow Paleo pretty religiously and I never even considered of making a loaf of bread! I make coconut flour morning glory muffins constantly :)

Jules, does this end up naturally more savory or sweet without any of the add-ons, like dried fruit or herbs?

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I’ll have to try some coconut flour morning glory muffins Stephanie.. thanks for the idea.

With the salt it’s a savoury bread on its own.

Jx

Phyllis August 22, 2012 at 1:28 am

You mentioned the cookbook gave recipes in cups and spoons and how that was slow and inaccurate. I’m curious as I’m not familiar with other methods. I learned to cook using cups and spoons, but open to learning new ways. Could you give some brief instructions on how to measure using grams and ounces? At the risk of sounding stupid, first step is getting a kitchen scale, right?

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Great question Phyllis!

Yes all you need is a set of digital scales. The you just place your bowl on top and weigh directly into the bowl. Just hit ‘tare’ to rezero and add the next ingredient. So much quicker.

The main problem with cups and spoons is with measuring flour because there can be a wide variety in ‘density’ or how closely packed the flour is.

Kitchen scales aren’t expensive these days and most will measure in both oz and grams so you won’t need to convert either!

Good luck
Jx

Jenny August 22, 2012 at 1:42 am

Any idea what the calorie count for this is? Thanks!

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

sorry Jenny!
I don’t believe in calorie counting.

Anne August 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

So glad you gave that answer! Me neither! x

Olivia August 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

Looks great Jules. I have some coconut flour jut waiting for the perfect recipe, looks like I have found it!

Would this freeze? If not I might just make half a loaf.

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Olivia
Yes it freezes really well. After I took the photo above I sliced my loaf and popped it in the fridge. I’m just using one slice at a time – defrosted in the toaster.
Jx

Anne August 31, 2012 at 9:16 am

Great! Was wondering the same thing. It’s delicious. I added nuts and seeds and ground almonds to mine so added a little water and it turned out beautifully. Cooked it on Gas 4 and it took another 65 minutes to cook. I love it and you only need a little of it. It’s so satisfying because it’s butter rich and full of protein. Fantastic recipe.

Jane O'Brien August 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hi Clance. Where do u buy your coconut flour? Jane xxx

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hi Jane!
I get it from my local health food store. It’s from the phillippines I think.
Am sure you’d be able to find someone selling online though
xx

Rashmi August 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Dear Jules,
Where do you get to buy coconut flour?

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hi Rashmi
I get it from my local health food store. It’s from the phillippines I think.
Am sure you’d be able to find someone selling online though

Corrie August 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I have had only failures with coconut flour unfortunately, I think because I tried to make recipe favourites with coconut flour, rather than try new recipes that were made for coconut flour (so you were not expecting a certain taste or texture).
I also think it is not very economical if you were to do this bread well, ie. with good quality eggs and grass fed butter etc. My organic eggs can cost up to $11/dozen, then $4.50 for the 250gms of butter plus the coconut flour, it is a very expensive loaf of bread! (Even if I only use free-range eggs for $6/dozen.) Love the photo of what I am sure is scrummy bread though!

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hi Corrie!
Coconut flour behaves very differently due to its ability to absorb moisture so if you’re substituting 1:1 I’m not surprised you’ve had failures. If you’re willing to try again with the water + coconut flour combo I suggested, you should have better luck.

Wow your eggs are very expensive! You’re right, this isn’t a cheap loaf of bread…
Jx

Corrie August 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Yes, good eggs are expensive but it does not stop me from going through 2 dozen a week for our family! What I wouldn’t give for some property and some chooks!!! Thanks for the tips…..I might give it a go again soon.

David April 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

You may want to try COSTCO, you can get get 24 organic eggs for around 6 dollars!

Early Conner August 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

Good day,
I want to thank you for designing and sharing so many paleo recipes and allergy friendly recipes as well.
I appreciate the time and effort you put into your food and sharing it with us fellow foodies:)
Thank you again:)

Early Bird

jules August 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm

You’re welcome Early Bird!

Corrie August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hi Jules, I have never done so much baking since I started my blog LOL. I love coconut so will have to give your bread a go. PS I hardly ever meet any other ‘Corrie’s’ and there is another Corrie commenting on your post. Cool. Must be a food thing :-)

Corrie August 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Lol….Hi Corrie! I have never met another Corrie. I was reading the replies and thought to myself ‘ I don’t remember replying twice! ‘ ‘Tis nice to ‘meet’ you!

Ambra Sancin August 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

This recipe sounds great – I’m a coconut fiend! I bought some coconut flour a few months ago to make pancakes (they didn’t quite hold together with just coconut flour, so second time round, had to add some wheat flour too). But will definitely give this bread a go.

Tom August 24, 2012 at 4:11 am

I have bought some Quinoa organic flour (Ancient Harvest) at Whole Foods here in the Boston area. It is both wheat free and gluten free, however, I have yet to try it. I suspect it may have a more nutty flavor than the sweetness of coconut flour.

Has anyone already tried any quinoa flour?

Amy August 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

I’ve been paleo/cavechick for years and thought bread was a thing of the past. Made this recipe as muffins and they are DELISH. My partner and I are brimming with new recipe ideas that now include bread. Since the dough can be pretty firm and pliable the second day, thinking I’ll try mini-corndogs tonight. :)

Thanks for sharing this. You’ve sparked whole new food horizons for us.

Caron August 27, 2012 at 6:25 am

Hello–Just made this bread. Wondering— since it’s only myself and my husband and we will not be sitting down to eat the whole loaf in one sitting- can this bread be left out on the counter or does it have to be refrigerated?

Gift August 27, 2012 at 11:58 am

Looks great! I will definitely be making this. :)

Iva August 28, 2012 at 8:38 am

I LOVE this blog, but I’ve got to say: this bread came out dry and really bland for me. Probably not going to make it again.

Would you have any interest in doing one of those ‘cheap lunches on the go’ sort of posts? As a college student, I’d love to know your ideas on ways to make a healthy lunches on the go.

Hannah August 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

Hi Jules,

Earlier in these comments, you mentioned that you don’t believe in calorie counting. I’d love it if maybe in the future you could write a post on this as you seem very well informed, and as yet I haven’t come across much information as to why calorie counting is detrimental (having said that, though, I haven’t exactly searched for it).

Thanks,

Hannah

Anne August 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

Read this… http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-We-Get-Fat-about/dp/0307949435/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346368866&sr=8-1 I believe Jules recommends it. I read it and it’s great and will explain why calories are useless or useless for the way most people want to use them.

Ali October 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

How eggy tasting is that bread?? only 6 oz coconut flour and TWELVE eggs? Oy… I absolutely hate the taste of eggs so I fear that making this bread without an idea would just be a huge waste of ingredients

jules November 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Ali
Coconut flour has a really weird ability to soak up loads of liquid…
I think it tastes mostly coconutty… and not eggy at all – but if you don’t like the taste of eggs you might be more sensitive and taste something I don’t :)

Best Gi December 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this!

Molly March 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hey! This recipe looks good, but I can’t eat eggs, would I be able to replace the eggs with chia/flax seed eggs instead? (2tbsp flax, 2 water for each egg) like I can in cookies and other egg free baking? I’d just try it out but I don’t want to waste coconut flour!

Amy April 19, 2013 at 3:15 am

Hi! I’m thinking of trying this bread this weekend. Does anyone know what should be changed/added for high elevation baking of this? Some recipes do ok without changing but I’m thinking something like bread may need a slight tweak of ingredient amounts. Thanks!

Amy

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