Thursday, October 18, 2012

Easy Cheesy Herbed Baguette Bread (Grain Free)

This evening we had plenty of leftover chicken and Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole left from last night's dinner, so I didn't have to cook tonight.  However, I did decide to experiment a bit with an idea I've had rolling around in my head for a while now.  I always wondered if the low carb flax and Parmesan pizza crust I make could also make a decent low carb bread as well.  In my previous "wheat eating days", I used to take a ball of fresh pizza dough and spread it out into a rectangular shape, scatter it with shredded cheeses, herbs and spices and then roll it up into a tube like shape and bake it -- I called it my Easy Cheesy Bread (you can see it on my blog) and it honestly was better than any loaf of bread you could buy and so very simple to make.  It also looked beautiful sliced.

So tonight, I doctored up my low carb pizza dough recipe, made a few changes and tried to recreate a loaf of bread somewhat similar to the one I used to make except this one uses golden flax meal instead of flour.  I added more herbs and cheese to the dough and a bit more salt to flavor and season it well.  I spread it out onto a pan (into a rectangular shape approximately 12" x 8") and rolled more cheese, herbs and spices up into it and baked it.  It actually turned out awesome!  I am so excited to share it with you!!!  Now, if you don't like flax...then you might as well stop reading here (unless of course you just want to take a little peek and see what it looks like)!  ;-)   At another time, I may give this recipe a try using a mixture of almond flour and flax to see what that does to the taste and texture of it as well.  But...for the first go round...this one turned out awesome.  I also suggest using stronger tasting cheeses than plain mozzarella so you can really taste the cheese flavor and it isn't overpowered by the flax.  I used a 6 Italian blend cheese as well as some Parmigiano Reggiano sprinkled on top so I got a really nice strong cheese flavor (I also put lots of black pepper and red pepper flakes in it to give it a little zing).  It is really tasty spread with a little butter.  P.S. -- hubby, who is by no means a "flax man", really liked it -- he said "now, THAT is bread"!  It has the texture of more traditional bread -- not the denser texture like most grain free breads.  I posted a few step-by-step pictures below so you could get an idea of what it looks like at the various stages.  If you'd like a quick and easy bread to serve with your meals -- this is a really quick and easy one to put together and the flavors can easily be changed to suit your taste.  The recipe is posted underneath the pictures below.  Enjoy!

Dough spread out and ready to be topped with cheese and herbs
Dough has been topped with cheese, herbs & spices
Carefully roll it up, jelly roll style
Dough has been rolled into a baguette loaf and topped with cheese
Fresh out of the oven!
Freshly sliced -- notice the texture of the bread
Take a closer look...

Easy Cheesy Herbed Baguette Bread (Grain Free)


Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax has a milder taste than brown)
2/3 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste (*use less salt if using a saltier cheese filling)
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
1 tablespoon olive oil (a little more, if desired)
2 tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons water

Cheesy Herb Filling:
1/2 - 3/4 cup "favorite" shredded cheese (Italian blend, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Mix dry ingredients together; make a well in the center of the bowl and add wet ingredients; mix well until a dough forms.  Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes to thicken (if the dough is still too wet or sticky after sitting to handle, add a little additional flax meal or grated Parmesan to stiffen it up a bit). Spread dough on a lightly oiled pan or cookie sheet with greased parchment paper or foil (I used Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed with olive oil).  

Press the dough out with a rubber spatula (to keep it from sticking) into a rectangular shape (approximately 12" x 8").  Sprinkle shredded cheese of your choice evenly on top of the dough; sprinkle with seasoning, black pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, begin gently rolling the dough lengthwise, jelly roll fashion, until it is rolled into a tube shaped baguette.  Make sure the seam side is down and gently press the ends closed so cheese doesn't melt out while baking.  Lightly sprinkle top of baguette with additional shredded cheese, if desired.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until baguette looks and feels done.  Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes on a rack.  Slice, spread with butter...and enjoy!

Note:  This would also be good with some crumbled, cooked Italian sausage or pepperoni scattered on top of the cheese before rolling.  You can substitute the seasonings, cheeses, etc. for those that are your favorite.  The possibilities are endless!

Grain free's a beautiful thing!


puppetcook said...

Wow--well done! Using the pizza crust like that is an excellent idea. I've been having this feeling that the final chapters on grain-free bread have not been written. I'm glad folks like you are still experimenting and taking risks. Rock on!

Debbie said...

I can't wait to try this! I used to make something like this w/wheat flour and tomato sauce and pepperoni, like a pizza bread but I can't wait to try this now that I don't eat grain! thank you!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks "puppetcook"! It's an adventure I really enjoy!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Debbie -- I hope you like it! I used to make something similar too adding diced pepperoni along with the cheese before rolling it up. With the more delicate flax crust, it might be better to add cheese and topping inside and then "dip in pizza sauce" on the side. Thanks again!

Anna said...

Wow, I am inspired! I am so trying this! Dip in pizza sauce, how cool :)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Anna -- hope you enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I just read this post from the Wheat Belly website link. I read the recipe but I want to make sure the amount of wheat germ is correct- only 1/2 cup? Did I miss something? I only read it once, maybe I missed another ingredient. It just seems like 1/2 cup is too little for the volume you show in the pictures. I can't wait to try it! Thank you for posting your hard work- I appreciate it!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi JJ -- It is actually 1/2 cup of golden flax meal (not wheat germ). 1/2 cup is correct -- you spread the dough out to approximately a 12" x 8" rectangle -- the dough should be sticky, not wet -- if it is still wet, add more grated Parmesan to the "dough" -- it will make an approximate 12" long, 3" wide loaf. Thanks!

Leah said...

I can't wait to try this! Could you please give me an estimate of the carbs in it? I'm not familiar with cooking like this, but it looks so yummy I can't wait to try it!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Leah -- there are approximately 4 carbs worth of flax meal (1/2 cup) in the ENTIRE 1-foot loaf. The amount of cheese you add to the bread will add a few more carbs for the entire loaf depending on how much you add -- it typically doesn't have many carbs. The bulk of carbs in regular bread come from the flour and/or sugars that are added. This one is very low in carbs and depends on the size of your portion.

Deb said...

I haven't baked mine yet, but it looks nothing like yours. I even added more parmesan as you suggested to someone else. The dough never really became a dough. I could probably make crackers out of it. There is no way I can roll it up as you show. I managed to coerce it into some semblance of a loaf, but it's about 11x1.5".

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Debbie -- sorry you are having trouble with the "dough" -- the dough you will get isn't like regular pizza dough that you can handle before cooking (stretchy, etc.). It is a very very thick slightly springy "batter" type of consistency. I grease my non-stick foil well (spray w/ oil) and put the "dough" blob in the center of the pan and using a rubber spatula that I also sprayed with oil, I begin pressing it outward to the rectangular shape. You will not be able to pick up the edges and roll it over. Sort of lift up the edge of foil on the side you are rolling and using your rubber spatuala, gently roll it over a little section at a time until you get the first complete "roll" -- it begins to get easier after you get the first one started. It is nothing in consistency when it is raw like dough you have probably worked with before (with wheat). I actually have a double batch in the oven right now that I spread out and am baking flat to try and cut out as bread slices or rolls. Let me know if you have any specific questions -- I'm sure you did not do anything wrong--just maybe expected a different consistency maybe. I work with this dough a lot since I make my pizzas with it so I forget how weird it was when I first tried using it. I hope you were able to salvage something with the dough. Let me know if I can help! Thanks.

Deb said...

Thanks for your reply. I think it must be the flax that I have. It has more of the husk in it than others I've purchased, and I suspect it doesn't absorb the liquid in the same way. To get the size you mentioned, I had to roll it out almost paper thin. I will say it still was delicious, and I'll continue to experiment with it. I could have sliced it thinly after baking and baked a second time to make some delicious crackers.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Deb -- I use Flax USA organic golden flax meal -- they have a Facebook page if you want to check it out. It is much milder than regular flax and there are no husks in it at all. Also, the Parmesan cheese that goes in the crust should be finely grated -- I will go back and make sure the recipe says that (similar to the consistency of Kraft Parmesan in the green can. If you decide to try it again -- I hope you have better luck with it. Of all the crusts, etc. I've made, my husband said this was the first one that actually felt like the texture of "regular bread" -- I tend to agree. Sorry it didn't work out for you this time! Thanks!

Annie said...

just made this and it was tasty.

A few comments - the 'dough' came out too wet and sticky after following the measurements exactly, so after 5 minutes, i had to add some more flax meal..As it turns out I should have used even more..
Didn't rise ..but it was cooked. I'm going to post a pic of it on WB page. Was easy to make and will make again (using more flax meal lol)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Annie -- Glad you enjoyed it. I occasionally add more Parmesan or flax too -- maybe it has to do with the humidity, I'm just not sure. I'm glad you enjoyed it -- because you have had to add more flax this time too -- I am going back and adding a note to the recipe that if the dough is too wet, add a little additional flax meal or grated Parmesan to the dough to stiffen/dry it up a bit. Thanks for your feedback and glad you enjoyed it! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

I've just added the tip to the recipe instructions to add additional flax meal or grated Parmesan if the dough is still too wet/sticky to handle. Thanks!

Traci said...

In the wet ingredients, you say 2 tablesoons PLUS. What does this mean? I'm not sure what PLUS is...?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Traci -- in this means AND. Hope that helps! :-)

Anonymous said...

I followed your instructions and my dough looked nothing like the one in the picture. I was skeptical to begin with that there was only 1/2 cup flax meal. Mine looked like a wet blob of flax meal and cheese. Then when I tried to roll it over the whole thing broke apart. Is there some secret ingredient or method that I'm missig here?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

This is a fairly sticky "dough" -- not springy like yeast dough is. If your bread was that wet looking -- I would suggest reducing the water by teaspoons (only add 2 tablespoons of water)-- and then if still too "wet", add additional flax (1 tablespoon) OR additional finely grated Parmesan (you don't want "shredded Parm" -- you want the powdery type that looks like Kraft in the green can). The Parmesan helps dry up the dough a bit and gives flavor. You will should have a sticky (not wet) dough. Also -- I had it fail once when I made it because I tried putting thin slices of cheese inside the bread before rolling -- the dough is too delicate to do that -- use shredded cheese to fill with. Last tip -- the hardest part is getting the first "flip" -- once you do that, using a rubber spatula -- and pulling up on the foil or parchment paper to help the dough roll over...gently nudge it -- if you get a little tear, just pinch it closed. I hope you are able to use these tips and try it again and succeed. Let me know -- sorry you had problems with it. This dough is tricky the first time you work with it.

Jamie said...

Mine crumbled as I rolled...there was no pinching was just a crumbled mess. Going to bake it anyway! Doesn't have to be pretty to be yummy!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Jamie -- sorry your dough turned out crumbly -- maybe next time you might want to try adding a little more water OR reducing the Parmesan cheese a little bit. More often than not the problem is the dough being too moist and needing a little more Parmesan or flax. Hope it is edible when you get done baking it! :-)

dogskiss said...

I am new to your blog. Can you tell me what brands
of coconut and almond flour you have the most success with?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi dogskiss! My favorite almond flour to use is made by Honeyville Grain -- it is blanched (no skins) and finely ground and produces superior baked goods especially. I have used Bob's Red Mill coconut flour, but I've heard that Tropical Traditions also makes a good coconut flour as well. The almond flour can be a bit pricey -- you have to buy it in 5-lb bags. I try and wait for it to go on sale and then order it then. It lasts a long time though -- it needs to be kept refrigerated (or frozen) to keep fresh. I hope that helps! :-)

RonTravis said...

Ya know, I didn't realize that this recipe is from your site. HAH! Made chocolate chip cookies last week and started to look where this bread was from and lo and behold "Gourmet Girl Cooks"! (HAH - I have collected sooo many recipes that if I didn't include the website I would never know where they were from!)
Anyhoo--- we had an "Italian Night" Saturday. Made Chicken Florentine Casserole(Low Carb Yum), lil bit o wine, and Angie wanted some "dippin" bread like going out to you know who. So we made these, I say these because I made the one listed here with golden flax, cheddar, herbs, normal.....and made another loaf with "dark" flaxseed, onion powder, rosemary, and sliced Jarlsberg. Oh yeah baby! 2 loaves of tasty bread, lil olive oil, herbs, just like downtown! Thank you so much! Been LCHF for 9 months now, thought bread was lost "art"! After losing 95 lbs, I don't wanna risk anything! Sorry no pics, started with a glass of wine first, then brought her the bread while the Florentine was baking, yeah we killed it! I will have to take pics next time. Thanks again - you ROCK!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Ron,

So happy that you and your wife enjoyed the bread and enjoyed tweaking the recipe as well. Congrats on the 95-lb weight loss too! Isn't it great to be able to eat so well while losing weight?

I'd love to see pics of your food sometime. Thanks so much for the kind remarks as well as the enthusiasm! 😀