Whether you are discovering or rediscovering baking from scratch, SCD baking is not difficult. Most of the change is learning to work with different ingredients. Remember on SCD, only baking soda is used as a rising agent and never baking powder. See below for tips on using baking soda.
Since grains and starches are not permitted on SCD, SCD baking uses almond flour, coconut flour, walnut flour, pecan flour and/or vegetables for the body of a baked dish. Well cooked: butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, egg plant, carrots and ripe bananas are popular choices. Eggs and SCD yogurt or dry curd cottage cheese are frequently mixed with the above to hold the mixture together.
In some ways, baking with nut flour is easier than baking with flour. The nut flours mix easily and there is no kneading and pounding. Since there is no yeast used, there is no need to wait for the dough to rise. Nut breads not fluffy. They are denser and "crumblier" than breads made with wheat flour. Their texture is more like a corn bread than sliced white bread
This is because nut flours are denser than wheat flour, nut bread recipes lack gluten which holds the bubbles given off by the rising agent and the rising agent baking soda behaves differently than yeast. Baking soda reacts, fizzles and then it is all done. That is why once you have added the baking soda, you must get the mixture into the oven right away. If you have to prepare in advance but delay the baking, do not add the baking soda until you are ready to actually bake it.
Nut bread mixtures should be quite firm going into the baking pan. Because of the density, baking time is long. Some people like to use the little rectangular mini-loaf trays or scone pans to shorten the baking time and to get handy size servings.
Nut breads like to be refrigerated after baking and that sets them up for slicing. Nut breads toast better lying flat in a toaster oven pan, rather than upright in a conventional toaster.
If you do not have time or do not want to refrigerate after baking, note that nut breads tend to crumble if you try to slice them when they are hot. They will slice nicely if just warm.
Nut Bread Crackers
After baking and chilling overnight, some breads can be sliced very thin, placed on a cookie sheet and then the slices are rebaked at 180 degrees F for about 40 minutes to make delicious SCD crackers. Instead of rebaking, some use dehydrators to dry out the crackers.
Nut flours and coconut flour are the only permissible flours.
You can make your own flour in a food processor. Blanched almond flour can also be purchased (e.g. Lucy's Kitchen Shop). Nut flours should be refrigerated. Nuts last a long time without refrigeration so for small quantities of nut flour, it is better to grind up what you need in a food processor or nut grinder close to the time when you are getting ready to use it. Pecan flour and walnut flour are permissible. Nut flours are also good used in combination. If you over process (over grind) the nuts, your nut flour will become nut butter.
Nut flours do not have to be sifted; however, they do compact. For any recipe, note how well you pack the nut flour in the measuring cup to keep the flour quantity consistent from one batch to the next.
Marilyn posts that almond and pecan breads tend to be quite heavy. Coconut flour bread is somewhat lighter than nut flour breads, and has more of a texture similar to wheat bread. She notes that by combining coconut flour and nut flour, you do not use as much of either flour, which can be helpful for people who have sensitivities to eating too much of one thing. This mixture also gives a variety of texture and flavor. Marilyn combines coconut flour and pecan flour to make pancakes that come out rather like her memory of buckwheat pancakes, which she loved.
Nut Butter Breads
Nut breads are usually pretty dense. Sean craved a nut bread loaf that would rise and toast more like a non SCD loaf. He started experimenting with alterations to the basic nut bread recipes. Sean posted - My goal was to get the most out of the baking soda and get a loaf that was as close to bread as possible. Early on in my experiments I found that the thinner the batter the more it rose. To that end I found that nut butters produced a thinner batter than nut flours. The egg in the recipe prevented the loaf from collapsing after it rose. I started to have success with the following combination:
1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Coat a mini bread pan with butter. Dust the bottom of the pan with nut flour.
Add ingredients to bowl except for baking soda and blend with electric mixer.
Add baking soda and blend again.
Add the batter to the mini bread pan. The pan should be between 1/2 and 3/4 full after adding the batter to allow for rising.
Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes. Check that a toothpick comes out dry.
Most of Sean's experiments used peanut butter to save on cost but he also verified successful recipes using almond butter.
Sean's best nut butter bread
At one point he thought to substitute Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (DCCC) (you could also use well dripped yogurt) for the base substrate and that resulted in a fantastic loaf. I found that it produced a thicker batter but it still rose incredibly well. And the result was a firm but airy loaf with lots of pockets. He was also able to easily toast this bread and make sandwiches!
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup Dry Curd Cottage Cheese or very well dripped yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Same baking instructions as above.
Sean has scaled this up as much as triple the recipe with success.
The only allowable rising agent on SCD is baking soda. Baking soda only, not baking powder.
Question - Why is baking powder not permitted?
Answer - Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and an acidic component. The reason that baking powder is not permitted on SCD is that cornstarch and/or potato starch is added to the baking powder mixture by the manufacturer to keep the two active ingredients dry and separated. This is necessary to prevent the two active ingredients from reacting to each other prematurely in the container. Neither cornstarch or potato starch are permitted on SCD and these ingredients might not be listed on the container. We do not need baking powder, which is a 20th century invention. In the long history of baking, baking soda worked just fine if there was an acidic component included in the recipe.
Baking soda begins to react when it is mixed with an acidic ingredient, resulting in the creation of a gas (gas is the rising agent that creates the bubbles) and a salt. The acidic component is needed to ensure that the baking soda is fully utilized and completely consumed in the baking process. For successful baking, always have an acidic component included in your batter whenever you use baking soda to be sure it processes completely. Unconsumed baking soda will give the baked product a slightly bitter, unpleasant after taste.
Examples of acidic components that are permitted on SCD are: SCD yogurt, honey, lemon juice, other citrus juices and clear vinegar. Since all these items are moist, the baking soda reaction will begin as soon as the batter is mixed. Therefore, it is important that once all the ingredients of a recipe that includes baking soda are mixed, the batch gets put into the oven right away. If for some reason, you want to prepare the mixture but delay baking, do not add the baking soda. When you are ready to bake, then stir in the baking soda.
Baking soda is inexpensive and one uses very little so get the best. The best baking soda to use for baking is labeled "pure." That means it is only baking soda.
Cream of tartar is another acidic component commonly used in baking; however, some say that it is not permitted on SCD. Gay B. has posted that Elaine had written that small quantities seemed okay. The problem is not with the cream of tartar itself but that a starch may be used as an anti-caking agent - an unlisted, unallowable ingredient.
SCD compliant icing can be made by starting with SCD yogurt made with half and half as a base and dripping it well. See http://www.pecanbread.com and other cookbooks for cake and icing recipes. Store in the refrigerator.
No Bake Almond Flour Flat Bread
Wendy's Quick Pan Bread/Crepe/Could be a Soft Taco/Kind of a Pita/All Purpose Flat Bread is SCD allowable, dairy free and sugar free.
If you need bread in a hurry, here is a versatile and quick, flat bread. In a shallow cereal bowl put in 3 level tablespoons of almond flour (not packed down), a tablespoon of water and an egg (I use extra large eggs). Stir vigorously with a fork to blend into a batter.
I use an 8 inch teflon pan, spray with PAM or melt a little butter and pour the batter into the pan, (I use the tablespoon to scrape out all the batter from the bowl into the pan). The mixture will spread out and usually bubble a little, like a pancake or crepe. On medium heat, in a minute or two, the bottom side is cooked. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto a large plate. Use the plate to flip it over back into the pan to cook the other side.
Slide back onto the plate and put the plate in the refrigerator to cool it down. These can be made the night before. Now there is a round flat bread that can be cut in halves or quarters to add meat, cheese, lettuce or other fillings.
This pan bread is flexible so it is great for wraps or roll ups or to substitute for soft tacos shells. Wrap in clear plastic wrap to keep the filling secure. For more ideas using this bread/crepe, see SCD Cooking Boot Camp.