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Chapter 4: Flatbreads, Rolls, Muffins, and Pizza Dough

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Chapter 7: The Trouble with Gluten

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We’ve discussed many of the health benefits of switching to a Paleo diet, but one of the main benefits is that the foods enjoyed in the Paleo diet don’t have gluten in them. For millions of people worldwide, eating caveman-style is a relatively simple way to avoid digestive upset and even the cancers that are caused by an allergy to gluten.

Latin for “glue,” gluten is a protein found in wheat and grains that gives ground flours elasticity and helps them to rise. It’s also the binding component that gives bread its chewy texture and keeps it from crumbling apart after baking. Gluten can be removed from flour because it is insoluble in water. Typically when you remove the gluten, you also lose all of the good properties that make breads and cakes what they are.

Without gluten, your baked goods won’t rise and they’ll have a grainy, crumbly texture. They won’t taste anything like their gluten-laden cousins, and you probably won’t want to eat more than the first bite. Because of an increasing demand for gluten-free products, food corporations have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and money into creating tasty, effective, gluten-free products. Unfortunately, most commercially prepared gluten-free recipe mixes still fall short.

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Chapter 1: 10 Tips for Paleo Baking

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Chapter 3: Sweet Breads

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Great banana bread is a valuable staple recipe because it can be a perfect gift, a satisfying snack, and an energy-packed way to start the day. Bananas contain potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and help muscles to contract properly without cramping up. The warm spices in this recipe also have health benefits such as regulating healthy glucose levels in the blood and lowering blood pressure.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk the banana and shredded coconut into the wet ingredients.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Do not overmix the batter or the bread will be too dense.

5. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and dust it with the almond flour.

6. Spoon the batter in the loaf pan, and bake for about 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Chapter 2: Savory Breads

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Some Paleo enthusiasts are adamantly against using yeast in recipes. However, the active yeast used in baking is closely related to the beneficial yeast found in fermented foods, so it can be included without guilt or adverse health reactions. When making this lovely bread, take care because yeast can be a finicky ingredient that needs a very specific temperature to rise. If your water is below 100 degrees F, a leaking amino acid creates a sticky dough, and if the water heats to over 130 degrees F, the yeast will die. This bread is lovely for sandwiches or when toasted with a dab of almond butter.

1. Pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for about 5–10 minutes until the yeast starts to foam.

2. Add the eggs, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey to the yeast mixture, and stir to combine. Let mixture sit for about 3 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, by hand if you have to, until well incorporated.

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