Flat bread, focaccia, deep pan pizza crust… use this batter as you wish to create your personal culinary heaven! This bread or crust is soft, fluffy but firm, and it holds extremely well together. It’s also quick and easy to make and bake.
Tips for making the flat bread
The quality of the whey protein very much affects to the texture of the ready bread. Actually, it affects to the rising of the bread as well. I’ve noticed that Bakepro (link in Swedish), a Swedish-made whey protein used to work best, but I think the product is not available anymore. It was of fantastic quality and great for baking. And since that product is not available, I often use unflavored whey protein from Natural Factors. It works equally well. I’ve tried also some other brands, but I haven’t got very great results with those. Moreover, many whey protein brands tend to smell like rotten eggs. These two are almost odorless.
One note about eggs. They should be at room temperature. Always when you bake, use eggs at room temperature since they produce the fluffiest result. Try to find truly organic, free-range eggs.
This bread is best when consumed fresh. The surface of the bread might become sticky if you store the bread longer than a day or two. If you need to store the bread, the best place is in the freezer. It’s a good idea to separate the pieces with parchment paper so that they don’t get stuck to each other.
This bread (or pizza or focaccia) is very satiating, so be prepared that you cannot eat that much than the usual gluten-filled high-carb bread.
Making of this bread is very simple. Let’s take a look:
Place the almond flour in a medium bowl. A one-liter (34 fl oz) yogurt container worked well for me.
Add the whey protein…
…and the salt.
Mix until well mixed. Set aside for a while.
Place the eggs in a large bowl.
Beat with an electric mixer…
…until very very fluffy and pale, like this.
Add the dry ingredients.
Mix well, for example with rubber spatula.
The ready batter should be smooth.
Pour the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
You don’t necessarily have to spread the batter if you prefer thick bread or focaccia. If you prefer thinner bread, just spread the dough to the preferred thickness with rubber spatula. For me the thickness of the ready bread — when I just poured the batter and didn’t spread it — was approximately 0.85 inches (2.2 cm).
Ready to the oven!
|Per piece if 12 pieces in total:
|Per piece if 16 pieces in total:
|Per piece if 20 pieces in total:
|Per piece if 24 pieces in total:
My experiments with the flat bread/pizza crust
Warning! This chapter is veeery boring as I don’t have power to create any elaborate, florid text now, so you can skip it altogether. Well, if you suffer from insomnia, you for sure fall asleep after reading the following text…
Just very quickly about the development process of this bread, as I’m already so late with this post. There is a summer break from the day care, and since my over-active three-year-old son is around, there is almost no free time for me. In any case, he is my number one priority, so I’d rather spend time with him now than regret it later that when he was kid I didn’t spend enough time with him.
In the spring I was craving for flat bread, something completely different from the usual flat bread I make. I fancied fluffier bread which wouldn’t be that heavy and moist. Maybe something, which I can use as focaccia or pizza crust as well.
I wanted to use almond flour as base and baking powder as leavening agent to ensure fluffiness and proper rising. However, the other ingredients needed some pondering.
Whey protein usually gives firmness and also helps the bread rise. It also makes the baked goods hold well together. So, I wanted to try out how whey protein will work in this flat bread experiment.
Eggs were a natural part of almond flour and whey protein based bread. I wanted to use whole eggs and beat them incredibly fluffy to produce also the fluffiest, lightest, spongiest and airiest result. Well, the absolutely fluffiest result you get if you separate the eggs, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter. Anyway, I was feeling too lazy to separate anything but just wanted to use the easiest and the quickest methods.
After almond flour, baking powder and whey protein there were not that many ingredients missing from my maximum five ingredients, basically just one. That one was reserved to something to give flavor to my bread. Salt would be the entitled ingredient for this purpose. I always could add more seasonings later when I’m completely satisfied with the texture of my bread. Well, I could even replace salt with stevia to get sweet bread, which in fact would be cake, as the texture of this bread is quite cake-like.
Actually, usually you don’t count salt as ingredient. Since I love simple recipes which don’t meander and look too complicated and long even they use five ingredients, I like my recipes to contain maximum five items. I think I should call my blog “gluten-free, sugar-free recipes with 5 items or less”. That would be more realistic. However, in the future I might want to add some more items but just keep the maximum amount of actual ingredients at five.
For me the biggest turn-off is a recipe which contains, let’s say, some 15 ingredients or more. Even those with 10 ingredients are depressing. I think I would never ever even bother to read through the recipe and the ingredient list if it contains 15 ingredients. Yep, call me self-indulgent and impatient.
But back to the topic. I simply was calculating the needed amounts of ingredients in my mind. My first experiment contained 2/3 cup (160 ml) Bakepro, 2 cups (480 ml) almond flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 4 extra large organic eggs. I used Maldon sea salt flakes and sprinkled 1 tablespoon of those (waaay too much!) on top of the bread before putting it in the oven.
The result was firm and fluffy, almost cake-like bread. Superb texture and taste, I would say. Well, the amount of salt was exaggerated, 1–2 teaspoons Maldon salt would have been enough. Anyway, the bread was slightly too dry for my liking, so I wanted to continue experimenting.
I still made some further experiments with reducing the amount of whey protein, increasing the amount of almond flour or adding one more egg. I also made rolls where I added some sparkling water and separated the eggs. Those rolls were light and amazingly fluffy, and really delicious! Those who have followed me on Facebook might be familiar with my experiment. What the heck, I place a photo of those rolls here anyway:
They just were so great! The only bad (or not…) thing was, that you had to eat them immediately, as the whey protein made the surface of the rolls very sticky if stored longer than a day. The water was even intensifying this feature (as I have some background in software development, I call it a ‘feature’, not a ‘bug’.)
Tips for variation
Needless to say, it’s really easy to get variation to this bread. If you make flat bread, you can spice up the batter with your favorite seasoning. My all-time favorite seasoning, Garlic Bread Seasoning, is unfortunately discontinued so I use my own mixture of garlic, onion, paprika, basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram. Actually, almost any combo of herbs, spices, onion flakes, crushed garlic, etc. works in this bread. Also, I love to spread a mixture of crushed, fresh organic garlic and organic extra virgin olive oil on top of the ready bread when it’s still hot. You can see a photo of that variation above.
You can even make croutons from the ready bread. Just chop the bread into cubes and let dry. Alternatively, you can fry the cubes in a small amount of butter or olive oil.
Tips for making pizza from this batter
You can use the batter to make a deep pan pizza crust. I have noticed that 300 °F (150 °C) is just the right temperature for flat bread. However, pizza needs higher temperatures. Therefore I use 350 °F (175 °C) if I make pizza.
When I make pizza I pour the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then spread the batter so that it’s approximately 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) thick. Then I prebake the crust for 5–10 minutes, remove it from the oven, add the toppings, put the creation again in the oven and bake it until the cheese is melted and got golden color.
As a rule of thumb, the thicker the crust, the more you need toppings. Otherwise the pizza is just too dry and bland, at least in my opinion. Maybe I have eaten too much pizza with overly thick crust when I was kid. I still remember those chewy and dry pizzas my mom used to make. Well, she is a fantastic cook but we seem to share different opinion what makes a perfect pizza.
The last photo in this blog post is about pizza where I added ham, salami, red chili pepper and naturally plenty of cheese and oregano as toppings. On the crust, I made a simple tomato sauce by adding natural, unsweetened tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion powder, dried oregano and liquid stevia together and mixed well. When I was shooting the photos and arranging the pizza slices on the blue plate, the best-looking slice fell down on the floor and got completely mashed! So, I just had to throw it away…
Tips for making focaccia from this batter
In the first photo of this blog post you can see focaccia, which is simply topped with cherry tomato slices. I’ve placed fresh basil leaves on top of ready focaccia.
When you make focaccia, just follow the directions for the flat bread. Before putting the bread in the oven, add your favorite toppings, like herbs, onion, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped olives, bell pepper slices, etc. Bake as directed. It’s as simple as that!