Cauliflower Bread, Twice Attempted

I like good bread. A lot. A loaf of crusty sourdough or baguette, with some nice butter (and if I'm feeling extra indulgent, radishes and salt) is one of the foods I most enjoy. But it reliably causes me to put on weight, which I'm trying not to do right now.

I asked my friends for a recipe for something like bread except that it doesn't cause me to eat a huge number of calories. (If I were underweight, I could fix it in a day. Just give me some top-quality baguettes and a few pounds of nice butter.) "Eat less bread" isn't an option because I am on the minimum-willpower diet, and stopping before I run out of bread and butter is a major willpower expenditure. More about my minimal-willpower diet in a future post.

My deeply appreciated correspondent Julia Galef provided a recipe which sounded promising, because it has more satiety-inducing fat and protein and fiber, and less other carbs:

My paleo-friendly breadstick recipe:

Blend, in a food processor:
1 cup plain quick oats
1/2 cup egg whites (I was aiming low-calorie, but you could try 2 eggs instead)
~1 cup steamed cauliflower florets
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste
Enough water to make it just barely pourable
Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish that has been sprayed/brushed with oil. Bake at ~375 degrees for ~1.5 hours. The bottom should get browned and crunchy; the inside should be soft.

This is what I use for a pizza crust, but you could cut it into strips to make breadsticks. I suspect this will satisfy your "dippable breadlike" craving... but lemme know how it turns out! I invented this recipe and have never tried transferring it to another person, so it's possible there's some detail I'm neglecting.

So I preheated the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, I took a head of cauliflower:

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And steamed it in the microwave:

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I stuffed some florets into a 1-cup measure, using up about half the cauliflower:

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And put all the ingredients into the food processor:

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Then I blent it until smooth:

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The recipe said to add water until just barely pourable. Since I was able to pour it out (very slowly) without adding water, I added none, and poured it into a pan:

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I smoothed it out with a silicone spatula. Then, since I had more than half a head of cauliflower left, I made a second batch, using some baking powder instead of salt. This one came out smoother, as you may be able to see from this side by side comparison:

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After they had spent about an hour in the oven's top rack, I checked on them, and they looked like this:

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The one made with baking powder turned out fine, but the other one was burnt. I cut both up into squares (putting aside the ones that were a little too crispy), and served them at that night's dinner party, with olive oil. They had nearly the consistency of the flatbread served at Cosi, and my guests said they liked them.

As a second experiment, which I did not document with photographs, I figured that since the problem was that it got crispy all through too soon, and also since a single recipe uses only half a head of cauliflower, I would try to double the recipe and cook it under the same conditions. The bread turned out a little wet, but was otherwise liked. I think that the way to go is to use the original single recipe per pan, with the addition of baking powder, but check it and pull it out sooner.

2 thoughts on “Cauliflower Bread, Twice Attempted

  1. hamiltonianurst

    You refer to both baking powder and baking soda in this post. Which did you actually use?

    Also, this post was very relevant to my interests, as I too love bread forever.

    Reply

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