This post has taken me a while to write. Let me explain. Some of you may have already read about my experiments cooking with acorn flour. At first I tried making noodles, but that is still a work in progress with a lot more experimentation to come.
Then I tried making cookies. One recipe, chocolate chip cookies, was excellent! The cookies were gone in 24 hours, which, in my household (with a husband, 3 grown boys and 4 grandchildren) means this is a “keeper” recipe. The other cookie, a shortbread recipe, was awful, but let’s not talk about that one. You can read about it by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.
Lately I have been experimenting with banana nut bread made with acorn flour. Since acorn flour is made from – well – acorns, which is a tree nut, I thought I would try using an almond flour recipe but substitute acorn flour. Sounds simple enough, right?
Well……………..no, not really.
Here’s the scoop. I bought one of those E-Books from Amazon about cooking with almond flour called Fast And Easy Almond Flour Recipes. This book has a recipe called Almond Flour Bread with a Pinch of Cinnamon. The ingredients looked simple enough and are very similar to the Banana Nut Bread recipe that I have always used, so I decided this was the one I would use to adapt to acorn flour.
So, instead of the 2 cups of almond flour called for in the recipe, I added 2 cups of acorn flour. Acorn flour is quite a bit darker than most other flours, and initially that was the only difference I noticed when I was making the bread. I was so smug when I popped it into the oven, but 55 minutes later I wasn’t so sure! The toothpick came out clean, but the bread didn’t rise at all. Nope. This (ahem) bread was actually a little concave in the middle. Well, I thought to myself, not everything has to look good. Right? As long as it tastes good, that’s what matters………right?
I put the bread, still in the loaf pan, on a cooling rack. I had some errands to run in town, so I left the house for just a couple of hours but then would come back home and cook dinner. I was planning on accompanying our pork chop and green bean dinner with the bread.
Well, that didn’t happen. When I tried to take the bread out of the pan, I realized that what I had created was a flat, four cornered hockey puck. My hubby (bless his heart) tried the bread anyway and said that, on the whole, the taste wasn’t bad! Unfortunately, human teeth were never meant to eat hockey pucks. Epic Fail!
So, what went wrong. Hmmmmm… I do know that from my cooking experiments so far, acorn flour seems to have a lot less moisture in it than the almond flour. Probably a lot less oils also. That may have something to do with the leaching process to get all the tannin out.
It also is a bit denser. Cup for cup, it weighs a bit more than wheat flour does. And it is a lot less sweet than the almond flour. So, I decided to try adding a bit more baking soda (to help it rise), and instead of four whole eggs, I used three whole eggs with 2 whipped egg whites (also to help it rise and for more moisture), omit the sugar and use honey instead (a different type of sweetness and – more moisture).
The result? Success! The bread was done sooner than the original recipe said it would be – at about 45 minutes! I’m glad I checked it early! As you can see from the picture below – the bread didn’t rise all that much – but it did rise!
And it tasted really good.
And we could actually eat it!
The bread was very much like the banana nut bread I usually make, just a bit denser, more like a brownie. I tried toasting it under the broiler today and added a touch of butter and it was delicious!
Here is the final recipe I came up with:
2 cups of acorn flour – ground as fine as you can get it!
3 whole eggs
2 egg whites, whipped to a fairly stiff froth
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup banana puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl combine the whole eggs, oil, honey, banana puree and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until you have a smooth batter. Add the nuts. Whip the egg whites until they are foamy – carefully fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 45-55 minutes until bread is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. :)
I think my next experiment will be with a similar recipe, except this time I am going to add applesauce instead of the bananas, and apple chunks and raisins instead of the nuts, to see if this will make a good muffin. Perhaps I will swap out some of the cinnamon and instead use cardamom – one of my new favorite spices! Here’s to hoping I don’t make miniature hockey pucks! Stay tuned!