Wheat, Almond & Acorn Bread

Making bread with almond and acorn flour

I have read (several sources) that a plot 10 x 20 (or 200 square feet) planted in wheat, will yield enough wheat flour (about two cups) to make one small to medium sized loaf of bread every week for a year!  Wow.

Since no one in my family is gluten intolerant and I just adore hot bread out of the oven, that information makes me extremely happy!  Holy cow – I can grow wheat over the leach field that lays right in front of our future home!

So, I got to thinking.  What if I used an alternative type of flour, one I can grow in my vegetable garden (soy or bean flour) or off a nut tree (acorn or almond flour) and use it to stretch the wheat flour further?  If the bread takes about 2 cups of flour, and I substituted 1 cup with another type of flour, then I would still have that 1 cup of wheat flour to use elsewhere – say, for pasta!  Or cake.  Or zucchini muffins.

Mmmmmmm…………. zucchini muffins.  😉

I have been doing a lot of experimenting with almond milk lately (Almond Milk Frozen Yogurt and Almond Milk Ice Cream) and so I have a lot of almond flour in my cupboard right now. When I make almond milk, the left-over pulp is dried and then ground into flour.  I have also been playing around with acorn flour, so I decided to give it a go and see what I can come up with!

Almond mealHere are a few pictures showing the different flours I am going to use.  The first is of dried almond pulp.  This is what is left over after you extract the almond milk.  The second picture shows the difference between blanched almond flour and unblanched almond flour.  When you blanch almonds, the skin slip off easily, so that the resulting meal/flour is a creamy white color.  When the skins are left on (which makes Making bread with three floursperfectly acceptable almond milk) they are ground up and used just like the blanched almond flour, except the texture may be just a bit more grainy.  Some people refer to unblanched almond flour as “almond meal”.  To me, it’s almost like having wheat flour and whole wheat flour.  The third picture shows the three flours that I am going to experiment with to get a good recipe for bread.  The top left shows unbleached all purpose wheat Almond and Acorn flour breadflour. I hope to be able to grow my own wheat on our future homestead, but this wheat is store-bought.  The top right is blanched almond flour that I made myself.  The bottom shows the acorn flour.  I gathered acorns, cracked the nuts out of the shells, ground them up a bit and leached them in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks, changing the water every day.  Once the bitterness of the tannin was removed, the acorn meal was allowed to dry and then I ground the dried acorn meal into flour.

My first experiment didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned. Bread made with almond and acorn flour The bread tasted pretty good and it rose about 1/3 again it’s size, but I think there was too much liquid involved.  It came out of the oven with the top of the bread looking almost like browned cheese.  It was a bit more dense than store-bought sandwich bread, but not too dense, and actually had a good crumb. Just as I had supposed, the sweetness of the almond flour offset the bitterness of the acorn flour, but not completely.   The crust was a bit more crumbly than I would have liked, although it cut well with a serrated knife.Bread using acorn flour

Okay.  So, knowing that it tasted good, had a decent texture, but didn’t rise up very much and didn’t have the best crust, I figured I would just tweak the recipe a bit. 😉  I like doing that!

I think there was just too much liquid in the batter, so I decided to try the same recipe again with only one egg and 1/2 cup of water. Bread made with almond flour Also, instead of using 1/2 cup of acorn flour, I used 1/3 cup and 2/3 cup of almond flour (instead of 1/2 and 1/2) with the 1 cup of wheat flour. With the dough hook on my mixer, I “kneaded” the bread for about 3 or 4 minutes, though it was a bit looser than conventional wheat bread dough.  But, this batter does have yeast and gluten, so I thought it couldn’t hurt.  It didn’t pour into the pan like the first batch and I had to plop it in with a spoon, which  I think was a good thing and more like the bread I was trying to get.  I let it rise 2 hours, and indeed, it rose up above the level of the pan.  This was a lot considering the batter barely filled up 1/3 of theBread made with almond and acorn flour pan to begin with.

I preheated my oven to 375 and let the bread bake for 20 minutes.  Mmmmmmm……. My whole house smelled so good!  The bread didn’t rise any more in the oven, like I was hoping it would, but when I cut the bread………………..

(angels descending from heaven singing a beautiful chorus)Bread with wheat, almond and acorn flour

………..it was beautiful.  It had a wonderful texture and sliced with a bread knife just like I was hoping it would.  Of course, the taste is the most important criteria for success and, let me tell you, this was a HUGE success!  Hubby and I both agreed that it tasted Baking bread with alternative flourswonderful.  We had some slices with my homemade crockpot plum butter that I put up last summer and decided this recipe was a winner!  I may still tweak the recipe a bit here and there because I want to see if adding just a bit more yeast and another 1/2 cup of flour would make a bigger loaf – more of a sandwich sized loaf.  But, at this point I am happy.  Really happy! 🙂

Here is the recipe I ended up with:

1 cup wheat flour, 2/3 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup acorn flour

1 packet yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons grape seed oil (or olive oil)

3 tablespoons sugar (cane non GMO sugar)

1 egg, slightly beaten

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, according to packet directions.  Add sea salt, grape seed oil, sugar and the egg, mix well.  Add in flour.  At this point I used my mixer to “knead” the bread for about 4 minutes.  If you aren’t using a mixer, just make sure you mix it well.  Place in a bread loaf pan (I buttered mine first) and let it rise about 2 hours, or at least until doubled in volume.  Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.  Pop out of pan and cool on a rack.  Enjoy!

Now – on to the pasta recipes!

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27 thoughts on “Wheat, Almond & Acorn Bread

  1. Boy this looks and sounds delicious and thanks so much for sharing your recipe. Will share for you too. Visiting from Real Food Friday Blog Hop! Have a healthy wonderful day!

    • Such a nice thing to say, Marla! Thank you! It really is good. In fact, I think that loaf will be gone in less than 24 hours. 😉

  2. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your experiments and I’m intrigued about your almond flour. Did you use a dehydrator after you ground the meal? The bread looks really good and I’m kind of excited to see what you’ll do with small plot of wheat.

    • Good morning, Lydia. Actually, I squeeze the heck out of my almond meal to get every drop of milk out, so the meal is semi-dry when I am done with it. Right now I just set it on a cookie sheet next to my wood stove (not on it, don’t want to cook it!) and the warmth from the wood stove along with the constant draft dried out the meal in less than 24 hours! I rake through it with a fork every now and again while it’s drying and try to break up any really big clumps. Once it’s dried, I use my coffee grinder to grind it into flour. I would really like to have a flour/grain mill because I can only grind about 1/3 cup at a time, but if I keep up with every batch it really isn’t a problem. When we grow wheat, we will definitely need a grain mill. This spring and summer I plan to use our DIY dehydrator my hubby and I are making that will incorporate our soda can heater. Thanks for stopping by, Lydia. As life has it’s turns and twists, you never know how things will turn out, but a small plot of wheat is definitely in our plans!

    • Thank you, Ritchil! It is very moist and yummy! However, I have had to keep it in an airtight container because it seems to dry out quickly. Not a problem, however, because the first loaf is already gone and now I need to make another!

  3. Vicki, I loved reading about your adventures making the whole grain bread! It’s exciting to think about being able to grow the ingredients yourselves. Now I’m going to go check out that recipe for homemade crockpot plum butter!! ♥

    I found you at Grand Social! 🙂

    • Thank you, Joy! That homemade crockpot plum butter is amazing! If you don’t like your jams and jellies too sweet and just a bit tart, this is the recipe to make – and it’s so easy! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Good morning, Dee! Thanks for stopping by. I went over to see your sweet breakfast and it looks so good! I skipped through your blog a bit and love it, so I have become a follower! See you later!

    • Me too! Gluten doesn’t seem to bother me at all, nor anyone else in my family for that matter! The bread is really good, nonetheless, with a reduced amount of wheat flour. Thanks for your thoughts, Pam!

  4. That looks so delicious and healthy! I tried using acorn flour once…but the proportions weren’t right and the recipe didn’t turn out too well. Your bread looks like it turned out wonderfully!! I found you on Wake Up Wednesdays.

    • I am finding that acorn flour has to be made from very well leached acorns, or the taste will be too bitter when it’s baked. I think the use of yeast for the wheat flour and egg for the almond and acorn flour was just enough for leavening. The bread wasn’t too dense, but it was very moist. I am still playing around with this recipe and I am going to add a little more almond flour and acorn flour, one more egg and some sesame seeds to the next batch. We will see!

  5. It looks delicious. If you ever come up with a really good gluten free bread recipe I’d love to know. You are so good about experimenting. I just get frustrated and throw it in the trash lol! Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a lovely week! ~Deborah

    • Well, I’m not sure how good at experimenting I am, but I can be persistent! 😉 Thanks for hosting your fun hop, Deborah!

  6. Hey Vickie. I love reading about your experiments. I tried to do acorn flour once. The family and I went on a walk and harvested acorns but they were a bear to crack open. It was way more work than I bargained for.

    • Hey Kristina. Yup, those acorn nuts can be a real bugger to crack open! But, I found the trick – a good pair of pliers and a strong husband! 😉 He is such a trooper!

  7. Sounds like you are having a fun time experimenting over there. Lucky you the experiments are so tasty! Thanks for sorting out the recipe for the rest of us! And thank you for linking to Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  8. What fun you must be having…and it is worthwhile fun….something that will give you enjoyment for many years. One question…maybe I missed the info ..but do you know what kind of oak trees you gather from. I have read that there are sweet acorns and bitter acorns. Our acorn crop was great this past fall..the animals really enjoyed them, but I have never tried to use them for cooking, so I found you post very interesting.
    Will enjoy you blog and keeping up with your projects

    • Good morning, Nell! We have a lot of squirrels, deer and mice that enjoy the acorns on our property, but those animals must not be able to taste the tannin because our acorns have a lot of tannin! We have (I believe) Canyon Live Oak and Black Oak on our property. I have gathered from the Live Oak. Some people tell me it’s actually a Tan oak and others tell me that the Live Oak is also a White Oak. Go figure. All I know is that I have to leach the acorns – a lot! It sounds like it’s a lot of work, but really it isn’t. I have developed a method that takes me only about 5 minutes a day to drain the jar of acorn meal, refresh the water, then put the jar back into the refrigerator. And if you miss a day it doesn’t matter. The acorn nut meats last quite a while in water in the refrigerator! The Native Americans used to place their acorn into a bag and then leave it in the sand in the bank of a creek – sometimes over winter! So, even though it may take a long time to leach the tannin, it’s not a very difficult thing to do. You should try it! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment! I would love to hear from you in the future!

  9. Wow, Vickie. This looks so good. I’m wondering what other flours I could play with to substitute for acorn flour. Maybe oat flour or some flax meal? I love to play with and tweak recipes too. Thanks for this great recipe and idea starter.

    • I hear the Italians use chestnut flour – which supposedly tastes a lot like acorn flour! There are so many different type of “flours” out there, I’m sure any one of them could substitute for the acorn flour. I am going to start experimenting with bean flour soon – I hear it’s like nut flours – no gluten but good flavor! Thank you for visiting, Nathalie!

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