Many of my friends and clients are almost in a panic when I say "no bread", when it comes to following the Body Ecology Diet. (There are a few rare types of bread that are almost approved and (eventually) fine in moderation, once you've achieved balance in your body, including: Grindstone Bakery's gluten-free options found on their website and Food for Life's new Sprouted gluten-free options you can find at most health grocery stores.) I somehow went over the two year mark before I decided that it would be might be wise/ fun to start exploring my options-- so that I could hold a hamburger in between something other than lettuce AND so that I could give my clients a silver lining to this "no bread" rule. After surfing the internet for a recipe that didn't include yeast or cheese, I tried a few that were good, but required random ingredients that were either not ideal for your body, or weren't very accessibile. Just recently, I finally fell on one that worked AND I didn't have to make a handful of replacements and modifications (which is usually always the case)! Thanks to The Lucky Penny blog and a few changes by me, here is a fabulously satisfying bread replacement that you can enjoy for pizza, burgers, sandwiches, with hummus, or solo!
Depending on how many people, you will need to adjust the volume. I am going to list the amount it took for me to make a top and bottom hamburger bun for 7 people (14 pieces total). Since this recipe is slightly tedious and delicious, I do suggest you make a relatively large batch because it can keep but you probably won't have the opportunity to store it for too long, considering it's delicious and multi-purposeful.
- 3 medium-sized heads of cauliflower
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons of organic, extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons of almond meal (or almond flour)
- approx. 1/2-3/4 teaspoons of pink salt or sea salt
(You can add oregano, garlic, basil and other Italian seasoning if you are making it for pizza but since I was using it for burgers, I stuck to salt.)
1. Place baking sheet or pizza stone in oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
2. Pull out a piece of parchment paper and lightly coat with olive oil. (Do not use wax paper- it will melt using such a high temperature.) Leave on counter until "dough" is ready for baking.
3. After rinsing cauliflower, remove leaves and bottom base of florets. In Lucky Penny's instructions it says to remove the base completely and only use florets but I used most the of the cauliflower and it worked just fine utilizing more of the goods!
4. In shifts, add cauliflower to food processor and blend into a snow-like consistency. Make sure you get it into a fine texture without blending it into mush. (That's why I suggest doing small to medium bunches at a time, removing the processed cauliflower into a large bowl as you go.)
5. After all cauliflower is blended into snow, in a large baking pan or wok, heat on stove covered on medium-high heat for approximately 5-8 minutes, mixing every few minutes. It's okay if some of it browns a little but you don't want to cook it all of the way- just until it's tender, keeping its texture.
6. Once it's tender, remove from heat and let cool.
7. KEY STEP! Place cheese cloth or clean kitchen towel* on a large plate and spoon cauliflower on it. Over a large bowl or sink, squeeze out as much moisture as you can. (One of my trial and errors occurred because I didn't remove enough moisture and the vegan pizzas I made pretty much fell apart the second you picked them up.) I do really suggest using a triple-ply cheese cloth because it allows you to strain the cauliflower better than a kitchen towel. And by "triple-ply" I mean, since it comes in a large piece (I bought mine at Natural Grocers), you can cut it so that you can use the other portion for later use but use enough so that you can fold it and there are 2-3 layers- because the cauliflower will squeeze through otherwise. If using a towel, try to use one that's not tightly woven- to insure a better strain- and one that isn't too plush- to avoid a fuzzy, matted mess.
8. Place the grainy lump of cauliflower into large bowl. Add egg, almond meal, olive oil, and desired ingredients and stir until completely mixed.
9. On the parchment paper you have set aside, make desired size rounds. This mixture will not rise or grow so make them the exact size you'd like and feel free to place them tightly next to one another on sheet.
10. Remove baking sheet or pizza brick from the oven, hold it level to your counter, and carefully slide parchment paper onto the baking sheet. By now, the baking sheet is crazy hot so be sure to use your thickest mitt or double up since you will be gripping it for a bit.
11. Bake in oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are browned. This step is optional but I flipped the bread and cooked for an additional 5 minutes or so to crisp the other size a bit. If you don't flip, you may want to cook up to 20 minutes total.