Almond Loaf

Bread! Richard Nikoley inspired me with his number of attempts to make a decent bread from gluten-free ingredients, but it is his first attempt that was the most successful for me and one which I wanted to perfect.

The first time I made this, I used almond butter. Getting a hold of almond butter that has not been messed with proved a difficult task and had me resorting to the internet. £4.95 plus £2.50 P&P and a few days later I had my almond butter ... all 236g of the stuff!

What now? Blend with three extra large eggs, four if yours are not gargantuan, a splash of cider vinegar, some sea salt and a heaped teaspoon of baking soda. Blend the lot together with a fork and pour out into a buttered dish and into the oven at 180C for 45 minutes.

It was good! Reassuringly expensive at something like £10 a loaf from which I gleaned about 8 slices. Impractically expensive and so something do reserve as a treat.

I got thinking ...

Almond butter can't be that hard to make, can it? Well, it turns out that it isn't.

What you do is get a couple of cups of almonds, pulse them in a food processor a couple of times and then set it on low for a few minutes. This processing breaks down the almonds into flour, then the magic happens ... the oils are released and you wind up with sloppy butter.

Easy! Except I don't have a food processor. I do have a stick blender.

Armed with a bag of almond flour (that's ground almonds), I set about trying to get this magic to happen. It wasn't happening ... the flour impacted into the blended and needed clearing out every few seconds of blending and the blender itself got so hot, I feared it would pack up altogether.

Change of tack ...

I added an egg and started blending again. Better. I added a second egg and then the third. This was about right. So, add your eggs to the ground almonds and blend. I blended this for a few minutes and think the oils were released, but just to make sure (since I didn't know what processing had gone on to make the ground almonds), poured in a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil.

Add a pinch of sea salt, a splash of cider vinegar and a heaped teaspoon of baking soda. Blend the lot together with a fork and pour out into a buttered dish and into the oven at 180C for 45 minutes.

The result was a perfectly usable loaf, which wasn't eaten with the meal it was intended for, but made a smashing breakfast of soft boiled eggs and soldiers - toasted fingers with obscene amounts on butter on.