Tonight I’d like to pour one out for all the unborn blog posts out there, all the poor forgotten recipes I once planned to execute but never followed through with. I’m thinking of one in particular — everything bagels from scratch. Yes it’s pretty dang hard to get a decent bagel around here. People complain about not being able to get NY-style bagels in California. Those people should srsly shut it, because I’d give my left nut for a Noah’s toasted with shmear right about now. The bagels in Berlin aren’t even chewy. They’re basically just dense bread baked in the shape of a bagel. Everything bagels don’t exist here. You’ll find bagels with poppy seeds or bagels with sesame seeds but never both on the same bagel. (Well okay they did have them at that overpriced hipster bagel shop on Hermannstraße, but that girl moved back to NYC a few months ago.) Back when I lived in Prenzlauer Berg, I used to begrudgingly refer to the ones they sell at Bio Company as “fake bagels,” while still greedily snarfing them down every Saturday because I just love bagels so much and will pretty much settle for anything.
One day, about five months ago, after a particularly delicious yet wallet-draining trip to the aforementioned, now-shuttered, Hermannstraße bagel shop, I thought, “I mean, how hard can it be (to make bagels from scratch)?” I googled around and found a recipe that didn’t look prohibitively complicated. I looked up the German translation for “malt syrup.” I went to Kadewe and Bio Company and collected all the ingredients for bagel dough and everything bagel spice blend. I psyched myself up for the prospect of making the dough without a stand-mixer. I drooled with excitement while day-dreaming about endless everything bagel breakfast sandwiches with avocado, cheese and runny egg yolks.
And then, well, I just kept putting it off. I had all the ingredients ready to go but never a Saturday to spare. Then I moved out of my flat with the nice big kitchen. And well, here I am.
Long story short, I haven’t given up on my bagel dreamz, but did find a way to re-purpose some of the ingredients in the interim — paleo everything bagel avocado toast! Basically, being paleo sucks because you can’t eat bread or cheese. Now you’ll never find me substituting cashew cheese for real cheese because that hurts my heart but wheat, as I’ve noticed over the course of my foray into paleoism, actually kind of gives me a bloated food baby every time I eat it. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind mostly cutting bread out of my diet. Especially when it’s possible to make gluten-free, paleo bread as delicious as this one.
I didn’t realize how easy it is to make paleo bread until I stumbled upon this recipe. The hardest part is honestly finding the ingredients, namely these weirdo flour substitutes that are all the rage among primal eaters these days (although I did manage to find them all at my local Bio Company and did not have to resort to ordering them off of Amazon). In terms of actual labor, it’s way easier to make paleo bread than regular bread. No kneading or resting required!
Paleo breads tend to rely heavily on nut butters and coconut products, and I was really wary of making a bread that would come out tasting sweet or coconut-y or have the texture of banana bread. So I made a few important adjustments to the aforementioned recipe, such as substituting butter for coconut oil, adjusting the types and proportions of flour that went in, and of course, sprinkling everything bagel seasoning over the top. I used a mixture of arrowroot powder and coconut flour (rather than just coconut flour) to lighten the crumb of the bread so that it wouldn’t come out overly dense and dessert-like, a trick I read on a gluten-free baking blog. The resulting texture was light but still a bit cake-like, with the advantage of staying moist and fluffy for several days after baking.
The serving suggestions for this are endless because it’s, well, bread. Some paleo-friendly ideas that come to mind are avocado toast, egg-in-a-hole, BLTs, and shaksuka.
For other paleo breakfast posts, see here.