Monday, October 8, 2012

My Top Favorite Tips, Tricks and Recipes for Baking with Almond Flour

In the past I've covered real whole grain Gluten free Bread ,gluten free cookies, gluten free flour, and my all-time favorite gluten free pumpkin cookies. My Gluten Free Baking Class Notes and printable PDF are a great resource for those who are getting into gluten-free baking in general. Our next adventure, and the classes I've taught most recently have included almond flour.

Welcome to Almond Flour basic where we will be enjoying the health benefits of using a low glycemic, gluten-free flour that is high in protein and dietary fiber. This flour bakes beautifully and tastes wonderful. You’ll be excited to find how truly versatile it can be! Have you ever met my favorite Almond Flour? On this one I'm brand specific for a reason. This is the finest milled almond flour I can find and it has remarkable texture in baked good. I didn't want almond meal. I wanted a flour that would bake remarkably well. Thank you Honeyville! 

Basic Nutritional Information and General Facts:
  •  Almond flour is a great alternative for those who are going gluten free and still wanting to watch their carbohydrate intake.
  •  It is a source of “good fat” as detailed by the American Heart Association, and is an ideal recovery food for athletes.
  • It keeps you full longer and helps maintain weight loss as well as assist in weight loss.
  •  It is proven to help maintain good blood sugar levels.
  •  In 2003 the Journal of Obesity said, “Adding a daily ration of almonds to a low-calorie diet enhances weight loss as well as significantly improves the risk factors associated with heart disease.”
  • 100% pure skinless almonds, no additional ingredients added.
  • Blanched Almond Flour is simply skinless almonds that are milled into fine flour.
  • The only process that occurs, other than pasteurizing and milling, is a hot water bath to remove the skins from the almonds.
  • Store in the refrigerator after opening and keep in a cool dry place.
  • Use your flour within a year at the most.
The Basic Baking Guidelines
Almond flour is easy to use. Each baker will have a personal preference the more practice they have with the flour. I prefer to add a little xanthan gum or cornstarch to my almond flour to help with the texture, though it is not entirely necessary to do so. Almond flour is pretty forgiving in that regard. Some use arrowroot powder to achieve a similar affect in their bread recipes. You will have to decide what you prefer most. Again, this is a personal preference. Generally for cakes I add ½ tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour. For breads, it is about 2 tsp per cup. Some breads need more or less.
My Personal Helpful Baking Tips
  •  I don’t add fat. Most baking recipes add fat to keep products moist and add to a longer shelf-life in baked products. Almond flour is already high in fat, and even though many almond flour recipes add additional butter or fats, I’ve found Honeyville Almond Flour to be keep things very tender. If you still want to add fat in your recipes, this is up to you.
  •  Choose healthy sweeteners. Most often bakers use agave nectar, honey or all natural sugar replacements with almond flour. I’m personally of the opinion, that if you are already having that beautiful flour that’s great for blood sugar, then use sweeteners that will carry on the tradition! You can use regular sugar in most recipes though, I generally use about half as much sugar as recipes call for and still have great results.
  •  Use smaller loaf pans for bread. 7 inches by 2.5 inches maximum if you want the bread to cook through to the center. Smaller items work better like muffins, rolls, and cookies.
  • Increase baking time. Lower temperatures. As a general rule, I've found that from most standard recipes need an increase of baking time by about 20%, while reducing the heat by about 25 degrees. This lower temperature will facilitate less burning and the longer cooking time will allow the products to cook through.

Delicious  Recipes for Almond Flour Baking:

My Chef Tess Homemade Marzipan 
2 1/2 cups-3  Blanched Almond Flour (about 12 oz)
 1/2 cup thick light colored honey OR corn syrup
1 tsp almond extract
Lightly warm the honey in the microwave in a small bowl for 30 seconds until runny or use a double boiler and stir until thin. Mix in the flavoring. Mix with the 2 1/2-3 cups of almond flour until a very thick clay-like dough is achieved. Knead it a minute or so. Cover and let the dough sit 1-2 hours. The marzipan is ready to sculpt. Use powdered sugar or cornstarch on your work surfaces in a light dusting to keep it from sticking. I previously gave the tutorial for making gorgeous Sculpted Roses from homemade modeling chocolate here. It's the exact same process to form roses using marzipan except the marzipan is a stickier dough and will take a little more finesse. I think you can handle it.
Chef Tess' Almond-Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 Cups  Natural Almond Flour
4 large eggs
16 packets Splenda or equivalent of 1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp Almond Bakery Emulsion
1/2 tsp LorAnn English Toffee Flavor
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (gluten Free)
Directions: Combine all the ingredients. It's very simple. Place by rounded Tablespoon on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Lightly flatten the cookie dough balls. Bake 375 degrees 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack...or your open mouth. Yield 2 dozen cookies. The original post with crazy comments and a sister's Evil-Think-Tank go: here.
Chef Tess' Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Banana Bread
3 cups Almond Flour
 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Granular Erythritol  (sugar free natural sweetener) or 1 tsp stevia drops
 1T Xanthan gum (all natural gluten replacement) or ¼ c ultra-gel/cornstarch
1/4 cup egg white powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup water
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
 Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine almond flour, salt, baking powder, erythritol, xanthan gum and egg white powder. In a separate bowl combine vanilla, water, and mashed banana. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix completely. Divide between 2 6 inch by 3 inch loaf pans or 4 3 inch circular baking pans. Bake 350 degrees 35-40 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool in than 30 minutes, then serve. Nutritional Information: Yields: 16 slices, each slice: 118 cal each; 7g carbs, 2.6g fiber (4.4 net carbs a slice) original post here.

Chef Tess No sugar added Almond Brownie-Cookies
2 c Almond Flour
2T egg white powder
½ Granular Erythritol
½ tsp baking powder
¼ c Ultra Gel or cornstarch
¼ c baker’s cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh orange zest
½ c cool water
Directions: Combine all dry ingredients. Add the water and mix until a thick dough is made. Scoop by rounded Tablespoon onto parchment paper and bake 350 degrees 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow bites to cool on baking sheet 10-15 minutes. Keep in an airtight container. Yields 18 cookies.

Sundried Tomato Italian Almond bread
3 c Almond Flour
¼ c egg white powder
2 T xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp Chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasoning
¼ cup sundried tomato pesto
1 1/3 c water
Directions: Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 7 inch by 3 inch loaf pan and dust with almond flour.
In a large bowl combine the almond flour, egg white powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and Italian seasoning. In a separate bowl, combine the pesto and water. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until totally combined. Put the dough into the loaf pan, it will be thick. Smooth the top of the loaf with a little water if desired. Bake 55-60 minutes until a knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool at least an hour before slicing.

Tess’ Almond-Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts
3 cup Almond Flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp almond flavor
1/3 cup Honeyville buttermilk powder
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East Spice Blend
1 ½ cup cool water

Combine all ingredients and mix until a moist dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dough in a pastry bag, with a hole cut, just the width of a greased doughnut baking pan (doughnuts are mini size). Fill 12 doughnuts half full.  Transfer to oven and bake 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan 20 minutes. Remove from pan and lightly dust with powdered sugar if desired. Yields 12 small doughnuts.
There you go! Hopefully this helps on your grand adventures with Almond flour! I've loved working with it so far and especially loved the weight loss! Wowza!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Unknown said...

Love your pictures and your energy. I'm going to give them a try. Thank you for sharing. Can I post your pics to my Pinterest boards?

Chef Tess said...

I love it when people pin me! Xoxo!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for always sharing all these great recipes! They are so good and save money! Always a bonus! Do you have a recipe for almond paste? Its so expensive in the stores. Homemade is always best. Thanks in advance. God Bless You and Yours

Anonymous said...

How do you substitute egg white powder? If you already mentioned it, sorry I missed it. Thanks for these GREAT recipes! I love grain free baking.
Kris M.

Anonymous said...

How do you substitute egg white powder? If you already mentioned it, sorry I missed it. Thanks for these GREAT recipes! I love grain free baking.
Kris M.