Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quest for the BEST Flatbread

A few Sundays ago it was cold, blustery and a good day to catch up on care calls and bake in the kitchen. You see, I am on a quest.  I am making it a goal to duplicate, as flavorful as possible, a gluten-free version of the whole grain flat bread I LOVE at Cosi's restaurants. I love Cosi's for their great salads, but quite honestly, I could wrap myself in a large piece of their flatbread and feel like I have died and gone to heaven (ok, that's pretty lame for what the glory of heaven is really going to be like) - but you get my drift.
When I eat gluten free for a month it is the Cosi's bread I crave. So why not come up with a gluten free version that satisfies my desire for savory whole grain goodness?
On the particular wintery Sunday I mention above, I experimented with four different recipes I had found on line. I tweaked them all - perhaps it is a part of my Italian heritage to not follow recipes, or it could just be that I like to see if what I have on hand works. I was satisfied with my efforts - with the help of my daughter we created and baked four different flat breads. Abby would mark up the recipes - writing in my substitutions and additions. My family gathered around and we had a taste testing - all four breads were different.
The first, we decided, would make an excellent pizza crust. Numbers two and three both utilized the dark brown Teff flour, which gives a unique flavor of its own. The fourth bread was my attempt at Cosi duplication - utilizing coconut flour.  I have read reviews on paleo breads, and the coconut flour breads always win out over rice flour bread. The latter of which, in my opinion, bakes up a very bland bread no matter what herbs and spices are added.
I typed all the recipes up, or so I thought, to share on this blog. Alas, looking for them the Word document is gone, vanished from my laptop. I checked the tablet as I was using it to read recipes as I went along - not there either.  It may still show up, but suffice to say, I fear a day's worth of baking experiments/notes when into the black hole of cyber space.
All I could do is move forward and recreate, so that is what I did Thursday after work. I came home to a pot of vegetable soup on the stove, thanks to my husband. I added spices to the soup, and figured they would need some time to blend. Enough time for me to whip up some flat bread, as I had come across a piece of paper with my chicken scratch notes, I believe, for bread number four. Because flat bread does not need to rise, you can have warm flat bread to go with soup or salad in less than 30 minutes if the ingredients are on hand. I set about recreating my bread, and I do believe this latest attempt is better than the original. BEFORE it gets lost, I figured I better hustle and share this recipe with you. I promise, as I recreate the others, I will share those as well. SAVORY is the best way to describe this bread, enhanced with Rosemary, as well as a blend of Italian seasoning (aka more rosemary), garlic, and more. The picture above shows my original day of baking with three of the four breads. (Un)fortunately, we loved this bread so much that we gobbled it up before I could snap a picture. If you give it a try, do let me known what you think.  IF any of my readers are good at picking out spices, herbs, seed flavors from a bread - if you eat at Cosi's and can determine the flavors please drop my a line so I can continue my quest to duplicate a gluten free version.
Savory Paleo Flat Bread
Inspired by a recipe from, I have added flax meal, herbs and spice to ADD savoriness to this bread. (Plus, I am always looking to add health benefits to my food to give my body energy.) Rosemary is particularly beneficial in helping one's immunity and to get over colds and flu, and since so many people outside of our household are struggling with this currently - it is the perfect time to find ways to increase your intake of rosemary into your eating plan.
Blend dry ingredients:
½ c. almond flour
½ c. coconut flour
½ c. golden flax meal (keep this refrigerated when in storage)
¼ c. arrowroot powder
1 t. baking powder
½ t. dried rosemary
½ t. dried garlic powder
½ t. Italian herb seasoning
½ t. finely milled Celtic sea salt
Lightly whisk wet ingredients, blending into dry:
2 organic free range eggs – lightly beaten
1 t. extra virgin olive oil
½ c. plain almond milk (preference for Silk brand)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Stir dry ingredients together in medium mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients slowly, mixing with wooden spoon.  If needed, season baking pan by brushing or rubbing olive or coconut oil on surface. Roll dough onto pan and flatten out into a rectangular shape.  Use either clean hands or if preferred, place parchment paper over dough and roll with a mini rolling pin. Flatten to desired thickness, noting that baking time will increase if left more thick.
Bake for 15-20 min. or until center is not wet and ridges start to brown.  Serve warm with your favorite bowl of soup or salad.
Eating gluten free does not equate to never eating bread again.  Find a few recipes you like and obtain a few different flours - your pantry is simply different from the average, gluteneous pantry of most American kitchens.  I will soon be sharing what my new pantry is becoming! 
If your joints ache or you have sinus issues....I really encourage you to go gluten free for a month and feel where that takes you in regards to those symptoms. We have a lifetime ahead of us, and who wants to live it with symptoms that could be alleviated with a 30 day commitment to learning if food sensitivities are the cause? Food for today's thoughts....
My goal is to help you feel great, look great and live great!
To your health,
Rita S.

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