I love bread. I know you aren’t supposed to say that if you follow a paleo diet, but it is true. I love having bread in the morning, sandwiches in the afternoon, and a crusty roll with soup for dinner. When I lived in Paris (before finding out I was a celiac), I had bread for EVERY meal. I may never have been sicker, but I was oh so happy.
Sadly, by the time I was 24 it became apparent that as much as I loved bread, it did not love me back. I’ve tried since then to rekindle the romance with gluten free substitutes, but it is never the same. The imitation loaves lack the beautiful crunchy crust, the ability to soak up sauce, or feel complete accompanied by a healthy dollop of salty butter. Even after finding paleo, I still longed for a good french roll or buttermilk biscuit to bring me back to childhood, and a time when I had no idea what a carb or gluten was.
In a particular moment of weakness recently, I decided I had to try and create a paleo version of my favorite crusty roll. Most paleo and low-carb bread recipes use nut flours or coconut flour – both of which are off limits in our household due to our allergies. So, I started experimenting with some of the Pumpkin Seed Meal I had lying around, and combined it with some cassava flour. The result was amazing! The rolls were dense, and a bit crumbly, but oh so delicious. The pumpkin seed meal has a bit of a bitter flavor, so I compensated with some extra maple syrup. However, if you are pairing with a flavorful soup or stew, you can easily reduce the syrup by half and the bitterness of the pumpkin will not be noticed.
Now, these are not Whole30 compliant, and probably not going to be great for weight loss if incorporated as a regular part of your diet. But, if you just need a bread fix – they are the perfect treat to satisfy your craving.
- 6 tablespoon warm water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (see note)
- 1 tablespoon melted ghee
- 1 tablespoon melted palm shortening
- 2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 egg +1 egg white (beaten)
- 2.5 cups pumpkin seed powder
- 2 cups cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg white to be used for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil (regular foil will also work).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, maple syrup, ghee, and palm shortening. Give a quick whisk (so well combined) and let sit for two minutes.
- Whisk in the mixed egg into the yeast mixture until fully combined. Then, slowly, mix in the pumpkin seed powder. Once that has been fully combined, start to sift in the cassava flour.
- The dough will be very sticky, so you may want to coat your hands in some shortening or oil. Grab about a golf-ball size of dough and roll it into a ball. Place the dough balls onto the aluminum foil lined baking sheet. When all of the dough has been used, take a knife and lightly scour an "X" across the top of each roll. Firmly whisk the final egg white so that it is slightly frothy. Brush the egg white over all of the rolls (this will get them nice and brown when they cook).
- Place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
You can reduce the maple syrup by half if you do not find pumpkin seeds to be too bitter, or if you plan on serving the rolls with a soup/ stew that will mask the bitterness. Personally, I like the flavor of using only 1 tablespoon, but my husband found the taste a bit too much on its own.