Paleo Sandwich Rolls
Why This Recipe Works
Too often, paleo-friendly sandwich breads turn out dry, crumbly, and dense or spongy, webby, and almost custard-like; plus, they usually lack the structure needed to stand up to a substantial filling. We wanted a hearty, sturdy sandwich roll that would taste great. To create good structure, we needed to use multiple flours and starches. For the base of our rolls we decided to use almond flour for its neutral flavor. Arrowroot flour was also essential, since the pure starch lightened the texture of the rolls and helped absorb moisture. Since we were after a bready flavor and texture, we used yeast as our leavener and added enough water to make a dough. But these ingredients alone didn’t give our rolls much structure—nor did they taste very good. A couple of eggs provided better structure and offered some subtle richness. Psyllium husk powder, a common ingredient in gluten-free breads, gave the rolls a more open crumb by creating a sturdier protein network. It also contributed a pleasant, wheaty flavor. Some cider vinegar gave the rolls a sourdough-like tang, while honey, olive oil, and salt rounded out the flavor nicely. But the rolls were still turning out rather wet and dense. We tried reducing the amount of water, but since we were counting on the water to create steam and help the rolls rise in the oven, we couldn’t reduce the amount enough to get rid of the wetness. Instead, we added some coconut flour to the dough, which easily absorbed the excess liquid without making the rolls crumbly. Finally, since the dough was fairly soft and tended to spread in the oven, we made foil collars to hold the dough in place during proofing and some of the baking time. Halfway through baking, we removed the collars to ensure even browning. A sprinkling of sesame seeds before baking was a welcome final touch.