This High fat low carb bread is green! Why?
Let's do it first!
Prep time: 10min
Baking time: 30 to 60min
Step 1: Ingredients
Confectioning this bread requires:
2/3 cup of sunflower seeds (around 100g)
1/2 cup of flaxseeds (around 80g) NEEDS TO BE SOAKED OVER NIGHT
1/3 cup of lupin flour (or almond meal) (around 40g)
3 large eggs
3 TBsp coconut oil (around 40g)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp baking soda + 2 Tsp lemon juice (or 1 Tsp baking powder)
1 or 2 TBsp poppy seeds (or seeds of choice)
And you'll need a food processor or blender, and a bowl and parchment paper.
Step 2: Dry Ingredients
First thing to do is to turn the oven on to 190°C (375°F)
Second thing: blend the sunflower seeds, until it resembles a flour.
Then in a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients, appart from the flaxseeds that requires to be soaked over night or at least a few hours before, and the poppy seeds that will be spread on the dough before baking.
Step 3: Wet Ingredients
Remove most of the water from the soaked flaxseeds. Consider it done, once all the seeds look like one gooey, slimy, sticky entity.
Blend it as much as you can. Careful there because it might be a challenge for an under powered blender/processor since it is very slimy, and might be eligeble to be qualify as a non-newtonian fluid :)
Then add the remening ingredients, appart from the poppy seeds.
And blend it all until smooth. (it will still be pretty gooey slimy sticky though)
Step 4: Mix Dry and Wet
Drop the blended wet ingredients into the bowl to mix them with the dry ingredients. (can do it all at once, because it's easy to mix together)
It will still be very sticky! My table spoon can stand straigh up in it without even moving.
Step 5: Baking
Now you can set the dough on a tray with parchment paper.
If wanted, you can sprinkle a tablespoon of poppy seeds on the paper (before putting the dough), and sprinkle another on the dough.
Then bake it at 190°C (375°F) for at least 30min.
It will have raised at its most by that time.
If removed from baking for good after 30min, the bread will have a soft spongy texture. Which can be nice. (especially if you use it for toasting)
For a more "grain bread" texture, you can bake it for another 30min. But for that mater, I also like to let it cool down after the first 30min and bake it again. (I tend to do other recipes at the same time, to let the oven run while baking something else) The overall idea is to remove a bit more moist than the first 30min of cooking can do.
(I also tried the recipe once, without soaking the flaxseeds. Interestingly, the bread had a better texture, but could not raise much... you might prefer that result. Try it)
Note that you can bake it in a cake pan of any shape. This choice, seems to make the dough raise even better.
Step 6: Green or Not Green
Here comes the funny part!
So as you noticed, the bread isn't green once out of the oven.
However, it picks up the tint quite quickly.
The answer lies in the garlic!
Garlic cells contains two intersting proteins: Alliin and Isoalliin (both odourless)
Alliin is much more present than Isoalliin (usely 80% alliin 20% isoalliin)
Garlic doesn't smell much unless crushed or scrapped.
That's also the key to make the color change.
When cells are broken down, both proteins react with an enzyme: alliinase
Alliin+alliinase gives Alliicin. A thiosulfinate mainly responsible for the strong fragrance of garlic.
Isoalliin+alliinase forms another thiosulfinate which then reacts with an amino acid, to produce a "pigment precursor"
Then Alliicin and the "pigment precursor" react together to finaly give that green (sometimes blue-ish) pigment!
So as much as we can defenetly identify the production of alliicin true the smell of garlic, it is not often that we can see the result of the reaction between it and the pigment precursor.
The alliicin production is fast and reaches its limits very quickly.
Considering the proportion of the to proteins responsible, and the fact that Isoalliin reacts much slower than alliin, it makes sense, that we rarely see our garlic go green, but that it always smells.
But in the recipe, I blend the garlic to some extense!
In other therms, I destroy cell membranes. This seems to be the key to optimize isoalliine reaction, and therefore, pigmentation.
An experiment I have made tends to prove it right.
I once made that bread using some coconut oil that had been used to make a garlic confit (garlic very slowly cooked in coconut oil, for a couple hours). Even though the oil wasn't green at all (unchanged in fact), the bread turned out very green right out of the oven (as seen in picture). (did not even had garlic clove for that one)
Adding the fact that in my first attempt at this recipe, having simply scrapped the garlic resulted in just a few green spots here and there after a fews days (more than 48hours).
It then looks like the more the cell membranes are thorned appart, the better the color.
(To my understanding, cooking the garlic in oil, allows a great exchange between inner and outer cell's components (osmosis), especially since a raise in temperature increases the membrane fluidity. Might even destroy the membrane at some point, and therefore explain why the cloves are soften up, and why the oil in which they are cooked would be loaded with isoalliin and/or pigment precursor. Therefore, a greater and faster reaction)
And the chinese tradition of "Laba Garlic" kinds of emphasises it, as the longer the garlic sits in vinegar, the greater the color. The longer, the more exchanges. (look for the picture in the link) (but keep it mind that it is my interpretation :) )
There are other factors involved that I don't consider, mainly because they are more complicated, and I can't really mesure or control them.
PH is a major one, and could be very interesting in adjusting it. (as the "Laba garlic" suggests)
Replacing lemon juice for vinegar might enhance the reaction (refer to article).
So there you are!
A fun cooking experiment, that needs even more tweaking to fully master.
But it is already something that could have some interesting applications! As it is a natural food coloring!
(I can think of some combinations with pumpkin or carrot etc) (Especially considering that the coconut oil from the garlic confit smelt of garlic, but did not had a strong taste to it... so might even apply to sweet recipe! as cheese cakes or so)
Hope you enjoy it!
Feel free to correct me on my knowledge, my technical therms, my interpretation, etc, etc.
I tried my best with the information I 'd found. (I give the link of a french article on which I based my reflexion, and where there is some info on the chinese "Laba Garlic")
Step 7: Nutrition Informations
Cronometer based info!
Note that it is a very adjustable recipe!
By that, I mean that you can replace many ingredients for different ones.
Coconut oil for butter, or a mix of one of those with peanut butter, or almond butter, etc.
Sunflower seeds for almond meal...
Lupin flour for almond meal or coconut flour (the use of coconut flour might require to add another egg to maintain a "bread like composition")...
You can of course make it without garlic. In which case it would not become green (which can be less scary if served to guests...) Onions or olives could be used instead to give it still a good salty flavor. Or a nut butter would provide that. (which I advise to do, if you don't want the egg to be the dominant flavor).
Cheese would be good also. (But I personally wouldn't add it since the recipe is already quite rich in protein)
(nutrition info will be different if tweaked though).