Keto mushroom bread with this rustic effect of old-fashioned pies looks and feels like something they would serve in Ancient Rome. Well, even Greeks loved and consumed mushrooms. However, knowing which mushrooms can end up on our plate is something that humans haven’t learned fully even today! There’s just something attractive in these microorganisms that makes us experiment and search for more edible varieties. However, they could be hiding the most dangerous poisons our planet offers, therefore we should stick to the well-known kinds, preferably domesticated. Even though mushroom forage is almost a kind of sport, one should think four times before even starting to investigate.
Mushrooms are not plants!
Even though we like to think of them as something we pick from the ground and they grow in the forest, especially after the rain, they can’t be called a vegetable. Why is that so? Well, mushrooms are types of fungi, microorganisms that just look like some alien flowers. The more substantial part of mushrooms is located underground. Mushrooms aren’t plants because they don’t use photosynthesis to make food which is the ultimate plant-indicator. (Sorry, vegans) The underground portion of the mushroom utilises enzymes to “digest” food. Mushrooms and other fungi usually grow in symbiosis with plants – for example, you will see them growing on a side of a tree, or growing out of an old and dead log. Nothing fertilises the land like this symbiosis!
Keto Mediterranean and Greek connection
There are more than 2500 varieties of mushrooms in Greece. It’s important to note, only about 150 are edible and safe. In fact, the psychedelic effect of mushrooms was a big thing in Ancient Greece. In a mysterious festival called the Eleusinian Mysteries, religious rites were held for a cult for the goddesses Demeter and her daughter Persephone. There are even depictions of Persephone and Demeter holding mushrooms featured in ancient artworks. The cult-like festivities were based in Eleusina which is a town located about 20 kilometres north of Athens.
The Rites of Eleusis, or the Eleusinian Mysteries, were the secret rituals of the mystery school of Eleusis and were observed regularly from c. 1600 BCE – 392 CE. Exactly what this mystic ritual was no one knows; but why the ancient Greeks participated in it can be understood by the testimonials of the initiated.
Some of the greatest Greek philosophers wrote about the benefits of mushrooms. Praise about truffles developed as early as the 4th century BC in writings by Theophrastus, the Greek encyclopedist and one of Aristotle’s students. Hippocrates, whom we love to quote, taught his pupils about the salubrious properties of mushrooms. But he would always warn them about poison in specific varieties. The great tragedy writer, Eurepides, described the danger of mushroom poison.
The idea of Keto mushroom bread
I haven’t posted a Keto bread recipe in quite a while. Well, since we keep saying Ketonians should reduce the consumption of nut-based flours except on special occasions, the bread category suffered a bit. I did create a couple of flourless bread recipes that are great but this one could take the crown as the best so far! Mushrooms are rich in protein and it’s one of the reasons we prefer them as a side dish, pie ingredient or just a salad. They come in all forms and the best way to utilise them in bread dough would be in a dry form. However, I did use some fresh mushrooms which gave moist and pie-alike form to the bread. It almost felt like eating our Manitaropita which is one of the best ketonisations when it comes to traditional Greek pies.
Working with dry mushrooms
You can dehydrate your own mushrooms by utilising an oven or a specific dehydrator. However, you will find all sorts of dried mushrooms on the market today. From Shiitake variety that also comes in powdered form, to porcini, champignon, turkey tail, Horn of plenty or small flower mushrooms. A great thing about dried mushrooms is that you can easily order them online and not worry about the safety of a product. Drying food was one of the best inventions for preserving food that was used thousands of years ago! For this reason, to stay on the safe side, use well-known varieties from a reputed producer, preferably with your own country of origin.
Keto Mediterranean baking time again
As always, Keto mushroom bread by Greek Goes Keto will be a recipe that follows our KMD postulates, but at the same time gives pleasure and nourishment. We cannot just call something Keto, we have to make sure it has that special ancient magic that made us better humans today! We will give our best to evoke those forgotten memories of the ancient way of living, but we will utilise all the advantage of the contemporary kitchen aid! Well, let’s get to work, shall we? 🙂
Keto mushroom breadCourse: Keto breadCuisine: Keto Mediterranean, Ancient GreekDifficulty: Medium
6 large eggs
150g (5,3 oz) dried mushrooms
100g (3,5 oz) fresh mushrooms (I used champignon variety)
100g (5,3 oz) authentic Greek Feta cheese (crumbled)
2 tbs psyllium husk
120g (4,2 oz) unsalted butter (I used goat butter)
2 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 medium spring onions
1 tsp freshly ground red, white and black peppercorn mix
1/2 tsp dried rosemary powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
- Separate the egg whites from yolks and whisk the egg whites with apple cider vinegar and sea salt into a firm meringue. Place the meringue in the fridge. Now, place dried mushrooms, 1 tbsp sesame seeds and psyllium husk in a food processor. Pulse shortly to get a ground consistency.
- Place the yolks, feta cheese, finely chopped fresh onion, baking soda and spices in a bowl and mix them with an electric mixer on medium speed. Slowly add melted butter. Now add dried mushrooms, psyllium and sesame seeds that you grounded in the food processor earlier. Add the dry ingredients slowly, spoon by spoon.
- Slice the fresh mushrooms and add them to the mixture. In the end, gently fold in the egg white meringue.
- Line the bread mould with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in the oven at 170ºC (340ºF) for 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 120ºC (250ºF) and bake for additional 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool down completely before cutting.
- Based on the variety of fresh mushrooms you decide to use, the bread can come out moist in the middle. Worry not, after it cools down, it will sit nicely. This will give you the effect of a pie.
- If you are not on Keto but Low-carb, and you would like to make it a 100% authentic ancient Greek recipe, instead of psyllium, you could use 100g of organic, wholegrain emmer flour. Emmer is an ancient kind of wheat used in Greece and Egypt that has little effect on blood glucose and has more than 50% of indigestible carbs.