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? 🙂