This whole cassava bread ̶o̶b̶s̶e̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶ thing started a couple of weeks ago when I was listening to The Splendid Table podcast while working away in my workshop. There was a feature on a Brazilian bakery in Danbury, CT that only makes one type of bread, which is naturally gluten and yeast free, made from cassava aka yuca root. I immediately thought of a Jamaican specialty bread called bammy (pronounced bah-mee) also made from cassava root. Then I had a light bulb moment. (Yay!) How would cassava bread work as a flatbread and pizza crust? I, of course, had to find out. And what I did find blew my mind. J and I both looked at each other like “is this really this good?”
The cassava flatbread was crispy and thin and chewy on the inside. It can be filled and folded over in a similar manner as a pita or a tortilla. As a thin pizza crust, it was browned and crisp on the bottom and chewy on the top, and the toppings stayed put (vegan pizza eaters will know what I’m talking about here, haha). Confession: we may not return to wheat crust again (okay we probably will but not as often.) It was that good. I think for people who definitely can’t tolerate gluten, cassava crust may be the best tasting alternative.
I haven’t tried the Brazilian version of cassava bread, but Jamaican bammy is usually made into a thick disc and is very chewy. Bammy is traditionally eaten with fried fish or soaked in coconut milk. Cassava is a root with a rough brown bark and a white starchy flesh. It is grown in sub-tropical and tropical climates. You should be able to find fresh cassava root in most supermarkets and specialty/ethnic food stores. Nantucket has a large Caribbean and Central/South American population so thankfully we can find fresh cassava at the one and only supermarket on island.
Don’t forget to tag your creations with #fareislerecipe so I can see them on instagram!
fresh cassava root the outer brown bark, inner purple bark and white flesh of cassava root starchy cassava dough flattened into a thin disc with the help of a tortilla press mini flatbread pizzas
pressed into a thin layer into a cast iron skillet for gluten free pizza
what’s better than pizza and probiotic root beer, eh?