When following a keto and low carb diet one of the hardest things to give us is soft and crispy bread. Bread in all its forms, whether it be a crusty French stick, a soft white bread loaf or a buttery bread roll is now firmly off limits.
Whether you are an experienced baker or new to the kitchen, low carb bread baking is not too difficult. The main challenge is adjusting to using different ingredients.
The lack of gluten in low carb bread means that it can often be heavier and won’t have the large air pockets or chewiness of regular bread. Extra leavening ingredients are used to lift the ingredients as much as possible to compensate for this.
Eggs should be at room temperature before baking. This is because of air bubbles. When you beat or whisk an egg, the egg's protein traps the air bubbles. And while baking, the bubbles expand in the heat of the oven. When baking low carb bread you need every help you can for a rise!
Butter & Coconut Oil
As with the eggs, it’s best to use your fats and oils at room temperature. Ghee could also be used.
There are a few main ingredients that are used as binding agents when baking low carb bread. Psyllium husk powder, xantham gum and ground chia seeds.
- Psyllium Husk Powder – Made from the seeds of Planto Ovato, this is often used for digestive complaints due to it’s high fibre content. When looking to purchase it, try the “Colon Cleanser” section of the pharmacy. High in fibre,this is one of my favourite ingredients in low carb bread baking as it helps give a more “bread-like” texture. TIP: Brands of psyllium husk powder may yield a purple hue. It’s a reaction to the baking powder. I recommend purchasing psyllium husk and grinding the husks in a coffee grinder to alleviate the purple colour. The purple colour has no effect on the taste though.
- Chia Seeds – Another great source of fibre, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. To use them as a gluten substitute in bread, grind them before use.
- Xanthan Gum – This is used as a binder in baking and sauces. You only need a small amount but it helps in low carb bread baking to give it a stronger texture and better crust.
The lack of gluten in low carb bread means that it can often be heavier and won’t have the large air pockets. There are many low carb flours used to make bread. Each low carb flour acts differently so check the recipe carefully before attempting any substitutions.
- Almond Flour – Simply, ground blanched almonds and a great choice for low carb baking.
- Coconut Flour – This needs a lot of moisture and you need a lot less volume than almond flour to bake.
- Golden Flax Meal – Finely ground flaxseeds give a flour that is almost wholemeal in texture and colour. It can yield a heavy bread.
- Sunflower Seed Flour – Ground sunflower seeds are used as a flour and a great option for those of you with a nut allergy. It can cause a slight green colour when baked as a result to the chemical reaction to baking powder.
- Lupin Flour
- Sesame Seed Flour – Another great nut free flour is ground sesame seeds. A similar texture to almond flour, but has a more stronger taste.
- Oat Fiber – The only nutritional value of oat fiber is the fiber. It's purely the husk and is made from grinding the oat hull which surrounds the oat. The fiber is insoluable and the flour is a great substitute for wheat in low carb and gluten free baking.
- Lupin Flour – Low in carbs and high in protein, lupin flour is similar to peanut flour, with them both being made from legumes. If you have a peanut allergy, lupin should not be used.
Easy Low Carb Bread Recipes to Bake
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