In search of ketogenic bread that looks, smells like wheat bread
For months, I've been doing my best to find unbiased information about ketogenic food plans. It appears that a ketogenic food plan could be a positive for me.
What stopped me?
Not sure I could give up wheat flour (read: bread) and all sugars.
Let's look at keto-friendly bread. I went online and found there are, literally, more recipes for Keto bread than I can count. I picked one method that stated it was the "best." It included six whole eggs. The yolks went into the batter, and the whites are beaten so they can provide lift. Almond flour was the stand-in for wheat flour.
I made the bread according to the instructions, and it turned out looking just like the one in the video that accompanied that recipe. A slice looked more like poundcake in color and texture, and the flavor was over-the-top eggy. There was nothing about this keto bread that looked or tasted like wheat bread.
Back to the web! I found Maria Emmerich's recipe at dietdoctor.com, and this was a much different recipe from my first try. Emmerich's recipe made dinner roll-size keto-friendly loaves of bread. The roll's pictures looked a lot more like bread, and so I gave it a chance.
Like the first keto bread recipe, this recipe also uses eggs, but just the whites, not the yolks. The whites are stirred directly into the bread batter; no beating and folding required.
Also, there was a new ingredient in this bread: psyllium husks. Lucky for me, I had a container of psyllium husks in my pantry, leftover from the days it supplied fiber to my morning protein shakes. That's the good news. The not-so-good news was it wasn't a powder; it was whole psyllium husks. I measured-out the husks into my coffee/spice grinder and ground them to a powder. Problem solved.
The other change I made from Maria's recipe is for a flavor I missed in my first keto bread: yeast. Since there's no wheat flour and no gluten in keto bread, the yeast wouldn't do what it normally does in wheat bread. But, yeast's flavor and aroma would be present, so in it went.
This recipe adds boiling water to the batter with the whites already in there. I was concerned the hot water would cook the whites; it didn't.
Once the bread batter was mixed, using a scale, I divided it into six pieces, made them round, dipped the top into a bowl of sesame seeds and placed them on the olive oil-brushed pan.
My keto bread hadn't been in the oven long before my kitchen filled with yeast's aroma, just like wheat bread. The rolls baked for an hour, which seemed long for their size. For these to have a wheat bread's interior texture, the interior needs to be dry; so longer oven time.
I removed my bread from the oven, and they were a beautiful deep brown. When cooled, I sliced one in half and tasted it. Wow, it had the aroma and texture of wheat bread. And, it delivered just 4.2 net carbs.
I don't want you to feel fooled; it's not wheat bread. It's similar enough, though, to be used for a sandwich or as a hamburger bun.
Now I've got to figure out what to do about sugars.
• Don Mauer welcomes questions, comments and recipe makeover requests. Write to him at don@ theleanwizard.com.