A love of bread turns into search for low-carb substitute

  • A package of Outer Aisle's Plantpower Sandwich Thins.

    A package of Outer Aisle's Plantpower Sandwich Thins. Courtesy of Don Mauer

 
 
Posted9/22/2021 6:00 AM

By Don Mauer

Daily Herald Correspondent

 

I love bread, especially wheat flour-based bread.

For me, though, one slice of that bread isn't enough. And once I eat a slice, I have to eat the whole loaf. Yes, wheat bread is a classic high-carbohydrate trigger for me.

In search of a decent wheat bread-like, wheat-free substitute, I found Cardnl gluten-free bread at cardnl.com/products/keto-bread-mix. The picture of a baked loaf looked close to a regular wheat-bread loaf.

Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, I believed that I would get three (probably frozen) baked loaves sent to my home when I ordered three.

When the much smaller, not-frozen package arrived, I found three packaged mixes. Hmmm.

These are the added ingredients needed to make a loaf of Cardnl gluten- free bread.
These are the added ingredients needed to make a loaf of Cardnl gluten- free bread. - Courtesy of Don Mauer
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Undaunted, I decided to make a loaf.

At first, I was a bit puzzled since there were no instructions on the mix's package, and I had to head to a different website to find and print them.

Cardnl's Artisan Bread Mix is made from almond flour, flaxseeds (flaxseed meal), psyllium husk, coconut flour, yeast, corn-free baking powder, salt and ginger and is produced in a 100% gluten-free facility. All good.

Making the bread requires adding egg whites, hot water, butter (or coconut oil), vinegar and honey. The only minor preparation difficulty is beating the egg whites into soft peaks and then folding them gently into the dough to lighten its texture.

Baking the bread requires a "mini" 4-by-6.5-inch loaf pan. Without one, my 4-by-8-inch loaf pan would have to do. I made the dough, lined the pan with parchment paper, formed the dough so it was about 6.5 inches in the pan, and put it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
This is a loaf of freshly made Cardnl gluten-free bread.
This is a loaf of freshly made Cardnl gluten-free bread. - Courtesy of Don Mauer

After 45 minutes, the top appeared to match the instructions "dark golden brown" color. My loaf's short height disappointed me since it didn't rise as the product's picture showed.

Once cooled, I made a ham sandwich with my keto-friendly bread, slicing the ham to fit my half-the-height bread slices. I enhanced the bread's flavor by toasting the slices.

A half-inch slice (one-tenth of the loaf) delivers 150 calories, 13 fat grams, 7 carb grams (2 sugar grams) and 5 fiber grams (2 net carbs).

The bread's wheat-bread-like flavor was excellent, with a definite bread-like texture. Don't be surprised that each package costs $9.99; on sale, it's $7.99. Orders over $35 get free shipping.

Since many of the wheat-free gluten-free loaves from my supermarket come in at nearly that price, it didn't seem worth it with the added ingredients and preparation time.

An ad in my local supermarket's flyer highlighted Outer Aisle's Cauliflower Sandwich Thins (6 thins, $6.99). For a wheat-free, low-carbohydrate product, this is terrific.

Ingredients: fresh cauliflower, whole cage-free eggs, Parmesan cheese and pure nutritional yeast. Nutritional facts (for 2 rounds): 100 calories, 5 fat grams, 3 carbohydrate grams, 9 protein grams, and no added sugars.

I tried the original flavor; there's also jalapeño, everything and Italian flavors. These thins are just OK right out of the package. Toasted; they caramelize beautifully and firm up nicely. I used them as a hamburger bun substitute, to make a great grilled cheese and a ham sandwich.

Make no mistake. This is not wheat bread or anything close. The thins are perfect for anyone looking for a gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie way to make a sandwich. The only obstacle is the price.

• Don Mauer welcomes questions, comments and recipe makeover requests. Write to him at 1leanwizard@gmail.com.

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