Low-Carb Sandwich Bread

This recipe is from Paola van der Hulst at Gnom-Gnom, but as is often the case with websites (especially recipe sites) there is a lot of commentary and pop-up ads, which I find distracting. So here is her bare-bones recipe with my added baking notes. NOTE: You’ll need to weigh each of the ingredients to make this recipe work out well.

This bread isn’t the usual super-eggy keto bread product. It smells yeasty and tastes good. But don’t expect a light, fluffy bread like wheat breads—this one is more dense, somewhat like cornbread, and very filling.. But it does put bread back on the menu!

Low-Carb Sandwich Bread
Yield: one 1-1/2 pound loaf with 12 generous slices // 153 calories, 3 net carbs

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey, to feed the yeast (baking will burn off the carbs*)
120 ml water, lukewarm between 105-110 degrees
168 g super fine blanched almond flour **
83 g golden flaxseed meal: regrind in a (very dry) bullet or blender 
15 g whey protein powder, unflavored
18 g psyllium husks—regrind
2 teaspoons xanthan gum (or 4 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg at room temperature
110 g egg whites (about 3) at room temperature
56 g grass-fed butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
58 g sour cream mixed with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Line a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper (an absolute must!). You do not need to butter the loaf pan. I use a glass pan.

Add yeast and maple syrup (to feed the yeast, see notes) to a large bowl. Heat up water to 105-110 degrees (if you don’t have a thermometer it should only feel warm to touch). Pour water over yeast mixture, cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 7 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly, if it isn’t start again (water that is too cold won’t activate the yeast and too hot will kill it).

Mix dry ingredients together while the yeast is proofing. Add almond flour, flaxseed meal, whey protein powder, psyllium husk, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, and ginger to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Once the yeast is proofed, add the egg, egg whites, lightly-cooled melted butter (you don’t want to scramble the eggs or kill the yeast) and vinegar. Mix with an electric mixer (or whisk like crazy) for a couple minutes until the mixture is light and frothy. Add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream-vinegar, and mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Mix thoroughly and quickly to activate the xanthan gum, though the dough will become thick as the flours absorb moisture.

Transfer bread dough to prepared loaf pan, using a wet spatula to even out the top. Cover with a kitchen towel and place on top of the stove as the oven pre-heats. Let the dough rise for 45-90 minutes until the dough has risen just past the top of the loaf pan. The rise will depend on altitude, temperature, and humidity—check it every 15 minutes or so. Note: a low carb bread needs a very warm place to rise. If your house is cold, you can turn on the oven (any heat) for 2 minutes, then turn the oven off. When the dough is ready to rise, pop it into the pre-heated oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while the dough is proofing. (High altitude—bake at 375 degrees)

Place the loaf pan on a baking tray and transfer gently into the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes until deep golden (about 210 degrees internal temperature), covering with a loose foil tent at around the 10-15-minute mark (just as it begins to brown). Be sure the foil isn’t resting directly on the bread.

Allow the bread to rest in the loaf pan for 5 minutes then, using a thin knife, gently cut between the ends of the bread and the pan. Pull the bread out of the pan, using the parchment “handles” and cool it on a rack for about an hour. It’s very important to allow the bread to cool completely for the best texture—your bread will continue to cook while cooling and if you slice it too soon, the bread will have a gummy texture. As the bread cools, some slight deflating is normal.

Keep stored in an airtight container (or tightly wrapped in cling film) at room temperature for 4-5 days, giving it a light toast before serving.

*Remember that the yeast will feed on sugar to emit carbon dioxide, so it doesn’t affect the carb count at all. And yes, this is a scientific fact.

**If paleo (or in keto maintenance), feel free to substitute arrowroot flour for 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the almond flour. This will create a lighter crumb. It will add about 2-1/2 more net carbs, per piece of bread.