Unlike most gluten free breads, this bread is both gluten free and low carb. The popular gluten free breads, like Udi and Rudi, have about as many carbs per slice as regular wheat bread. And they’re full of stuff that isn’t great for you like potato starch, rice starch, evaporated cane juice, tapioca malodextrin, tapioca syrup, cultured corn syrup solids??, etc.
I don’t want to deceive you guys so I’m telling you right up front – I love crusty, yeasty, bread made with wheat flour, and this bread is nowhere near as good as that. But, if you’re tired of spreading your peanut butter on a cucumber and you crave a grilled cheese sandwich or something to actually put that cream cheese and smoked salmon on, this bread is definitely for you. I don’t like it raw, but sliced thin and toasted it tastes pretty darn good.
I urge you not to do what I did when I first encountered this recipe: I tuned it out. I thought, “Really? Now I actually need to bake my own bread in addition to all the other low carb changes? I don’t have time for that. I’m not one of those bread-baking types.” And then I read the ingredients, and the psyllium powder just put me over the top. It was just too foreign to me. I mean what the hell is that? And where do you get it?
Here’s the thing – this bread takes literally 7 minutes to put together and psyllium powder is an Amazon click or trip to the health food store away. Since you slice the bread thin, a loaf lasts a long time. It’s totally worth it. I now make it twice a week and think nothing of it.
I got this recipe from my friend Earlynn who found it on Maria Emmerich’s site. I’ve made one change, which is to reduce the amount of baking powder. I found that more baking powder gave the bread a big fluffy top, which collapsed as soon as it came out of the oven and created a bread that was full of holes and hard to slice.
For success you need to follow the recipe exactly. Absolutely no substitutions. This is one of those science experiment type recipes where the slightest deviation can lead to a mess. You’ll also need a kitchen scale and either a hand mixer or a standing mixer (don’t get discouraged, those things are also easy to come by).
- Required Equipment:
- Kitchen scale
- Electric hand mixer or standing mixer
- Loaf Pan: I use a Pyrex 9"x5"x 3"
- coconut oil or butter for greasing pan
- 10 ounces almond meal (also called almond flour)
- 3.25 ounces psyllium husk powder(also called ground psyllium husk), see note below about brands
- 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 7 ounces egg whites
- 12 ounces boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bread pan with coconut oil or butter.
- Put large bowl or bowl of standing mixer on scale. Zero it out. Add almond meal.
- Keep bowl on scale and zero it out again. Add psyllium husk powder. Add baking powder and sea salt. Remove from scale and mix on low until ingredients are well combined.
- Put bowl back on scale. Zero it out. Add vinegar.
- Keep bowl on scale and zero it out again. Add egg whites.
- Keep bowl on scale and zero it out again. Add boiling water.
- Remove from scale and mix all ingredients, starting on low speed so water doesn't slosh out of bowl. Increase speed to medium and mix until ingredients are well combined and dough comes together and firms up a little.
- Put in bread pan and press gently into pan so you make sure the dough has gotten into the corners. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Psyllium Powder: Buy it ground if you can. If you must buy whole psyllium seeds and grind them yourself, make sure to grind them really well (about 1/2 their original volume). Some ground psyllium powder, very mysteriously, turns the bread purple. You can't tell ahead of time by looking at it since it appears to be the same color as the ones that don't. The one from Whole Foods turns it purple. I use the Now brand(they call it psyllium husk powder) and the bread comes out beige-brown.
- Oven Temperature: It's important that the oven temperature is accurate. So if you suspect that your oven is off, check it with an oven thermometer (easy to find).
- What to do with all those egg yolks: see my recipes for lemon tart, creme caramel, and chocolate pudding (the chocolate pudding can be made with all egg yolks instead of whole eggs).