Low-carb substitutions are probably a topic I’m going to touch on quite a bit on this website. I’m no stranger to finding alternatives when prepping meals. It’s a challenge I graciously accept because it makes me think outside the box when cooking. I once had to prep a dinner for a group of friends that included a celiac (gluten free), a lactose intolerant (No dairy), and a vegan (No meat, or dairy). So basically completely scrap 3 major food groups and make a dinner out of it. I accepted the challenge and we had a fabulous meal of Japanese fried tofu with grated radish, along with a vegetable curry on rice noodles and stewed pears for dessert. It was satisfying, and everyone was happy with the results.
My parents (thankfully) had my brother and I helping in the kitchen as soon as we could see over the counter. I’m sure a lot of this was due to the fact that both were working full time jobs, so any opportunities to off-load some of the household duties were taken. Of course, this started with easy meals like spaghetti night, but quickly grew into one of my all-time favourite things to do. BAKE BREAD!
I have very fond memories of spending time in the kitchen with my mother baking bread in all forms. There’s nothing more satisfying than the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the house. I didn’t even have store bought bread for most of my early childhood, and actually looked forward to going to my great-aunts house. As soon as we got there, my brother and I would pile through an entire loaf of Wonder White with some Cheese Whiz. Thinking back now, what my mother created was a hundred times better than the store bought junk, but as a kid who never had white bread or processed cheese it was a treat. Sure, some of what we had at home was a disaster, but with how infrequently recipes were followed or recorded in our household, some were pure magic never to be created again!
Now to the point. I’ve been doing a lot of scrubbing “The Google” for a good low-carb, low sugar bread. Unfortunately, traditional yeast breads rely on supplying the yeast with enough food (sugar) to expand, and enough gluten (primarily wheat) to keep it from falling apart. That magic is extremely hard to replicate when it comes to traditional low-carb flour substitutes like almond meal, and coconut flour, as both of those key ingredients are missing. You can supply just enough sugar for the yeast to eat, but then you run into the gluten problem. Also, adding wheat gluten as an additional ingredient, doesn’t always do the trick. So, this brings you to breads leavened with baking powder and baking soda, relying on their chemical reactions instead. Unfortunately, these breads tend to end up more like a cake or muffin than bread. You don’t get the same chewy, airy texture a great loaf of fresh baked bread provides.
Out of the ones I have found, a few use interesting tricks to help give you that sensation of eating real bread. One I found added yeast purely for flavour. Another scraps the idea of using leavening at all in favour of whipped egg whites to make a bread-ish meringue. I’ll definitely be doing my own experiments to try and find the holy grail that is low-carb bread, but in the meantime, I’ve posted a couple links below of what I consider probably the top-five (in no real order) from what I’ve found. I will be cooking all of these at some point and posting the recipes with any modifications I’ve made, as well as my reviews of the final product. Feel free to give these a whirl and let me know your thoughts as well.