Sure, there are plenty of low carb bread recipes out there—unfortunately many of them don’t exactly taste like the stuff that dream slice of avocado toast is made of…
So, in an effort to find the holy grail of low carb bread recipes, I took to the kitchen, testing countless recipes in the hopes of discovering something far from the sad cardboard-like stand-ins so prevalent among store-bought and homemade breads alike.
So what are the criteria?
For starters, I wanted to find something that toasts the right way—a little crispy, but not burnt, as well as something that’s fluffy, not dense and eggy.
And, after many trials and errors, I’ve found the one.
Here’s my take on low carb bread, one that’s the perfect base for many low carb meals to come, as well as a few pointers and revelations learned along the way.
Low Carb Bread Recipe
Some important tips for making the low carb bread of your dreams…
The Egg Factor
For those of you with experience baking and buying low carb foods, it’s no secret that many breads rely too heavily on the use of eggs to make up for the lack of regular flour…
Which adds a ton of protein, but causes the bread to take on an unusual texture, part bread, part incredibly bland quiche. Not this bread… this low carb bread recipe almond flour is the base.
That said, it does contain more eggs than a conventional loaf of sliced bread, but, in my opinion, it doesn’t suffer the same sad fate as those overly eggy breads mentioned above.
Balance is the key ingredient in creating a low carb bread that, you know, tastes like bread. Trust me, I tried may-a-recipes before working out this balanced loaf.
Some Tips for Dealing with the Eggs
With this low carb bread recipe, eggs play a bigger role than they would in a traditional bread. Here are a couple of pointers that’ll help you get the fluffiest bread possible:
Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs.
This step is vital to get air into your eggs. It may seem daunting, but if you want that fluffy low carb bread you just gotta do it…
10 minutes seems to do the trick, although it depends on your mixer and how much you work the eggs. Your ultimate goal is to get maximum air into the mix. This extra shot of air is essential—the fluffier the eggs, the fluffier the bread.
Although we won’t be able to achieve the highest peak of egg fluffiness you’d get from using egg whites alone, the whites (yolks and all) will turn a lighter color—almost white.
The eggs should create soft peaks when you lift the beaters out of the mixture.
Stop beating the eggs when you get to this point, and make sure you use a large enough bowl, to avoid spillage. We don’t want egg splatter.
Fold In Dry Ingredients
After the all-out egg whipping session, you’ll want to add the-the dry ingredients as carefully and gently as possible.
When combining, fold the flour in, little by little.
While this may sound tedious, the slow addition of the flour to the beaten eggs serves to ensure you’re keeping as much air in the dough as possible. Try to rush things, and your bread will fall flat. Literally.
The Bread Pan
I recommend using an 8 inch bread pan.
Here’s the deal, since this bread isn’t going to rise, using a wider pan only makes the bread “shorter” so you get that weird shaped slice of bread that’s really more like a long and skinny rectangle.
All About Low Carb Flour
As one might imagine, the real challenge in low carb baking is finding the right flour.
For this bread, almond flour was the clear winner.
You can grab a bag at just about any grocery store. I’d recommend Bob’s Red Mill—They’ve got several different “grades” of almond flour, but the super-fine “grit” seems to work best for this bread recipe.
Or, if you’re interested in how to make almond flour from scratch, it’s surprisingly easy! I’ve done it a billion times and will post a recipe here soon.
I decided to go the almond route due to almond flour nutrition. As compared to conventional wheat flour, there are some definite advantages…
For example, wheat flour contains ~95 g of carbs per cup of dry flour, while almond flour has about 18. On the protein front, almond flour comes out on top, too. Boasting 18 grams of protein per cup (a serving size is a ¼ cup, BTW), to wheat’s 13.
Almond flour does contain more calories than its conventional counterpart, but keep in mind, bread is not a diet food—plus it’s packed with more overall nutrients—not empty calories.
Almond flour, is made from ground almonds and depending on the grind, has a consistency that closely resembles wheat flour. Almonds are paleo, known for their low carb content, and high concentrations of protein and calcium—so although this isn’t a no carb bread recipe, it’s pretty dang close!
Almond flour is slightly more “crumbly” than wheat flour, so it’s not necessarily a good idea to do a straight swap in your favorite gluten flour recipes.
I chose almond flour because it is higher in fat, lower in carbs, and typically is much easier to bake with.
Coconut flour is another good choice for low carb baking, however it tends to leave breads and baked goods lacking moisture. Coconut flour nutrition is also higher in carbs than almond flour (although still lower than regular flour).
Coconut flour recipes typically call for more liquid or eggs—check out our coconut flour pancakes or coconut flour cookies as an example.
Personally, I prefer using almond flour for two reasons: One the macronutrient breakdown (it’s lower in carbs) and two because of the texture—I find coconut flour leaves most low carb recipes tasting too dry.
A Note About Baking Powder
Baking powder admittedly isn’t top of mind for most home cooks. But for something that frequently gets mixed up with baking soda, it’s pretty darn important.
I personally prefer to use aluminum-free baking powder when I bake—since there’s no real point in adding aluminum into our diets, plus it might interact with the flavor.
In some cases, the aluminum in baking powders may lend a metallic taste to your favorite treats, which, after all that effort in beating eggs is kind of a bummer.
Things like chocolate cakes or peanut butter cookies can cover up any potential notes of scrap metal, but when you’re working with bread, it may be pushed to the forefront.
But, it’s worth pointing out that aluminum-free baking powders may present some new challenges…
For example, aluminum powders react with heat, so the chemical change takes place inside the oven. Aluminum-free solutions are faster acting than those containing the metal. They typically react with liquid, so you’ll have to move quickly once your dry and wet ingredients are combined.
Some bakers report that using aluminum-free baking powder may cause breads and doughs to rise very little. I’ve found that this particular recipe does not rise much anyway, so changing up the baking powder likely won’t make a huge difference.
Low Carb Bread Brands
If you’re feeling lazy and wondering where to buy low carb bread, well, I wish you some serious luck.
Am I alone here? I tried buying the no carb bread Walmart offered, which made me never want to eat low carb bread again! If you’ve had a different experience I’d love to hear about it, let me know in the comments below!
Low Carb Lunch Perfection
I love using this bread to make grilled cheese, because if you haven’t heard, there’s a ridiculously low number of carbs in cheese!
Or packing a low carb lunch picnic with sandwiches (made on this bread of course), low carb crackers and cheese crisps.
It also tastes delicious once toasted with a little butter. Yum yum yum.
What’s Your Experience with Low Carb Bread Recipes?
Have you attempted your own low carb bread recipe, or any baking experiments with low carb grains? Let me know how it went. I’d be curious to learn more about the merits and challenges associated with flaxseed meal or coconut flour.
For those of you who want something a little different to take your low carb meal planning to the next level, check out our bread substitute suggestions for some inspiration!
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Cups Almond Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill – see notes above)
- 4 Medium Eggs
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Line a bread pan with parchment paper or butter.
- In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a hand mixer for about 10 minutes. This step is key in making your bread "fluffy"! Beat until soft peaks have formed.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients, and mix only as much as you need to incorporate. (I usually add the dry ingredients to the side of the bowl by spoonful and fold in slowly)
- Gently pour batter into pan.
- Cook for 30-40 min, or until a toothpick in the center comes out dry.
- Let cool before slicing and enjoy!!