Category Archives: Breads

Easy, delicious sandwich buns

Photo: Sandwich buns on a plate

Anyone who knows me can tell you I love bread. It’s probably the biggest challenge to my low carb lifestyle. Nothing beats the taste of homemade bread just out of the oven and smothered in butter. So, I am always on the hunt for good-tasting bread recipes made with low carb ingredients. I’ve used Carbquik and Bakesquick for quite a few years now. Both are good low carb flour, but I usually favor Bakesquik or its parent Dixie Carb Counter All Purpose Low Carb Flour for making cakes and anything that uses a fine flour. The texture is better than Bakesquik. When it comes to biscuits both deliver, but with subtle differences. I’ve used both to make sandwich rolls with mixed results.

Recently, I ran across Tova Foods recipe for sandwich rolls from their resident chef, Gregory Pryor. This one calls for yeast in it, which is a big plus. I made a few little changes to it to give it a bit more flavor and texture. I baked them in my muffin top pan, which makes regular hamburger-sized buns and they came out perfect. They slice easily and are neither too skinny or too thick for a sandwich. I may adjust this a little more over time. Still, it is a great-tasting bread that can be adapted to more personalized flavors, such as adding onion flakes, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or herbs. Add more sugar substitute if you want a sweeter roll. Add in shredded cheddar cheese for a cheese roll.

Sandwich Rolls

1/2 cup warm Water
1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute or sugar-free Honey
2-1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1/3 cup heavy cream with Warm water added to make 3/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 tablespoon Water
2 cups CarbQuick or other low carb Flour
1/4 cup Wheat Gluten Flour
1/4 cup Flax Meal, ground
2 teaspoons Sesame Seeds, optional

If you’re using a muffin top pan, prepare each well with a parchment paper base and spray with cooking spray. If you don’t have a muffin top pan, you can use 4-3/4 to 5-inch rings, oven-proof bowls, or pot pie foil tins. Spray those with cooking spray also and dust with low carb flour.

In a large bowl, add warm water, sugar or honey, and yeast. Stir and let sit until it is bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix salt, flour, gluten flour, and flax meal together. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture and baking soda to the yeast mixture and use a mixer with a dough hook to make a smooth batter. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix on low until a sticky dough forms. If you’re adding herbs or cheese to the mix, do it in this step. You may need to scrape down the sides and pause to get the dough off the hook a few times while mixing. Once the dough is smooth, divide it into 6 equal pieces.

Shape each piece into a ball and place in each bowl or well in the pan. Press down on the top to flatten it a little. If you are adding sesame seeds or poppy seeds, do it now, pressing them into the top of the dough. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and place over the rolls. Place in a warm spot and let rise until the dough has doubled or rises over the bowl’s rim. Remove the plastic wrap and throw away.

Photo: Sandwich buns rising in muffin top pan

Bake on the center rack for about 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Slice horizontally when you’re ready to use. They toast well or can be warmed up in the oven for a few minutes or in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

Makes 6 delicious, nicely textured, and sturdy sandwich buns.

Image: Nutrition Information for Sandwich buns

 

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes Are So Good

Photo: Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes

Happy 2020. The start of a new year and a new decade. We’ve had better starts throughout the years, but let’s make this one the best we can. Right?

I launched my new year  with determination to conquer the crepe, so I bought a crepe maker. Not the dip and cook model I’d seen on Facebook that looks so simple, but the flat cooker that will make bigger crepes, not as big as the ones at the Las Vegas Paris Hotel’s buffet though. Those babies are huge! This one might go to a 10-inch crepe, but initially, I made the smaller and easier to flip 7 to 8 inch ones.  My first crepe on it was a mess, stuck, wasn’t completely cooked, and practically shredded when I tried to flip it. After that, I sprayed it with cooking spray, made sure it was up to high heat, and tried again with much better success.

New flash! It’s going to be a while before I’m an expert with crepe-making, but even with the odd-shaped pancakes, they do work and taste quite good.

So, I made a simply delicious broccoli-and-cauliflower-filled crepe with ricotta and spinach and an amazing cream sauce on the top. Pop in the oven to just lightly toast the sauce and warm the whole dish up and you have a great meal for a meatless Monday or a delightful side dish with any meat or seafood entree.

While I haven’t tried it yet, I believe you can make crepes with coconut flour and unsweetened coconut milk, which makes it easier to find the flour ingredients. I’ve posted the carb count and the recipe for coconut flour crepes in case you want to experiment. When I make a batch, I’ll update this to let you know how well it works.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for these heavenly crepes.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes with Cream Sauce

1-1/2 cups of Cauliflower, chopped
1-1/2 cups of Broccoli crown and stems, chopped
3/4 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Baby Spinach
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Water or Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, grated

Crepe Recipe:
3/4 cup Low carb Flour
3/4 cup Cream
1/4 cup Water
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

Make the crepes batter.  In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

While the crepe batter is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower and broccoli and sauté until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of water plus Garlic and herb seasoning and stir. Cook a few minutes more until the vegetables are almost tender. Add sliced mushrooms and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and heat it a minute. Add spinach and sauté until it is limp. In a small bowl, place ricotta cheese and stir to loosen and smooth,, then stir in spinach. Add a little basil or Italian seasoning and mix. Set aside.

Cook the crepes: Heat an 8 inch skillet or crepe pan until a drop of water skittles across the surface. Spray the surface with cooking sprray for each crepe. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, lift pan from the heat, and gently roll until the batter coats most of the pan. If you have a crepe pan, spread the batter with the back of a spoon or a spreader, keeping the rounded or oval shape. Cook until the crepe looks dry on the top then carefully slide a wooden or silicone spatula under the crepe and flip it to cook the back side.

Cook for about a minute, then put on a plastic, parchment, or foil sheet on a plate. Put another sheet on top, then make the next crepe. The recipe will make 8 crepes. You will only need four for this recipe, so save the others for another meal. You can fill with eggs and cheese for breakfast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the crepes. Put the crepe in a baking pan, spread 1/4 of the ricotta mixture down the middle. Spoon in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vegetables, then top with two cherry tomatoes cut in half. Roll or fold the crepe over the vegetables. (Mine looked more like tacos.) Slide the crepe to the end of the baking dish and repeat to make four crepes.

Photo: Top view of crepes.
A few of my tomatoes escaped during the plating, but they still tasted yummy. You can see these weren’t the neatest crepe yet they tasted wonderful. Cooking doesn’t have to be perfect.

Make the sauce. In a skillet or pan, melt the butter. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook until it begins to form a paste. Add cream and water along with seasoning and stir until the liquid sauce begins to thicken. Add grated cheese and stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spoon 1/4 of the sauce over each crepe. Bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce looks slightly browned.

Serve with a salad or riced cauliflower.

Makes 4 crepes. A pair of crepes make a substantial dinner serving, or you can use just one as a side dish.

Coconut Flour Crepe Recipe

5 tablespoons Coconut Flour
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Pulse a couple of times before using.

Cook as directed above. Take extra care in turning the crepes as they will be delicate.

Nutrition for Broccoli Cauliflower Crepe

Nutrition for Crepes with low carb flour and with coconut flour

Nutrition Information for filling
Nutrition information for the filling and sauce only.

Can you make a good low carb yeast bread?

Image: Honey Wheat Bread

Nothing tastes as wonderful as homemade yeast bread directly out of the oven. It’s one of the things that isn’t found easily on a low carb lifestyle. So, I was excited to find a few recipes to make a loaf. While it requires some ingredients that aren’t available at your local grocery store and probably not even at a health food store, it’s worth the effort to order the special baking options to make a wonderful low carb yeast bread.

This recipe is actually a combination of two low carb ones I found – one for Carb Counters Low Carb Honey Wheat Bran Bread and one for  Keto bread. I played around with the ingredients to get the best -tasting balance and made a few rolls until I arrived at a bread I really like. Then I changed it a little to get a low-sodium version so my friend could have bread that works with her restrictions.

I’m including both recipes to make a loaf and halved it to make four sandwich rolls. I used vital wheat gluten, Carb Counters All Purpose Low Carb Flour, flax meal, and oat fiber to make the bread loaf, but I made the rolls without the all purpose flour. For the low sodium, I didn’t use any of the Carb Counters flour, but more of the wheat gluten and other flour.

If you are not eating gluten, you could substitute LC Foods Gluten-free Baking Flour or soy flour for the Vital Wheat Gluten,  but the net carbs will go up about two per slice on the latter.  I have not tried this with either almond flour or coconut flour, but I don’t think they will hold together sufficiently to work. Also, the dough might not rise as much with the substitutions.

Most all of the ingredients are available through Amazon, although better deals might be found at other online sources, such as Netrition.com, LC Foods, and other places that sell health food products.

Honey Wheat Bread and Rolls

Bread Ingredients

2 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons Sugar-Free Honey
2 Eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons melted Butter
1/4 cup Oat Flour
1/4 cup Wheat Bran
3/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
1 cup DCC All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Flax Meal
1/2 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute

Prepare a small bread loaf pan by putting parchment paper on the bottom, then spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast, and honey and stir. Let sit about five minutes for the yeast to bloom. If it doesn’t look frothy, then your yeast is dead. Get more yeast and start over.

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk together. If you want to add garlic powder, or other seasoning to the bread, add it with the dry ingredients. If you want a sweet bread, add more sugar substitute and cinnamon.

Add the yeast mixture, eggs, and oil to the flour and stir to mix it in. If the dough is too dry to absorb all the flour, add a little more warm water. Once you mix in all the flour, knead the dough for two to three minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the bread pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed on one side with baking spray and put the spray side facing the dough. Put in a warm place to rise. Let rise from 40 minutes to an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Bake bread for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and the bread is firm when you press on the middle. Let cool a few minutes before removing from the pan.

Makes 10 slices.

For the Sandwich Rolls:

1/4 cup Carb Counters™ All Purpose Low Carb Flour
1 cup Gluten Flour
2 tablespoons Flax Meal
1/4 cup Oat Fiber
1 tablespoon Xanthum Gum
1 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons Sugar-Free Honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning (optional)

Follow the instructions above for the bread, except omit the eggs.

Prepare four wells of a muffin-top pan by covering each round with parchment paper, then spray the bottom and edges. Or you can also use pot pie tins to make the rolls or free shape them on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet.

Mix the bread and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Separate the dough into four equal-sized pieces. Shape the first piece into a round for the roll and put in the middle of one of the pan wells or on the baking sheet. Repeat with the other four pieces. Set in a warm place to rise, cover the dough with plastic film that has been sprayed with baking spray.

Let dough rise about one hour until doubled. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F.) Bake rolls for 12 to 15 minutes until they are browned and firm in the middle. Let cool about five minutes, then remove the rolls from the pan.

Picture: Wheat bun for sandwich

If you want to make hot dog buns, then shape the rolls into 1-1/2 inch wide logs about 5 inches long. Let rise as above, then bake.

Makes 4 rolls or buns.

Nutrition Info: Honey Wheat Bread & Buns

Photo: Low-sodium yeast buns

Low-Sodium Honey Wheat Bread

This is the same basic bread recipe without the salt and the eggs. Add more water to make up for the egg.

2 teaspoons Sugar-Free Honey
2 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup Oat Flour
1/4 cup Wheat Bran
1 1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
1/4 cup Flax Meal
1/2 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons melted Butter
1 Egg

Prepare a small bread loaf pan by putting parchment paper on the bottom, then spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast, and honey and stir. Let sit about five minutes for the yeast to bloom. If it doesn’t look frothy, then your yeast is dead. Get more yeast and start over.

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk together. If you want to add garlic powder, or other seasoning to the bread, add it with the dry ingredients. If you want a sweet bread, add more sugar substitute and cinnamon.

Add the yeast mixture, egg, and oil to the flour and stir to mix it in. If the dough is too dry to absorb all the flour, add a little more warm water. Once you mix in all the flour, knead the dough for two to three minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the bread pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed on one side with baking spray and put the spray side facing the dough. Put in a warm place to rise. Let rise from 40 minutes to an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Bake bread for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and the bread is firm when you press on the middle. Let cool a few minutes before removing from the pan.

Makes 10 slices.

Low Sodium Wheat Rolls

3/4 cup Warm Water
1 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon Sugar-Free Honey
3/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
2 tablespoons Ground Flax Meal
1/4 cup Oat Fiber
2 teaspoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
2 teaspoons sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning (optional)

Prepare four wells of a muffin-top pan by covering each round with parchment paper, then spray the bottom and edges. Or you can also use pot pie tins to make the rolls or free shape them on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet.

Mix the bread and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Separate the dough into four equal-sized pieces. Shape the first piece into a round for the roll and put in the middle of one of the pan wells or on the baking sheet. Repeat with the other four pieces. Set in a warm place to rise, cover the dough with plastic film that has been sprayed with baking spray.

Let dough rise about one hour until doubled. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F.) Bake rolls for 12 to 15 minutes until they are browned and firm in the middle. Let cool about five minutes, then remove the rolls from the pan.

If you want to make hot dog buns, then shape the rolls into 1-1/2 inch logs about 5 inches long. Let rise as above, then bake.

Makes 4 rolls or buns.

Information: Low Sodium Bread and Rolls

If it’s Halloween, it must be Pumpkin Bread

Image: Pumpkin Loaf

I can’t believe I haven’t published a pumpkin bread recipe since pumpkin is one of my all-time-favorite flavors. This recipe is so delicious and really easy. The cream cheese adds flavor and texture to the loaf. I seldom specify a low carb flour, but in this case, I do recommend using Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Flour to make a wonderful bread loaf. It will still turn out well using other flour replacements, such as almond flour, soy flour, or coconut flour, but not textured as beautifully.

Note if you use coconut flour, halve the amount it is replacing (1 cup of flour = 1/2 cup of coconut flour) and add two eggs or two egg whites since the rise will come from the eggs. Of course, other flour choices might change the net carb count.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Butter
1 Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup LC Foods Sweet Brown or more sugar substitute
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown sugar blend
2 Eggs
1 cup canned Pumpkin
1 1/4 cup DCC All-Purpose Flour or other low-carb flour
1/2 cups Almond Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. I prefer using a layer of parchment paper on the bottom to prevent sticking, then spray with cooking spray over the bottom and up the sides.

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, sugar, brown sugar, and Sweet Brown (if you are using) in mixing bowl. Beat until creamed together. Beat in eggs, adding one at a time, then add the pumpkin.

In another bowl, mix the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk until mixed. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg and cream cheese mixture and stir together until the flour is mixed in and evenly moistened, but don’t over mix. Stir in the nuts. Spoon into the loaf pan and spread it evenly.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove and cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. If the sides are stuck, use a plastic knife or thin blade to go around the edges of the pan, then invert over a plate. Let cool on a rack.

Makes 12 slices.

Image: Nutrition Info for Pumpkin Loaf

Beer Bread with Stout

Image: Guinness Bread

Hey, folks, I missed posting this last week. Very busy few days for me and this week isn’t much better. But I wanted to share this recipe with you for Guinness Beer Bread. When I made this, I used CarbQuick for all the flour needed in it. You can use other low carb flour types or baking mixes. Almond flour and coconut flour may not hold together as well, but will probably require another egg to bind it.

This bread has a biscuit quality to it and is heavier which makes it great for soaking up sauces and gravies. Even though Guinness is a strong stout, the flavor is fairly mild in the bread. Beer acts as a rising agent when making bread, replacing yeast. Even at that, I would like to see a taller loaf that comes closer to one made with wheat flour.

I will be trying another version of beer bread in a few months as we get to soup season (aka late fall and winter), so look for that in October or November.

Low Carb Guinness Beer Bread

4 cups CarbQuick
2 tablespoons Gluten Flour (optional)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons  sugar substitute
12 ounces Guinness stout
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.)

Prepare a standard (9x5x3-inch) loaf pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper or greasing. I used a copper pan that has a lift plate in it and put parchment over the top to ensure easy removal.

In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar substitute, and salt. Stir together to mix before adding the Guinness and eggs. Use a wooden spoon to stir the liquid into the flour until it is just blended. The dough will be lumpy.

Pour the dough into the loaf pan and smooth it to make it even. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes until the top is golden brown and the top is firm.

Let cool a few minutes, then turn on a wire rack to cool. Serve while still warm. You can keep this in the ‘fridge for about a week.

Makes 16 to 18 slices.