About Low Carb Bread
What with all this talk about low carb bread, I thought I should post about my recent experiments with baking my own.
I included several bread-machine recipes in 500 Low-Carb Recipes. They all worked great for me, or I wouldn't have put them in the book. But of all the recipes I've ever published, they're the ones that have turned out to be most problematic. For every reader who has written me raving about the bread, another has written to say that they couldn't get it to rise for love nor money.
Trouble-shooting was tough. Bread-making is among the most complex forms of cooking. It was very hard to put my finger on what the problem might be.
But I've been working on bread recipes for The Glycemic Load Cookbook, and I think I've worked it out. So if you've tried my recipes in your own bread machine, and been disappointed in the results, here's what I hope will solve the problem -- I know I haven't had a single failure since I figured this out.
When you make these recipes in your bread machine, do not simply put the ingredients in your bread machine, turn it on, and walk away. Instead, turn on the machine (use the whole wheat cycle if your machine has one) and let it knead the dough for three or four minutes. Then open the lid and look at your dough ball.
How does it look? Is it sticking to the sides of the bread case, and “puddling” at the bottom? It’s too wet. Add more of the dry ingredients (vital wheat gluten, flour, bran, protein powder) 1 tablespoon at a time. Sprinkle a tablespoon of one of those dry ingredients over the dough ball, and let the machine knead it in before you decide you need more. If you do, add a little of the next dry ingredient – you’re keeping your proportions right. When the dough forms a cohesive ball, it’s right, and you can close the machine and walk away.
If you look at your dough ball and it’s breaking into a couple of lumps, instead of forming one ball, or if it’s leaving dry flour behind, your dough is too dry. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the dough ball, and let the machine knead it in. Repeat until you have a single cohesive ball that picks up all the flour. Then you can close the machine and walk away.
Don't forget to come back and remove the bread from the machine as soon as it's done, to prevent sogginess!
I hope this helps.
By the way, my current bread machine cost me $10 at a yard sale. I frequently see bread machines at the Goodwill, as well. The ingredients can be pricey, but you'll still probably come out ahead as compared to the price of ordering low carb bread by mail.