If you have been making keto bread particularly using psyllium husk powder, you may have experienced the common failures such as sunken top, hollow inside, wet and dense bottom. I realized that the problem is with using too much psyllium husk in keto bread recipes. Yes, psyllium husk powder does make the bread look more “wheat like” but it is very challenging if too much is used for loaves.
Psyllium husk is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago plant’s seeds and is commonly used in low carb baking and cooking as it acts exactly the way gluten does, as glue. Hence, it is a binding agent to prevent the bread from becoming too crumbly and resembling a cake. The hot water helps the psyllium activate its “glue” properties. This makes the dough bulks up and when too much psyllium is used, it tends to be heavy, wet and dense at the bottom. At the same time, when too much baking powder is used, the bread rises rapidly but tends to sink and become hollow inside at the top half, wet and dense at the bottom. Therefore, I experimented extensively with different amounts of psyllium husk powder and adjusted the water accordingly and finally found the right formula which led to a perfect loaf – no sinking, no hollow top, wet and dense bottom as you can see in this video. I have tried this new formula for quite a number of times just to test the consistency and they all turned out perfectly. They are lighter and less dense than those that uses a lot of psyllium husk powder. Of course, keto breads will not look and taste exactly like regular bread but they are a really healthy substitute which does not spike your blood sugar, cause weight gain, stomach discomfort and other allergies.
Psyllium husks are commonly used and easily available. However, it needs to be grounded into a finer texture before using. Of course, it would not be super fine so the guide is that after grinding, it should be half of the original volume. This is important as it will absorb the water more effectively. Coffee bean or multi grinder are the most effective for grinding psyllium husks. I normally grind them in bulk and store them in the fridge for convenience. If you are using pre grounded psyllium husk powder which are not so easily available, you need to reduce the amount as they are super fine and more concentrated. Otherwise, the bread will be much denser.
Some psyllium husks tends to turn purple and some works a bit differently in terms of density. Hence, it’s best to choose a good quality one by a reputable brand. I understand that NOW and Jay Robb are good ones if you’re in the US.
Now the reason why we use egg whites only is to prevent the eggy taste. If you do not mind the eggy taste, then go ahead and use whole eggs. The purpose of apple cider vinegar is to help activate the baking soda with its acidity so that the bread will rise better and texture softer. It also gives a nice yeasty flavor. As some people do not like the taste of baking soda, hence it is optional.
As keto bread is quite complicated, it’s important to weigh the ingredients for accuracy as not all cups and spoons have the same measurements.
Here’s the updated recipe for this video. The bread can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks and frozen for months. It’s best to wrap them in parchment paper before refrigerating as this will prevent moisture from developing.
Total servings = 19
Net Carb = 2.5 g
Calories = 99
Total Fat = 7.4 g
Protein = 4.3 g
Almond flour – 2 1/2 cups / 300 gm
Psyllium husk powder (finely grounded) – 5 tbsp / 45 gm
Baking powder – 4 tsp / 18 gm (If using double acting baking powder, the amount needs to be reduced by half)
Baking soda – 2 tsp / 9 gm (optional)
Apple cider vinegar – 4 tbsp / 57 gm
Egg whites – 6 large
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Boiling water – 3/4 cup / 170 gm
1. Use a spatula and mix all dry ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
2. Then pour in the apple cider vinegar, egg whites and mix until well combined.
3. Pour the hot water in and mix evenly until a dough is formed. Shape the dough into a loaf with round top and do not press the top otherwise the bread will be dense and without holes in the crumbs.
4. Place the dough in an 8×4″pan with parchment paper.
5. Sprinkle with your favorite seeds and press them down gently to ensure they stick to the dough.
6. Bake in oven at the lowest rack at 350F or 175C for about 60 to 80 minutes until the top is very hard and crusty. Or it is done when the internal temperature is about 205 to 210F or 96 to 98C.
7. As an option, rest the bread in the oven with heat turned off for about 30 to 40 mins to ensure the bread is properly cooked and crumbs are drier.
8. Cool on a rack completely then slice thinly and store properly.