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As near to “Real Bread” as a low-carber can get!

Yummy loaf of low carb bread

A note about what I think of this bread recipe knowing what I know now…

I wrote this recipe back in 2002, when I was really missing bread, and didn’t think that gluten was the problematic substance that I now believe it to be.

So, whilst I haven’t needed to eat bread myself in at least 10 years, I leave this here for posterity. There are however a couple of caveats that have to be put on this recipe if you are thinking about making and consuming it for yourself.

  1. Modern wheat gluten contains a protein complex called gliadin, which is addictive in and of itself. This gives normal wheat bread a double whammy of carb and gliadin addiction. Which is now why I advise to avoid wheat above all other grains.
  2. The Oats are also a grain – so whilst they are one of the better grains in terms of glycemic profile, they are still a grain, rendering them non optimal and to be avoided as well.

If you are on a higher carb plan and still happy to make this loaf, Enjoy! Also, if you are making bread for your family, this loaf suits the profile of nutritionally dense and energy packed food for children and also people that are not that carb sensitive.

For the rest of us?  At some point I’ll get back in my kitchen and make up something new to replace it!

Hand make Recipe and Method


  • 1/2 cup (75g) Oat flour
  • 1/2 cup (Approx 50g, dependant on the nut used) Ground Hazelnuts (or Almonds or Pecans or Walnuts, or a mixture!)
  • 1/2 cup (55g) Ground Linseeds
  • 1 cup (130g) Gluten Powder*
  • 1/2 tsp sugar **
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 packet “Easy-bake” type dried yeast****
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 1/8 cups (270ml) “Blood Warm” water (30-35°C)


Preheat your Oven to its hottest! Generally GM9, 250°C or 475°F.
Mix all the dry ingredients together,so it is totally mixed. Sifting it with your fingers is good to get some air into it.

Note: If you want to store some ready-prepared mixes, blend all the dry ingredients bar the yeast together, then put the foil wrapped pack of yeast in the airtight bag with the mix. Store in a cool place, or freeze for long term storage.

Add in the oil, rubbing it in, so that it blends.

Then add the water in to the middle of the bowl. Gather then mix together from the sides in. It will be very sloppy at first, but will soon come together very nicely. I discovered more water is better than less, and allows the bread to rise more.

Knead for about 5 minutes. You will feel the Gluten first stiffen, and then relax as it is kneaded. This stretches it, and is another aid to it raising well.

Form to shape, and leave to rise for an hour on the top of the cooker, loosely covered by a damp tea towel either in the loaf tin, or just cottage style on a baking sheet. If you give it room to grow it will.***

Once risen, turn the oven to GM8, 230°C or 450°F, and bake for 15 Minutes. This is to kill off the yeast.

Open the door, turn the bread around so it doesn’t scorch on one side, shut the door and drop the temperature down to GM5, 190°C or 375°F for 20 minutes.

After this, check the bread is cooked by removing from the tin, and tapping the bottom, just like with a normal loaf. It should sound hollow… If not, bang it back in for another 5 minutes or so!

If it is done, cool on a rack for a minimum of 15 minutes before you scoff it! Resist that temptation to cut into it as soon as it comes out! You need to give it 15 mins to allow the steam to escape, which “sets” the bread.

Notes: In an experiment, I added a tablespoon of “Italian Herbs” and a teaspoon of garlic granules, and then baked it in a 7″ Spring-form pan. Sliced across the base, it made 2 great 7″ garlic pizza bases!

Also, if you half the above recipe and add “Italian herbs” to taste,  it makes an awesome proper leavened 12″ pizza base.

In that case, Flatten the dough out as much as you can into a 12″ pizza tray, let it rise, then re-flatten it out again to fill the tin to the rim. Let it rise again for about 15 mins before banging it in the oven, so it isn’t a totally flat bread base.

Bake it off for about 8 minutes minutes, then turning it down for about 7 minutes, then top it and bake it for about another 10 minutes, until the cheese bubbles…

Bread Machine Recipe and a few possible methods!

Most machines work on water first, then fats, then salt and sugar, then flour and finally yeast on top, so this is the order I am giving below. Adjust to your machine as necessary.


Add to your machine in the following order:

  • 450ml “Blood Warm” water (30-35°C)
  • 6 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar **
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Mix together in a bowl first to make the “flour”, and then add:
  • 1 cup (150g) Oat flour
  • 1 cup (Approx 100g, dependant on the nut used) Ground Hazelnuts (or Almonds or Pecans or Walnuts, or a mixture!)
  • 1 cup (110g) Ground Linseeds
  • 2 cups (260g) Gluten Powder*
  • 1 packet “Easy-bake” type dried yeast****
  • 3 tsp baking powder


I got given an “Anthony Worrell Thompson” Breville BM for my  Birthday in 2003, and after a couple of edible but weird attempts, I found that doubling my basic recipe was the best policy.
I use the 750g loaf, dark crust Turbo setting, which gives me the best results.
However, the bread tends to knead up leaving “strings” on the top, so if I am there, I pause the machine after the knead, take the mix out, and give it a gentle roll together, before the rise.
I have tried its “basic White” setting, but the bread came out more dense than with Turbo.

I think the general idea with machines is follow the machines instructions about what order to put things in…
N.B. Most people I have spoken to about this say that you need to set your machine to a cycle that kneads, rises once for about 45 minutes and then bakes, ie the “Turbo” program. If it is kneaded twice, in most machine (But not all, as illustrated below) the bread will go flat and brick-like, as it is not strong enough to take being knocked down once risen.

Another Possible Bread Machine Method:

Steve Flix wrote to the LCUK list (The Picture above is the actual loaf he is talking about here!)

“Empty whole yeast sachet into my Panasonic’s baking bin

Mix together all dried ingredients & add to baking bin

Add oil

Add water

Use basic/white (4hr) programme (I did mine overnight and set the timer, so don’t know if the standing time affected anything)

And awoke to beautiful baking smell – not kidding! Far better than the children’s normal white/wholemeal/rye mix that I do for their sandwiches”

Yet another Possible Bread Machine Method:

Phil Price sent me this:

“Hi just to let you know that I still prefer your bread to any other I have tried.
It works well in my bread maker, I have cut it down to half a packet of fast action yeast and 1 tsp of xanthium gum powder.

Rises every time! Baked on a three hour cycle that knocks the bread back 3 times.

(My bread maker is the Morphy Richards cool wall.)”


This recipe is based on “Gabi’s World Famous bread”, found here on LowCarbLuxury.com.

I played with it quite a bit, as it has soy flour and wheat bran in it ( I have some concerns about these ingredients ) and as is, for a bread it is really sweet ( I have to conclude that this is because “The American Palate”TM has been educated into being sugar crazed by their processed food industry.)

So I made some substitutions and (I think) made it  better. Below are both cup measures and by weight  but I do not give you a carb count. There are just too many variables in this recipe for me to accurately do that.

However, based on the below, it works out around 55-60g per hand-made loaf and 110-130g in the Bread Machine loaf. It really depends very much on your brand of Gluten, and which nut flour you use.

I fed this bread to a friend of mine (with nice slabs of butter and mature cheddar), not a low-carber (Although as an asthmatic, I am trying to convert him!), who thought it was fantastic, and immediately asked for the recipe! As I never did get around to writing it out for him… Paul, here it is! 😉

* See my page about Gluten to know where to get this ingredient!

** Don’t panic about the sugar. It is needed for the yeast to eat. There is none left in the final product. If you are worried about having a bag of sugar in the house, go to a restaurant that does the sugar in little packets and nick a few dozen to make bread with! 🙂

*** My hand made Cottage loaves are *always* bigger than the tin loaves!

**** “Easy-bake” type yeast. I get more questions than enough about what this is… Sold in all supermarkets, in the Home baking section, next to the flour usually, it is exactly what I say it is. FYI: There are 3 types of yeast commonly on sale.

  1. “Easy-bake Yeast”: This generally comes in small cardboard boxes, containing 8 little foil packets of yeast. Normally marked “Suitable for breadmakers”. This is the yeast I use exclusively, as it is really easy to use. Just tear open the pack, and dump the contents in the mix.
  2. “Dried Active Yeast”: Usually comes in a little tin with an airtight lid. Normally marked “Not suitable for breadmakers”.
  3. “Live Yeast” : You have to buy from a real bakery usually, it is normally wrapped in moist plastic, and sold in a solid brown block. It is essentially a “mushroom”, although it doesn’t look like one! You need treat it carefully, keep it in the fridge, and use it up quickly.

Both the latter types of yeast need to be pre-fermented with water and sugar in a 30°C oven before you use them, which makes them difficult to use.

Its all gone Horribly wrong!!!!:

OK, so all my promises of real bread have come to nothing! You are cursing me! You tried it out, and have ended up with something that looks like an alien sculpture, or you’ve got a dense inedible brick.

It does happen, after all, you are not using the same equipment, are possibly at a different altitude to me, and you don’t have exactly the same ingredients as I have. Bread making is a science, but bordering on art, and I got it wrong the first few tries!

I found in my initial LC hand-baking experiments, and as noted on other mailing lists and info sources, the primary reason for failure is the age and quality of the Gluten you are using. This can have a tremendous difference! In the main, my Gluten is sourced from BuyWholefoodsOnLine.co.uk, as noted in my Gluten page above.

Other reasons for failure are usually based on liquid content, environment/ingredient temperature and/or adding too many “Chunky bits” to the “flour”.

If you like to add Bran to a recipe, that ingredient in particular inhibits gluten’s raising. This is why Whole wheat loaves are denser than White ones. Therefore, another reason for my recipe not to contain it, although, I didn’t know about this at the time I formulated it!

However, help is hopefully at hand. Along with my Machine, I got given a book of Bread machine recipes (for High carbers naturally, my Mum is like that sometimes), and the best thing in this book from my point of view is that is has a double page spread on Trouble shooting your disasters! 🙂 This has helped me refine the above recipe for the Bread Machine I have.

Troubleshooting tips

  • Bread doesn’t rise enough – This is our most common problem 🙁
    • Your Yeast is not fresh – Check the Use by date on the box. Dead yeast is not going to raise your bread! To test yeast, put 2 tsp in 125ml of 40°C (105°F) water. If it doesn’t develop a thick head of foam in 10 minutes, throw the whole box out!
    • You are not using “Easy-Bake” Yeast – If you are making by hand, then you get around this by activating your yeast as above before hand, and include this water as part of the recipe water. If you are using the Bread machine, go buy the correct yeast, as detailed in **** above!
    • Not enough Yeast – add another 1/2 tsp, although, this recipe is possibly over-yeasted anyway, so you could try increasing the baking powder 1/2 tsp, and as Phil Price suggested, adding in a 1/2 tsp of Xantham Gum, to help trap the air.
    • You used hot liquid – Over 46°C (115°F) your yeast is a goner! Test your water temperature by putting you hand in it, it should feel slightly warm, neither hot or cold. This means that it is at blood temperature. If you are standing the mix in a bread machine overnight, this shouldn’t be the issue.
    • Not enough liquid – Increase by 1tbsp next time.
    • Too much sugar – Yeast needs at least 1tsp of sugar to feed it, so this is not normally our problem, as it takes about 4tbsp to stop yeast from working! This is normally a problem if you add some soft/candided fruits, not a usually addition for low-carbers. Remember however, if you are using this recipe for the basis of a sweet bread experiment, and adding a table-top sweetener, the Maltodextrin will also feed the yeast, and this may be the cause of your problem.
    • Not enough Gluten – add another tbsp next time.
    • Your tap water is too hard (alkaline) – not easy to check without pH paper, but if you know you live in a very hard water area, it is worth adding 1tsp of either Lemon juice or Vinegar to the mix. Add this directly to the water.
    • Too much salt – The Gluten needs salt to rise, but too much salt kills the yeast. A balancing act for sure! Decrease salt by 1/2 tsp. If you added salty extra’s, don’t next time!
    • You allowed the Salt and Yeast to come into contact with each other prior to mixing – As I said above, Salt kills yeast! Don’t allow the two to come into contact.
    • You opened the lid during the rising stage and let the warm air out – Don’t be so impatient next time! 😉
  • Bread rose, then collapsed in centre
    • Too much Liquid – Next time reduce liquid by 2 tbsp. Monitor Dough as it kneads and adjust liquid or “flour” for a firm, but sticky dough.
    • You forgot the salt, didn’t have enough salt, or used a salt substitute – The Gluten needs real salt to support the rise, which you have to balance with killing the yeast off. Salt Substitutes don’t work, it is the sodium that is required.
    • Too much sugar – Shouldn’t be a problem for us, as we are adding the minimum amount of Sugar we can get away with.
  • Bread has burned crust, but centre is fine
    • Too much Sugar – Again, You shouldn’t have a problem here. I find I have to use the dark setting on my machine to get my bread to acceptable brownness, due to lack of sugar!
    • Oven too hot for too long – only a problem when hand making, you just cannot forget this bread when it is in at GM8!
  • Bread not baked in centre
    • Too much liquid or not enough flour – Next time, reduce liquid by 1-2 tbsp or increase flour by 2-4 tbsp. Monitor Dough as it kneads and adjust liquid or “flour” for a firm, but sticky dough.
    • Machine is in a draft, or very cold environment – This can really make a difference, remember your bread machine is not “airtight” like an oven is. When I took my bread machine “home” over Xmas, I had to bake my bread for an extra hour to get it to cook fully in my Mum’s kitchen! It has a vent that lets in the cold, so the room is the same temperature as the outside world!
  • Bread has a gnarled top and/or a heavy, dense texture
    • Not enough Liquid, or too much flour – Add 1-2 tbsp liquid next time, or remove 2-4 tbsp of flour. Monitor Dough as it kneads and adjust liquid or “flour” for a firm, but sticky dough. NB: IF you tap the measuring cup several times, you will be cramming too much ingredient into the cup for the recipe.
    • Too much low-gluten flour – This is of course a common problem for us. Add another tbsp of gluten next time, and check that dough during the knead as above.
    • Too much “chunky stuff”, like Oatmeal, chopped Nuts, Whole Linseeds, Wheatgerm, Fruit etc included instead of flour – Simple, either increase your Flour ingredient, or reduce your Chunky stuff! Adding no more than 2tbsp of Chunks is a good idea.
  • Bread has a Mushroom top with air underneath, or tunnels/course holey texture –I have never seen this in an LC bread!
    • Too much Liquid – Reduce by 1-2 tbsp, Monitor dough as above
    • Too much Yeast – Reduce by 1/4 tsp.
  • Bread Rises too much -Never seen this one either!
    • Too much Yeast – Reduce by 1/2 tsp next time. Remember, LC breads usually have problems raising however. This is why this recipe also has baking powder in it.
    • Too much Liquid, especially if there are large air pockets – Reduce liquid by 1-2 tbsp next time, monitor dough as above.
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One comment

  1. Peter Baker says:

    Variation on the “As near “Real Bread” as a low-carber can get!” recipe. I have been following a strict low carb diet which has been having fantastic benefits to my health not least the reduction of my Type II diabetes pills. I love the bread recipe and have worked on various different changes in order to make it successfully in my Panasonic bread maker. I am now convinced I have made the perfect recipe. I use the Hand make recipe which is shown at the top of the page but in order to create a loaf that works in the bread maker I have multiplied ingredient amounts by 1.5time. So I use:
    – 112g of Oat Flour (I normally grind my own oats and allow a few to slip through unground).
    – 75g of Ground Almonds
    – 82.5 g of Ground Lindseeds (again I grind my own)
    – 195 g of Gluten
    – 3/4 of a tsp of sugar
    – 1 1/2 tsp of salt
    – I 1/2 tsp of baking yeast for bread making (About the same as an easy-bake packet
    – 2 tbsp of olive oil or a knob of butter ( I have found the original recipe is too oily with the amount of oil in the other ingredients.
    – 405ml of Blood Warm water.

    Please note I do not see any benefit of using baking powder. I place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them then add the oil and water and set the bread maker on one of the 5 hour programmes e.g 4. The bread comes out full of flavour and very light.

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