Monday, August 29, 2011

Low-Carb Bread of Perpetual Crispiness

Crisp bread is a great tasting- and healthy alternative to normal bread. It has some additional advantages, like increased expiration date and being easy to store. And with the low-carb diet that's so popular these days, I can confirm that the unassuming but dangerous carbohydrates are barely present in this recipe.

Read on for recipe, how to, several pictures and randomness on the low-carb lifestyle, as well as a bold statement...

I make the best bread in the world. 

This is not something I claim, it's not an opinion of any kind. It's just the way it is.

It's important to be aware of ones strengths and weaknesses. Sadly, in my country, you're supposed to be forcefully reminded of your weaknesses, while you're not allowed to make notes of your strengths, let alone be proud of them. But this is my blog, and I can say what ever I want, specially when it's the truth.
It's hard to emulate taste through words, but I'll try when the day comes for me to write about my bread recipes. For now, what I can say is this:

On a bad day, my breads are delicious. 

On a good day, nations would wage century-long wars to be able to taste my bread. 

On a great day, I make bread that would end those same wars, and unite the world in eternal happiness. 

But here's the ting. For the last few months, I'll admit I have joined this low-carb craze. It's all the rage in the wealthiest parts of the western world. And it's the natural next step in the evolution of our eating habits.
You see, we're instinctively drawn to fat food, and we're given a hunger for sweet tastes by the very nature that produces it. It goes back to paleolithic age, where people constantly were searching and wanting high fat and protein rich food, all the while as they were consuming just the bare minimum of carbohydrates. The search for food was tedious and often down right hard work, which obviously burned a lot of energy. All this made being thin the normal, and being fat the goal.

To put it simple: The stone age man ate less than us.

Now, since we have an endless supply of food, it's easy to consume the sweetest, simplest and most accessible. We're taught to fill up with bread, rice, potatoes, pasta. And this is all good.
But when you in addition to this 1. eat more than you really need; 2. consume insane amount of sugar; and 3. never get out of your chair, it's easy to see why we now need a massive amount of different diets.

We have the economy to eat as much as we want, and since we still have the dietary preferences of a stone age man, we end up eating way too much. This is why we are fat.

In a future blog entry, I'll simplify this and debunk any and all myths surrounding the low-carb lifestyle. It can really be summed up in two sentences. You see, it's working. It's easy. It is expensive, but definitely worth it in the long run. And for my part, it has forced me to be more creative when making food.
And this is where the crisp bread comes in.

For years, I've been used to eating anywhere from 5 to 10 slices of bread every day. And while I've never been what I consider fat, I'll admit I was stepping on the scale a lot heavier than I should.
Bread is more than just a place for my cheese, eggs, bacon and mayo. But it had to go. Cutting out sugar, candy and soda was easy. Cutting out my home-made bread was hard.

This crisp bread is almost filling the gap.

It's all about making seeds stick together without using wheat flour. And the recipe is extremely simple:
900 ml water
300 g seeds
100 g bran
3 table spoons of psyllium husk.
1/2 tea spoon of salt

Use seeds that contain more fat and proteins than carbohydrates. For instance, try to avoid wheat, as it contains 25% more carbs than sesame and linseeds. Oat seeds even more. While sunflower seeds barely has carbs at all. Use nuts and almonds too if you want, as they have zero carbohydrates.
The flax/linseeds are great as they contain a naturally sticky oil that helps bind the crisp bread together. This is also the effect of the psysllium husk.
Bran is the outer shell of grain, and contains tons of good stuff. For this recipe, I also tried a few spoons of sugar bran. Not sure I'll continue to use it, but it's always fun to experiment.

Mix the dry stuff and the water. Add a spoon of salt. Let it rest for half an hour. This will cause the oil in the linseeds and the psyllium husk to give the entire thing a higher viscosity.

Smear it out on a flat pan as thin as possible. The recipe will give you enough for two pans. It should bake at 150 degrees (C) for around 50 minutes with hot air. If you don't have hot air function on your oven, you need to switch the pans once or twice.

After something like 20 minutes, take the pans out and cut into preferred size. Put back into oven. If you wait until they are done, they are likely to crack instead of being easily separated.

Now the crisp bread is finished.  Separate and let it rest. If the pieces aren't crisp enough for you, put back into oven with the door slightly open at 50-100 degrees (C).
Each slice will contain anywhere between .5 and 2g carbohydrates, depending on the size and what seeds you use. If you're following the low-carb lifestyle with between 30-50g carbs every day, this crisp bread works great for breakfast and lunch. Fill them up with preferred cheese, meat, vegetables, eggs and bacon.


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