✓Low-carb ✓Paleo ✓Gluten-free ✓Grain-free ✓Ketogenic ✘Contains nuts
[Edit: added Ciabatta variation at end of article!]
This recipe makes perfect little substitutes for wholemeal rolls, yet is gluten-free, low-carb and ketogenic. They have the springy texture and open structure of normal gluten-containing bread and are robust enough to spread with butter, make sandwiches or toast under the grill. All-round brilliant and delicious.
While nutritious, ground almonds make up the bulk of the grain substitution, the binding quality comes from approximately 15% psyllium seed husk — a kind of dietary fibre obtained from the seeds of the herb Plantago ovata. Psyllium husk swells when wetted to form a mucilaginous paste which is soothing on the gut and much more gentle and healing than harsh roughage like wheat bran. It is an essential part of this recipe as it provides the elastic properties associated with gluten. Along with egg this helps trap bubbles produced by the baking powder, allowing the dough to rise in the oven.
The result: dinky rolls with all the versatility of wholemeal bread. Use for mini sandwiches or burger buns. One word of warning: their high-fibre content makes them quite filling: a boon if you are trying to lose weight.
Recipe (Makes 6 small rolls)
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 3 tbsp (90g) melted lard/ghee/butter
- 50ml boiling water
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp (60g) psyllium seed husk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 to 3 tsp seeds (poppy, sesame, sunflower, linseed etc)
Preheat oven to 180C/340F
Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl
In a second bowl mix the wet ingredients (excluding the boiling water) with a whisk
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly
Slowly pour in the boiling water and mix thoroughly.
Leave to stand for a few minutes for the psyllium to absorb the liquid and expand a bit.
the dough should be thick and sticky now. Separate it into balls and roll them to shape in your hands.
Place on a baking tray (on baking parchment if you have it)
Place in the oven at 180C/340F for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and place the rolls on a cooling rack
The rolls will keep for several days. Store them like you would ordinary bread. They can be cut and toasted. Great for bacon butties, mini-burgers, cheese and tomato, tuna-mayo. Serve as a side with soups or stews. Neat for lunch boxes.
|Per roll (⅙)
Ketogenic ratio 2:1
- You can easily double the quantities to make a larger batch.
- We used a tablespoon of Linwood’s milled seed mix in the dough which made the rolls darker. I am sure sesame or poppy seed would work well, in the mix or as a topping.
- Surprisingly, the garlic powder adds to the savoury flavour nicely, but it’s not essential and you can leave it out if you want.
- Our psyllium husk powder (purchased from Bulk Powders) was slightly gritty. You may wish to try another supplier. Available from Holland and Barrett apparently.
Psyllium seed husk is a source of soluble fibre and is used as a laxative, but with each roll containing only two to three grams you are unlikely to notice any effect. Still, not everyone tolerates fibre well, so it is worth taking note of any gut disturbances. If you suffer from a functional bowel disorder (Crohns, UC) you may be best discussing this recipe with your practitioner first.
We learned this recipe from friends of ours who got it from Mira over at My PCOS Kitchen – Guilt-free Low-Carb and Keto Recipes – go and see her photos and recipe tips and leave a comment for her for this great recipe!
Variation: Ciabatta rolls and flatbread
[Edit: added March 15th 2020]
I just made these rolls (with seeds) and flatbreads using a variation on the main recipe (above) by making the following adjustments:
- Use balsamic vinegar
- Double the amount of garlic granules
- Use olive oil for the fat
- Season with thyme and other mediterranean herbs
The result was great! More dense than normal ciabatta but definitely captured the flavour. I made a double batch. With half I made the 6 rolls, topping them off with seeds. With the other half I fashioned two flatbreads, pressing dimples in the top. I was concerned they might not bake right through so made them quite flat. The resulting ‘loaf’ was really nice.
We sliced it into fingers and had it with baked goat’s Camembert. Delicious!
EDIT (April 8th 2020)
I have just made a Hot Crossed Bun version of these buns, and want to add a couple of factors to take into account in that regard.
I added 40g glycine, as a sweetener, to the dry ingredients, and teaspoon of dried mixed spice, along with 40g currents and 25g peel (which was sweetened), so the resulting buns are not anywhere near as low in carbs as the savoury version above. Nevertheless they are far lower in carbs than any commercial version, and they taste lovely. HOWEVER – they look burnt! So, I suggest turn the oven down to 160C and check them after 20 mins, and 25 mins so that they don’t actually burn. Mine look burnt but they taste perfectly great! I have not yet found a way to make a workable cross on the top, so… let’s gloss over that detail, even though I have certainly made these for Good Friday.