Monday, September 24, 2012

[Virtually] Carb Free Bread

It's getting to be that time of year.

Come October, the food barrage starts. There are three birthdays within nine days in my family at the end of October and beginning of November, sandwiched around Halloween and all the candy leftovers. After all the cake and candy, you have no time to recover before Thanksgiving and Christmas give everybody who watches what they eat all kinds of temptation. Not to mention that it also starts the busier season at work, meaning meals get kind of crazy as well.

I was browsing Kirbie's Cravings yet again the other day in search of nothing in particular, and came across her Carb Free Cloud bread. It intrigued me. Carbs are not my enemy, but wheat is a big source of fructans, which is a chain of fructose that my diet limits. So, I figured, why not? It looked simple enough.

I clicked through and looked at the original recipe, along with the reviews. I liked the idea of just spreading it out on a cookie sheet and cutting it later, so that's what I did.

Another change I made to the recipe (yeah, I know, I'm good at doing that) was the addition of a half teaspoon of salt. This was also based on something in the reviews, although I knew it wouldn't mask the eggy taste.

However, there was one thing that the recipe wasn't clear on. The Kirbie's Cravings version uses a gram of sugar (roughly a quarter teaspoon), while the original calls for a “1 gram packet of artificial sweetener.” I buy both sugar and artificial sweetener in bulk bags, and one gram of artificial sweetener works out to about two teaspoons of Splenda, which supposedly is equivalent in sweetness by volume, but not weight. I'm not sure which sweetener the original creator used, and I have all this Splenda I'm trying to use up. Since I have broken every food scale I've ever owned, I went ahead and used two teaspoons of Splenda.

My version of the recipe:

[Virtually] Carb Free Bread
Adapted From Kirbie's Cravings, who adapted it from Food.com
Serves 4-12, depending on how you like your sandwiches
3 eggs, separated
3 tblsp cream cheese (about 2oz)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Separate the eggs into mixing bowls. Use a large bowl for whites.
3. Mix together the egg yolks, cream cheese, Splenda and salt until smooth.
4. Add 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks.(You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
5. Very carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites by stirring clockwise with a spatula until mixed and no egg white streaks remain.
6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Pour mixture onto parchment and very gently spread with a spatula.
8. Bake on the middle rack about 25 minutes or until a golden brown.
9. Carefully remove by the parchment paper and cool on a rack or cutting board
10. Once completely cool, slice into bread-sized slices (about 8) and store in a tightly sealed storage bag or container over night.

I was a very bad food blogger and didn't take any pictures of this while it was still whole. I tasted a corner of it before I sliced it up and packed it away – it pretty much tasted like scrambled eggs. Still, I packed it up and put it in the fridge.

I used it for my lunchbox chicken salad sandwich for lunch. Perhaps (and you might be able to discern this from the photo) chicken salad wasn't the best choice, as it fell apart a little. The whole breast wouldn't fit in my reusable container, though. Anyway, I forked half of the chicken salad onto each slice and ate it open face.

As far as the taste goes, the chicken salad overpowered the egg taste. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it tasted. I haven't tried it yet with peanut butter and jelly, but I think it would still work. As an added plus, it was done quickly. And, at about 50 calories for an eighth of the recipe (and about half a gram of carbs), it actually works out to be slightly less than the sliced bread I normally buy. I'm very tempted to try this with Neufch√Ętel or part-skim ricotta cheese to lower the calorie count even more.

Even using full fat cream cheese, it's still one to keep in the arsenal. Even if I can't stop playing with it.

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