Brie, Ham and Green Apple Panini – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Low Carb Panini BreadThis low carb panini bread recipe was not actually supposed to be my post today.  I have a series of other recipes I intended to post first, and this was slated for a few weeks hence.  But after receiving two reader messages last week asking for a low carb bread recipe, I knew I needed to bust a move.  The first came from my long-time reader Katharine, who like me found herself to be on the diabetes spectrum after a bout of gestational diabetes, and the second came from a new reader who found my blog listed as a resource in Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis.  Whoa, dude!  I didn’t know he even knew who I was!  That’s pretty huge.  And if you haven’t heard of the Wheat Belly book, I must ask…what rock have you been living under???

Low Carb Flat Bread

As I was saying, these reader messages both came within a few days of each other and it was pure serendipity.  When I saw Katharine’s comment on my blog, I laughed out loud because I quite literally had made an incredible low carb flat bread the night before that held up beautifully for panini.  I promised her that the recipe would be up within a few weeks.  Then I received Judi’s email two days later, as she and her husband just made the resolution to go wheat free for their health, and I decided that a recipe such as this was in high demand and needed to be put out there as soon as possible for the greater good.

Low Carb Sandwich Bread

When one starts a low carb diet, one generally believes that panini will forever be off limits, along with myriad other treats and bready foods.  Sure, you can have all the bacon and cheese in the world, but it’s still pretty disheartening to face a world without panini.  But you soon learn that this is a false impression, that there are so many wonderful foods available to you including bread, muffins, cakes and cookies.  It’s astonishing what you can do with a bag of almond flour, a stick of butter and a willingness to experiment.  I seem to have made it my life’s mission to find ways for people to enjoy their favourite foods in a healthy, low carb and gluten free  way.  I had no idea my experiments would take me so far, but I think it’s a pretty great life mission.

This particular panini recipe is my hands-down favourite, but you can use this bread with your favourite fillings.  Get creative, have fun with it.  My kids love it as plain old grilled cheese, and although it has no rye flavour, I think it would be pretty tasty as a reuben too!  That’s next on my list, I think.

Low Carb Panini

Low Carb Flatbread

Yield: 10 servings

A delicious low carb, gluten-free flat bread, perfect for making sandwiches and panini.

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups almond flour
  • 6 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup oil (grapeseed or olive)
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein, baking powder, garlic and salt. Whisk in eggs, oil and water until well combined. Dough should be quite sticky.
  3. Turn out onto a large piece of parchment paper and pat into a rough rectangle. Top with another piece of parchment.
  4. Roll into a large, rough rectngle about ½ inch to ¾ inch thick. Place on a large baking sheet and remove top layer of parchment.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting.
  7. Using a bread knife, cut into 10 sections. Cut each section carefully through the bready center into two halves. Fill with your favourite sandwich fillings.

Notes

Serves 10. Each serving has 13 g of carbs and 6.9 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 6.1 g.

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Brie, Ham and Green Apple Panini

Yield: 10 sandwiches

Brie, Ham and Green Apple Panini

A low carb panini, stuffed with ham, brie and green apple.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Low Carb Flatbread
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ lb black forest ham
  • 6 oz brie, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green apple, very thinly sliced
  • Oil or melted butter for brushing outside of sandwich

Instructions

  1. Preheat panini press.
  2. Cut bread into 10 sections, then cut through the bready center of each section to get two flat, thin slices.
  3. In a small bowl, mix mustard and mayonnaise.
  4. Take two matching sections of bread and spread one side with mustard/mayo combo. Layer with a few slices of cheese, meat and green apple. Repeat with remaining sections of bread.
  5. Brush outside of each sandwich with oil or melted butter.
  6. Place on panini press and grill until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Notes

Serves 10. Each serving has 15.5 g of carbs and 7.1 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 8.4 g.

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Comments

  1. This is my idea of the perfect spring lunch!

  2. OH!!! an apple on a panini? nOM NOM NOM!!

  3. This looks wonderful! Carolyn is there a reason why the bread has to be shaped into a triangle? Am I missing something can I do a rectangle and cut into the slices?

    • I can’t believe I did that. I meant rectangle the whole time. I just transposed the words in my mind, and didn’t even catch it when I re-read everything. Apologies and it’s corrected now

      • Ha! That’s funny I do that all the time thank you for the update! I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Honeyville Almond flour so will be making this on the weekend :)

  4. Melanie E. says:

    I had the same question about the triangle. Looks like you ended up with rectangular pieces of bread, right? Or are some triangles?

  5. Carolyn – congrats on the mention in the Wheat Belly! This low carb bread looks absolutely fantastic – now you just to package it up and sell it so I can buy it ;).

  6. What can I use instead of unflavored whey protein, I can not find it anywhere .. I only have vanilla but it doesn’t taste good on everything..

    • Definitely don’t use the vanilla in this…yuck! The best place to get it is online. I get mine from Amazon and I use Jarrow brand. If you can’t get it, this might end up okay but slightly flatter. Or you could try egg white powder (also called meringue powder). It’s usually sold in the baking section of most grocery stores.

      • I was out of unflavored and only had vanilla whey protein (Optimum Nutrition “Vanilla Ice Cream”) on hand when I made this once and it was fine! We didn’t notice a difference.

        • Carolyn says:

          Good to know! The vanilla whey my husband uses has a strong vanilla flavour and it would probably be too much in the bread, but maybe some aren’t as bad as that one!

  7. Cindy Sampey says:

    This is so funny/coincidental that I saw this on FB today. I was going to search the web for a good lowcarb bread that would hold up as a Pannini – was scrolling on FB and there was your post. Thank you so much for posting this today. I will be making it as soon as I get more eggs.

  8. This looks so good. Can coconut oil can be used instead?

    • Yes, I am sure coconut oil can be used. It may impart that slight coconut flavour and it may make the final product a little more tender and therefore fragile so treat it gently!

  9. Looks lovely! Caaan’t wait to try this one! I’m dyin’ for a bacon and apple panini! Used to enjoy those quite often haha…

  10. Do you know how long these flatbreads will keep stored? I’m thinking of making the bread on the weekends and using them throughout the week. fantastic blog btw! Thanks!

  11. So awesome, Carolyn! And I love that you took a reader’s request to heart! xoxo!

  12. Katharine says:

    I feel so famous getting a mention in your blog. :) But not as famous as YOU who was mentioned in WHEAT BELLY!!! Congratulations. Going to dust off my panini maker this weekend and give this a whirl. You rock!

  13. Low carb flatbread… my word, you are the bestest!!

  14. Whoa wait… You made panini bread?!? That’s frickin’ awesome. Also (even cooler) you’re listed as a resource on wheat belly? Props, mad props.

  15. What a great combo! I know E would just love it if I made this sandwich for him!

  16. I have rice protein powder. What do you think?

    • I think that would work. I’ve never used it, but I guess I’d say do it in the same amount as the whey protein.

  17. When I received my email subscription for this post I thought it sounded delicious but admittedly my curiosity was about the bread! I’m very intrigued to make some and can imagine having worked with the flours that it has a lovely flavor. Brilliant my friend!

  18. I love apple slices in a grilled cheese, but I haven’t tried doing it with brie yet. Now I need to!

  19. As per usual, even though I have no issue with carbs (other than how it transforms to sugar and sticks to my butt), I’m craving this panini. Oh my gosh, it looks so delicious, Carolyn.

  20. HI! Sounds so good..just wondering…could egg white be substituted for the whole eggs? My husband would enjoy this but we’re watching his cholesterol and he limits his eggs. Thanks so much! It sure looks good…I can’t wait to try it.

    • Yes, but I would put at least one extra egg white, possibly two, to get the right moisture content and rising.

  21. I have a really hard time resisting paninis. They are just so delicious. I love your version here, sounds fantastic!

  22. I can’t wait to make this bread, and, as luck would have it, I have all the ingredients to make it!!! I am confused. You mention after baking you cut into 12 sections and then it says there are 10 servings?? Did I miss something?? Please keep up the wonderful work.

    • Oops. I had originally written up the recipe for 12 servings but decided that was too small. I am off to change the instructions now! Sorry.

  23. I am in awe of your genius! Now if only I had a panini maker and wasn’t doing the Whole 30 this month, I’d be in the kitchen making this right now!!!

  24. Yum!!

  25. Hi Carolyn, thank you for the yummy flat bread recipe. Just wanted a guide of how big the rectangle should be after it’s rolled out?
    Best,
    London :)

    • Unfortunately, I didn’t think to measure it when I rolled it out (both times…I’ve made it twice). But it should be fairly large and take up the majority of the cookie sheet. But you don’t want to roll it too thin, make sure it’s still at least 1/2 inch, more like 3/4 inch thick. Does that help?

  26. This looks heavenly!!

  27. Have been enjoying reading your blog for awhile now. Thought I’d leave you a note to let you know how much I appreciate your blog. I’m wheat-free in my eating habits, though I enjoy reading other recipes, too. People ask me all the time, “How do you eat wheat-free?” I just tell them it’s pretty simple, and pretty tasty — and that I have no intention of changing, because I no longer have arthritis pain, and I no longer need to take meds for high cholesterol, because I no long HAVE a problem with cholesterol! Anyway, just letting you know your site has been helpful to me!

  28. I have been wanting to check out that book. This panini looks sooooo good!!

  29. I made a tuna melt panini on this bread and it was OUTSTANDING. Thank you! I can’t wait to have more today.
    I may have to try freezing the bread, since I’m the only one in the household eating it.
    I have admired many recipes on this website, so I have not idea what caused this to be the first recipe I would try. I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  30. Carolyn, I too found your site in the Wheat Belly cookbook. All of this stuff looks fantastic, your site is amazing, pictures are gorgeous. As a Chef, and a HUGE Foodie, I really appreciate what you have done here. It is a bit more expensive to make this low carb version of stuff, and I am curious, how do you store the bread when its done to keep it longer? What is the best way? And how long will it hold up? Keep up the good work! I’m not impressed by food blogs typically, but yours is SUPER informative, funny, and makes my mouth water looking at all these pictures.

    • Honestly, Brian, I haven’t ever kept the bread longer because we use it all up to make panini the first day. The leftover panini hang out in our fridge and they get a bit soggy, but then they crisp up again nicely when reheated in the toaster oven. But I think if I were to keep the bread for longer, I would refrigerate after the first two days, to make sure it didn’t go moldy. My experience with low carb, gluten-free things is that they get a bit denser with chilling and that they almost hold together better afterwards.

      Thanks so much for your compliments, I truly appreciate that from a real chef! Love hearing that my recipes live up to standard!

  31. I made this bread today, let it cool completely and when I started cutting it, it was crumbly. I was able to cut it into squares and the ones on the end seemed to hold together better than the squares in the middle. Has anyone noticed this problem or do you know what I did wrong? The only thing I changed was I added about 2 Tablespoons of Vermont cheese powder. Should I have added more oil/eggs/water?

    • I don’t think you did anything wrong. Like any gluten free bread, it is fragile and you have to cut very gently. I’ve made it three times and I do always managed to get it cut properly, but with care. You could add some xanthan gum next time but I don’t know how much it would help. By the way, the vermont cheese powder sounds like a great addition!

  32. Hi! This looks absolutely amazing, as usual! I want so badly to try out some of your recipes, but I’m not able to eat dairy… could you give me some possible suggestions for substitutions for the whey protein powder? Thank you so much!

  33. Great recipe! I’m dairy intolerant, so does anyone know what a good substitute for the whey protein powder would be? :/

    • Any kind of protein powder would do…hemp, soy, even egg protein. I can’t be sure it will be exactly the same, but I think it will be close.

  34. My family absolutely adores your brie “et” ….recipes…My husband is French…and anything with caramelized onions or ham gets their approval everytime…(especially when I find a good brie de Meaux when “in season”…

    I wanted to ask if you have updated your “Reuben Calzone”?…Do you think I could possibly use THIS flatbread recipe as a base for a rye “tasting” gf flatbread…adding in caraway seeds?

    My husband misses the one USA sandwich he always orders when we visit my family…the Reuben…but my gluten intolerance keeps me from making it…as well as finding decent corned beef or pastrami!!!….

    I love you food philosophy, exquisite culinary curiousity and photo flair…Excellent work and thank you for sharing it so generously.

  35. Does the coconut flour give it any flavor of coconut? This looks yummy…I just really do not like the taste of coconut.

  36. Carolyn-I made this last night and I must say it is very tasty! I did find that I need to roll the dough thinner as I had it to thick to make a sandwich, but wonderful for toast! So glad I found your site!

  37. I know this is an old post, but just got around to trying it today. I had a lot of trouble rolling out the dough even between parchment. It stuck to the parchment the more I worked it. I know it’s supposed to be sticky but maybe mine was too sticky. Thoughts or recommendations? I really enjoy your blog…it’s been a lifesaver for maintaining a low carb lifestyle after I went gluten-free last September. Thank you!

    • Definitely too sticky. I wonder if it was the brand of coconut flour perhaps being a little different. Maybe add another tbsp or two of coconut flour next time?

  38. Hi,
    I just found this post and this looks delicious and based on the recipes and comments I think I need to check in here more often.

    Do you know if it is possible to freeze the bread?

  39. This looks amazing…just wondering a good substitution for the almond flour as my kids cannot bring any nuts to school?
    Thanks

    • The original called for 1/2 cup of regular flour. You could use that or you could use gluten-free all purpose flour. It won’t be low carb that way, though. Not sure if that’s what you are looking for?

  40. Made this tonight and I have to say thank you, because this is the first low carb bread recipe that my husband liked! I also really liked it. I used the True Whey protein powder, which has a touch of vanilla and stevia, but it came out as just a hint of sweetness, which real bread tends to have anyway. We shared a portion for a quick ham and Swiss, but I looking forward to grilled cheese and the recipe you featured above. Thank you, thank you!

  41. Can you freeze or keep them in fridge? Not enough people in my house to use 10 servings, but I’d love to be able to have extras!

  42. I want to make this today but I don’t have whey protein powder or powder egg whites. If I use liquid egg whites as a substitute ( in addition to the other eggs in recipe) do you think it will come out too liquidy?

    Thanks!

    • Yes, it will be too liquidy and it won’t rise properly. So you really need some sort of protein powder.

  43. so delish when raspberry jalapeno jam is added to the Panini!!!!

  44. Made this bread and did different filling. Yum! Thank you!

  45. Great Panini treat for those who are taking care of their diet, but still want to relish yummy and nutritious meal. Gotta heat up the panini press for this low-carb recipe.

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