Delightfully chewy low carb monkey bread smothered in rich caramel sauce and sprinkled with bacon. A real treat for kids and adults alike!
It’s funny how things that once seemed so strange and foreign can quickly become so familiar and normal. It doesn’t take long for the new norm to take hold and you begin to wonder how they could possibly have seemed so odd before. This is how I feel about low carb food and ingredients, and about the low carb lifestyle in general. All these alternative flours and meals and sweeteners were utterly foreign and quite bewildering at first. And some of their names didn’t help the cause – erythritol and xanthan gum sound much scarier than they really are. And when you first start to cook and bake with them, you feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland, where nothing behaves as you’d expect. But you keep plugging away, trying this and that, researching your options, and it begins to come together. After a few successes with edible results, you begin to feel you’ve got the hang of it. And after a little while longer, you suddenly realize that this is the new normal and it’s a good place to be. And if you’re like me, you also realize you have no idea how to cook and bake the old way any more. If someone handed me some sugar and wheat flour and told me to bake some muffins, I’d be utterly lost!
But some low carb ingredients are still rather foreign to me, and although I’ve heard of them for a while, I am only just getting around to experimenting with them. I get in my own zone and I get used to using my own methods and my own ingredients. But I never want to stop learning and developing and teaching myself the art of low carb cooking. So I decided it was high time I played around with psyllium husk powder. The lovely Maria Emmerich, of Maria, Mind, Body, Health, is a deft hand at psyllium husk and uses it frequently. So does Sooze of Fluffy Chix Cook. And my first attempt with it was a flatbread recipe from Judy Baker of Carb Wars that turned out quite well. But I confess, I feel out of my element and not quite ready to branch out on my own. So for now, I am sticking with tried and true recipes from other people, until I come to know this strange beast a little better.
But you know me. I love to adapt and play and do things my own way. When I saw Maria’s cream cheese filled low carb Monkey Bread the other day, my little brain began churning. I really wanted to try it for my kids, who love conventional monkey bread (really, who doesn’t???). So I figured I could take the same dough and see if I could make my own monkey bread. I didn’t want to fill it with cream cheese, I just wanted to do the pull-apart style bread. And I love my own caramel sauce so much, I wanted to make that for the topping. And then bacon. Come on, now, bacon needs no explanation!
The results were really delicious, but they didn’t exactly follow what I had in mind. Pysllium husk powder is such strange stuff and it swells and makes things almost gelatinous. The round balls of dough I’d put into my bundt pan just melded together and you couldn’t really pull them apart in standard Monkey Bread fashion. And it had a slightly purple colour on the inside, which is apparently quite normal with psyllium. But boy, did it taste good. It was the best darn low carb Monkey Bread I could have hoped for! I did cut down on both the sweetener and salt in Maria’s recipe, and I am glad I did. The dough was sweet enough with just 1/2 cup of Swerve and the caramel sauce was plenty sweet for everyone’s taste bud. And the bacon. Come on, now, bacon needs no explanation!