For those of us forced to cut carbs against our will, regular bread can be among the hardest food items to forego. Only when it is forbidden to you, do you realize what an integral role it plays in the standard western diet. It’s the perfect convenience food, carrying your favourite fillings and toppings to your mouth, whilst keeping your hands un-besmirched. Oh, and how easy it is to pop a slice in the toaster in the morning and slather it with peanut butter, or slap it with some mustard, meat and cheese for a quick lunch. The unsung hero of the on-the-go meal, it can also be dressed up and served as a more gourmet repast. I suppose it is somewhat telling that most cultures have their own version of bread, as it is both functional and remarkably tasty in its own right.
Is it any wonder, then, that those of us who eschew traditional yeast bread, whether by necessity or design, are always in search of alternatives? I for one don’t have any illusions about those alternatives looking, tasting or behaving exactly like the real thing. As long as they taste good in their own way, can hold their own against the toppings without falling apart, and are low carb enough to make them worth my while, I’m happy enough. This particular recipe has the added benefit of being exceptionally easy to make. You can whip up a batch in the time it takes to get the rest of your dinner cooked and on the table.
I take no credit for this recipe, I simply stumbled upon it on that infinitely helpful website, About.com. I dismissed it at first glance, as it didn’t seem all that interesting. But I revisited the idea when searching for a side dish for dinner that didn’t consist of broccoli or cauliflower. Well, I ate some of that too, but I wanted something a little more substantial in taste and texture. At first, I thought I would jazz it up a little with actual foccacia toppings like sauted onions or rosemary and garlic. But I ran out of time and just made the recipe as is.
The Results: I actually quite like this and will happily make it again. It isn’t bread (or foccacia) in the traditional sense and I didn’t expect it to be. But the nutty flavour of the flax meal is good without being overpowering, and the texture exceeded my expectations. It’s lovely toasted with some butter and sugar-free jam, and I’ve used it to make an open face tuna sandwich as well. At only about 6g of total carbs per slice, you could even use two pieces to make a proper sandy! It’s pretty filling, so once slice at a time is enough for me.
A few little notes. It is flax meal, which is basically ALL fiber, so drink a fair bit of liquid to wash it down. I think you get my drift. Also, it’s made with five eggs and is pretty moist, so after the first day or so, you may want to store it in the fridge or freezer to avoid rancidity. You can warm it in the microwave and/or toast it and it tastes as good as the first day. Enjoy!
Flax Seed “Foccacia” Bread – recipe by Laura Dolson of About.com
2 cups flax seed meal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Sugar substitute equivalent to 1-2 tbsp (I used EZSweetz)
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Let batter sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken, but no longer than that.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into a rectangle, leaving an inch or two of space to the sides of the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top springs back when touched and the bread is beginning to brown all over.
Cool in pan and cut into slices.
Makes 12 or more servings. 6g total carb per slice, less than 1g if you subtract all the fiber (net carbs).