Introduction: Cloud Bread (Gluten-Free & Low Carb)
Cloud bread is a soft, airy and fluffy bread substitute. It is gluten-free, high in protein and extremely low in carbs, making it perfect if you've been watching your carbohydrate intake. For this recipe you'll only need three budget-friendly ingredients: eggs, cream cheese and cream of tartar (or lemon juice). Cloud bread is also extremely easy to make and it tastes amazing!
Second Prize in the
Gluten Free Challenge
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Ingredients (for 9 servings):
- 4 large eggs or 5 medium eggs (200g in total) *
- 4 Tbsp full fat cream cheese (60g) **
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or 1/2 tsp lemon juice) ***
- a small bowl
- a medium ball
- a large bowl
- a whisk or a hand mixer
- a spatula
- a tray
- parchment paper
- tsp = teaspoon
- Tbsp = tablespoon
Step 2: Soften the Cheese and Separate the Eggs
Preheat the oven at 150°C / 300°F (gas mark 2). Line a tray with parchment paper.
Measure the cream cheese and place it in the large bowl. Beat the cream cheese with a spatula or a whisk to soften.
Separate the eggs. Make sure that the small mixing bowl, the medium one and the whisk are grease-free. Place the three bowls (small, medium and large) in front of you. Take the first egg and crack it carefully. Open it up over the small bowl and allow the egg white to drip into the small bowl. Place the yolk in the large bowl (the one with the cream cheese). Move the egg white from the small bowl to the medium bowl. Proceed the same with the rest of the eggs. ****
Whisk the cream cheese and the yolk until well combined. You can add to this mixture a pinch of salt if you prefer, but I usually skip this part.
Step 3: Beat the Egg Whites
Add the cream of tartar (or lemon juice) to the egg whites. Beat the egg whites on high speed until they hold firm peaks (it takes about 3 minutes). At this point, if you turn your whisk upside down, the peaks should point straight up without falling.
Step 4: Fold in the Egg Whites
With gentle circular movements, fold one third of the stiff egg whites into the yolk and cream cheese mixture, incorporating them thoroughly.
Add another half of the remaining stiff egg whites and fold them in as well. Try to deflate the fluffy egg whites as little as possible.
Fold in the remaining stiff egg whites.
Step 5: Spoon the Mixture
Take the parchment paper lined tray. With a large spoon, divide the mixture into 9 even rounds on the tray (each bread should contain about 2 Tbsp of mixture).
With the same spoon, gently level the top of the breads, giving them a circular shape.
Step 6: Bake
Bake on the middle rack in the gas oven oven for 25 - 30 minutes (or until the breads are golden on the outside and firm).
Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Once completely cool, store them in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag. Overnight they will change their consistency, becoming more breadlike. They will last in the refrigerator for several days.
Step 7: Serve
You can use them in sandwiches or as burger buns. I love to add to my cloud bread sandwiches some roasted beet hummus, crispy tofu, cucumber and red onion.
* For every large egg I use 1 Tbsp of full fat cream cheese.
** This recipe is also delicious with mascarpone cheese, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream instead of cream cheese. I've tested all the ideas mentioned above with great results.
*** If you don't have cream of tartar, you can use the same amount of lemon juice. Don't skip the acid, it stabilizes the egg whites and allows them to keep their form.
**** The whole idea of separating the eggs is to have all the yolks in one bowl and all the whites in another bowl. If a yolk breaks and a tiny bit of yolk gets in the egg whites, the meringue won't be as fluffy.
You can definitely use only two bowls, but I like to use a third, smaller bowl for safety reasons. If you use a small bowl to break one egg at a time, you make sure that you separate each egg successfully. But imagine separating the first eggs only to have that last one break its yolk.
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Please be positive and constructive.
Great recipe! Thanks! I am mostly interested in the low carbs. Gluten, being a protein, does not trouble me at all. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get a flour-like powder, such as coconut, soy bean, or other "flours" to behave close to wheat (whether white or whole) flour, when it comes to add yeast as a "natural" airy effect (raised flour or fake-flour dough). Have you experimented with any doughs made from powders other than those from high carbohydrate-containing sources that raise well with yeast and produce a "bread" ?
It's not "powders" that make the magic of breads, it's gluten (in wheat flour). The gluten is a protein chain that gives structure and resiliency to the dough. The airy texture is from leavening such as baking powder or yeast in traditional cooking. The gas bubbles created by leavening are then captured by gluten when cooked. Using egg whites gives an airy structure that sets when cooked. Think fluffy omelettes and scrambled eggs or meringue on pies.
Gluten-free products substitute gluten with other products that attempt to form a chain that gives a similar (although usually inferior) structure.
Thank you so much, Chicomoshe!
Unfortunately, I can't say I have a vast experience with low carb bread, especially those which involve yeast (the few recipes I tried were really disappointing). One of the few low carb bread recipes I liked were in fact some buns made with almond flour and baking soda. They were light and airy and quite tasty.
How many calories are in these?
Each cloud bread has about 30 calories, each slice contains 3.4g of protein, 2.1g of fat and 0.6g of carbohydrates.
What's the point of breaking the egg whites into one bowl only to move them to another?
You can definitely skip the small bowl, but I recommend you use it for safety reasons. If you would crack the egg over the medium bowl (the one where you beat the meringue) you would have to be extremely careful not to break the yolk. If a tiny bit of yolk gets in the egg whites, the meringue won't be as fluffy. By using a small bowl to crack one egg at a time, you have better control.