These Keto Bread Rolls are so clever but they’re not my invention. It doesn’t matter that I came late to the party, our low-carb diet is now officially one step closer to eating what most people think of as a “normal diet” because we have buns with our burgers! With just 3 grams of carbs each, these are the perfect no-grain burger buns, dinner rolls or picnic fare. Credit goes to the Diet Doctor who adapted their keto bread recipe from an earlier bread recipe by Maria Emmerich. My contribution to keeping the keto dietary wheels turning was to test both recipes and then make this totally reliable final version - accurate weights and measurements provided in millilitres and grams - and more relevant to the U.K.
A common problem with this bread is that the dough appears to randomly change colour during baking; its mauvish hue thought to be caused by using “some brands of psyllium husks”. An unhelpful generalisation, particularly when the specific ‘Now’ brand of organic psyllium husk powder recommended by the Diet Doctor and many others, did the very thing it wasn’t supposed to. It doesn’t work…at least it didn’t for me. Consequently, my first batch of Keto Bread Rolls toned perfectly with the purple beetroot and feta burgers I’d made in readiness to fill them! Joking apart, mauve may be an okay colour for Halloween or a kiddies party cupcake but it’s quite disturbing in a bread roll, even if the taste and texture remain unchanged. You eat with your eyes first!
I came to the conclusion that the reason for purple-tinted dough may be less to do with the brand of psyllium husks and more to do with buying them in powder form. My feeling is that whole psyllium husks, like flaxseeds, quickly deteriorate (oxidise) when they’re ground down into powder because they’re more readily exposed to the air. Thus, the trick to making Keto Bread Rolls look like bread rolls is to track down a supplier of organic whole psyllium husks and then grind these down yourself just prior to baking. N.B. Only buy 100 percent pure organic psyllium husk, since most psyllium crops have been treated with chemicals like pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertiliser.
Finding a U.K. supplier of reliably fresh, organic whole psyllium husks is no mean feat but my search finally brought me to the website of Stay Fresh Organics and voilà, I’d smashed it. To successfully make these Keto Bread Rolls, you will need a coffee/nut grinder. The one I use is an inexpensive Andrew James Coffee Grinder and it does the job admirably.
You’ll be glad I went to the trouble. Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the rest of the weighing and the mixing is done in about 5 minutes flat and fresh-from the-oven bread rolls, indistinguishable from the real thing, are ready within the hour.
If you like the soft, light texture of commercial bread, you’ll love these Keto Bread Rolls, which are a sort of cross between Italian ciabatta and the cute, mini Hovis loaves that I used to pack in my daughters’ school lunch boxes back in the 1980’s. We had a nostalgic moment when Sarah reminded me that when she was very small, I’d often scold her for creating Play-Doh out of Hovis mini-loaves instead of eating them! In their raw state, these Keto Bread Rolls could also be mistaken for Play-Doh. All lumpy, bumpy, beige and bouncy before baking, the dough is transformed in the oven into the most perfectly risen, golden-brown, delicious, crusty bread rolls. Simply amazing to look at and even more amazing to cut, butter, fill and bite into, you’ll be flabbergasted that they’re not made from wheat flour!
Whole, organic psyllium husk powder is a miracle ingredient for low-carb baking because it does the work of glueing and binding together breads, cakes, pancakes in the same way that the gluten in wheat flour does - without the digestive issues or weight-gain that many people suffer from when they eat gluten and grains. In fact psyllium husk, taken from the seeds of the Plantago plant, has numerous health benefits. It is a godsend for people who don’t get enough fibre in their diet - step-up low-carbers who don’t eat whole-grains and, if you’re like me, not a lot of fruit either - because psyllium contains both soluble and insoluble fibre to help facilitate weight loss, improve digestion, lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, nourish gut-friendly bacteria and cleanse the system.
In the world of grain-free baking, these easy-to-make Keto Bread Rolls are a revelation. They miraculously achieve the same light, bready texture of regular bread without yeast or gluten, which means no kneading or rising times are required. The finished rolls are not only wonderful to behold they’re more tasty than any commercial bread you can buy. Sarah was so taken with their taste and texture, she thought them worth making even when they were purple!
I can see why she would think so. Keto Bread Rolls remind you of how life used to be before ditching the grains and eating low-carb. Paradoxically, they appear to be the antithesis of wholefoody. A welcome change from the delicious but dense nut and seed based breads featured elsewhere on this blog, they make you believe you’re eating normal ‘white’ bread. Psychologically, this is good. If there’s one thing that people use as an excuse for not giving up the grains, it’s their reliance on bread. No more. Useful for breakfast, lunch, supper or snacking at any time, you can fill, spread and dip these Keto Bread Rolls at your pleasure and they won’t make you fat…just rather full and satisfyingly smug.
Keto Bread Rolls (makes 4 large picnic or burger-sized buns or 6 dinner rolls)
45g organic whole psyllium husks, freshly ground into fine powder
1½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tbsp organic cider vinegar
177ml filtered water, freshly boiled
3 large organic egg whites (about 120g total weight)
Sesame seeds for sprinkling - optional
Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4. Boil the water.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, psyllium powder (no substitutes: flaxseed meal won’t work), baking powder and salt.
Beat the egg whites and vinegar together with a fork until foamy, then add to the dry ingredients.
Using an hand-held electric blender, mix for about 15 seconds until starting to come together into a thick dough.
Bring the water back to the boil before adding it to the bowl, while beating with an electric hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Don’t over mix the dough at this stage, the consistency should resemble Play-Doh.
Moisten hands and form the dough into 4 rolls (about 125g each) Note: they’ll double in size when cooked.
Place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment or a silicone baking mat and sprinkle over sesame seeds, if liked.
Bake on middle rack in oven for 55 minutes. The bread rolls are done when they’re golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
I used organic black sesame seeds for visual effect but organic natural sesame seeds seem to be more widely available.
To make 6 to 8 dinner rolls, use about 70-75g of raw dough per roll and reduce the baking time to 40-45 minutes.
Store the bread rolls in the fridge or freezer.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine the above quantity of dough is enough to make a 1lb loaf of bread. Grease the tin well and roughly shape the loaf to fit, then bake for at least 1 hour, maybe longer. Test ‘doneness’ by tapping the bottom of the loaf to see if it sounds hollow.
Fat 21g Protein 13g Carbohydrate 3g - per large bread roll