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Old 01-20-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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LC Baking Additives - Gluten, Fiber, Starch, etc?

Hi there,

I'm new to the world of Low Carb baking, and have so far been experimenting with pre-blended mixes that companies like LC Foods, Tova, and Dixie Diners provides. (Carbquik, DD Carb Counters All-pupose flour, etc)

However, ever the food-critic I've begun to read a few professional LC baker's blogs like Jennifer Eloff's, Buttoni's recipes, and others. They seem to use mainly coconut and almond flour blends with additives like gluccomannan, oat fiber, vital wheat gluten, wheat protein, etc.

I've heard these ingredients can make a big difference in making low carb baked goods taste like the "real thing."

I have a few questions on the purposes and amounts of these ingredients to use in recipes.

1. Can these additives be used with mixes like Carbquik or DD Carb Counter's All Purpose Flour (both are blends of many ingredients)?

2. How does one determine the proportion of main "flour" to substitute with each ingredient? I've read that most people replace an equal amount of their base flour mix with things like Oat Fiber or Vital Wheat Gluten for improved rising, taste, texture.

3. If one doesn't want to use almond or coconut flour, I have seen it implied on netrition product reviews that such combinations as Vital Wheat Gluten + oat fiber + Wheat Protein Isolate 5000 can serve as your flour for a recipe.

4. Starches. What is the difference between resistant wheat starch and resistant corn starch? I want to make biscuits and british style scones, and I assume the two varieties impart a different taste. Someone said the corn starch helped their biscuits and pizza crusts immensely.

AND, THE SPECIFICS:
The specific recipes I am looking to try in the near future and would love advice on making taste "high carb" with low-carb ingredients are (plus some qualities I think they should have):
  • British-style scones (dense and fluffy!)
  • buttermilk biscuits / carbquik biscuits (that rise and stay dense so I can slice them!)
  • pancakes (fluffy!)
  • english muffins (spongey and crispy!)
  • pancakes (fluffy and thick!)
  • pizza crust (dense and chewey, chicago style!)

Please let me know if you have and knowledge of how much and what I should add to make them the best they can be

Currently I am considering buying:
  • oat fiber, other fibers?
  • vital wheat gluten
  • gluccomannan
  • wheat protein isolate 5000 or 8000
  • resistant corn & wheat starch
  • unflavored whey protein isolate?

Please share what you know about using these ingredients, e.g. what they do and what amounts to use them in, suggested recipes ( see above )

Thank you so very much. I always thought baking was a hassle, even before low-carbing!
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:34 PM   #2
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Also Wheat Bran & Germ seem to say you can add them in up to 1/4 of flour mixes... anyone tried this?
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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I was hoping that someone more knowledgeable than me would answer you. You have so many complicated questions altogether. I suggest you pick some recipes you would like to try, and buy the ingredients for them. Pick ones that are universally loved, like Chicken Lady's Carrot or Fudge Cake. Also, look into the many bake mixes that are around, and see which one you will experiment with first.
The chemistry of low carb baking is really tricky, because you also don't have sugar to work with either. I can tell you that I have found a few recipes that everyone in my family raves about. The last one I made was peanut butter fudge brownies from All Day I Dream About Food. The guests loved them, and they are comparing the brownies to high carb desserts.
Also pick out a few blogs whose recipes sound good to you and experiment. It's way better to work from a few recipes you are dying to try rather than buying a whole bunch of low carb ingredients and not knowing where to use them. Ask anyone whose been on low carb a while and I'll bet you will find that they have strange and esoteric ingredients they bought but never used stuck somewhere way back in their cabinets.
If you are looking for a specific item, for example scones, then start a thread just asking for people's experiences making them. You will get more information that way.

Last edited by Soobee; 01-21-2014 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:37 PM   #4
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You are very right >.< OCD got the better of me and I just craved to jump right in!

I'm focusing on small, savory items to start with since I'm not a big dessert person anyway.

Biscuits and scones so far. The first was rather flat and crumbly, the latter was moist and fluffy but almost too much like a muffin. Looking for ingredients to add rising properties to both, and smoothness / "tough"ness.

Planning on trying a LC spanish bar cake (spice cake with cocoa and applesauce) next, and basic breads that don't require kneading/breadmaker like buttoni's foccacia.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
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I've never made english muffins.

The best scones I've tried were almond meal based and is Laura Dolson's recipe with cranberries and walnuts. You'll have to google it.

The best biscuits I've made were a combo of Better Than Flour mix (this site... "a fabulous flour mix" I believe is what the thread is titled) and a mix like Carbquik or with almond flour. I like the kind with added sausage and cheese and garlic best. The BTF mix is great for many, many things.

Pancakes are surprisingly tricky. Waffles are easier... the best of those are based on whipped egg whites. Big Train here at netrition is the best mix I think.

My favorite pizza has no "bready" crust at all... I literally sprinkle a nonstick skillet with shredded cheese, fry the bottom until deeply golden, flip, cook a bit, then flip back and top with sauce, veggies, olives, precooked meats, etc. My whole family loves these and they are pickupable! Or if I am in a hurry I spoon sauce in a bowl, top with cheese and other topping and microwave until melted- and eat with a fork. The second best pizza with a crust is the 1/2 cauliflower 1/2 shredded cheese and some egg recipe that is many places.
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Last edited by JHoberer; 01-22-2014 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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Of the things you listed the only ones I use are glucomannan, oat fiber and on the rare occasion whey protein powder (I sometimes use pea protein instead) but after reading Excitotoxins I limit my use of any protein powder.

I don't like any of the prepackaged mixes because of some of the ingredients used in them plus I also try to stay gluten free and to some extent GMO free so no vital wheat gluten or wheat resistant starch for me.

By far my favorite low-carb ingredient is glucomannan but even the use of it takes some practice and believe me I'm created some things with the weirdest mouthfeel and it is not pleasant at all. I make some of the mixes mentioned above but I also just mix things myself using almond flour, coconut flour, coconut powder, golden flaxmeal, lupin flour, oat fiber, glucomannan, xanthum gum, guar gum and figure out what I like. I've got many pages of hen-scratched notes in my kitchen.

I do add glucomannan to every baked item I make because it helps with the crumbliness inherent in low-carb baked goods, I also let it sit for at least 5 minutes to hydrate before popping in the oven and you will be surprised by how much the texture changes in that time plus you can even see it rise. I also use glucomannan in homemade mayo and whipped cream to stabilize it.

I also only use Steviva, erythritol, stevia and sometimes a bit of raw honey or blackstrap molasses as sweeteners. I used to use Splenda and some of the others and actually still have quite a bit of liquid and pure powdered sucralose that I haven't yet brought myself to discard but have pretty much eliminated everything else from my cupboards.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:25 AM   #7
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I agree with Soobee, you don't need to completely reinvent the wheel. There are lot of LC recipes and blogs out there that tell you what they've tried successfully and unsuccessfully. You might look at some of the older posts at Healthy Indulgences as she usually discusses her recipe development. She seems to have more of a paleo bent as of late though. You could also get a decent LC baking book like The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes that Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace. It gets very good reviews and it is anything like Peter Reinhart's other books it will explain in detail what works or doesn't work for a particular recipe (disclaimer - I haven't read that one at all).
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mistizoom View Post
You could also get a decent LC baking book like The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes that Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace. It gets very good reviews and it is anything like Peter Reinhart's other books it will explain in detail what works or doesn't work for a particular recipe (disclaimer - I haven't read that one at all).

This is an Excellent book, I highly recommend it.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:15 AM   #9
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@mistizoom and others:

I liked how in some of the baking mix threads someone ended up saying "we're basically writing the book on low-carb baking" citing how a lot of these specialty ingredients are basically wholesale/retail baking ingredients that only professionals have used before.

I didn't realize just how complex the chemical interactions and end results are when you play with this stuff til I read into it more!

In the end it seems like just stocking oat fiber, almond/coconut flours, and some gum and basic baking ingredients is where I should stay for simplicity's sake. I may eventually try adding Resistant wheat starch to biscuits or scones, wheat protein isolate, etc to see if it improves texture or density, but not yet.

In the meantime, has anyone used the Dixie Diner's low-carb all purpose flour? I ended up with 3 lbs of the stuff and used it for popovers to good results, but not sure what else I could make with it. it has a lot of the items I asked about blended into it already, wheat protein, fibers, etc.

I was considering subbing parts of it for almond flour or LC bake mixes in recipes to use it up... just wondering if anyone had tried it before.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
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Hi Emita. I have used the lc foods flour mix in many of the recipes for half the almond flour or in place of some of the mixes people have come up with on this site. Everything has come out well so your Dixie diner flour can probably be used the same way. I like buying the premixed flours rather than trying to put together my own. All those ingredients get expensive and I have had a few flops trying to mix up flours on my own.

LC baking is a challenge for me but I am not an experienced baker! Some of the really great bakers here will help you more than I.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by shunsweets View Post
Hi Emita. I have used the lc foods flour mix in many of the recipes for half the almond flour or in place of some of the mixes people have come up with on this site. Everything has come out well so your Dixie diner flour can probably be used the same way. I like buying the premixed flours rather than trying to put together my own. All those ingredients get expensive and I have had a few flops trying to mix up flours on my own.

LC baking is a challenge for me but I am not an experienced baker! Some of the really great bakers here will help you more than I.
Thank you so much for the information. The flour mix has been on my mind a lot lately! I was thinking of subbing it that way, too after reading how complex and chock-full-of ingredients some of these recipes are! Anything in particular you have tried?

One concern I'd have with subbing it however would be in making bread or savory applications. I can taste the monk fruit in the Dixie Diner's mix and I think it might be a bit strangely sweet for a bread or biscuit without lots of seasoning. How is the LC foods mix, and how have you used it? I'm curious since both companies seem to have almost parallel product lineups.

The other problem with using the retail mixes in other poster's recipes is that most of them use a lot of additional items, like significant amounts of oat fiber for instance. I'm never quite sure which of these I should/could also eliminate if using the mix - I'd presume anything already in the flour mix such as wheat and whey protein. The DD mix had gluten and yeast, too.

Which is why I'm spinning my wheels and ignoring the pantry and currently only making recipes involving carbquik, cream/butter/eggs/water, small amounts of almond meal or coconut flour, or flax seed meal. :P
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