Copyright 2012-2016 - KetoDiet Blog (http://KetoDietApp.com/Blog)

Fluffy Grain-Free Sunflower Bread

Following several requests, I decided that my next video recipe should be this Grain-Free Sunflower Bread from my Apps. It's light, savoury and tastes just like wholegrain sunflower or rye bread. It's very low in carbs and perfect for the ketogenic diet. In fact, this recipe is so good that I decided to include it in my KetoDiet Cookbook.

There are a few important points you should always keep in mind when making this bread:

  • weigh the dry ingredients (cup measurements are not precise enough),
  • make sure you use psyllium husk powder (whole husks won't work),
  • be quick when mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and don't over-process the dough (or it will become clumpy and rubbery).

I admit that this bread may be a little tricky to get right at first but once you know how to do it, it becomes easy. For this reason I've created a video tutorial. I hope you like it!

Note for KetoDiet users: Nutrition facts for this recipe are also included in the KetoDiet database. You can use Fluffy Grain-Free Sunflower Bread as an ingredient when creating custom meals.

Preparation time

Hands-on
Overall

Nutritional values per slice (1 slice):

1.6 grams 6.4 grams 4.8 grams 10.7 grams 2.7 grams 124 calories
Total Carbs8grams
Fiber6.4grams
Net Carbs1.6grams
Protein4.8grams
Fat10.7grams
of which Saturated2.7grams
Energy124kcal
Magnesium36mg (9%)
Potassium160mg (8%)

Nutrition facts are calculated based on a recipe of 12 slices. Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (5%), protein (16%), fat (79%)

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf, 10-12 slices):

Wet ingredients:
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites (reserve 2 egg yolks for another recipe)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (30 ml/ 1 fl oz)
  • 2 tbsp ghee, melted (28 g/ 1 oz)
  • ½ cup lukewarm water (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)

Note for eggs: you will need 4 egg yolks and 6 egg whites in total

Dry ingredients:

The reason you shouldn't use only whole eggs is that the buns wouldn't rise with so many egg yolks in. Don't waste the egg yolks - use them for making Home-made Mayo, Easy Hollandaise Sauce, Frozen Fat Bomb, Smoothies, Keto Coffee or Lemon Curd.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C / 350 F. For a recipe of 10-12 servings, line a large loaf pan (7 x 4.5 inch / 12 x 18 cm) with baking paper. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the egg whites (6 egg whites in total) in a bowl and keep for later.
    Mix the egg yolks (4 egg yolks in total - reserve 2 for another recipe) with the toasted sesame oil and melted ghee or butter. Pour the water into the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
    Don't waste the 2 leftover egg yolks - use them for making Home-made Mayo, Easy Hollandaise Sauce, Frozen Fat Bomb, Smoothies, Keto Coffee or Lemon Curd.
  2. Beat the egg whites until they create soft - but not stiff - peaks. Add the cream of tartar while beating. Adding cream of tartar directly to the egg whites will help them stay fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flax meal, psyllium husk powder, baking soda, caraway seeds and salt.
    Do not use whole psyllium husks - if you cannot find psyllium husk powder, use a blender or coffee grinder and process until fine.
  4. Using an electric mixer, add the egg yolk mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and process well. Immediately after you pour in the egg yolk mixture, add a quarter of the soft whipped egg whites to lighten up while mixing. Then add the remaining egg whites and slowly mix in.
    If you wait for too long the dough will clump up. You don't need to be too gentle while stirring but try not to deflate the egg whites completely.
  5. Add the sunflower seeds and fold them in the dough. Fill the loaf pan with the dough and transfer into the oven. Bake for about an hour.
  6. When done, remove from the oven. If you used a regular loaf pan with baking paper, remove from the loaf pan grabbing it by the baking paper. Be careful not to get burnt. This will help avoid too much moisture on the outsides of the loaf.
  7. Let it cool down on a cooling tray for at least 15-20 minutes. Try toasting it and eat with grass-fed butter, cream cheese or homemade sugar-free jam. Keep at room temperature covered with a kitchen towel for up to 3 days or place in a zip-lock bag and freeze for longer Apart from Sunflower bread, make sure you also check out my other low-carb bread recipes on my blog and in my Apps and Cookbook!

Troubleshooting:

The colour will vary based on ingredients. This is a photo I took for the KetoDiet Cookbook and it looks slightly different than the loaf I made week ago. Depending on the ingredients and sometimes even brands, the colour of your bread will either be light or dark brown (e.g. brown flax vs golden flax). If the bread turns out purple, it's due to the psyllium husk powder. Whenever I use Now Foods psyllium powder, the bread is always perfect, light brown. I sometimes use whole psyllium husks which I "powder" myself in a food processor.

Make sure you follow the recipe step by step. A small change can result in lumpy texture or dough that is too moist. For example, if you don't add the water into the egg yolks but separately after you mix in the egg yolks, the texture gets lumpy and rubbery. Over-processing the dough can also result in lumpy/rubbery texture.

Also, make sure you use a kitchen scale for measuring all the dry ingredients. Using just cups may not be enough to achieve best results, especially in baked goods. Weights per cups and tablespoons may vary depending on the product/ brand or if you make you own ingredients (e.g. flax meal from flaxseeds).

If your bread turns out vibrant green don't panic. Sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that gives the seeds the ability of turning green under certain conditions. When chlorogenic acid mixes with alkaline baking ingredients such as baking soda, it turns green. Chlorogenic acid may also slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal. The reason why this bread turned green is that I didn't use cream of tartar to neutralise the effect of the baking soda. To avoid the green effect in recipes that use baking soda and sunflower seeds or butter, add and ingredient to counteract the alkalinity of the dough. For every teaspoon of baking soda, add two teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice.

The green colour can be very useful for when you want to use natural food colouring for events like Halloween, Easter or St. Patrick's Day ;-)

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (80)

This recipe looks great! I love that it has most everyday things you would already have in your kitchen!!

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This is by far the best keto bread I've tried! It's so fluffy and tastes like sunflower and rye bread. I put 2 slices in a toaster, spread some butter on top and added ham and cheese. Yum!

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Hi Martina! First of all Thanks for the recipe!
I have a problem, At first the bread seemed to be fluffy but It started to shrink right in front of me when I took it out of the oven. How can I overcome that... I used butter instead of ghee, and vinegar instead oof tar tar.
Thanks in advance!

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Hi Javier, butter should work just fine - and vinegar too. Please, have a look at this post for more info about keto breads and common issues (see the troubleshooting part): ketodietapp.com/.../low-carb-and-paleo-bread-the-ultimate-guide I hope this helps!

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I made this bread and I have questions.  I weighed the dry ingredients as instructed,  and the 1.4 ounces of flax meal ended up being  over a 1/2 cup and not 1/4 cup.  I went with it, and the loaf ended up being gritty and really dense, to the point that it was only an inch tall.  Should I decrease the flax meal?  Also, I only had an 8x4 loaf pan.  Does the size of the pan matter.

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Hi Mary, I always go by grams/ ounces so this should not be an issue. I realised that flax meal can be tricky and have a different texture depending on the product or if you make your own. I think the loaf pan is a good size. There are more tips in this post: ketodietapp.com/.../low-carb-and-paleo-bread-the-ultimate-guide I hope this helps!

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Hi Martina,
i tried this recipe. the bread didn't really lift. it is like maybe around 2 inches in height. kind of chewy. i followed your recipe to the T.
i had problems in the past with other keto breads where the pictures shows that the loaf is the same height as regular bread, however that never happens when i make them.
any advice as to why this happens?
as of for taste, not sure how it is supposed to taste? the one i made has a weird taste ;)
Thanks for any advice you can give <3

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Hi Leah, have you maybe used a silicon loaf pan? I never use it for keto breads because it seems to always result in dense and chewy texture and the bread doesn't rise. Here's more about keto breads, see the "troubleshooting" part: ketodietapp.com/.../low-carb-and-paleo-bread-the-ultimate-guide
As for the taste, maybe you can skip the caraway seeds or use something else you like like dried herbs, garlic powder, onion powder or sesame seeds?

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Just finished baking Grain Free Sunflower bread, fantastic. Loved your quick video and printable directions. The bread is definitely the best keto, paleo, low carb bread I have ever indulged in (two slices with butter.) It was fluffy, light and sunflowery flavored. I did replace the caraway with rosemary. Yumm. I did grind the psyllium in my coffee grinder to a very fine form. Measured in grams. Soooo, delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I have decided to purchase your books.

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Thank you for your kind words, Debbie!!

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Having tried other psyllium bread recipes and either over or under mixing them, I was determined to get this right on the first try. However, I got so focused on carefully folding in the egg whites that I forgot to add the sunflower seeds at the end. Oops! I also subbed 2 tsp herbes de Provence for the caraway seeds. It is superb, even without the missing sunflower seeds. The texture is that of fluffy, whole grain bread. Thanks so much!

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Thank you Monica, I'm glad you liked it! I think that dried herbs, garlic powder, or ever grated Parmesan cheese are all great alternatives Smile

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Dear Martina.
I was just wondering - I made bread and used psyllium. Bread makes a squeaking noise when chewing it, and I would like to know if I did something wrong, or is that just the way psyllium works?
It is quite annoying, and makes the bread not pleasant to eat.
Thank you for your response!
Katja

Reply

Hi Katja, this may be the effect of psyllium although I've never had any issues. You could try another recipe - this one uses less psyllium and has a more neutral taste: ketodietapp.com/.../low-carb-and-paleo-bread-the-ultimate-guide

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Good morning Martina,
when I made the first time your bread it was not fluffy at all. No idea why but I will give it a try again. We live over 9000 feet high do you think that can cause the problem?
My questions are :
Can I leave the sesame oil out and if yes do I need to replace it with something else? I did not like the taste of it in the bread.
Do I need to use the caraway seeds?
Thank you for your answers Smile Have a great day

Reply

Hi Cristiana , yes, high altitude can affect baking results and if I recall this right, you should add 15-25 F (I'd go for 25 F more). There are more tips if you google "high-altitude baking".  You can leave out the sesame oil and use more ghee or extra virgin olive oil. You don't have to use the caraway seeds, I only use them for taste so you can use anything else (poppy seeds, pumpkin, sesame or more sunflower seeds). I hope this helps! Smile

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I made this yesterday and  got a bit confused about the eggs. Just found this blog and thankfully I got it right. 4 yolks and 6 egg whites. It may be worth clarifying in the recipe though.  Mine wasn't too fluffy but I can see I must have spent too long folding in the whites.  It's a great recipe - thank you Martina 😊

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Thank you Steph, I will Smile

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I need to have bread.  This is fantastic bread. Followed your directions to a tee and it turned out great. I did go out and purchase a smaller pan so it would rise nicely.  I had a slice when it came from the oven and immediately sent my sister a text at how great it was.  My sunflower seeds were green this morning, but who cares, it didn't alter the taste.  Thank you so much for this recipe. I love your site.

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Thank you Ruth! I'm glad it turned out great Smile

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Just had my first slice of this bread. Omg so good. Thank you for sharing!

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Hi Martina,
How tall is the loaf supposed to be?
I had to cook mine and extra 30 mins before the wood pick came out clean but it's maybe not quite as tall as my pinky to halfway up my pointer finger.
Did I do something wrong?

Reply

I think this depends on your loaf pan (that will determine the share - maybe yours was wider. How about the oven temperature? Do you live at high altitude? If so, you'll need to increase it by 15-25 F.

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Hi Martina, your app/website is really one of my favorites. I lost 40lbs (48yrs old) on the Ideal Protein diet and now maintain my weight through a keto adapted lifestyle.
For that your website provides soooo many gold nuggets of wisdom and things to learn and what I really appreciate is in your recipes you explain why things work or not and what to really pay attention to. I learn a gazillion things just by reading your recipes. Love it. Thank you so much for all the hard work and sharing Smile)

Reply

Thank you so much, I really appreciate that!

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I made the bread yesterday and it is pretty awesome! Kind of finicky but isn't that the keto way?  Mine did turn green which seems kind of weird but glad you explained that it might do that. Smile  Mine tastes quite eggy any idea why?  I did omit the caraway seeds.  Thanks for the great recipe!

Reply

Hi Nicole, the caraway seeds definitely help masking any eggy taste but I haven't noticed it even when skipping them. You can try herbs or spices, garlic or onion powder or any recipes listed here (especially the Ultimate Keto Buns are very popular): ketodietapp.com/.../tagLowcarbBread&title=Lowcarb%20Bread

Reply

hi there, do you have any egg free bread recipes??

Reply

Not yet but will have to make one!

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Hi. Just wondering about the weight of a 'large egg'?
A lot of your recipes I've made have been quite moist - so I'm wondering if I've been using jumbo sized eggs!!!

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Hi Philippa, it should be about 50 grams per one large (whole) egg but this shouldn't matter too much but I would avoid jumbo sized eggs Smile

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Can you use olive oil in place of sesame oil?

Reply

Hi Daisy, yes you can. Sesame oil is used for flavour but you can use olive oil, avocado oil or even ghee.

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Hi.  Can I use something other than the ph. husk?  For some reason, it just doesn't sit right with me.  I learned that while eating your recipe for buns that I absolutely love.  Thank you.

Reply

Hi Trina, you can try these recipes instead (no psyllium) Smile
ketodietapp.com/.../Bens-Low-Carb-Rye-Bread
ketodietapp.com/.../Dis-Low-carb-Bread

Reply

Made your bread recipe yesterday! The dough did crumble up and there were lots of lumps in it. I did immediatly incorporate 1/4 of the egg whites ... I thought it would all be lost, but I went on with te recipe and added the remaining egg whites. It came out as a very ferm dough, so I just shapes it into a 'bread' form and placed it on a baking tray in the oven. The first 15 minutes nothing happened, frown-emoticon ... But then smile-emoticon It started ... I posted a picture of the result on your facebook page. This bread is so fluffy and tastes great! Will certainly be making it again! Thanks for this wonderfull recipe!

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I'm glad you liked it! Just saw your photo on my Facebook page and it looks perfect! Smile

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Where did you buy this loaf pan? Thank you

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I think it was at Sainsbury's (in the UK) Smile

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Hi. I made the bread and it's okay but very dark  in colour and purple.

Reply

Hi Caz, see my comment above Smile

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Just made the bread and I was shocked at the colour it was deep purple inside lol, I did everything as stated, the only thing that I substituted was bicarbonate of soda for baking soda. I looked it up as I'm in the UK and it was suppose to be a good substitute? Could this be the reason?

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Hi Ange, bicarbonate soda and baking soda are different names for the same thing. It's definitely not the baking soda, it's the psyllium powder which sometimes does it and I'm not sure why. I use whole psyllium husks from Now Foods (I powder them myself in a food processor) and the bread is always perfect and brown. Once I bought psyllium husk powder from another brand (can't remember which one) and it was purple - here is more info: ketodietapp.com/.../low-carb-and-paleo-bread-the-ultimate-guide

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OMG Martina! That butter knife, where oh where can I find it?

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It was a gift from a friend, I think she got it from a French shop somewhere in Prague Smile

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This bread looks amazing, I like making buns more than a loaf.Had you tried that with this mix? I've been making your Ultimate Keto Buns every week, but I want to try something different.

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Hi Diana, I prefer making buns too. I think they work with any of the bread mixes on my blog - they are generally easier to make Smile You may want to try this one: ketodietapp.com/.../sourdough-keto-baguettes

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Mine was not as fluffy as yours, mine more dense.  What do you think might have caused this?
BTW, it was still really fabulous and didn't raise my blood sugar at all!

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That's great! I think it may have been over-mixing. I have to admit that I made a few batches before I found a way to make it fluffy. If you watch the video, you'll notice that I add the egg yolks and then straight after that I lighten it up with the egg whites (1/4 of them) and then immediately add the remaining egg whites. This process (adding the wet ingredients) takes less than half a minute. When I add the mixture to the bread pan, you can still see a small amount of unmixed egg whites. That's because I really try to keep it as light and fluffy as I can. I hope this helps Smile

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The video calls for 6 egg white, but the written recipe says 2. I'm assuming it's 6 egg whites?

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Hi Maritza, there are 2 egg whites + 4 more egg whites from the eggs listed above.

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I made that mistake as well. I ended up using 4 egg yolks and two egg whites. Lol. My bread did not rise as well but is still decent to eat. Cut it horizontally to make 6 pieces of sand wish sized bread. It's super filling. Will make another batch tomorrow. Excited about making this.

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Thank you! I hope the next batch is perfect! Smile

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I don't have any caraway seed that is listed in the Fluffy grain free Sunflower bread can I leave them out?

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Yes, you can - they are used just for taste Smile

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Hi Martina-I love all your recipes! I made the bread and it turned out very nice. I just don't like the taste of the psyllium husk which is quite prominent in this recipe.I prefer the ultimate keto buns and will return to making these. I will also try the bread recipe you derived from the bun recipe. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you Kathi! I agree, the buns are, in my opinion, the best bread recipe Smile

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PS love the video...good choice of melody too, so many times the music is over powering and doesn't fit the activity, coming from a Rock and Roll music lover!

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Thank you Nataha!! It IS best toasted with some butter on top! Smile

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Just made this, could barely wait for the suggested cooling time
To expire. Sliced first piece-  butteed and devoured! Super YUM, so remenicent of rye. Toasted the second slice, OMG delish!!
Can't wait to toast a slice for grandpa who has alway's loved rye bread

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I absolutely messed up at the last moment. Smile Didn't notice to add water to egg yolks until everything was mixed together. So I put it in anyways. Of course it's not necessarily fluffy, but holy smokes, my taste buds are so happy! I love it! I'll make it again! Thank you so much for your hard work! <3

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Thank you Liina, I'm glad you liked it! I hope the next one is light and fluffy Smile

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I made this and it COMLETELY deflated despite being very careful with the whites. Any idea why this happened (again - I was very careful with the whites...) The taste was good though - very good!

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I'm sorry to hear that Monika. Could it be that it was over-processed? When you add the egg yolk mix, you immediately have to add the egg whites or the psyllium will absorb all the liquids and will clump up. After the egg yolk mix, I add about a quarter of the egg whites to lighten it up and then the remaining. If you notice in the video, there are still some egg whites visible in the dough when I put it in the loaf pan. I only mix it for a few seconds - that's basically not to over-process it. I hope this helps!

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The ingredients list cream of tartar twice.
Dry ingredients:
⅔ cup psyllium husk powder (80 g/ 2.8 oz) - always go by weight
¼ cup flax meal (40 g/ 1.4 oz) - always go by weight
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar or 2 tsp of lemon juice or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup sunflower seeds (70 g/ 2.5 oz)
Could you please clarify this for me?
Thanks

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Thank you Christine - this should be fixed now - the first one is supposed to be baking soda (1 tsp baking soda) - see the video. It may be that if you are looking at the recipe from the integrated blog in the app, it takes time to update.

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Bit confused...instruction point no 3 is said add baking soda. Is that instead of the cream of tartar? The dry ingredients have cream of tartar twice also. Have it in the oven now so hope it works out ok.

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Thank you for spotting the typo in the list of ingredients. The one that said "1 tsp cream of tartar" was meant to be "1 tsp baking soda" which is now correct. Recipe steps and the video also show the correct way.

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This looks fabulous. Thanks for the video! A few questions: Could I sub butter for ghee? Is the toasted sesame oil a taste preference, or is there a nutritional reason it should be toasted? (for that matter, could another oil besides sesame be used??) Would carton egg white be okay to use? and finally ~ the caraway seeds, how vital are they to the recipe?
Thank you!

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Thank you Tracy! Yes, butter will work too. The sesame oil can also be substituted with butter - it's used just for taste and makes it taste like "rye / wholegrain" bread. I haven't tried carton egg whites but I'd think that it should work if you can beat them. Caraway seeds are also used just for taste - you can skip them Smile

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I don't have cream of tartar. Can I replace it with baking soda or baking powder? How much?

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You can use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar instead of cream of tartar (added to the egg whites). The way raising works is that you mix alkaline baking soda with acidic cream of tartar (or vinegar or lemon juice).
Also, instead of the baking soda + cream of tartar combination, you can use 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder. If you do, add all of it in the dry ingredients (not the egg whites).

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Hi! I want to try this recipe, but in our country we don't use one of the ingredients... So, what can I use instead of cream of tartar? Would lemon juice or vinegar work? Thank you so much. All the best, Katja (from Slovenia Smile )

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Hi Katja, see my comment below (my reply to Tatjana) Smile I'll add it in the ingredients.

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Thank you Martina! Smile Polona, yes, I heard that vinski kamen is like creme of tartar, but it is not the same thing, right? So I just took the same amaount and it should work? Did you try this recipe using vinski kamen?

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I think it's the same thing Smile

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Sorry Katja, I was on holiday... Yes I am 100% sure it is the same thing, but haven't tried to bake this bread so far...

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Hi Katja,
actually you can get Cream of tartare in Slovenia...it is called Vinski kamen Smile
Best regards from Slovenia, Polona

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Wow!  I made this bread this afternoon - and am very impressed.  It looks and tastes like bread.  I did not have sunflower seeds, so I used shelled pumpkin seeds instead.  The only problem is that I did not lift the loaf out of the pan as soon as it was out of the oven, so it collapsed a bit in the middle.  Not much of a problem.  The best low-carb, no-grain bread recipe I have tried. Smile

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Thank you Marilyn!!

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