Cloud bread sounds like something out of a fairy tale, but it is quite real and it’s all the rage right now in the health food world. And for good reason! This bread packs a protein punch that you won’t find in traditional breads. If that doesn’t impress you, the next nutrition fact surely will: it has no carbs. Yes, our prayers have been answered and a bread without carbs has finally been created! But before you swear off bread forever, you may want to look more closely at this mystical food. While it may lack carbs and calories, it may not help you lose weight or be a natural substitute for bread. Let’s face it: when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Is It Healthier Than Bread?
Cloud bread is made of cream cheese (or cottage cheese), cream of tartar, and a sweetener. It’s a fairly simple recipe, but you can mix in other herbs and spices to up the delicious factor. This bread is grain- and carb-free, among other healthful benefits. For those suffering from celiac disease (the inability to process gluten), this may seem like a health godsend. It has about half the calories of traditional breads, but there are many downsides to this bread alternative. Cloud bread may be carb-free and low-calorie, but a single serving of it can have up to 6 grams of fat and 45 milligrams of sodium. The high fat can be attributed to the cream cheese included in many of the recipes. It also has little or no fiber; for comparison, you can expect around 3 grams of fiber in a slice of multigrain or whole wheat bread.
While we may have just burst your cloud bread bubble, we assure you that this bread does have its place in certain diets. Paleo, carb-free, high-fat, and gluten-free diets can all benefit from the versatility of this bread. Like regular bread, it can be toasted and used in almost every way bread is used. But if you’re thinking of trading in your loaf of Wonder Bread for this hyped-up trend, it’s important to keep in mind that cloud bread doesn’t actually taste like the standard bread you’ve been raised on. The dough is made by whipping egg whites, so its texture is closer to a chewy meringue fresh out of the oven. It is delicious! But it’s also very different from your local bakery’s loaf.
Hot to Use It
Cloud bread can be baked in loaves or individual rounds; your baking time will vary depending on how you shape the dough. If you opt to bake small discs of cloud bread, making individual pizzas is an easy snack. After making your bread, top with tomato sauce and shredded cheese. Pop the assembled pizzas back in the oven until the cheese has melted. While this is a zero-carb snack, the bread and toppings both include cheese, so make sure to go easy on the dairy for your other meals.
If you’re having dinner guests who are gluten intolerant, offering cloud bread breadsticks is a great way to make them feel more comfortable at the table. Simply shape the dough into long sticks instead of circles and top with fresh herbs. They may not be smothered in butter like Olive Garden breadsticks, but your guests will appreciate the alternative.
Is Cloud Bread for You?
If you are an avid bread eater and lover, cloud bread isn’t for you. While the taste and texture of this bread is delicious in its own right, it cannot compare to the heel of an Italian loaf or a crostini made from a French baguette. If you’re having guests who don’t eat gluten, this is the perfect snack to whip up: it’s simple to make and will certainly impress your diet-restricted friends. But if you’re looking for a replacement to use while you’re dieting, this fluffy bread may do more harm than good. You need to remember to alter your diet and keep it balanced, which will absolutely be necessary with the influx of fat you’ll be taking in. We suggest simply monitoring your carb intake more closely and indulging in a slice of whole wheat toast for breakfast.
An Easy Cloud Bread Recipe…
Compliments of The Wicked Noodle
“Cloud bread is soft and fluffy – like a cloud! It’s a great substitute for ‘regular’ bread and is low in carbs. Although it’s not firm enough to replace bread in a regular sandwich, I like to top one ‘slice’ with peanut butter and bananas, toast it with jam or with my favorite lunch meat and fillings!”
3 large eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
2 ounces cream cheese, very soft
1 tablespoon of white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Mix egg yolks, cream cheese, and sugar together in a separate bowl using a wooden spoon and then mixing with a hand-held egg beater until mixture is very smooth and has no visible cream cheese.
- Gently fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.
- Carefully scoop mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 5 to 6 “buns”.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cloud bread is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.