The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Carbalose Flour and Maillard Reaction

doughooker's picture

Carbalose Flour and Maillard Reaction

I've been baking with low-carb Carbalose flour and have managed to come up with a passable biscuit recipe:

Presumably because of the low carbohydrate content of Carbalose, there isn't much browning going on (Maillard reaction).

I could add a small amount of sugar but this defeats the low-carbohydrate intent of the recipe. Or, I could blend Carbalose with, say, 10% or 25% all-purpose flour. Or, I could add some other ingredient to the biscuits, such as chopped scallions, grated cheddar cheese, or I could leave it alone. Thoughts?

I have had good luck making low-carb pasta with Carbalose. Crack 1 egg into a mixer bowl and add 2 TB water. Using a cookie paddle, mix in Carbalose until you have a stiff dough, as stiff as you can make it. Roll out the dough and run it through your pasta cutter. Pasta is more forgiving because the sauce contributes so much flavor.

clazar123's picture

"Forbidden 403" pops when I try and see the link. I am curious about your biscuit recipe. Does it contain any baking soda? Baking soda promotes a browner product.

doughooker's picture

It concerns me that you can't view the page due to a 403 error.

Yes, it contains baking soda. Here is the recipe. I like that it uses lots of shortening which gives it a good mouth feel.

Milk: 1 cup water + 3/4 cup powdered milk. This formulation emulates evaporated milk. Canned evaporated milk is not cheap so I keep milk powder in the house which doesn't spoil and lasts for a long time. The enriched milk gives the biscuits a much better flavor than buttermilk and offsets some of the funny flavor of low-carbohydrate flour (carbalose). These biscuits even taste good eaten plain.

90 g vegetable shortening

219 g flour (1 3/4 cup)

½ teaspoon salt

1 tsp cream of tartar + ½ tsp baking soda (leavening)


Just to let you know that I got the "invalid token 403" error as well.  I think maybe your link is connected to YOUR blog account....just a guess.

I've also been experimenting with Carbalose flour as well.... expensive venture to be sure.  I noticed that you use vegetable shortening in your recipe.  Have you tried it with lard (used in pastry makes for a very flaky product).  Also, did you find that the Carbalose recipe is very dry and crumbly?  Every recipe that I've tried baking with Carbalose has that "gritty" mouth feel.  I've managed to temper that by adding a small amount of either Xanthan gum or Guar gum to the dry ingredients.  They tend to "smooth" out the feel of the baked good so that the texture is more like what you would have with traditional flours.

Finally, you didn't mention it, but Carbalose tends to have a "bitter" aftertaste. If you add a small amount of sugar substitute (not enough to sweeten the dough), it will offset that taste.  I use Spenda (which some purists will criticize because it's a chemical sweetener) because it is baking "friendly" and doesn't alter its flavor in high temps.

I'd be interested in hearing more about this recipe.  Thanks for sharing.

Floydm's picture

The url you shared is only to the post preview, not the actual post. Only the author can see the preview. Everyone else gets access denied (403).

clazar123's picture

Milk has enough sugar in it to brown nicely in the oven. Just save a tablespoon of milk to brush the tops. That may be all you need.

dabrownman's picture

protein (amino acids) and a reducing sugar in the absence of water.  Meat is browned by the Maillard reaction because it is mainly protein.

But almost all the browning in baked goods is due to caramelization of sugars, is pyrolytic, as opposed to a chemical reaction and also takes place in the absence of water. So bread browns because of caramelization since it is 70-80% carbohydrate. 

It has been an Urban Myth about the Maillard reaction making bread brown. 

Happy baking