Soy-free Low Carb Baking – Part 3

by karlb on December 22, 2007

Yes, it’s late by more than a year (nearly two), but here is Part 3 of my baking mix article.

In Part 2 we talked about vital wheat gluten adding structure to baked goods. But wheat gluten composes only about 7 to 14% of traditional wheat flour, the rest being carbohydrate and fiber.

So what could we use as “filler” in our low carb flour? Obviously, we don’t want to use carbs. So what does that leave?

Our only alternatives to carbs are more protein and fiber.

So that’s where I began experimenting. I had the brilliant idea that I could “pack” my flour with ground wheat bran, an insoluble fiber.

Well, the experiment worked — somewhat. I made bread dough and baked a loaf of bread and a pizza. The bread was dense and very chewy and had an overwhelming bran taste.

I thought it wasn’t too bad (probably because it was my creation), but my wife refused to take more than two bites of the bread. She struggled through the pizza, but wasn’t thrilled by the tough texture or the strong bran flavor.

Okay, so wheat bran flour was out.

But there are more sources of soluble and insoluble fiber to play. To make a long story short, after more than a dozen variations, I finally settled on this blend of ingredients (in order by volume, greatest to least):

  • oat bran fiber (pleasant oat flavor)
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Corn bran flour (nice flavor)
  • whey (75-80% protein)
  • unbleached wheat flour (optional, used mostly when using yeast)

I adjusted my flour to achieve a versatile blend that could be used for cakes, muffins, quick breads, pancakes, and even yeast breads. Flavor and texture were big priorities, as was how the final product held up in storage. I had found that some commercial low carb mixes would taste fine right out of the oven, but develop an odd aftertaste the next day. Or, the texture would change and grow hard or mushy.

With my bake mix, most of these problems vanished. Sure, there are a few minor issues you need to be aware of when using this low carb “flour,” namely, you’ll need to add about 20-30% more liquid to compensate for the increased absorption (varies by recipe) in batters. Also, if you are baking yeast breads, you will probably want to add the optional wheat flour or a little sugar to feed the yeast. Yeast requires sugars to develop properly.

So here’s my final recipe:

Low Carb No-Soy Bake Mix

  • 3-3/4 cups – oat bran fiber
  • 3 cups – vital wheat gluten
  • 3 cups – corn bran flour
  • 1-1/2 cups – whey (75-80% protein)
  • 3/4 cup – unbleached wheat flour (optional, used mostly when using yeast)

You can find these ingredients at my favorite source for bulk baking ingredients: Honeyville Food Products. The only ingredient Honeyville doesn’t have in a “reasonable” size is the whey. You can also order Honeyville products through Amazon here:

I buy my whey from Here is the link directly to the 80% whey protein I use.

Since formulating my baking mix above, Honeyville introduced small (5LB) packages of a modified food starch (Hi-Maize 5-in-1-Fiber) that adds fiber without carbs. The cost of Hi-Maize is a little higher than the other fiber fillers in my mix, but not by much. I’ll need to see how Hi-Maize fits into my bake mix formula. So check back with this blog to see how it goes — or contact me by posting a comment below (please use a valid email address so I can contact you — I am the only person who will see your email address).

If you decide to buy the ingredients and whip up a batch of this flour, please make sure you store both the ingredients and the mixed flour itself in a cool, dry, airtight container, in a dark place (i.e., cupboard). I keep my mixed flour in a Rubbermaid flour container and it has held up well for months at a time.

Our next post will talk about low- and no-sugar sweeteners. You can’t bake with Splenda alone.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Eliades February 2, 2009 at 4:17 am

A low carb diet is advisable for patients suffering in diabetes. I use to maintain a low carb diet and it does help me a lot.

Judy April 22, 2012 at 2:53 am

In part 3, your recipe for No soy flour mix, the unbleached wheat flour says 4/3 cup. Is that 1 & 1/3 or some other number?

karlb April 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm


That is my mistake. Thanks for the catch.

The correct amount is 3/4 cup. I’ve fixed it in the recipe above.

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