Cloud bread is all over Pinterest and Instagram. The grain-free, almost carb-free substitute for bread is supposed to be a wonder for anyone who needs to avoid carbs. What's in it? Cream cheese, eggs and cream of tarter are the base of most recipes online. Some people add sweetener, salt or dried herbs.
Are you curious about how those ingredients come together to make something that looks like bread? I was, so I decided to try my hand at making cloud bread and discovered that it's all in the eggs. They're separated and the whites and cream of tarter are whipped until they're fluffy. Then, a combination of cream cheese and egg yolks are folded in.
As far as I can tell, cloud bread traces back to a mistake the blogger at Your Lighter Side made while making a recipe for rolls on the Atkins Diet. She named what she created "oopsie rolls" (get the recipe here). That recipe, tweaked by various home cooks, has become a social media sensation.
I followed the recipe for oopsie rolls, adding a pinch of salt. (I've found that whenever I think a recipe should have salt, I should follow my instincts.) I divided the dough — if you can call it that — in half. I baked half as is, and I added garlic powder and dried basil, oregano and parsley to the other half before I baked it, with the intention of seeing if it could be used for pizza.
Even though I'd seen the photo evidence online, I was skeptical that this substance could create anything that was bread-like. As you can see by the photo at left, my first attempt was successful. The cloud bread is very light in texture and melts in your mouth; you don't even have to chew it. Because it was so fragile, I wondered how it would hold up to actual use so I put it to the test.
The first thing I made was pizza and garlic bread with mozzarella, using the cloud bread with the garlic and dried herbs in it. I thought for sure once the sauce went on the bread that it would fall apart under the moistness, but it didn't. Both versions turned out just fine. I liked the garlic bread better than the pizza, but they were both not bad. I know that's not a glowing recommendation, but I've tasted a lot of gluten-free breads and pizzas at press sampling events, and some of them have been so bad they've almost turned me off of eating forever.
Next, I tried cloud bread French toast. I made a mixture of egg, milk and vanilla, and followed the same method I use for regular French toast. I went a little heavy on the syrup by accident, but overall, this was not bad either.
Grilled cheese cloud bread was my next experiment. Like the French toast, I used my regular method of making grilled cheese. I didn't do anything special to it. The grilled cheese turned out just fine, too. I was really surprised that the bread held up to all the various ways I used it.
The one way I didn't like the cloud bread was when I used it for sandwiches. I made a PB&J and a ham and cheese sandwich with the plain bread, and neither of them was appealing. Room temperature and with nothing added to it, the cloud bread is very bland.
I think the important thing to remember with cloud bread is that you have to get rid of your expectations that it's going to be just like bread. It's not. But as a vehicle to hold sauce and cheese or to make a grilled sandwich, it gets the job done surprisingly well.