Saying you need flour for bread is a little like saying you need water for rain. After all, isn't it a given that bread needs flour? Well, it depends on how much of a purist you are. Some only consider real bread to be the versions that include flour or water. Others are OK leaving 'em out. And to those people, we have an introduction to make: cloud bread.
Unlike anything you've had before, cloud bread is light, tasty and easy to make with just four ingredients. Plus, its fluffy, slightly spongy texture is definitely bread-like, and its versatility is off the charts. Flavor it with sea salt and black pepper to hit a high savory note, or sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. Either way, you're guaranteed to take a bite that tastes oh-so-delicious.
Yield: 6 to 8 buns
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey
1. Prep and Place
Preheat oven to 300 F. Separate the eggs with extreme care. Place yolks in a bowl with cream cheese and sugar.
Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the cream of tartar. Any trace of yolk in this bowl means it won't whip up nicely.
2. Beat It
Beat egg yolk mixture with a whisk or hand mixer until it’s smooth and cream cheese is completely incorporated. There should no longer be bits of cream cheese visible. Set aside.
3. Mix It
Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes at high speed.
4. Fold It
Using a wide spatula, gently fold the yolk mixture into the egg-white mixture.
Spoon the mixture into even dollops on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You can make either six or eight buns, depending on how large you want them. The six-piece size is good for sandwiches and wide enough to hold a standard burger patty.
Bake the six-piece size for 25 to 35 minutes. The eight-piece size will be smaller, so bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The tops should be golden when ready.
Let cool for 10 minutes and lift off the parchment paper. (It’ll be easier to do while the buns are still warm.) Serve at room temperature or toasted — with sandwiches, as a breakfast bread with jam, or stuffed with whipped cream and fresh fruit for dessert.
Store in an airtight container or resealable bag for up to three days at room temperature, or one week in the refrigerator.
Cloudy With a Chance of Flavor!
Now that you’ve got the basics of cloud bread down, you can get creative with flavorings. For each of the below variations, add the extra ingredients to your cloud bread dollops just before or after baking. You don't want to fold them in along with everything else — an important part of this recipe is keeping the egg whites as fluffy as possible, and more folding will deflate them.
- Sea salt and pepper
- Chipotle powder
- Smoked paprika and sea salt
- Chopped rosemary
- Minced onion
- Shredded cheeses (make mini pizzas!)
- Butter and garlic (microwave melted butter and minced garlic for 45 seconds or until fragrant)
- Cinnamon and sugar (brush buns with melted butter before sprinkling)
- Caramelized onion